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Slowing Sales Fail to Damper GM as Earnings Set Record

Q3 numbers suggest focus on retail market is paying off.

by on Oct.25, 2016

GM CEO Mary Barra: "Determin(ed) to deliver earnings and enhance shareholder value."

(This story has been updated to reflect comments made by GM officials during an earnings conference call.)

General Motors earnings more than doubled during the third quarter to a record $2.77 billion, or $1.76 a share, despite slowing demand in the U.S. market.

But the maker says it benefited from a shift in focus away from low-profit fleet sales to the more lucrative retail market, as well as a rebound in the Chinese automotive market.

Earnings News!

The Detroit maker handily outperformed Wall Street’s expectations. Excluding a one-time gain, GM earned $1.72 a share for the quarter compared with a consensus forecast of $1.46. In a statement, the automaker credited “robust retail sales in the United States, strong performance in China, growth in wholesale volume and effective cost performance.”

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The Sky Isn’t Falling, Says GM President

Batey counters concerns raised by Ford CFO that auto sales have peaked.

by on Aug.02, 2016

GM North America Pres. Alan Batey introduces the 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback at the NAIAS.

It’s been a great ride for the U.S. auto industry. After crashing into the worst recession in decades, it rebounded to record sales of 17.5 million vehicles last year and, until recently, seemed poised to top that number again in 2016.

But there’s been a growing chorus of concern in recent weeks, industry insiders like Ford Motor Co. Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks warning that the ride is over, and that U.S. car sales are about to start the inevitable slide. Just don’t count General Motors North America President Alan Batey among those who says the downturn is about to begin.

Perspective!

“We think the industry will plateau at some time, but everything we see says that into the near future the industry will remain strong,” Batey told reporters.

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Another Surprise: VW Lands in Global Sales Lead Despite Diesel Drop

Toyota slips to second after production problems.

by on Jul.29, 2016

VW hopes to keep momentum building - despite its diesel woes - with new products like the Alltrack.

A day after reporting a sharp drop in second-quarter earnings, embattled German automaker Volkswagen AG got some good news. Despite its ongoing diesel emissions problems, VW is once again the world’s best-selling automaker – albeit because of a series of unexpected production problems that have been hobbling Japanese giant Toyota in recent months.

Hit by both natural and man-made disasters, Toyota has repeatedly been forced to trim home market production, and the result was a global slide of 0.6% in sales for the first half of 2016, to 4.992 million vehicles. A year earlier, the automaker sold 5.021 million Toyota, Lexus and Daihatsu-branded vehicles from January through June.

By the Numbers!

Though sales have been down in some markets, notably including the U.S., where it can’t sell its once-popular diesel models, VW managed to deliver 5.116 million cars, trucks and crossovers for the first half of this year, a 1.5% increase.

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GM Q2 Earnings More Than Double Even as Sales Slip

Globe’s 3rd-largest automaker ups full-year forecast.

by on Jul.21, 2016

GM has been rushing out an assortment of new models, including a remake of the Chevy Malibu.

General Motors saw its second-quarter profit more than double, reaching a record $2.87 billion, the maker announced on Thursday, handily beating Wall Street expectations.

The surge came despite the fact that GM has seen sales slip in recent months – even while the overall U.S. car market continues to grow. The results appear to validate the strategy of trimming back on lower-profit rental and other fleet sales in favor of growing the retail side of the sales ledger.

Breaking News!

“This was an outstanding quarter for GM,” said Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Our results were generated by strong retail sales in the U.S., record sales in China and a continued emphasis on improving the performance of our operations worldwide. We’ll continue to focus on driving profitable growth and leveraging our technical expertise to lead in the future of personal mobility.”

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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.

In the Know!

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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GM, Ford Insist They Will Remain Profitable in Deep Recession

Taking a “forward lean” into a “downside scenario.”

by on Mar.28, 2016

GM's Alan Batey introducing the 2017 Chevy Bolt.

Seven years after Detroit’s auto industry nearly collapsed, officials at the two largest domestic makers are taking pains to assure investors they will not only survive but thrive during the next big economic downturn.

Fears that the U.S. car market has peaked after hitting record sales of 17.5 million vehicles last year has made Wall Street increasingly wary, driving down the share prices for all the domestic makers, even as they report strong profits. But two top General Motors and Ford executives painted very different pictures for investors as the New York Auto Show opened to strong public attendance.

A Source You Can Trust!

“We believe the market is eventually going to plateau, but not in the immediate future,” declared Alan Batey, president of GM North America, during the annual Automotive Summit sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. And even if sales do take a tumble, he stressed, “We have reduced our break-even point to between 10 million and 11 million annual sales for the industry.”

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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, Ford, Buick Trend and Deliver Record Chinese Sales

by on Jan.08, 2016

The Ford Focus in China.

Despite the increasingly serious downturn in the Chinese economy, both Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. managed to lock down record sales in China for 2015.

That bucks the trend that has hammered a number of their key competitors, including Japanese giant Toyota and embattled German maker Volkswagen. Both makers are upbeat, albeit playing things cautiously as they look ahead to 2016.

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So far, both GM and Ford have refrained from making any predictions about China’s market. However, executives from both companies are likely to be pressed for forecasts during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.

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VW Sales Drop Below 10 Mil in Wake of Diesel Scandal

But other problems also cut into demand.

by on Jan.08, 2016

The VW badge gracing the maker's BUDD-e concept minivan revealed this week at CES.

The diesel emission scandal is likely to hammer Volkswagen to come, the maker facing a new federal lawsuit and at least 450 civil cases filed by owners – but the impact is already being felt by an automaker that entered 2015 literally on top of the world.

VW today revealed it sold 9.93 million vehicles through its varied brand portfolio last year, a decline of 2% worldwide. Dropping below the 10 million mark comes as more than just a psychological setback. It also means the German maker will fall into second, and possibly even third, place in the global automotive sweepstakes once its rivals all tally up their numbers.

Global News!

And VW has rapidly been losing momentum, December sales slipping 5.2% worldwide and 10% in the American market – where it was sued by the U.S. Justice Department on Monday. The maker could face as much as $20 billion in fines for violating the Clean Air Act by using a so-called “defeat device” to illegally pass emissions tests.

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Toyota Set to Regain Global Sales Crown Again

VW slipping back into second place as diesel scandal takes hit.

by on Dec.29, 2015

A new Toyota Prius and the outgoing model. Toyota hopes the 2016 remake will help boost momentum for what has been the world's best-selling hybrid.

With the impact of a cheating scandal nipping at the heels of its chief rival, Toyota appears ready to win the global sales race for 2015 again, something that seemed far less likely just a few months ago.

Going into the final months of the year, Volkswagen AG was posed to nab the sales crown from the Japanese giant. But VW sales have taken a serious hit since it was revealed in mid-September that the German maker had cheated on diesel emission tests.

Your Inside Source!

Both makers are still expected to finish 2015 with total sales of more than 10 million vehicles, a barrier that seemed difficult for any manufacturer to breach just a few years ago.

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