Looking at the progress General Motors has made since it entered bankruptcy, it's easy to forget that the company still has a long way to go before it's the juggernaut it once was. A recent report from Reuters points out that, while GM is making money, it isn't making any gains in terms of US market share. Quite the opposite, really.

Consider this factoid: In 1963, nearly half of the cars sold in the United States were from Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC or Pontiac. Now, the company's US market share is stagnant at 17.9 percent. That same number is half of just Chevy's 1963 market share. This is all despite GM going on a binge replacing or updating its models.

"Market share increases are not instantaneous," Mark Reuss told Reuters at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. "We've got a lot of baggage. Don't underestimate what people though of us, or these brands, through these hardships and 30 years."

The reasons for the stagnant market share are numerous. Reuters points out that retooling of factories and a focus on limiting incentives are both good things for profit, but not necessarily for market share. There's also the troubling turnover of the brand's marketing department.

These issues don't change the fact that Chevrolet has lost 1.4 percent of its market share in two years, and that Cadillac - arguably GM's most improved brand overall - has lost 1.2 percent in the same period. Part of that can be blamed on GM's avoidance of fleet sales in favor of more profitable customer sales. "Our focus has really been on retail and that's where we've got the growth," said Alan Batey, GM's interim global marketing boss.

"We want to grow GM and that means growing market share and profits, but it's not at all costs," Reuss said.


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  • 84 Comments
      Dark Gnat
      • 11 Months Ago
      Focusing too much on market share is one of the things that got them in trouble to begin with. Being number one in sales isn't everything. Quality products and happy customers are just as (if not more) important. Too bad investors don't understand that.
      knightrider_6
      • 11 Months Ago
      I wouldn't want any single automaker to have 50% market share.
      PTC DAWG
      • 11 Months Ago
      Profit over market share all day long.
      lemmole
      • 11 Months Ago
      We 2 newer Malibu including a 2014.These are cars are way better than the older GM. I have been a Ford guy all my life and would not buy a GM car. Got a deal on a 2009 that handled great. Have over 100,000 and no problems - amazing . Still have a F250 and 2003 Ranger.
      Wetstuff
      • 11 Months Ago
      It's like looking at a priest and not thinking... C'mon, GM is the outfit that built all sorts of Chit for decades and then hid behind those decisions while cashing big bonus checks right into Chap.11. Like Lutz, the rest of size 48 waist management said; "It wasn't my fault." They think nobody noticed?! Jim
      Charles Moakler
      • 4 Months Ago
      The problems with G. M. products are too numerous for one article but the hidden headlights on G. M. products is the last straw. $250. 00 to change a headlight? What if they both go out in the middle of nowhere? I'm done G. M. has severed my last patriotic nerve. I am taking to consulting mechanics before I buy anything in the future. That in itself will remove G. M. from the list.
      Martin
      • 11 Months Ago
      As a former stockholder who got SCREWED in the fake Obama "Bankruptcy" that created the "new" Government Motors... I can promise you I will never, ever spent one nickel with these guys (A pledge that's free of temptation and easy to keep because they continue to produce crap for cars!)
        GasMan
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Martin
        My parents and grandparents got screwed also on GM stock that was purchased long before. GM and the government did not respect the shareholders, choosing to favor the unions and it was just flat wrong. With that said, if you were still holding GM stock you were not paying attention. The company had been horribly run for decades.
          axiomatik
          • 11 Months Ago
          @GasMan
          You guys have no clue how bankruptcies work, do you? Even if the government completely stayed out of it, the stockholders would have been wiped out. That is what happens in a corporate bankruptcy. The "owners" (stockholders) lose control of the company, and it gets turned over to the creditors.
      NickL
      • 11 Months Ago
      I am 100% certain that most of these commenters fit within one of the following categories: 1) they have never driven a post 2011 GM vehicle 2) they don't actually read car reviews 3) they are so out of their mind biased that it doesn't matter how good the new GM products are, they will still hate them 4) they had a bad GM experience and automatically assume that every car is like there's 5) all of the above GM is competitive, profitable, and building some first class cars. They aren't perfect, nobody is, but they are far better off than your uneducated opinions declare.
        i.own.your.ass
        • 11 Months Ago
        @NickL
        so where do you fit? oh right...mad cuz bought GM stock but loosing money.....
          Alfonso T. Alvarez
          • 11 Months Ago
          @i.own.your.ass
          Hey - i.am.a.dumb.ass: People who bought GM stock have made a much higher gain in the last year than Ford, Honda or Toyota. I realize you likely don't know what that means, but to put it simply - if you bought $1,000 of GM stock a year ago it is worth well over $1,400 today.
        zero
        • 11 Months Ago
        @NickL
        Triple master technician says you're a jackass. we work on their junk everyday very poorly engineered
        Teleny411
        • 11 Months Ago
        @NickL
        Actually I agree with your analysis. But at the root is the fact GM put out decades of inferior products and miserable customer service. They lost a lot of customer good will and that's going to be hard to overcome. Many Americans are now unwilling to go back to GM. Personally I'd buy a new Cadillac over BMW.
      Sir Duke
      • 11 Months Ago
      It really irks me when write willfully ignorant articles like this. "Consider this factoid: In 1963, nearly half of the cars sold in the United States were from Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC or Pontiac. Now, the company's US market share is stagnant at 17.9 percent. That same number is half of just Chevy's 1963 market share. This is all despite GM going on a binge replacing or updating its models." I'm going to ask you to consider THIS factoid. In the early 1900s Ford had an 80 - 90% market share with the Model -T. What happened? I guess Ford hasn't replaced any of their models. Since 1963 no fewer than a dozen MAJOR car companies have entered the US market. More players, less pie. GM is less than 5 years removed from bankruptcy, and is still in the process replacing some of the pre-bankruptcy models. Unless a car company is giving away super-models with each car they sell, no car company will ever again break 30% in this market. Its just a Fact of life.
      BlackandMild
      • 11 Months Ago
      "Despite strong profits, GM still fighting flat market share" Why is this a suprise? GM takes 2 American icons such as the Corvette and Camaro, stuff them both with great performance hardware, purposely screw the design of their rear-ends up, slap a price that is north of the stratosphere and expect people to line up with bated breath to take one home? Obviously, little to NO market research is being done anymore- Here lately GM has had their heads in the sand, so therefore i'm keeping my money where it belongs..................... in my pocket
      Kuro Houou
      • 11 Months Ago
      When they put crap out like the new Cadillac Volt and sell it for 70k that is just wasted R&D imo! No one is going to buy that crap when a Tesla is in the same price range. They need someone there who can tell them when their crap is really crap so they don't waste time and money on it.
        TopGun
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        While I agree the ELR is expensive, the volume is so low (which has impact on the prices), that your comment is relatively meaningless.
      bobbylightbryant
      • 11 Months Ago
      GM has not EARNED my business. Make some really good cars for a few years, take care of your customers, and put an end to rebadging within your markets. It seems to be working for Chrysler.
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