April 13, 2006

GM, Ford to lose chunk of US market share: analyst

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.
will lose significant U.S. market share in the coming years,
the publisher of automotive research firm IntelliChoice said on

"I see General Motors at 18 percent, and Ford at 13 percent
in about ten years from now," James Bell told Reuters in an
interview at the International Auto Show in New York. "We are
headed into a brutally competitive marketplace now."

GM's market share is 24 percent while Ford's is just under
19 percent, as of the end of March.

"They still have several points to lose, and it will be a
painful process," he said. "But you look at it as correcting
their market share, not lowering it. They have had
overproduction for way too long."

He said GM and Ford would sell fewer cars in the United
States even as the market expands and Japanese manufacturers'
share increases.

Bell also said the U.S. market, home to the "Big Three" --
General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's
Chrysler -- will see more major players in the coming years.

"For decades, it's been the Big Three. But in the next few
years, it will be more like the Big Eight or Big Nine," he

Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co.
Ltd., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Korean companies such as
Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. will become major players in the U.S.
market, Bell said.

Toyota now has nearly 14 percent, Honda 8.5 percent and
Nissan 6.7 percent.

"The Koreans will move slightly higher in the market and
the Chinese will come in and find their place in the sub-Korean
market," Bell said.

He expects the first Chinese car, from automaker Geely
Automobile Holdings Ltd., to hit U.S. markets in 2008.