General Motors Co. will boost its retail U.S. market share in October on the strength of new vehicles and increased ad spending, Edmunds.com says.
GM will claim 22.4 percent of sales to individual U.S. customers, up from 19.1 percent from July through September, the consumer auto site said.
Edmunds.com has also estimated the October seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales will be in the low 10 million units. That's up from September's 9.5-million-unit rate.
GM's sales gains in October are due mostly to product launches such as the new Chevrolet Equinox crossover, the Cadillac CTS sports wagon and the Buick LaCrosse sedan, which are in important volume segments, Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl said in a statement.
An increase in advertising spending is also helping GM get some attention, Anwyl said.
On Sept. 14, GM launched its 60-day money-back guarantee program, along with a series of TV spots featuring new Chairman Ed Whitacre. Since starting the money-back program, which runs through November, GM has sold about 150,000 retail vehicles, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said at a press gathering earlier this week.
Lutz also said GM has aggressive plans for its advertising and will spend heavily to carry them out. GM's marketing messaging will push the envelope and be less risk averse than it has been in the past.
GM is 14 weeks into the launch of the Equinox crossover, and consideration for the vehicle has increased 55 percent from levels the week before the release, according to Edmunds.com's page-view tallies. Nine weeks after the launch of the LaCrosse, consideration for that car has more than doubled from the week before its introduction.
But GM faces more hurdles. The automaker spent 39 days in U.S. bankruptcy court protection this past summer. It now operates on $50 billion in U.S. government loans. GM has to overcome the public perception damage from the bankruptcy and bailout. And the economy still remains weak.
Edmunds.com's Anwyl noted: “GM is climbing from a low base. Continuing to gain share will be increasingly difficult as other manufacturers fight for consumers.”
Counting sales to fleet customers, GM's U.S. market share averaged 19.8 percent in the third quarter.