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.