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GM Paying $1M SEC Fine to Settle Ignition Switch Scandal

Fine resolves matters at the federal level, but the case still drags on.

by on Jan.18, 2017

A replacement for the faulty GM ignition switches.

General Motors is hoping to begin closing the door on its ignition switch scandal with the payment of a $1 million penalty to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC was one of the many government agencies to pursue GM after the maker was found to have improperly responded to internal data showing a faulty switch design could cause some of its vehicles to shut off unexpectedly. The defect has been blamed for at least 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries. The securities probe focused not on safety but whether improper accounting kept the company from properly disclosing the potential financial impact of the defect to shareholders.

We're Your Automotive Watchdog!

The fine is relatively modest when compared to the more than $2 billion the defect has so far cost the largest of the Detroit automakers. That includes a $900 million settlement GM reached with the U.S. Justice Department to close a criminal investigation in September 2015. The automaker also paid a $35 million penalty to the National Highway Safety Administration.

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GM Investing $1b in US Plants, Adding or Saving 7,000 Jobs

Plan in the works before election, maker emphasizes.

by on Jan.17, 2017

GM has already invested $21 bil in its U.S. plants since 2010, adding 6,000 manufacturing jobs.

General Motors has confirmed widespread reports on Tuesday that it would invest another $1 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations, but significantly increased the number of American jobs it plans to add.

The factory project will result in the creation or retention of 1,500 jobs, while another 450 jobs will be returned to the U.S. as GM transfers back production of axles from a plant in Mexico. In addition, the automaker will add 5,000 more jobs in finance and advanced technology “over the next few years,” it said in a Tuesday morning announcement.

Breaking News!

“As the U.S. manufacturing base increases its competitiveness, we are able to further increase our investment, resulting in more jobs for America and better results for our owners,”  said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “The U.S. is our home market and we are committed to growth that is good for our employees, dealers, and suppliers and supports our continued effort to drive shareholder value.”

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GM Investing $1b in U.S. Plants – Stresses Move Not Driven by Trump

New move to add or retain 1,000 jobs.

by on Jan.17, 2017

CEO Mary Barra said last week that GM will not alter investments to please the new president.

General Motors is expected to announce a $1 billion investment in its U.S. factories on Tuesday, a move that will allow the nation’s largest automaker to create or retain about 1,000 American jobs, according to several sources. Specific details about where the investment will be targeted have not been disclosed yet.

The announcement will come exactly two weeks after President-elect Donald Trump threatened to impose a “big border tax” on GM for importing the hatchback version of its compact Chevrolet Cruze model from Mexico. And it follows other investment U.S. announcements made this month by cross-town rivals Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Setting the Record Straight!

But GM sources stressed that the new investment by the automaker was not driven by the incoming president’s threats – a position echoed by GM General Counsel Craig Glidden in a story by the Wall Street Journal.

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Trump Attacks GM Over Mexican-Made Chevy Cruze

Detroit maker fires back at latest attack on auto imports.

by on Jan.03, 2017

The President-Elect shifts his focus to GM.

After spending much of his initial campaign taking shots at Ford Motor Co. for its plan to shift small car production to Mexico, President-Elect Donald Trump is now taking a poke at General Motors for importing the Chevrolet Cruze from a plant south of the border.

“Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax,” the businessman-turned politician declared in a tweet, slamming GM for “sending Mexican-made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border.” The president-elect has proposed dismantling or revising the North American Free Trade Agreement and hitting Mexican imports with as much as a 35% tariff – though he has notably made no public indication of plans to return production of his own clothing lines – some made in Mexico – back to the U.S.

Breaking News!

For its part, General Motors quickly responded to the Trump attack by noting that all of the Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold on the American market are produced in the U.S. A small number of Cruze hatchbacks recently began being imported from Mexico.

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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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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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GM Favors Autonomous Vehicles with Driver Controls, Barra Says

GM CEO discusses autonomous strategy, corporate profits before meeting.

by on Jun.07, 2016

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra speaks with the media prior to the company's annual meeting.

General Motors favors a regulatory approach requiring autonomous vehicles to be equipped with steering wheels and brake pedals.

Mary Barra, GM chairman and chief executive, told reporters before the automaker’s annual shareholders meeting that the company prefers regulations that mandate automated, self-driving vehicles to have steering wheels and brake pedals.

News Now!

The company has made sizeable investments in future technology, including the $1 billion acquisition of Cruise, a start-up company based on San Francisco focused on the development of autonomous vehicles, she said. (more…)

Feds, 18 Automakers Agree to Form Broad Consortium to Improve Auto Safety

First joint project to focus on cyber-security; concept modeled after successful aerospace effort.

by on Jan.15, 2016

U.S. Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx, surrounded by industry leaders, at the news conference.

© 2016 TheDetroitBureau.com

In an unprecedented move, 18 global automakers have agreed to form a broad consortium aimed at not only developing advanced safety technology but also bringing it to a broad a range of consumers as quickly as possible.

The concept was modeled after a similar and successful program developed by the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration to work with aerospace manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus.

The Last Word!

The first of what could become a wide range of projects is already underway, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned. The members of the new consortium agreed earlier this month to pool resources in an effort to thwart the threat of hackers. Cyber-security is considered a critical issue as the industry adds more digital technology to vehicles and works towards a collective goal of putting autonomous vehicles on the road.

The new safety consortium is a “strong start,” and a “new approach,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, surrounded by senior executives from all 18 automakers.

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Ford Expects Record Profits; GM Sees Own Earnings Growth

Makers increase returns to shareholders; GM boosts stock buyback program.

by on Jan.13, 2016

Ford CEO Mark Fields showing off a new piece of technology at CES last week.

Investors take notice: while the stock market hasn’t been kind to the auto industry in recent weeks – or just about anyone else, for that matter – Detroit’s two largest carmakers are making some upbeat projections for 2016 that could make nervous shareholders happy.

Ford Motor Co. now expects to close the books on 2015 with a record pre-tax profit, with 2016 numbers to be “equal to or higher.” And GM is boosting its own earnings outlook for 2016. Both companies now plan to up their cash payouts to shareholders, while GM is expanding its ongoing stock buyback program.

Insight!

“This pattern of strong returns gives us a great platform to build on as we enter the year with a focus on strengthening our core business and engaging aggressively in emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields, in a statement detailing Ford’s forecast.

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GM Set to Move Faster on Future Battery Cars

Will GM partner with Honda on plug-based models?

by on Jan.07, 2016

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra at the CES debut of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.

The launch of the new Chevrolet Bolt is likely to mark the start, rather than the end, of General Motors’ electrification efforts, a number of company officials tell TheDetroitBureau.com.

And though CEO Mary Barra was not ready to comment about future models during a media roundtable in Las Vegas, she stressed the speed with which GM will have gone from concept to customer with the 200-mile Bolt. It was first revealed in prototype form at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, returning in production form at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show. The Chevy Bolt will be on sale later this year.

Stay Plugged In!

“That speaks to the speed of this technology team,” said Barra, adding that, “We are committed to electrification. We see it as a very important part” of the GM portfolio.

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