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GM HOPES TO REGAIN 35% MARKET SHARE

General Motors Corp. hopes to regain a 35 percent share of the U.S. car and truck market, reversing a longtime slide, a top executive said this week.

GM, which now has a 32.2 percent share of the domestic market, boasted a 46 percent share in 1980.G. Richard Wagoner, executive vice president and president of North American operations for GM, said the growth is expected to result from a reorganization to boost efficiency.

Wagoner refused to specify a date for reaching the 35 percent goal but said, "It's a very reasonable target that I think we can achieve."

He told reporters during the University of Michigan's annual automotive management briefing that he expects GM to begin its upward swing in the second half of this year.

Wagoner acknowledged that company officials over the past decade repeatedly have promised market share gains that never came.

He said GM would not repeat mistakes such as pumping up sales to rental agencies and commercial fleets in a bid for short-term market increases. Such "crazy stuff . . . can be very expensive and detrimental to your long-term business," he said.

Instead, he said the company is reducing its fleet sales, which probably will account for about 23 percent of total sales this year - down from 28 percent in 1992.

"We have conceded some ground in total sales to competitors who are growing in this business, while we've focused on strengthening our position in the retail markets," Wagoner said.

The company will focus on the fundamentals - building top-quality products, holding down production costs, understanding customers' needs, he said.