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GM Squashes Proposal to Split Stock into Two Classes

Investor Einhorn pushing plan at shareholder meeting.

by on Mar.28, 2017

David Einhorn, head of Greenlight Capital, wants GM to split its stock into two classes. He believes the move would nearly double the company's stock price.

General Motors today rejected an investor-proposed plan that called for the automaker to split its common stock into two classes, suggesting the idea could harm the company.

Billionaire investor David Einhorn, who runs Greenlight Capital, suggested that the company common stock into two classes: one that would receive the current dividends and a second that would participate in all earnings and future growth of the company.

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The rejection won’t stop Einhorn, who is one of the world’s best poker players, from submitting his proposal for a vote of the company’s shareholders at GM’s annual meeting later this year. (more…)

Leading GM Designer Moves to Under Armour

Dean led Cadillac design as well as Hummer.

by on Mar.28, 2017

Designer Clay Dean with the Cadillac Ciel concept, the design of which he oversaw during his tenure at GM's luxury brand.

One of General Motors’ top designers has quit the automaker for a new job with a maker of stylish athletic clothing.

Clay Dean, who held several key positions during his long career with GM, where he is credited with breathing new life in the Cadillac brand when he served as design chief, has taken a job as chief designer for Under Armour, a maker of sports clothing and equipment that is one of the major rival for Nike.

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Dean, according to Baltimore-based Under Armour. will be responsible for driving Under Armour’s global vision and strategy for Innovation, and cross-functional collaboration with its internal design, marketing, product and category management teams. (more…)

Automakers Joining Rush to Unlimited Data Plans

Approach expected to expand use of in-car tech, hot-spots.

by on Mar.23, 2017

Onboard WiFi hotspots can link to as many as eight different mobile devices in some cars.

Virtually every automaker now offers the ability to pair a smartphone with their vehicles’ infotainment systems. More and more are adding phone-based technologies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as WiFi hotspots that can be used by numerous mobile devices simultaneously. Ford and VW, meanwhile, are now integrating Amazon’s cloud-based voice assistant, Alexa, into their vehicles.

The downside is that all these features can blow through a motorist’s data plan at a frenetic pace, quickly adding unexpected charges to the monthly bill. The four major service providers have been addressing the data drain for smartphone users by introducing new, unlimited data plans. Now, they’re looking to do the same thing for those who subscribe to vehicle data plans.

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Jaguar Land Rover today announced it will offer unlimited data on vehicles using its InControl WiFi system for $20 a month. The prepaid plan retains AT&T as the provider for data services to its vehicles. InControl is offered as a standard feature on some JLR models, and as an option on others.

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GM Adding 220 Jobs, Saving Another 680 in Michigan

Automaker adding jobs at transmission plant.

by on Mar.15, 2017

GM planned to lay off more than 1,000 employees at its Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant, but now plans to bring back 500 of those workers.

Before President Donald Trump arrived in metro Detroit reiterating his threat to hammer companies that outsource jobs, General Motors announced plants to add 220 new jobs at a nearby auto plant.

The company add the new jobs and retain another 680 at plants across the state in the next year.

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GM is adding the now spots at its Romulus Powertrain Plant to boost production of the 10-speed transmission it uses in multiple vehicles. It will also retain about 180 jobs by redeploying workers from its Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant to its Flint Assembly Plant for production of heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. (more…)

GM, Ford Squeeze Out Small February Sales Gains in China

Small gains welcome after difficult January.

by on Mar.10, 2017

Matt Tsien, who heads up GM China, said the steady stream of new product will help the automaker increase sales this year.

With both companies benefiting from the growing interest of Chinese buyers in sport-utility vehicles, General Motors and its joint ventures eked out a small sales increase of 0.4% on an annual basis, while Ford Motor Co. posted a 2% sales jump.

GM said its sales increase was led by the XT5 SUV, Cadillac kept up its momentum with double-digit growth for the twelfth consecutive month. Sales of the Baojun 510 SUV exceeded 6,000 units following its launch on Feb. 20, and contributed to the Baojun brand’s record deliveries. Cadillac and Baojun set February delivery records as GM and its partners delivered 246,730 vehicles last month.

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“The expanding SUV portfolio has helped us maintain our growth momentum,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. “The upcoming launch of the Chevrolet Equinox will further enhance our competitiveness in the fast-growing midsize SUV segment.” (more…)

Wrapping Up Opel Sale Could Take GM Years to Complete

GM and Opel’s new parent, Peugeot, might actually expand ties.

by on Mar.08, 2017

Opel's past and present debut together: the new Crossland X and the made-over Insignia.

When General Motors and PSA announced terms for the sale of the long-troubled Opel earlier this week, they said they expect to complete the deal later this year.

From a legal standpoint, barring some last-minute regulatory challenges, that’s likely to happen. But while the hand-off will be formalized, on paper, the long ties between GM and Opel will likely continue well into the coming decade.

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A full separation “is going to be (over an) extended period of time,” GM President Dan Ammann told TheDetroitBureau.com during a conversation at the Geneva Motor Show.

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GM May Trim Other Operations, Barra Says

Barra notes two other groups not meeting GM profitability targets.

by on Mar.07, 2017

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra suggested that the company may not be done shedding unprofitable units.

General Motors’ top executive has left the door open to the possibility of selling off other pieces of its international operations.

Mary Barra, GM’s chairman and chief executive officer, did not offer any specifics or confirm any discussions were underway.

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However, in separate conference calls with reporters and analysts that followed the official announcement of GM’s plans to sell Opel/Vauxhall to the PSA Group for $2.5 billion, she indicated she would not rule out such a development. (more…)

GM to Lay Off up to 1,100 Michigan Workers

Latest in a series of automotive job cuts; slowing sales could risk more.

by on Mar.06, 2017

GM is laying off more than 1,000 employees at its Delta Township Assembly Plant.

General Motors has given layoff notices to as many as 1,100 workers at a factory in Lansing, Michigan, due to the plant’s elimination of a third shift at the Delta Township Assembly plant.

The move comes as GM trims production in May of its GMC Acadia utility vehicle. The factory in Michigan’s capital city currently employs 3,000 hourly workers and another 250 on salary. The factory will continue to produce two other utes, the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave.

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Production of the GMC Acadia will shift to another GM plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. That factory will gain 650 jobs in the process. That plant will also produce the Holden Acadia, a version of the crossover that will be exported to Australia. In 2013, GM announced it was ending production in the Land Down Under, a move since copied by both Ford and Toyota. (more…)

PSA Purchasing Opel for $2.5B

But GM will remain on the hook for up to $4.5b in pension liabilities.

by on Mar.06, 2017

The ldeal between PSA Group and General Motors was sealed with a handshake between PSA chief Carlos Tavares and GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

This story has been updated with additional information.

General Motors Co. and PSA Group have agreed to a deal in which the French automaker will take over GM’s long-struggling Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary, as well as the Detroit maker’s European financial operations for 2.2 billion euros or $2.5 billion.

For GM, deal ends the company’s long history in Europe, stretching back to the Opel acquisition in 1929. However, it doesn’t completely end the massive losses that have piled up for Opel since it last went into the black in 1999. As part of the deal, GM will retain all of Opel Vauxhall’s pension liabilities and is expected to take a $4 billion to $4.5 billion one-time charge once the deal closes later this year.

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While it ends GM’s long legacy as a truly global automaker, the sale will allow the Detroit carmaker to more fully focus on its two key markets: the U.S. and China. For PSA – which pulled out of the North American market a quarter century ago, the acquisition transforms it into Europe’s second-largest automaker, with a 17% market share, behind only the Volkswagen Group. (more…)

GM Offering Unlimited Data for OnStar WiFi Service

Use of hotspot increased nearly 200% in 2016.

by on Mar.02, 2017

GM's OnStar 4G LTE wifi hotspot has seen a near 200% increase in data use between 2015 and 2016.

Geez … it seems like everyone is offering unlimited data plans these days: Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, General Motors. Wait? What?

GM plans to offer a $20 a month prepaid unlimited data plan through AT&T for its 4.1 million vehicles equipped with OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

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The new plan is available starting tomorrow and includes Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac vehicles with the hotspot. Of those 4.1 million vehicles, all but 1 million are Chevrolets, according to the company. (more…)