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GM’s UAW Workers Earn Up to $11K in Profit Sharing

UAW workers getting bigger checks than last year.

by on Feb.03, 2016

GM's UAW hourly workforce can get as much as $11,000 each in profit sharing this year.

General Motors Co. employees are getting as much as $11,000 each in profit sharing in the wake of the company’s record profits in 2015, while top GM executives said the outlook for 2016 remains very promising.

That exceeds last year’s $9,300 enjoyed by UAW workers. However, Mary Barra, GM’s chairman and chief executive officer, tempered expectations telling analysts that GM is confident that the demand vehicles is at a peak and will begin to drop.

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“It’s hard to predict a downturn,” she said, adding that GM believes the economic fundamentals are still relatively strong and stable. (more…)

GM Reports $9.7 Billion Profit for 2015

Sales in North America and China lead maker to profitability.

by on Feb.03, 2016

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said the company was positioned for long-term success.

Despite continuing losses in Europe and South America, General Motors posted a record profit of $9.7 billion, or $5.91 per share, for 2015 with much of that coming on a $6.3 billion, or $3.92 per share, fourth quarter.

Earnings per share adjusted for special items during the fourth quarter was $1.39, up 17% compared to $1.19 per share for the fourth quarter of 2014. GM had earned  $1.1 billion, or 66 cents per share during the fourth quarter of 2014.

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“It was a strong year on many fronts, capped with record sales and earnings, and a substantial return of capital to our shareholders,” said Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. (more…)

Victory, Defeat – and Plenty of Surprises – at the Rolex 24 at Daytona

Another tequila sunrise to start the 2016 racing season.

by on Feb.01, 2016

Luis Filipe Derani celebrates after driving the last leg in the ESM team's Honda at the Rolex 24.

It wasn’t champagne flowing in Florida Sunday afternoon — nor milk, the beverage of choice for Indianapolis 500 winners. After 22-year-old Luis Filipe Derani shot across the finish line to wrap up the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the drink of choice was tequila.

No surprise, for Derani and his four co-drivers claimed an unprecedented victory behind the wheel of the Honda-powered Tequila Patron Extreme Speed Motorsports prototype, a full 26 seconds ahead of their nearest competitors.

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It was the first time ever that a P2-class race car had claimed victory in what is generally seen as America’s most grueling endurance race – and a prelude to the summer’s main event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Words can’t describe it,” said ESM co-driver Scott Sharp, a previous Daytona winner. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’s amazing.”

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GM Creates Specialized Autonomous Vehicle, EV Team

Automaker continues expansion of "personal mobility" efforts.

by on Jan.29, 2016

GM tabbed Doug Parks to head up its new team focused on autonomous and battery-electric vehicles.

General Motors is realigning critical areas of its business to create, effective Feb. 1, a dedicated Autonomous and Technology Vehicle Development Team.

GM said in an internal announcement the combined team will focus on accelerating the company’s technical capabilities and create the future direction of GM vehicle programs in the autonomous and technologically advanced vehicle space.

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Doug Parks, who had been Vice President, Global Product Programs, is leading the new effort as Vice President, Autonomous Technology and Vehicle Execution. According to GM, the group is responsible for “creating and executing autonomously driven vehicles in addition to advanced technology vehicle programs, including hybrids, battery-electric and fuel-cell vehicles.” (more…)

First Ignition Case Against GM Dismissed Due to Lying Plaintiff

Judge chastises lawyers for not vetting plaintiff more thoroughly.

by on Jan.22, 2016

GM paid out billions in fines and settlements over the ignition switch problem, but scored a victory in U.S. federal court today.

After the first round of courtroom drama between General Motors and plaintiffs seeking damages related to the maker’s faulty ignition switches, GM couldn’t be happier.

The plaintiff agreed to have his case dismissed with prejudice and did not accept any payment from GM for his claims.

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Allegedly, the plaintiff, Robert Scheuer, and his wife, Lisa, made misleading statements during their testimony about his physical condition and their finances in the bellwether trial. Adding to the problems for Scheuer, he’s been accused of forgery and tampering with other documents. (more…)

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.

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GM Launches New Car-Sharing Service Maven

Move follows big investments in ride-sharing firms Lyft, Sidecar.

by on Jan.21, 2016

A motorist uses a smartphone to line-up a short-term rental from the new Maven service.

General Motors apparently hopes to become an industry maven when it comes to alternative mobility programs. After investing in two ride-sharing services, Lyft and Sidecar, this month, the Detroit automaker says it will start a new car-sharing company called Maven – a Yiddish word for “expert.”

GM is just one of a growing number of automakers who are looking for alternative ways to appeal to potential customers at a time when younger consumers seem less interested in owning a vehicle. Both Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz brand and Ford Motor Co. are making similar forays, Ford CEO Mark Fields saying his goal is to transform the smaller Detroit maker into a “mobility” company.

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“With the launch of our car-sharing service through Maven, the strategic alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft, and building on our decades of leadership in vehicle connectivity through OnStar, we are uniquely positioned to provide the personalized mobility services our customers expect today and in the future,” GM President Dan Ammann said.

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GM Opens New Plant in China for CT6

New plant can build seven different vehicles simultaneously.

by on Jan.21, 2016

General Motors opened its new plant in Shanghai that will build the Cadillac CT6 for China.

General Motors opened a new Cadillac plant at its SAIC-GM joint venture in Shanghai to build the CT6 luxury sedan for the Chinese market even as the growth of China’s economy limps along at its slowest pace in 25 years.

The new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Shanghai will support the growth of the Cadillac luxury brand in China while strengthening GM’s overall industry position, GM executives said.

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“This is another major milestone for Cadillac in its second-largest market,” said GM Executive Vice President and President of GM China Matt Tsien. “Local production will enable us to satisfy growing demand for luxury vehicles through the introduction of more Cadillac models built in and for China.” (more…)

Pres. Obama Set to See Auto Industry’s Resurgence With Auto Show Tour

Legacy likely to include bailouts and safety moves.

by on Jan.20, 2016

Then-candidate Obama at a Jeep plant.

In the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, then-candidate Barack Obama found himself focused on an American auto industry plunging into one of the worst downturns in its history. Among his first duties as president, Obama approved billions of dollars in loans to keep two of Detroit’s bankrupt automakers afloat.

Now, as the two-term president enters his last year in the White House, he’s heading to Detroit for what might be dubbed a victory lap, a chance to see firsthand an industry reporting record sales and, for many companies, record profits.

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As the center of the trip, President Obama will make a stop at the 2016 North American International Show which opened its doors to the public last Saturday after a two-day media preview that brought the debut of about 50 new cars, trucks, crossovers and concept vehicles. Preliminary attendance suggests turnout for the show could also reach record numbers.

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GM Adds Sidecar to Ride-Sharing Investments

Automakers looking to get ahead in personal mobility race.

by on Jan.19, 2016

General Motors purchased Sidecar, an app-based ride-sharing service in eight cities in the U.S.

General Motors appears to be getting more than just a Lyft, it’s getting a Sidecar too. The automaker bought the assets of the defunct Sidecar Technologies Inc., a ride-sharing company that halted operations last month.

The move comes just two weeks after automaker invested $500 million in Lyft, another ride-sharing company, saying at the time it was looking to expand its reach into the urban mobility realm, but suggesting that would be the end of its check-writing.

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The addition of Sidecar, which includes 20 employees, including co-founder and chief technology officer Jahan Khanna, for less than the $39 million Sidecar was able raise in an attempt to compete with Lyft and Uber, according to Bloomberg, gives the company a few more resources. Sidecar not only offered ride-sharing services, but B2B delivery services as well. (more…)