Where Will General Motors Go Next?
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General Motors designs, manufactures, and markets cars, crossovers, trucks, and automobile parts worldwide. The company markets its vehicles primarily under the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Opel, Holden, and Vauxhall brand names, as well as under the Alpheon, Jiefang, Baojun, and Wuling brand names. It sells cars and trucks to dealers for consumer retail sales, as well as to fleet customers in daily rental car companies, commercial fleet customers, leasing companies, and governments.
General Motors has been busy crunching its numbers from throughout the first six months of the year from around the world, and the results are in. Global sales, including the company’s international subdivisions and joint ventures, are up 0.5 percent over the same six months of 2013, to 4.92 million vehicles. In North America, the figure stood at 2.51 million. Impressively, GM was able to keep its sales above water even as it initiated the recalls for nearly 30 million vehicles. That’s not just a company record — that’s more than the entire automotive industry initiated in all 12 months of last year. “GM did well in the world’s two largest and most profitable vehicle markets and that helped us grow despite very challenging market conditions in parts of South America, Asia and Eastern Europe,” CEO Mary Barra said in the company’s statement. U.S. sales rose 6.7 percent during the second quarter, greatly contributing to a North American gain of 5.6 percent. Along with China’s sales gains, General Motors’ sales stayed positive despite declines in Brazil (down 8.6 percent) and European economic powerhouse Germany (down 0.5 percent.)
However, rival Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) also said this month that global sales, excluding trucks, increased 5.9 percent to 4.97 million in the first half of the year, Bloomberg reports. The two companies have been dueling for the No. 2 slot behind Toyota (NYSE:TM). Both VW and Toyota have projected that they’ll sell around 10 million units this year. Notably, Volkswagen’s results exclude the results from its MAN SE and Scania AB heavy-truck divisions. While GM’s sales in China rose 11 percent, Volkswagen’s rose 18 percent. Last year, the German company outsold General Motors in China for the first time in nine years, with 1.8 million vehicles to GM’s 1.73 million. Chevrolet had a particularly difficult period, as sales fell off 5.2 percent. Opel and Vauxhall, which have had a tough run since the recession, grew by 3.7 percent, and Cadillac contributed with 11.7 percent. Buick soared 12.3, and other brands — including regional joint ventures — grew 8.6 percent. “We are investing in our brands around the world to keep our momentum going, and that includes growing Cadillac in China, launching a total of 27 new Opel models between 2014 and 2018 and entering new segments in North America with vehicles like the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon,” Barra said.