General Motors CEO Mary Barra put in an appearance today at the maker’s Fairfax, Kansas, assembly plant, as part of a celebration meant to mark the roll-off of the 500 millionth vehicle the company has produced during the last 106 years.
While scholars might quibble a bit – this is, after all, the “new,” post-bankruptcy GM – few would deny the significance of this milestone. Industry observers say no other manufacturer has so far come close to the half-billion mark, and likely won’t for a number of years.
But while this might allude to the days when General Motors dominated the global auto industry like no other manufacturer, it is today far from the towering monolith of decades past. In fact, it very well could slip to fourth place among global automakers this year, at least when measured by global unit sales. (more…)