Wednesday, April 4, 2007

GM's US Sales Continue to Slide

Looking at data from page 6 of GM's latest 10-K, the steady loss of marketshare is clear. North American marketshare fell from 26.7% in to 2004 to 23.8% in 2006. It was 27.9% in 2002. Worldwide it has gone from 14.6% in 2002 to 13.5% in 2006, and those 2006 estimates are probalby too generous as GM has a history of revising down their earlier marketshare estimates in subsequent annual reports.

The falloff was sharpest from 2005 to 2006 and now 2007 appears to be even worse. According to March data released by the automakers, GM's sales were down 4% while Toyota's were up 11.7%.

This trend is consistent with a company struggling to maintain a short term appearance of solvency while writing off its long term future. GM is focused on cutting costs rather than improving product. Rather than investing in technologies to improve the value of their vehicles, GM management has steadily let their competitors pull ahead to the point where customers are realizing that there is much more value from other brands. This is shown clearly in the marketshare numbers and trends.