DETROIT (AP) — A number of analysts are predicting that General Motors' June U.S. sales will underperform the overall auto industry, putting the company in danger of losing market share at a critical time.
GM has issued 44 recalls covering 20 million cars and trucks this year as it undergoes a top-to-bottom safety review in the wake of a mishandled recall of small cars. So far, GM has announced or taken charges totaling $2 billion to cover recall costs.
While the spate of safety problems may be partly at fault, analysts say sales also could be hurt by a pullback on discounts and a drop in sales to rental car companies. Whatever the reason, a subpar month could drop GM's market share from the 17.6 percent it held at the end of May. Chrysler, which has already gained nearly a point of market share this year according to AutoData, could be the beneficiary.
Automakers are scheduled to release sales results on Tuesday. GM won't be the only company to trail the industry. Sales at Ford are expected to drop from a year ago as the company prepares to roll out significant new vehicles later in the year, led by the new F-150 pickup.
The Associated Press surveyed four auto industry research firms, and their forecasts for GM's June sales range from a decline of 8.5 percent (Edmunds.com) to an increase of 2 percent (LMC Automotive) based on sales for the first three weeks.
Cars.com predicts total U.S. sales will drop 2.1 percent. One factor in the decline: last year had one more Saturday, typically a strong day for dealerships. But the market will remain on track to top 16 million in annual sales for the first time since 2007, says senior analyst Jesse Toprak.
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