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GM China President Predicts Growth in Future

Tsien expects popularity of SUVs, EVs to help drive sales higher.

by on Apr.28, 2016

GM China President Matt Tsien told reporters in Detroit today that he expects the Chinese market to continue to grow for the automaker.

China now accounts for roughly 37% of General Motors’ global sales, making it the automaker’s single largest market in the world, Matt Tsien, president of General Motors China, said during a meeting with reporters at GM headquarters in Detroit.

Tsien said it is difficult to predict if that percentage will continue to grow in next several years. “You have to know what the rest of the world is going to do to answer that,” he said.

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But GM expects the Chinese market to expand from the 25 million units sold last year to 30 million units in 2020. “That’s like adding a market the size of Australia every year for the next five years,” he said. (more…)

General Motors Investing $900 Million in Plants

Former Saturn site gets nearly $800 million in upgrades.

by on Apr.28, 2016

GM is investing nearly $800 million into its Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant as part of a larger investment plan.

General Motors plans to spend $788.7 million for an all-new, high-efficiency engine program, as well as projects to modernize the vehicle programs at its Spring Hill (Tennessee) Manufacturing Plant, creating 792 and retaining 16 jobs.

GM also announced a $118 million investment at its Bay City Powertrain facility, creating 29 and retaining 67 jobs.

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The GM announcement re-enforces a pattern of new investments in powertrain elements by domestic carmakers as the pressure mounts to meet increasingly tough standards for better fuel economy and cleaner emissions. GM isn’t alone in spending on its manufacturing operations these days. (more…)

Despite Diesel Dilemma, VW Snatches Global Sales Lead from Toyota

Toyota loses momentum due to production snags.

by on Apr.27, 2016

Despite some serious problems, VW could retain the sales lead during the second quarter.

It’s had to suspend sales of its popular diesels in the U.S. market, and it’s already taken an $18 billion hit in the wake of its ongoing diesel emissions scandal, but not all is doom-and-gloom for Volkswagen AG.

The embattled automaker can celebrate the fact that it surged into the global sales lead for the first quarter of 2016, narrowly squeaking by Japanese giant Toyota which has had its own problems in recent months. General Motors continued to hold down the third spot in the global sales sweepstakes.

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Whether VW can hold the lead for the rest of the year is far from certain. It was, in fact, the top-seller for the first half of 2016, only to slip behind Toyota once again as the diesel disaster began to take its toll. But wildcard factors have a way of upsetting the industry’s apple cart, and Toyota is currently dealing with problems that will likely scuttle its chances of regaining the sales crown for at least another quarter.

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Girsky Leaving General Motors Board of Directors

Harvard-endowment manager replacing him in June.

by on Apr.25, 2016

GM's Steve Girsky is leaving the board of directors after heading up several parts of the company.

One of the key architects General Motors rehabilitation in the wake of the automaker’s 2009 bankruptcy, Stephen Girsky, will be moving on from the company’s board of directors at the company’s annual meeting in early June.

General Motors Co. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said Girsky elected to retire and will not stand for re-election to the board of directors on which he has served since July 2009, when the company was reorganized and emerged from bankruptcy.

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“On behalf of the board, we wish Steve well and want to thank him for his many significant contributions to GM over the past seven years,” said Barra. (more…)

GM to Close Four Plants in Wake of Japanese Quake

But Toyota expects to be nearly back to normal next week.

by on Apr.22, 2016

The new Cadillac XT5 sport-ute is among the vehicles impacted by the GM shutdowns.

The impact of last week’s devastating earthquake in Japan is now being felt in North America.

Even as some of Toyota’s Japanese operations begin to return to normal after shutdowns this past week, General Motors says it will idle four of its plants in the U.S. and Canada due to shortages of Japanese-made parts.

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That said, the closures are “not expected to have any material impact on GM’s full-year production plans in North America,” the maker said in a statement, nor should it have a major impact on earnings for the second quarter.

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GM Reports $2B in First-Quarter Earnings

North America drives results, but Europe posts break-even results.

by on Apr.21, 2016

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said the company's first-quarter earnings show the maker is "growing where it counts."

General Motors Co. reported first-quarter net income of $2 billion, or $1.24 per share, compared with $900 million, or 56 cents per share, a year ago despite losing money in recession-scarred South America, and breaking even in its European operations during the first three months of 2016.

“We’re growing where it counts, gaining retail share in the U.S., outpacing the industry in Europe and capitalizing on robust growth in SUV and luxury segments in China,” said Chairman and CEO Mary Barra in a statement.

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Overall, GM’s earnings per share after adjustment for special items was a first-quarter record at $1.26, up 47% compared with the first quarter of 2015. GM also beat analysts’ estimates and kept in place its guidance calling for larger full-year profits this year than in 2015. (more…)

GM Phasing Out Vehicles Without Airbags

All models worldwide will offer airbags, other safety features by 2019.

by on Apr.15, 2016

The Chinese-made export version of the Chevrolet Sail got zero stars in Latin American crash test.

After flunking a widely reported crash test in Latin America, General Motors will reverse course and add not only airbags but a variety of other safety features in all vehicles it sells worldwide.

The move could prompt other mainstream manufacturers to follow suit, despite the added cost, as government regulators and safety advocates around the world press to lower a global highway death total estimated at 1.25 million last year.

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GM says it now plans to spend about $5 billion to bring its worldwide fleet up to higher safety standards, a move that will target emerging markets such as Africa, Latin America and smaller Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia. Chinese regulators have already been ramping up safety requirements in recent years.

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GM Recalls More Than 1 Million Full-Size Trucks

Recall comes as makers, regulators push to increase repair rates.

by on Apr.15, 2016

GM is recalling more than 1 million 2014 and 2015 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks.

General Motors is recalling more than 1 million full-size pickup trucks due to a problem with the seat belts that can wear out over time.

The automaker is recalling 2014 and 2015 model year Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks. The recall affects 895,232 trucks in the U.S. A flexible steel cable in the belt can wear out over time as the driver sits down in the seat repeatedly.

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The cable will eventually separate from the vehicle. (more…)

GM’s Fourth Bellwether Case Dismissed

Automaker comes out ahead in three of four cases.

by on Apr.11, 2016

GM won the fourth of six bellwether cases designed to set the pattern for future settlements related to the maker's faulty ignition switches.

In quick succession, General Motors has avoided major damage in four of six injury lawsuits that were expected to dominate the calendar in 2016.

GM confirmed that plaintiffs’ lawyers suing over a faulty ignition switch design linked to nearly 400 injuries and deAdd an Imageaths dismissed what was scheduled to be the fourth in a series of six test trials over the defect, according to Reuters.

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The dismissal followed a settlement in what was to be the third lawsuit to go to trial and followed a win for the automaker a week ago in the first of the so-called bellwether trials to reach a verdict. Terms of the settlement in what was to be the third bellwether case were not disclosed. (more…)

Ford, GM Report Better-Than-Expected March Sales in China

Ford sales increase while GM posts small drop as SUV sales reign supreme.

by on Apr.08, 2016

Sport-utes continue to be the savior of sales in China for General Motors and Ford.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. succeeded in holding their ground or growing sales in China in the face of some major headwinds with help of strong showings by their luxury brands, Cadillac and Lincoln.

Ford reported 2016 as first quarter sales in China increased 14% compared to the same period last year, with 314,454 vehicles sold. Sales of Ford-branded vehicles reached 114,788 in March, up 5% compared with March 2015.

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Lincoln has also had a strong start to the year with 5,484 vehicles sold in the first quarter, a three-fold increase compared with the same time in 2015. Lincoln’s strong performance in the first quarter was supported by the growing number of dealerships, which reached 37 by the end of March, and Chinese customers’ positive reception of Lincoln SUVs, Ford officials noted. (more…)