If the market stays above 16 million units in 2008, GM dealers should be okay. Conditions, though, will continue to force some dealers out of the business.
GM sold about 400,000 fewer vehicles in the U.S. in 2007 than in 2006, but much of that was due to cutting sales to daily rental fleets.
Through November, Chevrolet was on pace to maintain its best-selling brand title over Toyota, although the gap narrowed from a lead of 18.1% in 2006 to 4.4% in 2007.
GM has a robust product lineup now that should drive sales the next few years. As of press time, buyers were having a hard time finding the new Malibu in stock as sales were three times what GM expected.
Dealers also can expect to get some traction from GM's green initiatives. The Chevrolet Volt continues to get press attention, although it won't be in dealerships until 2009 - if production and design goes as hoped.
Another key fact: GM has more than 30 vehicles that exceed 30 mpg; few auto makers can make that claim.