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Found 5 results

  1. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-17-2018 Nothing. That's what Mary Barra has on her mind when it comes to pickup trucks and the future for GM. In her recent discussion with Fast Company, Mary Barra discussed, "...GM’s immediate priorities and the broader, bigger vision that it’s working toward." We read over the interview that Fast Company published and looked carefully for any discussion of trucks. Trucks are presently what pays GM's bills and pays its employees paychecks. Barra focused mainly on electrification of cars and ride-sharing. Presently, electric vehicles like the Bolt cost GM money. The company has a target date set for profitability on EVs in 2021. Barra answered a direct question on what she sees as the future of transportation. She said, "Well, we see four major areas that are transforming the way people move today, and one is propulsion. That’s our focus on electrification. We’re putting significant investment there, not only in electric vehicles but fuel-cell electric vehicles. The next is autonomous, and clearly we’re putting significant investment there. The next is connectivity, and we think we’re just scratching the surface of how we can really create value for consumers from a connected point of view. And then the last is sharing, which we’re also making investments in with Maven." We really didn't expect her to say "Every vehicle after 2020 will come equipped with a snorkel." But how does a profitable truck company that dabbles in money-losing cars ignore its core competency? Let's be sure we enjoy the diesel Bisons and V8 Camaros folks. They are not part of GM's future. It looks like if GM is still making trucks they will be electric, self-driven and connected to a geo-fenced boundary, and owned by a ride-sharing company you will subscribe to.
  2. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 4-27-2018 Ford has announced that it will begin to phase out of the passenger car market. The most recent announcement caps a long list of hints by Ford that the company could not seem to build cars that are competitive or that were profitable to make domestically. Ford will be walking away from a volume of business larger than the total sales volume of Volkswagen in America. The Mustang will stay, but most of the Ford cars will not have a next generation. FCA recently canceled two Dodge and Chrysler models, deciding to keep only the luxury and rear/AWD muscle cars that it can also sell to government agencies. The natural question to ask, given that both Ford and Chrysler are walking away from mainstream family cars, is will GM follow the examples? Mary Barra, GM’s CEO says GM will not follow the example. At least in the near term. Here’s what Barra told investors in a recent conference call: “We launched very efficient architectures in the midsize and compact (segments) proving to be good platforms going forward with fairly minor changes…And the segments are still significant. Because we’ve made the investments, we need to deploy little to no capital going forward, so we view (cars) as an opportunity. What you’ll see us do is play very efficiently in a segment that, although it is declining, there is still an opportunity.” That does not mean that GM won’t retire individual car models across its brands. Barra has already said that the Volt will go away eventually as GM switches to battery-electric cars (fully electric like the Bolt). Cadillac, Buick and Chevy also have some cars that are moving so slowly the market is killing them off, regardless of what GM wants. All but one Cadillac car, ironically, the front wheel drive one, the Lacrosse, the Impala, and the Sonic all look like models that could eventually be replaced by crossover models.
  3. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 3-8-2018 Earlier this week GM-Trucks.com reported that the bean counters at Goldman Sachs had estimated import tariffs on steel and aluminum could cost GM $1billion in profits. Maybe they were wrong? In an interview this week, GM's CEO Marry Barra was asked specifically about the top-selling General Motors vehicle, the Silverado. The host asked, "Have you done any studies? Would it jump the price of a GM Silverado by $100? Is there a way to gauge?" Ms. Barra's answer was interesting. She said, "It's a small impact. We would look to find offsets and efficiencies in other places to not have to pass that on to the customer." Although that was good news for Silverado buyers, what Barra said earlier in the interview was a bit of a surprise, given the media's coverage of the tariff issue. When asked if she thought there would be tariffs on imported steel and what it would mean for the price of a General Motors car, Barra said, "We source about 90% of our steel and the majority of our aluminum from the United States. So when I look at the specific impact from that perspective I think it something we can more than offset. " Barra did go on to say that if there is a change that drives the cost up it will have a direct effect on demand. For part one of our coverage regarding why GM and other automakers are staying silent on tariffs, please check out our prior story.
  4. Individual managers at the company are also doing well. Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, is now compensated at a rate of about $28.6 million per year according to the Detroit Free Press. Although the rank and file union members that build GM's vehicles ( for the most part) have also benefitted from profit sharing bonuses, Barra now earns about the equivalent of 356 union members (making, say $80K per year). As a point of comparison, Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota (global) takes home the equivalent of roughly two to three million U.S. dollars per year according to multiple sources, and has for some time. Are you surprised that GM's top executive makes ten times what Toyota's does?
  5. However, today the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Justice officials may charge GM and its officers with felony wire fraud. In the eyes of the Department of Justice, GM lied to the public about the faulty ignition switches. Last year Toyota settled similar charges with the Justice Department over its misleading statements about unintended acceleration crashes. That settlement dwarfs all other automotive related fines. At that time, it was clear to those who report news on Toyota and GM that General Motors' liability and possible criminal wrongdoing appeared much more threatening to the company. The GM issue lasted longer, involved more vehicles, and is reported to have caused significantly more deaths and injuries. The probe is being conducted by the Manhattan DA. In a statement, GM said, “We are cooperating fully with all requests from the [Justice Department], as we have from the beginning." GM-trucks.com will bring you more as this story develops. We would be interested to hear your thoughts on the issue. Will GM be charged? Should their 2009 restructuring absolve them of responsibility if they did the same things Toyota did? You can read more at the WSJ on-line here.
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