Posts Tagged ‘General Motors Company’

Chevrolet Volt Debuts in Shanghai

Shuttles lead to 2011 sales in the world’s largest auto market.

by on Aug.31, 2010

General Motors Company marked the arrival of the first drivable Chevrolet Volt models in China today as two of the electric vehicles appeared at the Shanghai Expo Bureau for use as part of its VIP transportation fleet at World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

China will be one of the first markets outside the U.S. where the Volt will be on sale next year.

GM is sending the Volt to China before Europe.

The Volts will shuttle guests to and from Shanghai’s Expo Park and demonstrate what GM is calling its “vision of sustainable urban transportation.” China of course is heavily dependent on coal-powered electric utilities and along with the U.S. is a leading producer of greenhouse gas emissions.


“GM has made a long-term commitment to bringing our industry-leading technology to China,” said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. “This is enabling us to provide the best mobility solutions for addressing the transportation challenges associated with the growth in demand for personal mobility.”

The Volt is the only electric vehicle that can operate under a range of climates and driving conditions with little concern of being stranded by a depleted battery since it carries its own 1.4-liter gasoline engine on board to charge the batteries.


Sorting Out GM Stock – Old versus New

As the maker prepares for an IPO beware of the old stock.

by on Jun.23, 2010

General Motors Company holds all of the productive assets.

As General Motors prepares to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for sale of stock in the new Company, confusion exists about the old stock of the bankrupt Corporation. It’s worthless.

General Motors Company is the “new GM,” which emerged from bankruptcy last summer. All of GM’s continuing operations and assets are completely out of bankruptcy and are now operating as an independent and separate company called “General Motors Company.” It holds virtually all of the productive assets of the old Corporation. These include the Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC brands, and the plants and other hard assets that those brands need to continue operations. GM Company also owns all of its overseas operations.

General Motors Company posted a first-quarter profit of $865 million, but it wasn’t a strong performance since the profit came from relief from the interest payments on debt that was wiped out in the bankruptcy. The company has repaid $6.7 billion in outstanding U.S. government loans and $1.4 billion to Canadian governments, with money taxpayers advanced to it.


There are currently no shares of General Motors Company for sale to the public and there won’t be until it is given legal approval to do so. It’s also unknown how many shares will be offered for public sale or by whom, or at what price.


Chinese Auto Market Grows to 40 Million Annually?

Annual vehicle sales to reach 30 million by the beginning of the next decade, 40 million at end. SAIC buys General Motors?

by on Jan.07, 2010

Big country, big population, big growth, and already the world's largest market.

The booming Chinese market will grow to 19 million units of annual sales by 2016, according to the experts from the global auto consultancy practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

That would make China the largest maker and consumer of vehicles in the more than 100-year history of the business.

Moreover, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, at least according to some speculation by me and other sources.

If these pro-Chinese factions are right, the home market could reach 30 million units by 2020 or so, and barring a political upheaval – a genuine risk that virtually everybody acknowledges– it could grow to 40 million units by the end of that decade. Who knows?

This means that Chinese makers will be hard pressed to keep up with internal demand and most Chinese cars — except for maybe the odd few Geely or Chery models — will not be exported. Actually, given their current quality, I argue that  it would be better for established automakers if the Chinese did export large numbers of vehicles  right now. Remember the  Korean-built Hyundai Excel of the 1980s? It was so bad, except for the eastern European Yugo, that it set back Hyundai marketing in the U.S. for decades.

Many of the assumptions made about China are wrong, such as a coming Chinese export wave that enthralls media types and the opining classes, cautions Steve D’Arcy, a partner in PWC’s Global Automotive Practice.


There will be no massive wave of exports emerging out of China because Chinese makers will barely be able to keep up with burgeoning demand. Hence the 19 million prediction for 2016. As Chinese annual income levels keep rising to equal an average vehicle price of 38,000 RMB or ~$5,600 for a basic car, D’Arcy sees now reason why China won’t remain the world’s largest auto market, he theorized at press luncheon in Detroit today.


Why Buyers Reject Some Automotive Brands

Styling, price, perceived reliability and health lead the list.

by on Dec.15, 2009


Future of the brand is the fourth most cited reason for avoiding a particular model.

Nearly one in five new-vehicle buyers who avoid a particular vehicle model cite their concern over the future of the brand as a reason for avoidance, according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Avoider Study released today.

The study has negative implications for General Motors Company and Chrysler Group brands as the reorganized companies try to put bankruptcy behind them and promote new cars and light trucks in what remains a gridlocked marketplace.

While the top three avoidance reasons in 2009—styling, price and perceived reliability—remain unchanged from 2008, concern over the future of the brand is the fourth-most-frequently mentioned reason for avoiding a particular model. Included in the study for the first time, this reason was mentioned by 18% of what Power terms avoiders.

The study, now in its seventh year, examines the reasons consumers fail to consider or avoid particular models when shopping for new vehicles.

Among brands that were avoided due to concerns over their future viability, the top five are domestic brands:

  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Hummer
  • Pontiac and Saturn

In the case of the latter two, consumers proved prescient.

At the time of the study this past summer, GM had announced that Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn would not be part of “New GM,” although buyers were being sought for the brands.

Act Now!

Stop Avoiding!

Since then, only Hummer appears to have a chance of surviving, as Pontiac has already built its last car. A deal for the purchase of Saturn by the Penske Automotive group fell apart at the last moment when the Renault Board of Directors rejected a Carlos Ghosn-backed plan to supply Saturn with Korean-built vehicles.


SAIC Takes Controlling Interest of GM Joint Venture

Automotive balance of power and jobs shift toward Chinese.

by on Dec.05, 2009


Click to enlarge.

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and General Motors Company announced they are expanding their cooperation in Asia and targeting the Indian and other emerging auto markets by forming a Hong Kong-based firm, General Motors SAIC Investment Limited.

As part of the deal, the state owned SAIC is taking 51% controlling interest of Shanghai GM since cash-starved GM is selling 1% if its 50% share.

Though largely symbolic, it will be viewed as a setback for GM in Asian cultures, which put an emphasis on “face.”

It is also an indicator of how fragile GM’s financial condition remains  — in the latest quarter it lost $1.2 billion — as far healthier automakers regroup for a new emerging world order that sees the European and American markets depressed while emerging markets in Asia grow rapidly.

Earlier in the week GM CEO Fritz Henderson left the company.

GM said in a statement that “this will assist China’s leading listed automotive company in consolidating Shanghai GM revenue into SAIC Motor, which will provide investors a clear understanding of its business.”


GM’s 60-Day Guarantee Works

Consideration of new vehicles was way up for a time.

by on Oct.20, 2009


The entire month averaged 15%, +4% higher than August.

Over the past year through August, GM’s consideration among new cars shoppers ranged from 10-12%, according to market research from CNW. This means that among so-called new car intenders, GM vehicles appeared among the Top Three on shopping lists about 12% of the time.

However, the 60-Day Guarantee announced in the middle of last month caused a big increase in consideration, which resulted in taking GM’s shopping list position into the Top Three, and in many cases the Top Two brands being considered.

After the initial success came a slow decrease in consideration, which CNW says is normal for any new marketing effort except for rare campaigns.

Nonetheless, CNW claims that GM won the month.


No More Mr. Nice Guy at General Motors

Direct, provocative comparative product advertising is coming.

by on Oct.14, 2009


New approach is “basically telling it like it is.”

Bob Lutz, General Motors Company’s vice chairman of marketing and communications, vows that the days of GM’s “formulaic and cautious” communications techniques are over.

Speaking briefly at a pizza luncheon for media in Detroit, the silver-haired executive said that the company needed to “shock Americans into a new awareness about the reality of GM products.”

Lutz is predicting a much more aggressive approach to communications and above industry-average spending for advertising in the days ahead.

This could be good news for people shopping for a new vehicle if the information is actually relevant to their needs. Too often auto ads just provide endless lists of features.

This promised shift has been a long time coming, if you follow marketing experts such as Marty Bernstein in Comparative advertising will  “shock Americans into the realities about GM products.”

Lutz says the new approach is “basically telling it like it is.”

It didn’t happen in the past because of “old worries that this might somehow or somewhere offend somebody, or that twelve months from now the situation will have changed and somebody would then say let me remind you of what you said twelve months ago – we would rather deal with that, than have the reputation of never saying anything to anyone for fear that at some point we might be caught out,” Lutz said.


GM’s Docherty Replaces LaNeve in U.S. Sales Job

CEO says GM open to outside talent, but not this time?

by on Oct.08, 2009

Docherty gets what might be the most critical job at ailing GM.

Docherty gets what might be the most critical and difficult job at ailing General Motors.

Fritz Henderson, General Motors Company president and CEO, last night named Susan Docherty, 46, to the position of vice president, U.S. Sales, effective October 16, 2009. She was the general manager of the struggling Buick-GMC brands.

Year-to-date the Buick brand is off 37% and the GMC brand is down 41% in a market that declined 27%.

During a press conference earlier yesterday, Henderson said LaNeve would be leaving for a job at a non-automotive company on October 15, and that an announcement of the new job would be forthcoming.

He also said that GM is looking for outsiders with fresh ideas, but then hedged saying that reporters and analysts should not necessarily equate that desire with the outcome of  the U.S. sales position.

Insight and Analysis!

Insight and Analysis!

GM now says it will look outside to fill the Buick-GMC general manager position.

“This will infuse new ideas and an outside perspective into our marketing efforts,” Henderson said in what might have been a hastily prepared statement.


GM Creates a Science Lab in China

It’s the first major lab established by a global automaker.

by on Sep.29, 2009


Mega-city safety research is on the agenda.

General Motors Company has established a China Science Lab in Shanghai. The “unique” facility will carry out research projects in a number of automotive-related fields for General Motors.

GM claims the first major science lab established by a global automaker in China will contribute to technological innovation, both domestically and on a worldwide basis.

China is the largest auto market in the world, and General Motors is now, arguably, a more successful company in China than in its home market where share continues to decline.

“Our vision for the China Science Lab is to be recognized as a world-class R&D organization that will help drive GM’s automotive business into the future,” said Alan Taub, GM’s new Vice President of Global Research and Development.

“Our aim is to develop breakthrough technologies that will differentiate GM vehicles in the marketplace and build on GM’s long history of industry firsts. The China Science Lab’s opening demonstrates that GM is moving aggressively to maintain leadership in breakthrough technological research globally,” Taub said.

China News!

China News!

GM says the China Science Lab’s initial concentration will be on research related to advanced propulsion technology and joining technology. The China Science Lab will also focus on battery cells, mega-city safety research, advanced vehicle development, and light materials.


American Axle Averts Bankruptcy

GM Spin-off partially returns via stock options to GM.

by on Sep.18, 2009


GM accounts for almost 80% of AAM's sales, so its recovery sent the stock soaring.

General Motors Company has agreed to bailout American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. by giving the key supplier $110 million in exchange for an equity interest in the company it once owned.

Critics have maintained GM sold American Axle for song at a corporate garage sale in the early 1990s, but GM continues to be AAM’s largest and most important customer, accounting for almost 80% of its sales in the second quarter.

American Axle also was forced by its creditors to agree to several restrictions on its operations.

The company’s management outlined the changes in a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission Thursday where it disclosed the terms of the renegotiated covenants.

Driveline News!

Driveline News!

AAM will be required to comply with revised financial covenants stipulating that it maintain an average daily minimum liquidity of $85 million until June 30, 2010. Without the revised agreement, creditors could have forced AAM into bankruptcy.

AAM expects to post a profit for the third quarter and its sales to total about $400 million, according to the SEC filing, as production at GM resumes.