NEW YORK - General Motors Co has set its turnaround plan on the assumption that it can maintain slightly more than 19 percent of the U.S. market, board member Stephen Girsky said on Thursday.

The public plan is 19 percent and change, that is what everything is being based on, Girsky said during a panel discussion at a conference sponsored by Columbia Business School.

Girsky, who joined GM's 13-member board as a representative of the United Auto Workers union when the automaker emerged from bankruptcy in July, was responding to a question on what GM's market share would be in three years.

The comments marked the first time that a GM director had addressed the question of market share for the company after it took $50 billion of emergency U.S. government support.

GM had 19.5 percent of the U.S. auto market in the third quarter and a restructuring plan it announced in May was based on the automaker maintaining an 18.5 percent share in 2009.

The automaker has seen its share of the U.S. market erode steadily for decades. GM held almost 29 percent of the U.S. market in 2002. (Reporting by Caroline Humer, writing by Kevin Krolicki, editing by Maureen Bavdek)