Reuss: Judge us in mid-2014
January 7, 2012
by Mike Colias
If you want a true read on the strength of General Motors in the U.S. market, wait until mid-2014.
That was the message last week from GM North America President Mark Reuss as he fended off questions about GM's 17.9 percent U.S. market share for 2012. That's down from 19.6 percent in 2011 and the first time GM has slipped below 18 percent since before the Great Depression, with the exception of the World War II years.
By mid-2014, GM will have executed the most extensive overhaul of its vehicle lineup in its history -- and maybe in the industry's history, Reuss says. That should help claw back market share that GM ceded in 2012, he implied.
"Our portfolio is the very oldest in the industry right now," Reuss told reporters and analysts after GM released its December sales figures. "If there's a switch that you're going to throw and say 'Judge us,' give us 18 months. And you're going to see the whole portfolio turned."
GM's December sales rose 5 percent, to 245,733 vehicles, trailing the industry's 9 percent growth. GM's sales for the year were up 4 percent, well below the industry's 13 percent gain.
Reuss and other GM executives acknowledged that the aging vehicle lineup -- made worse by product-development and investment delays stemming from GM's 2009 bankruptcy -- has hurt market share. They also cited the rebound of Japanese competitors, which reclaimed share they ceded after the March 2011 earthquake in Japan.
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