How's this for a contrast? While GM
That's right: GM sold 9.2 million vehicles last year, only the second time (the last was 1978) that the company has sold more than 9 million vehicles. For those wondering, it seems likely that Toyota
Contrast GM's U.S. numbers with its robust international results. GM gained market share in Europe, the Latin America/Africa/Middle East region, and its Asia Pacific sector (which includes China, India, and Korea, among others).
So why is GM hurting? Although international sales outpaced U.S. sales for the first time, composing 51.1% of total sales, GM's U.S. market share in the latest reporting quarter fell from 28.5% to 25.6%. Those rotten U.S. results also caused the company's worldwide market share to drop from 15.4% to 14.6% year over year.
GM is using the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to make its case for the future. Besides new SUV models, the company unveiled a new Camaro concept car yesterday. Given Ford's
Wagoner isn't predicting improvement in the company's U.S. market share. A strike at bankrupt parts supplier Delphi (OTC BB: DPHIQ.PK) wouldn't do much to ameliorate GM's already fragile situation, as it might result in less auto production for the vehicle maker. On the upside, GM has worked to improve its cost structure, and analysts see profits in the year ahead.
In fact, GM's biggest contrast may lie in those earnings projections. Analysts expect the company to lose more than $4 a share in 2005, but earn $0.91 a share in 2006. If the worldwide economy remains healthy, that seems doable.
Those hoping that GM might win the top car or truck awards at this year's Detroit auto show will be disappointed. Last year's winner in the car category, DaimlerChrysler's