GM’s market share declines

February 16, 2013
GM’s market share declines

General Motors Co.’s global market share fell to 11.5 percent at the end of 2012, down from 11.9 percent on Dec. 31, 2011 and matching its share at the end of 2010, GM said Friday in a regulatory filing.

The drop came even while sales increased by more than 260,000 last year and total new car sales across the globe grew by nearly 4.6 million.

The company’s U.S. market share also fell to 17.5 percent at the end of 2012 — its lowest level in decades and down from 19.2 percent a year earlier. GM sold nearly 2.6 million vehicles in the U.S. last year, up about 90,000 from 2011.

“Our vehicle sales volumes in the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, reflect an intensified competitive environment in the U.S., including aggressive competitor pricing and media spending, as well as key competitor new product launches,” GM wrote in its annual report filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

GM spokesman Jim Cain said Friday that U.S. market share has declined since 2009, some attributable to cutting brands and having an older portfolio than competitors.

“For us in 2013, we do expect we’ll get a modest market share increase this year,” he said. “We think there’s a lot of upside opportunity after that as we go forward in time as we’re going to refresh our portfolio in North America at two times the rate of the last three years.”

In other regions, GM is growing. In 2012, it grew market share in China by a percentage point to 14.6 percent.

GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said in a call with analysts Thursday, “In China, as you many know, 2012 was a record sales year. … We followed this up from January by selling more than 300,000 vehicles in a single month for the first time ever. Domestic sales of Buick, Chevrolet and Wuling brand all set new single month records.”

He said GM will invest in China, particularly with Cadillac and Chevy. The market there is predicted to reach a 30 million in sales by 2020, up from about 19 million today.

Spending on research and development totaled $7.37 billion in 2012, down by $756 million from 2011 totals.

GM has said for a few years it will invest in total about $15 billion to $16 billion annually on R&D and capital expenditures. In 2013, it expects to spend about $8 billion on capital expenditures.

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