Blog Posts by Tom Libby

GM is Relying on New Product Blitz to Halt Share Decline

The next 18 months are important for all OEMs, but perhaps more so for GM than for any of its rivals. From mid-2012 through mid-2014, GM will unveil the greatest array of all-new or re-designed vehicles in recent memory, if not in the company's history.

In 2012, the company brought to market the Spark minicar, Malibu midsize sedan, Verano compact car, XTS large luxury car and the ATS compact luxury car. Coming in 2013 are new versions of the Silverado and Sierra large pickups, the full-size Impala sedan, the Cadillac CTS midsize luxury sedan, and the Chevrolet Corvette, as well as the all-new Cadillac ELR electric coupe and Buick Encore compact crossover.

In 2014, the redesigned Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac fullsize SUVs as well as midsize Chevrolet and GMC pickups will arrive. Powertrain enhancements will include all-new internal combustion engines as well as diesels and hybrids. Altogether, GM's new products compete in segments that account for almost two thirds of the entire U.S. light vehicle industry. It is rare to see such an onslaught of new products from one company in such a short period of time, but GM is making up for time lost during its 2009-10 restructuring phase.

These new cars and light trucks could not arrive too soon. With the exception of 2011 during which the company's U.S. market share edged up .4%, GM has bled share every year since (at least) 2007. And in 2012, this trend accelerated with the company's share sliding 1.7 points to 17.90*, its lowest level since the 1920s. If anything is going to stop GM's share decline, this impressive array of all-new or redesigned products should do it. In fact, GM has refrained from taking the pre-recession route of heaping on incentives to buy business, hoping instead that its redesigned and all-new products on their own will resonate sufficiently with the consumer to boost sales and share. Polk's U.S. Light Vehicle Forecast indicates that GM's share indeed will rise slightly in 2013 to the 18.0 – 18.5% range.

General Motors U.S. Light Vehicle Market Share

Posted by Tom Libby, Lead Analyst, North American Forecasting, Polk (01.31.2013)

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