General Motors Corp. customers are expected to keep the recent trend of improving monthly car sales alive in June, Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson said on Tuesday.
The company, which entered into bankruptcy on June 1, is reducing the number of brands it sells and is the midst of closing a significant number of dealerships and factories.
It launched a modest media campaign just after its filing to inform customers that while bankruptcy is not desirable, it was a necessary move to emerge as the “New GM,” a leaner company with only its strongest brands remaining.
While sales are down significantly compared to the previous year, sales improved in May to 191,875 vehicles, the best performance so far this year and 11 percent higher than April.
“Since March of this year, we have seen small improvements in sales on a monthly basis, with our key messages on product and brand getting through. June looks like a similar trend,” Henderson wrote in reply to a question about feedback from customers since the filing during a chat with members of the media on the company’s FastLane blog.
“We’re deeply appreciative for the support of our customers and look forward to delighting them in the future,” he said.
In April and May, GM ran campaign called “Total Confidence” which included payment protection in case of unemployment, equity protection, the OnStar communications service and the company’s extended warranty.
Internally, the company is continuing to make cuts. Henderson said there will be “significant change” in the company as previously announced reiterating that the company will cut 34 percent of the company’s executives and 20 percent in salaried manpower before the end of 2009.
The company had also previously announced it will keep closing factories and parts distribution centers in the next several years to reduce its capacity.
“I have recently indicated to a senior person that there are no more ‘bad plants,’ only good ones with good people,” he said. “Our problem, however, is that we simply must bring our capacity in line with demand and we have no real alternative other than to execute our plan.”