General Motors’s stock skids to 1950s level

NEW YORK, July 1, 2008 (AFP) – General Motors’s stock price fell on Monday to levels last seen in 1954, as investors fretted over its falling sales and as some analysts wondered if the iconic US automaker’s glory days are in the rearview mirror. Analysts are questioning if GM will be able to remain a component of the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average stock barometer, which groups some of America’s biggest industrial groups.

The Detroit-based auto giant, which is due to unveil its June sales tally on Tuesday, joined the index of leading stocks on August 31, 1925.

But analysts say its falling sales and troubled finances could put it at risk of being ejected from the index after decades of membership.

Industry analysts say GM’s demise had been triggered for two reasons: rocketing crude oil prices and because consumers are turning away from pickups and other gasoline-guzzling vehicles that the auto-maker rolls off its production lines.

GM’s shares hit a record high of 93.62 dollars on April 24, 2000, but fell at one point Monday to 11.12 dollars, marking its lowest level in over half-a-century. Its shares subsequently closed down slightly at 11.50 dollars.

Since the beginning of June, GM’s share price has tumbled over 3