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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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GM CEO Mary Barra Adds Chairman to Title

Solso becomes lead independent director

by on Jan.04, 2016

GM wants to build the best cars, not sell the most cars, CEO Barra said at a recent conference.

She stepped into the limelight – and a trial by fire. Now, General Motors CEO Mary Barra is being rewarded with an additional title, chairman of the world’s third-largest automaker.

Tim Solso, who had been serving in that role for the last two years, will step back from the chairman’s post but remain GM’s lead independent director, the job he had prior to the retirement of former Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.

Breaking News!

“At a time of unprecedented change, the Board concluded it is in the best interests of the company to combine the roles of Chair and CEO in order to drive the most efficient execution of our plan and vision of the future,” said a statement attributed to Solso.

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GM: Ignition Switch Victim Fund Paid Out Nearly $600 Mi

Total cost for scandal now tops $2 bil.

by on Dec.10, 2015

A replacement for the faulty GM ignition switches.

An independent victims’ fund set up by General Motors paid out nearly $600 million to settle 399 claims related to a faulty ignition switch, bringing to more than $2 billion the total amount of money the maker has spent as a result of a defect linked to more than 100 deaths.

The announcement came Thursday as the special fund began wrapping up operations. It had been set up on orders from Mary Barra, the then-new GM CEO, last year as part of a broader response to the maker’s extensive safety problems. GM has also had to pay out $900 million to settle a Justice Department criminal probe, and millions more in fines levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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But GM’s troubles are far from over. Not all of those offered settlements from the victims’ fund accepted, and they are among a number of others still set to have their day in court, with a series of trials set to begin in U.S. District Court in New York next month.

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GM, UAW Settle Minutes Before Strike Deadline

Four-year contract expected to largely mirror Fiat Chrysler agreement.

by on Oct.26, 2015

Handshakes and smiles marked the opening of GM-UAW contract talks last July. Shown in front: GM CEO Barra, UAW Pres. Williams, GM negotiator Cathy Clegg and UAW bargainer Cindy Estrada.

General Motors and the United Auto Workers Union reached tentative agreement on a new four-year labor contract Sunday only minutes before the UAW’s midnight strike deadline.

While neither side would discuss details before a meeting of the union’s rank-and-file plant leaders, it was expected the tentative contract would adhere closely to the so-called “pattern” agreement at Fiat Chrysler that won worker approval last week.

The Full Story!

“We believe that this agreement will present stable long-term, significant wage gains and job security commitments to UAW members now and in the future,” said UAW President Dennis Williams. “We look forward to presenting the details of these gains to local union leaders and the membership.”

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Driven by U.S. Demand, GM Nets $1.4 billion in Q3

Earnings before taxes hit record. But numbers could cause problems.

by on Oct.21, 2015

GM's Detroit headquarters, the Renaissance Center.

Surging demand in its home market helped General Motors deliver a strong third-quarter profit, offsetting the impact of weakening sales in China.

The largest of the Detroit automakers said Wednesday morning that it earned $1.4 billion in net income, or $0.84 a share. That compared with $1.4 billion, or $0.81 a share a year ago. On an EBIT, or earnings before interest and tax, basis GM had an adjusted profit of $3.1 billion, and an adjusted profit margin of 8.0% percent.

Breaking News!

The strong numbers could generate new interest on Wall Street, at least GM officials are hoping. The maker’s stock has languished in recent months, around the same price set during its November 2010 IPO. But there could be a downside. The strong third quarter could motivate bargainers for the United Auto Workers Union who are trying to hammer out a new four-year contract with GM.

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