GM set to stem U.S. market share slide this year

General Motors Corp. is poised to stem the long slide in its U.S. market share for the first time since 1990, thanks to aggressive sales incentives and a strong new truck lineup, analysts say. Spurred by its offer of cheap loans, launched days after the Sept. 11 attacks to try to bolster dealership traffic, GM expects its U.S. sales in October to surge by double-digits in October, boosting share in its core market. Last week, GM extended the loan program, dubbed "Keep America Rolling," until Nov. 18, which could also help November sales and steal market share away from its main rivals Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG. After making gains in U.S. market share in the third quarter, aided by its lineup of new trucks, including its Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy mid-size sport utility vehicles, GM believes its incentive program will keep the momentum going into the fourth quarter.GM has improved its vehicle quality over the past few years and has benefited from the growth of sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, one of its strengths.But the automaker still remains weak in cars and minivans, and longer-term, analysts still debate whether 2001 will mark a reversal in its fortunes, or a blip in the long trend down.

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