General Motors Corp.’s new warranty program will give the automaker an edge in the highly competitive market for full-size pickup trucks, a segment where GM will likely gain market share in the near term, a top company executive told Reuters on Wednesday (Sept. 13).
Brent Dewar, vice president of sales, service and parts, also said that the world’s largest automaker is on target to sell 3 million vehicles in U.S. showrooms this year, almost unchanged from 2005.
GM is trying to recover from a $10.6 billion loss in 2005. The company’s near-term strategy hinges on selling new pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles – models with the largest profit margins – to help revive North American operations.
Pickups have been a source of profit for the Big Three U.S. automakers – GM, Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group, which have steadily lost share in small and mid-sized cars to Asian brands in recent years.
Dewar said GM’s 24% share of the U.S. market is probably sustainable.
“We think that’s probably a good number,” he said. “In days gone by, we might have been driving that number harder.”
He also said he expects resale values of GM vehicles to rise through the rest of 2006, boosted by the new warranty program. So far this year, GM’s resale value is up 7 percentage points on cars and 3 percentage points on trucks.
GM’s vice chairman of global product development, Bob Lutz, earlier this year said U.S. market share is sustainable in the low-to-mid-20 percentage range over time.