) -- The biggest roadblock for potential
investors? Perhaps it's the company's long history of declining market share.
Of course, as the company has pointed out regularly on its monthly sales calls, the four core brands -- Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC -- are retaining the vast majority of the share held by GM when it had eight brands -- 19.2% through July.
Still, IBISWorld analyst Casey Thormahlen said he is troubled by the trend. "
is gaining market share while GM has lost market share," he said. "On the fundamentals, Ford is a better buy."
Ford has gained market share every year since 2008, while GM has lost market share every year since 2004, Thormahlen noted. And that is just the recent trend. In 1962, GM market share was 50.7%. For the rest of the 1960s, it was in the high 40s.
According to IBISWorld, GM's share stood at 27.5% in 2004. Ford fell from 19.6% in 2004 to 15.1% in 2008 but has rebounded since to 17.5% through July.
share rose from 12.2% in 2004 to 17% in 2009 and has lost about a point so far this year.
As the company noted in the IPO registration it filed Wednesday, "We operate in a highly competitive industry that has excess manufacturing capacity and attempts by our competitors to sell more vehicles could have a significant negative impact on our vehicle pricing, market share, and operating results."
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.