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Accounting Adjustment Masks Record Full Year Earnings for General Motors

Workers will get $11,750 in profit-sharing.

by on Feb.06, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra has pushed for major changes in GM's strategy, and the 2017 numbers suggest her approach is paying off.

General Motors officially reported a net loss for 2017, but the real numbers were masked by a series of accounting adjustments and actually climbed into record territory for the year.

The adjusted, $12.8 billion in pretax profits, which worked out to $6.62 a share – an 8.2% year-over-year gain – comes as good news to workers as well as investors at a time when economic uncertainty has shocked Wall Street. About 50,000 U.S. hourly employees will share the maker’s success with profit-sharing checks averaging $11,750 apiece. That bonus actually dipped from $12,000 last year.

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“The actions we took to further strengthen our core business and advance our vision for personal mobility made 2017 a transformative year,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, in comments during a media and analyst conference call. “We will continue executing our plan and reshaping our company to position it for long-term success.”


GM Scores Third Consecutive Year of Record Global Sales

Detroit maker narrows gap with VW but still third in industry sales.

by on Jan.21, 2016

A Chevy Cruze in China, which has cemented its role as GM's largest global market.

While the increase was a modest 0.2%, General Motors nonetheless managed to eke out another global sales record in 2015, its third year in a row.

The Detroit-based maker today reported total sales came to 9.84 million, putting it just behind German rival Volkswagen AG. Toyota, which hasn’t yet reported its figures for 2015, is expected to retain the industry’s global sales crown, however.

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“GM continued to grow in 2015 as our focus on the customer and successful new vehicle launches more than offset the challenging conditions in South America and the curtailment of our presence in certain markets such as Russia,” GM President Dan Ammann said in a statement.


GM Slides to 3rd as VW Nabs 2nd Spot in Global Sales

Toyota firmly in the lead.

by on Oct.16, 2014

Vehicles like the new Golf "family" have helped Volkswagen grow sales worldwide.

For three-quarters of a century the world’s best-selling carmaker, General Motors has slipped another notch down the automotive ladder, Volkswagen AG pushing past to become number two in the industry pecking order.

With the first nine months of the year behind it, the German maker sold 7.4 million passenger vehicles compared to 7.37 million for GM. Though it hasn’t reported its numbers for the first three quarters yet, Japanese giant Toyota Motor Co. is expected to maintain its hold on the industry’s number one spot.

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Industry analysts say the real race, going forward, is likely to be between Toyota and VW, the German automaker laying out an aggressive expansion program it hopes will let it become king-of-the-automotive-hill before the end of the decade.


GM Remains in Tight Race for Global Sales Leadership

VW holds tiny lead, but Toyota has yet to weigh in.

by on Jul.17, 2014

GM is hoping new product - such as the Chevy Colorado, shown here with product chief Mark Reuss - will help it regain global sales leadership.

Despite recalling millions of vehicles and watching billions of dollars in new legal claims pile up during the first half of the year, General Motors is still in a relatively close race for global sales leadership with rivals Volkswagen and Toyota.

GM has reported selling 2.5 million vehicles around the world during the second quarter of 2014, with year-over-year sales in the United States and China, the company’s two largest markets, growing by  7% and 8%, respectively. Globally, GM’s total sales were up 0.5% for the second quarter. In the first half, GM sold 4,921,928 vehicles, up 1.4%.

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Volkswagen AG, thanks to strong sales in China and a solid performance in Europe as well as gains by Audi and Porsche, held a whisker-thin lead with sales of 4.97 million vehicles worldwide during the first half of the year. VW is actively targeting global sales leadership – but the race likely won’t be determined until later this month when Toyota Motor Co. weighs in with its own figures.


Toyota Retains Narrow Lead in Global Sales Race

But GM rapidly closing the gap.

by on Jul.26, 2013

Toyota outsold GM globally by a narrow margin during the first half of 2013 led by Camry sales.

Toyota maintained a narrow lead in the global automotive sales race for the first half of 2013, just ahead of its American archrival General Motors.

The Japanese giant said it sold 4.91 million cars, trucks and crossovers between January and June, a 1.2% decline from year-earlier levels despite the expectation of big gains forecast by Toyota chief Akio Toyoda going into 2013. The maker’s biggest challenge has been in China where it not only lags leaders like GM and Volkswagen, but also where an ongoing political dispute has hurt sales of all Japanese brands.

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Toyota nabbed the best-selling title from General Motors in 2008, the humbled U.S. maker slipping after seven decades at the top just before plunging into bankruptcy and being rescued by a $50 billion federal bailout. GM briefly regained the lead in 2011 after Toyota suffered serious production problems due to the devastating earthquake that struck Northern Japan and, subsequently, the flooding of key electronics suppliers in Thailand. (more…)

GM Global Sales Surge 4% – Could Help Maker Top Toyota

Numbers buoyed by U.S., China.

by on Jul.16, 2013

Uphill battle? The success of the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado could determine whether GM regains the global sales crown.

After slipping back into second place in the global automotive sales race, General Motors appears to be gaining momentum on its Japanese arch-rival and world’s best-selling automaker Toyota.

GM says it sold 4.85 million vehicles worldwide during the first six months of the year, a 3.9% gain over the same period during 2012. The Detroit maker was buoyed by both rising demand in the recovering U.S. market, along with record sales in China which accounted for nearly one of every three cars GM sold between January and June.

If GM maintains that pace for the rest of 2013 it could find itself in a shoot-out with Toyota which last year regained its position as global king-of-the-hill with sales of 9.3 million vehicles. Toyota had hoped to near the 10 million mark this year but it has been lagging behind the overall U.S. market recovery and continues to face problems in China due to an ongoing political dispute between the booming Asian nation and Japan.

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GM sales also are running ahead of the tally for Volkswagen AG, the German maker that has set out a goal of being the global industry leader before decade’s end. VW said it sold 4.7 million vehicles worldwide during the first half of 2013 – however, it grew faster than GM, with a 5.5% increase over the same period a year earlier.


Who Really Won the Global Sales War?

GM or VW can each claim victory, depending on your math.

by on Jan.23, 2012

Did VW or GM win last year's global sales race? It depends on how you count.

There’s one fact that everyone seems to agree on: Toyota did not maintain its lead in the global automotive sales sweepstakes last year, the maker suffering significant production losses due to Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent flooding in Thailand.

While Toyota has not yet released its final numbers for 2011, it signaled they’ll be down at least 6%, to just below 8 million, which would knock the maker out of the box for the first time in three years.

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General Motors, on the other hand, claimed victory for the first time since it began its headlong plunge into bankruptcy, the maker reporting global sales of 9.03 million – including a record 4.76 million under its Chevrolet brand alone.  But that may be part of the problem.  While Volkswagen is not openly challenging GM’s claim, officials with the German maker have been quietly raising some questions about just exactly how its U.S. rival added things up.