Strikes have made it almost impossible for General Motors to reach its goal of 33 percent of the US car and truck market this year.
'I think we will do better than last year,' said Chairman Jack Smith. However, Smith does not believe that GM can reach the 'upper limits' of last year's predictions for this year.
GM had a combined market share of 31.3 percent last year. It has 31.0 percent through April this year. Strikes cut supplies of the Chevrolet Malibu, Oldsmobile Cutlass and full-sized pickup trucks.
On other subjects, Smith said:
GM wants to build vans in the Shanghai plant where it will build Buick sedans for China. The Buicks will likely go on sale in April 1999
Brand management, started 18 months ago at GM, works better than the company expected, but it is still too early to declare the concept a total victory
It is unlikely that GM will be able to spin off Delphi Automotive Systems, its parts operation, this year.