GM Would Rather Be Strong No. 2 than Weaker No. 1

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-01-24

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp vice chairman and product chief Bob Lutz said on Wednesday he would rather see a strong GM even if it were No. 2 in worldwide sales than a less profitable No. 1 automaker.

"I would rather be a highly profitable, great shareholder value, great reputation, growing No. 2 than a struggling No. 1," Lutz told reporters after a speech at the Automotive News World Congress.

GM released final 2007 global sales figures on Wednesday of 9.37 million vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp's preliminary figures came in about the same, with a source disclosing to Reuters a Toyota figure that left GM as the world's largest automaker.

"I would almost say that being No. 2 for a while if it happens, and it well may because they are in a lot of areas that are growing faster than we are, it may be a powerful motivator for GM employees," Lutz said.

(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Gary Hill)

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