Investors shrug shoulders at GM's latest recall


The script by now is a familiar one.

General Motors announces a massive recall.

Twitter and other social media platforms light up with critics wondering how anyone can even consider driving a GM vehicle.

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Still, buyers continue rolling into Chevy, Buick, GMC and Cadillac showrooms, while analysts and investors keep touting the stock's pent-up value, saying it's primed to eventually break out.

Welcome to GM recall crisis of 2014.

New cars sit on the lot of a Chevrolet dealership in Colma, California.
Getty Images

One day after the automaker announced another massive recall of more than 3 million cars, shares traded relatively flat Tuesday, and two analysts put out notes reiterating buy ratings.

"Although we are modestly trimming our Q2 2014 and full-year estimates, our estimates for subsequent periods are unchanged on the continued assumption that the recalls will have limited impact on GM sales," Buckingham Research Group wrote in a note to investors. "To date, there has been no measurable impact in the marketplace, and we believe that will continue."

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JPMorgan issued a similar response, writing, "Despite the continuing recalls, we see a clear line of sight to GM largely moving past pending product safety reviews and victim compensation matters by [the end of the second quarter]—both factors that have been weighing on investor sentiment."

Like it or not, General Motors is still driving strong sales. In fact, GM dealers have seen little slowdown in the pace of customer traffic coming into showrooms.


According to Greg Smith, a branding expert at The VIA Agency, recall fatigue has set in with the American public.

GM announces even more recalls

After 44 recalls covering more than 20 million vehicles worldwide, experts such as Smith have said consumers have become numb to the seemingly endless drumbeat of announcements about GM models needing a part fixed or checked.

Second, the continued aging of vehicles in America, combined with a relatively healthy economy, is encouraging many consumers to buy a new car or truck. That's driving people into GM showrooms.

Read MoreGM to recall Camaros, three other models

So far this year GM sales are up 2 percent, nearly keeping pace with the market as a whole, which is up 4.1 percent, according to the research firm Autodata.

GM's resilience is also evident in its top Chevy brand, where sales are up 1.4 percent this year, even as incentives and rebates have, for the most part, been kept in check.

"We believe that downside risk in the shares is limited," Buckingham Research wrote.

—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau. Questions? Comments?