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General Motors: Sales, Marketing, and Financial News

 
Old 08-30-2004, 10:19 PM
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General Motors: Sales, Marketing, and Financial News

Listen to this report in audio here


WJR: A Successor for Lutz? - - By by Paul A. Eisenstein - - Source: The Car Connection


Is General Motors about to hire a successor to its "car czar," Bob Lutz? The wheels certainly seem to be in motion following the unexpected departure, last week, of product development chief Mark Hogan. The septuagenarian Lutz has already stayed on a bit longer than the three years he signed on for. There's no need to rush the former Marine pilot out the door, but even Lutz is aware that eventually he needs to really retire…and to maintain momentum, he needs to have someone ready to take his place…someone who has a real passion for product and a demonstrable track record. The name that immediately comes to mind is Wolfgang Bernhard, until recently the number two executive at Chrysler. Rumors have been flying for several months. But now that Hogan is gone, it's easier to make the case. GM Chairman Rick Wagoner won't say anything. But his cat-eating-the-canary grin all but confirms that an offer is being readied, and Bernhard could sign on soon.

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Old 08-30-2004, 11:30 PM
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I think replacing Lutz right now could be a huge mistake for chevy.

He is the whole reason they made this huge turnaround, and the only thing that got me to once agan respect american cars.
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Old 08-31-2004, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by sarlacc23
I think replacing Lutz right now could be a huge mistake for chevy.

He is the whole reason they made this huge turnaround, and the only thing that got me to once agan respect american cars.

Yeah but he's old. He's got to retire at some point. Actually I am surprised he can do this job as old as he is. Traveling to Europe so often to cover that part of GM as well...I mean...it's too much.
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:46 PM
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Lutz should have a mentee and teach him all his values and how he does everything, and then they should hire that dude and pay lutz a lot for saving their company
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:38 PM
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General Motors Offers **January Incentives (page 3)**

GM sets new U.S. incentives to clear inventories - - Reuters / March 08, 2005 - - Source: Automotive News

DETROIT -- General Motors, hurt by weaker U.S. sales this year and high inventories, will roll out a new consumer incentive program on Thursday that includes a $1,000 cash rebate toward vehicles that have been unsold for more than 120 days, dealers said on Tuesday.

The "March Madness" sale, which can be combined with other sales incentives, is GM's first national incentive program since the automaker named a new head of North American sales and marketing last week.

A GM spokeswoman declined to comment on the incentives. "No program is final until it's final. I have nothing to announce today," said GM spokeswoman Deborah Silverman.

One Michigan dealer, who described his January and February sales as "horrible," said: "We need something for momentum. I'm pretty optimistic that it will give us the momentum we need."

GM's U.S. sales so far this year have fallen more than 6 percent, and the automaker has scaled back production, as highlighted by last week's news that it would lay off 3,000 workers at a Michigan plant and cease production of the cars made there.

Through the first two months of this year, GM had scaled back on its profit-punishing incentives and national advertisements announcing new discount deals, analysts said. But lackluster U.S. sales and high inventories of unsold vehicles meant that GM had to announce another high-profile incentive program sooner or later, analysts and dealers said.

GM offered an average of $3,814 in cash rebates and cut-rate financing on every new vehicle it sold in February, according to industry tracking firm Autodata. That was more than any other automaker, but 9 percent less than GM's average incentives in February 2004, it said.

Last week, GM named Mark LaNeve, who had been instrumental in the resurrection of GM's Cadillac brand, as group vice president of North American sales and marketing. His predecessor, John Smith, was named to the new position of group vice president for global product planning.

Paul Ballew, GM's executive director of global market and industry analysis, said last week that GM's vehicle inventories grew in February, ahead of the usual "spring selling season," and the automaker hoped to cut those inventories heading into the second half of the year.
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:39 PM
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Why doesn't GM just make cars and pay people to buy them at this point. WTF!

Dont you geniouses at GM get it? YOU NEED TO MAKE GOOD PRODUCT, NOT CHEAP PRODUCT! Make something fucking better than all of the rest of the asses that are in this business, then release it to the market. Release it only if it's BETTER! If it's not better, back to the fricking design board.

Can you tell I am pissed? It's the same story year after year. WHy dont we just give up and let Toyota run the automotive business god damn it!
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:43 PM
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My point exactly - mediocrity breeds comtempt. For GM to win back the consumers it has alienated for the last 30 years, they need to be doing it better than what they are currently offering.

At the end of the day - the bean counters won't win. They need to design and build a product that you and I feel proud enough to own and drive.

CAN THEY DO IT --- in time before they're forced into bankruptcy????????
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:48 PM
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Somebody should pass on the analogy about fixing a leak in the roof by putting a bucket underneath to these higher ups.

And Toyota, which I would not have believed you if you told me this 5 years ago, will take over eventually at the rate they're going.
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:52 PM
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Its the same thing year after year. I stopped bitching about it becasue I am sick and tired of it. Business 101...that's what they need to learn over there.
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by phile
And Toyota, which I would not have believed you if you told me this 5 years ago, will take over eventually at the rate they're going.
Toyota to Overtake DC in U.S.? - - Momentum puts Toyota on a pace to topple Chrysler in the U.S. and GM around the world. - - by Joseph Szczesny - - Source: The Car Connection

Toyota Motor Co. is poised to overtake DaimlerChrysler as number-three carmaker once and for all before the end of the decade.

A new study released by CSM Worldwide of Farmington Hills, Michigan, last week flatly predicts that Japan's largest automaker will surpass DaimlerChrysler as the third-largest seller of new vehicles in the United States by 2009. Toyota, which markets the Toyota, Lexus, and Scion brands, is currently fourth in the U.S. , with 12 percent of the light-vehicle market, behind General Motors, Ford Motor Co., and DaimlerChrysler, according to CSM.

Joseph Barker, CSM Worldwide manager of North American sales analysis, said by 2009, CSM expects annual Toyota Group sales to grow by 23 percent, to more than 2.5 million units per year or 14.1 percent of the U.S. market. The growth should be enough to dislodge DaimlerChrysler - which sells Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Mercedes-Benz and, starting next year according to current plans, Smart vehicles in the U.S. - from the number-three spot. "Robust growth for the automaker will stem from an unrelenting product offensive, intensified effort in the luxury market, incremental volume from Scion, and strong brand equity," Barker said.

Toyota executives said during a year-end press conference in Tokyo they expect sales to rise seven percent next year to a record 8.03 million vehicles globally as result of new production capacity around the world. That would follow a ten-percent rise in sales by the group in 2004 to an estimated 7.47 million units.

"The global auto market expanded rapidly this year led by China, Eastern Europe and other Asian countries, and our customer base has grown bigger," President Fujio Cho told a year-end news conference. "In Japan, Toyota alone will aim to keep a market share of around 44 percent, while we expect bigger sales in every other region to bring overseas sales to 5.38 million vehicles in 2005 - marking the 14th straight year of increase," Cho added.

Cho, however, also said Toyota also expects sales outside Japan to grow by another ten percent in 2005. Toyota also expects to sell 8.5 million vehicles in 2006, which would propel it into a tight race with General Motors Corp. for global leadership.

Toyota, which is considered the world's best-managed automotive company, has come close to catching Auburn Hills-based Chrysler Group in recent years and has cut into the big lead once held by Chrysler and Mercedes combined. Chrysler Group executives have played down the race with Toyota , and Chrysler is expected to gain market share this year for the first time since the late 1990s.

Toyota , however, has mounted an aggressive campaign to bolster its market share around the world and has expanded its market share significantly over the past half decade. One of the company's stated goals is to become the world's largest automaker, surpassing GM, by the middle of the next decade.

The updated version of the Toyota Avalon, which will be introduced officially at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, offers a hint of things to come on the car side, Barker said. In addition, Toyota also hopes to lure truck buyers with a more expansive lineup of larger and more powerful crossovers, SUVs, and pickups in the works, Barker said. CSM also expects Lexus sales to grow by 40 percent by 2009 with the addition of new nameplates and successor models that will exceed the sales level of outgoing vehicles by as much as five-fold.

CSM also is predicting sales from Scion, Toyota 's youth brand, will reach 125,000 units in 2005 and hold at around 120,000 units annually over the long term, Barker said. Barker noted Scion is bringing in new customers rather that recycling loyal Toyota buyers.

The company's big American manufacturing base makes Toyota less vulnerable to instability in the dollar/yen relationship, which has a profound impact on vehicle costs. North American-made vehicles will account for 63 percent of Toyota's U.S. sales in 2004. That number is forecast to rise to 70 percent by 2009, CSM estimated. "Strong residuals have the power to turn a first-time buyer into a long-time brand loyalist," said Barker.

Barker added that Toyota's continuing strength ensures that the U.S. market will remain intensely competitive in the years to come.
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:56 PM
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:57 PM
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One of the company's stated goals is to become the world's largest automaker, surpassing GM, by the middle of the next decade.

I dont think that will happen by 2015. It's bad but it's not that bad.
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:58 PM
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I can't do it anymore... I've given up hope. Waiting around for GM to get it's act together is literally not good for one's health. I'm sick of this. As Gav said, good product, not cheap product, is the key. But they just don't understand that.
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:10 PM
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Funny thing is that they are doing pretty much the same thing in China!

GM slashes China car prices 10-15% - - Reuters / March 04, 2005 -- Source: Automotive News

SHANGHAI -- General Motors has slashed prices of two Buick models in China by as much as 15 percent to counter a move by Japanese rival Honda Motor Co., dealers said on Friday.

GM's main domestic venture said in a statement that retail prices on its Buick Regal would now start at $24,625 and prices on its Excelle sedans would start at $14,475. It did not specify previous pricing.

But two dealers said that amounted to as much as a 10 percent discount on the Regal and 14.7 percent on the Excelle -- days after Honda began offering sedans at a 7 percent discount, setting off the latest round of discounting to convulse the world's third-largest vehicle market.

Chinese car prices have headed south for years as foreign automakers boost capacity to grab a slice of the fast-growing market, squeezing margins for the likes of Volkswagen.

Global automakers including Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp. are investing more than $13 billion in China to triple annual production to about 6 million cars by 2010.

Discounts are taking on new significance in a decelerating market as Beijing applies the brakes to slow a racing economy and restricts auto loans, keeping buyers at home.

Government credit curbs in 2004 reduced the growth rate of car sales to 15 percent from almost doubling in 2003, when it was the world's fastest-growing auto market.

Analysts now expect the car market to grow just 10 percent in 2005 after rising 15.2 percent in 2004 to 2.33 million units, which followed a near-doubling in 2003.

GM is the No. 2 player in China behind VW. The country yielded a fifth of GM's earnings in the third quarter, but analysts warn the outlook may be clouded by persistent market weakness and by price wars that picked up in mid-2004.

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Old 03-08-2005, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
Why doesn't GM just make cars and pay people to buy them at this point. WTF!

Dont you geniouses at GM get it? YOU NEED TO MAKE GOOD PRODUCT, NOT CHEAP PRODUCT! Make something fucking better than all of the rest of the asses that are in this business, then release it to the market. Release it only if it's BETTER! If it's not better, back to the fricking design board.

Can you tell I am pissed? It's the same story year after year. WHy dont we just give up and let Toyota run the automotive business god damn it!

Tell us how you really feel.


But i agree!
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
Funny thing is that they are doing pretty much the same thing in China!

GM slashes China car prices 10-15% - - Reuters / March 04, 2005 -- Source: Automotive News
Well China, see that's acceptable, they're the foreigners there. But America..that's the home turf! And they already have the loyal buyers, especially with the pickup trucks, to boot.
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Old 03-09-2005, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
I dont think that will happen by 2015. It's bad but it's not that bad.
If the gas crunch really hits and people all of sudden jump off the truck/SUV bandwagon it could. Of course by that point it's not sales numbers that matter but surviveablity - the big 3 are in big troble if they had to rely mostly on their cars and not trucks/SUVs. Just think of what would happen to GM if you took away the Silverado and their mid sized SUVs.
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Old 03-09-2005, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
Why doesn't GM just make cars and pay people to buy them at this point. WTF!

Dont you geniouses at GM get it? YOU NEED TO MAKE GOOD PRODUCT, NOT CHEAP PRODUCT! Make something fucking better than all of the rest of the asses that are in this business, then release it to the market. Release it only if it's BETTER! If it's not better, back to the fricking design board.

Can you tell I am pissed? It's the same story year after year. WHy dont we just give up and let Toyota run the automotive business god damn it!
because i'd rather stare at the brown eye of your ass than the style of toyota

GM is just way behind, ford and Chrysler are doing OK. They have a nice set of car available today. GM's philosphy needs to be re-thought.
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Old 03-09-2005, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
Why doesn't GM just make cars and pay people to buy them at this point. WTF!

Dont you geniouses at GM get it? YOU NEED TO MAKE GOOD PRODUCT, NOT CHEAP PRODUCT! Make something better than all of the rest of the asses that are in this business, then release it to the market. Release it only if it's BETTER! If it's not better, back to the fricking design board.

Can you tell I am pissed? It's the same story year after year. WHy dont we just give up and let Toyota run the automotive business damn it!
Exactly the point I tried making a while back in another thread.
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Old 03-09-2005, 02:38 PM
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Last year I was able to take advantage of these incentives. I payed $21K + taxes for a $30K+ Envoy. Not bad at all. GM's products aren't as bad as you're making them out to be. I've owned an Avalanche and now the Envoy and they've both been reliable and of decent quality.
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Old 03-09-2005, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by biker
If the gas crunch really hits and people all of sudden jump off the truck/SUV bandwagon it could. Of course by that point it's not sales numbers that matter but surviveablity - the big 3 are in big troble if they had to rely mostly on their cars and not trucks/SUVs. Just think of what would happen to GM if you took away the Silverado and their mid sized SUVs.
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Old 03-09-2005, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
Why doesn't GM just make cars and pay people to buy them at this point. WTF!

Dont you geniouses at GM get it? YOU NEED TO MAKE GOOD PRODUCT, NOT CHEAP PRODUCT! Make something fucking better than all of the rest of the asses that are in this business, then release it to the market. Release it only if it's BETTER! If it's not better, back to the fricking design board.

Can you tell I am pissed? It's the same story year after year. WHy dont we just give up and let Toyota run the automotive business god damn it!
they need to start by not rebadging the same pos 3-5 times and selling them under a different brand.
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Old 03-09-2005, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SiGGy
GM is just way behind, ford and Chrysler are doing OK. They have a nice set of car available today. GM's philosphy needs to be re-thought.

About that:

It is now the first time in years that S&P categorizes GM's debt at higher risk than that of Ford's. Now for whoever has followed these companies from a financial standpoint for the past 10 years, they know that the above is some powerful statement. And it shows how fucked up the situation at GM really is.

If GM does not find way to boost its bottom line, I would not be surprised to see Lutz leave and Chapter 11 knock on the door.
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Old 03-09-2005, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by FORSITE
GM's products aren't as bad as you're making them out to be. I've owned an Avalanche and now the Envoy and they've both been reliable and of decent quality.
If they were not that bad they would not be losing market share year after year for the past 3 decades.
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by FORSITE
Last year I was able to take advantage of these incentives. I payed $21K + taxes for a $30K+ Envoy. Not bad at all. GM's products aren't as bad as you're making them out to be. I've owned an Avalanche and now the Envoy and they've both been reliable and of decent quality.

My dad did the same thing for a company car, 32k envoy xuv for 21k, but honestly, after riding in the thing I didn't think its was worth more than 21k considering the material quality. The truck itself rode fine and didn't have any rattles.

Originally Posted by biker
If the gas crunch really hits and people all of sudden jump off the truck/SUV bandwagon it could. Of course by that point it's not sales numbers that matter but surviveablity - the big 3 are in big troble if they had to rely mostly on their cars and not trucks/SUVs. Just think of what would happen to GM if you took away the Silverado and their mid sized SUVs.
If there were to be a real gas crunch Toyota would be hit pretty bad too considering the number of suvs they have.
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Old 03-10-2005, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by heyitsme
If there were to be a real gas crunch Toyota would be hit pretty bad too considering the number of suvs they have.
Lexus would suffer with the impact on the GX 470 SUV, one of their big seller. Don't think it would affect the LS430 much.
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:23 AM
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GM to Promote
Sales Incentives
To Move Inventory

By SHOLNN FREEMAN
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
March 11, 2005; Page B2

DETROIT -- General Motors Corp., off to a bad start in a year the car maker already had expected to be difficult, announced new incentives designed to clear lots of slow-selling cars and trucks.

As part of a "March Madness" promotion, GM said it is now offering cash rebates on vehicles that have been sitting in inventory for 125 days or more -- $1,500 on Cadillac vehicles and $1,000 on other models from its Chevrolet, GMC, Pontiac, Buick, Hummer and Saab brands. The rebates are available on vehicles that arrived in dealer lots on or before October 26.

Overall, General Motors had 1.3 million vehicles in inventory at the end of February, almost twice as many as Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. combined. A GM spokeswoman declined to specify the total number of vehicles that are eligible for the new "March Madness" discount. But some dealers reported that they have many in stock.

The world's No. 1 auto maker in terms of cars made has been slashing prices and production in response to slumping sales. In the first two months of 2005, GM's U.S. sales fell 10% from a year earlier. In February, its market share tumbled to 24.4% from 27.4% in February 2004. It was the first time GM's market share fell below 25% since the summer of 1998, when a strike halted production at many of GM's U.S. factories.

Dealers said they hope the action will attract customers who weren't quite ready to buy or were leaning toward other makes. "If they are remotely interested in pursuing the purchase of a General Motors vehicle, this may get them off the couch and get them to come on down," said Tom Shellworth, a Chevrolet dealer in Vacaville, Calif.

The discounted cars will be marked with special tags on their rearview mirrors. The promotion runs through March 31.

Earlier this month, GM said it would permanently lay off 3,000 workers at the Lansing, Mich., plant where it makes the Chevrolet Classic and Pontiac Grand Am. It will eventually close the plant, a measure for which it will take a $121 million charge in the first quarter. The Lansing closure follows cuts at a nearby truck plant and others in Linden, N.J., and Baltimore, Md.

All told, GM has said it plans to cut second-quarter North American production by 10% from 1.39 million a year earlier. Ford Motor Co. lowered output for the quarter by 7%.

Mr. Shellworth and other GM dealers said the auto maker is pressing dealers to move slow-moving inventory during the spring selling season, when sales volumes typically rise as the weather warms up and car shoppers begin heading to dealerships.

Dealers say GM, like other auto makers, is aggressively pushing to clear unsold inventory before dealers start making final orders for 2005-model-year vehicles. Dealers typically make these orders once March results are in. Mr. Shellworth said dealers won't make big orders if their lots are full.

GM is latching its national promotion to the NCAA men's basketball tournament, which is known as "March Madness." GM is a tournament sponsor and will run TV commercials promoting the program during the games.
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1...ts%5Fnews%5Fus
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeedyV6
GM to Promote
Sales Incentives
To Move Inventory

By SHOLNN FREEMAN
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
March 11, 2005; Page B2

DETROIT -- General Motors Corp., off to a bad start in a year the car maker already had expected to be difficult, announced new incentives designed to clear lots of slow-selling cars and trucks.

As part of a "March Madness" promotion, GM said it is now offering cash rebates on vehicles that have been sitting in inventory for 125 days or more -- $1,500 on Cadillac vehicles and $1,000 on other models from its Chevrolet, GMC, Pontiac, Buick, Hummer and Saab brands. The rebates are available on vehicles that arrived in dealer lots on or before October 26.

Overall, General Motors had 1.3 million vehicles in inventory at the end of February, almost twice as many as Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. combined. A GM spokeswoman declined to specify the total number of vehicles that are eligible for the new "March Madness" discount. But some dealers reported that they have many in stock.

The world's No. 1 auto maker in terms of cars made has been slashing prices and production in response to slumping sales. In the first two months of 2005, GM's U.S. sales fell 10% from a year earlier. In February, its market share tumbled to 24.4% from 27.4% in February 2004. It was the first time GM's market share fell below 25% since the summer of 1998, when a strike halted production at many of GM's U.S. factories.

Dealers said they hope the action will attract customers who weren't quite ready to buy or were leaning toward other makes. "If they are remotely interested in pursuing the purchase of a General Motors vehicle, this may get them off the couch and get them to come on down," said Tom Shellworth, a Chevrolet dealer in Vacaville, Calif.

The discounted cars will be marked with special tags on their rearview mirrors. The promotion runs through March 31.

Earlier this month, GM said it would permanently lay off 3,000 workers at the Lansing, Mich., plant where it makes the Chevrolet Classic and Pontiac Grand Am. It will eventually close the plant, a measure for which it will take a $121 million charge in the first quarter. The Lansing closure follows cuts at a nearby truck plant and others in Linden, N.J., and Baltimore, Md.

All told, GM has said it plans to cut second-quarter North American production by 10% from 1.39 million a year earlier. Ford Motor Co. lowered output for the quarter by 7%.

Mr. Shellworth and other GM dealers said the auto maker is pressing dealers to move slow-moving inventory during the spring selling season, when sales volumes typically rise as the weather warms up and car shoppers begin heading to dealerships.

Dealers say GM, like other auto makers, is aggressively pushing to clear unsold inventory before dealers start making final orders for 2005-model-year vehicles. Dealers typically make these orders once March results are in. Mr. Shellworth said dealers won't make big orders if their lots are full.

GM is latching its national promotion to the NCAA men's basketball tournament, which is known as "March Madness." GM is a tournament sponsor and will run TV commercials promoting the program during the games.
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1...ts%5Fnews%5Fus

Any chance we'll see any red tags on the Caddy CTS-V?
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Old 03-22-2005, 06:46 PM
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General Motors: Financial Status news **Saab closing (page 9)**

More moves inside General Motors - - By K.C. Crain - - Source: Automotive News

Automotive News / March 22, 2005

General Motors has appointed Steve Shannon, 46, as marketing general manager for Buick. He will run the day to day operations of the division.

He will report to John Larson, 42, who is general manager of both Buick and Pontiac-GMC. GM also announced that Larson will run the day-to-day operations of Pontiac-GMC.

The changes are effective April 1.

Shannon is currently executive director, marketing services, for GM North America.
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:34 PM
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are these guys good?
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Old 03-22-2005, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Loseit
are these guys good?
Let's hope so.
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:18 AM
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General Motors Reports $1.1B Loss in 1Q

General Motors Reports $1.1B Loss in 1Q - - By JOHN PORRETTO, AP Auto Writer - - Source: Yahoo.com

DETROIT - General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, said Tuesday it lost $1.1 billion in the first quarter, clobbered by rising health care costs, lukewarm response to some new models and special charges. The loss at its worldwide automotive operations more than doubled to $1.3 billion, most of it in North America.

It was GM's steepest quarterly deficit since the first quarter of 1992, when it reported a $21 billion loss primarily because of changes in accounting procedures for retiree health care costs.


The January-March result amounted to a loss of $1.95 per share, compared with earnings of $1.3 billion, or $2.25 a share, in the year-ago quarter, when the company benefited handsomely from its finance arm and improved business in Asia.


GM said its revenue fell 4.3 percent to $45.8 billion from $47.8 billion a year ago.


Excluding special charges, GM said first-quarter earnings amounted to a loss of $839 million, or $1.48 a share, compared with net income of $1.2 billion, or $2.12 a share, in the first quarter of 2004.


The most-recent result was in line with Wall Street expectations for a loss of $1.49 per share, according to Thomson Financial.


GM shares slipped 17 cents to $26.02 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, just above its 52-week low of $25.60.


Detroit-based GM warned investors in March that its first-quarter earnings would be below previous estimates of break-even or better. It has said it expects income of $1 to $2 per share for the full year, down from a previous guidance of $4 to $5.


GM sales in the United States, its largest and most competitive market, sank 4 percent for the first three months of 2005 from a year ago. For the same period, its U.S. market share slipped to 25.6 percent from roughly 27 percent, according research firm to Autodata Corp.


It shares have plunged in recent weeks to levels not seen in a decade or more.


The $1.3 billion loss from GM's global automotive business compared with earnings of $561 million in the year-ago quarter. In North America, GM said it lost $1.3 billion versus a profit of $401 million in the first quarter of 2004.


"While most of our business units exceeded expectations, the results at GM North America were clearly disappointing," said GM chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner, who last month took over daily responsibility of the automaker's struggling North American division.


"On the cost side of our business we continue to make progress in most key activities, but we need to accelerate our efforts on the challenging U.S. health care situation," Wagoner said.


GM did not provide a tally for health care expenses in the quarter but has said it expects its full-year tab for medical expenses to approach $6 billion.


The company said its market share in North America was 25.2 percent in the first quarter, down from 26.3 percent a year ago.


Asian automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. continue to make U.S. market share gains with new products at the expense of GM and Ford Motor Co., the nation's No. 2 automaker.


GM's GMAC finance arm, which has contributed heavily to profits in recent quarters, earned $728 million in the quarter, down from $764 million in the year-ago quarter. The last time GM's automotive earnings outpaced those at GMAC was in the fourth quarter of 2002.

GM Europe posted a loss of $103 million in the first quarter, an improvement from a loss of $116 million a year ago. GM Asia Pacific earned $60 million in the first quarter, compared with earnings of $275 million in the year-ago quarter.

GM Latin America/Africa/Middle East reported earnings of $46 million in the first quarter, up from $1 million in the first quarter of 2004.

The company has said U.S. health care costs continue to grow at an excessive rate and hamper profitability. GM spent $5.2 billion last year to cover 1.1 million salaried and hourly employees, retirees and family members. GM has said the amount could grow to $5.8 billion this year.

GM expects to get little relief from the United Auto Workers union, which said last week it won't reopen its contract to negotiate lower costs. The union said it will do what it can within the four-year contract, which expires in 2007, to help GM lower costs.

"In our view, the deterioration in GM's financial condition is not yet serious enough to scare the rank-and-file at the union," Merrill Lynch analyst John Casesa said in a research note.

Ford, GM's crosstown rival, also has been hurt by high health care and materials costs and earlier this month lowered its profit forecast for 2005. Ford is expected to announce further production cuts when it releases first-quarter earnings results Wednesday.
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:22 AM
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"In our view, the deterioration in GM's financial condition is not yet serious enough to scare the rank-and-file at the union," Merrill Lynch analyst John Casesa said in a research note.
Exactly.

The union will help you only if you're down, bleeding and a bunch of lions are feeding off of you. GM is just down for now.
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:23 AM
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Why can everyone but GM see what their doing wrong.
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:28 AM
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the cars suck......nothing to do with the unions.
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:30 AM
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GM REPORTS FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS .... GM today reported a loss of $839 million, or $1.48 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2005, excluding special items and a tax-rate adjustment. These results, in line with the guidance GM issued on March 16, 2005, compare to net income of $1.2 billion, or $2.12 per share, in the first quarter of 2004. Revenue fell 4.3 percent to $45.8 billion.
Consolidated net income for the first quarter of 2005, including special items, was a loss of $1.1 billion, or $1.95 per share. The special items include charges for restructuring in Europe, U.S. salaried attrition programs, and facility impairments, partially offset by recognition of the recurring tax benefits above those reflected in the 15-percent rate used in GM's adjusted earnings. These items had a net unfavorable effect of $265 million, or $0.47 per share in the first quarter of 2005. There were no special items in the first quarter of 2004.

"While most of our business units exceeded expectations, the results at GM North America (GMNA) were clearly disappointing," said GM Chairman & CEO Rick Wagoner. "We have well thought-out plans to address GMNA's poor performance, starting with aggressive product introductions this year, value-focused marketing initiatives, and further reductions in our cost structure, where the greatest need is to address the challenging health-care cost situation."

GM's automotive operations reported a loss of $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2005, compared with earnings of $561 million in the year-ago quarter.

GM North America accounted for this weak performance, reporting a loss of $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2005, compared with earnings of $401 million a year ago. This deterioration reflects lower sales and production volumes, a tougher pricing environment, an unfavorable sales mix, and a continuing, large health-care burden.

GM's market share in North America was 25.2 percent in first-quarter of 2005, down from 26.3 percent in the year-ago period.

GM Europe (GME) posted a loss of $103 million in the first quarter of 2005, an improvement from the $116 million loss in the year-ago quarter.

GM Asia Pacific (GMAP) reported net income of $60 million in the first quarter of 2005, compared with $275 million in the same period last year, reflecting primarily lower equity earnings in China and Japan. The region's market share rose to 5.0 percent in the first quarter of 2005 from 4.9 percent in the year-ago quarter.

GM Latin America/Africa/Mid-East (GMLAAM) earned $46 million in the first quarter of 2005, an improvement from year-ago earnings of $1 million. GMLAAM recorded record first-quarter sales volume during the quarter but market share declined slightly to 16 percent in the first quarter of 2005 from 16.2 percent a year ago.

GMAC earned $728 million in the first quarter of 2005 compared with $764 million in the year-ago period.

GM expects total U.S. industry sales in the second quarter of 2005 to come in at a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of around 17 million, about flat with the selling rate in the first quarter of 2005.

Given the uncertainty affecting key elements of our financial forecast, such as resolution of the health-care cost crisis, GM has determined that it will not provide earnings guidance for the 2005-calendar year at this time.
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Old 04-19-2005, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Zapata
the cars suck......nothing to do with the unions.
While those unions 'aint' helping matters much neither, I agree that they are not the cause of GM's woes.

But here's an article that I believe explains GM's current quandry best: Link
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Old 04-19-2005, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by domn
Why can everyone but GM see what their doing wrong.
my thoughts exactly
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:01 PM
  #39  
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GM product is weak.
...but the issue with the Unions is not helping GM at all.
The Union will only help to drive GM into the ground.
...at the end of the day the Union only cares about the Union....even if it means biting the hand that feeds.
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:27 PM
  #40  
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Finally, GM needs to focus more on how its vehicles can be used and less on how much emotion they elicit. The traditional industry has a hard time understanding the success of its Japanese rivals in the U.S. market, because they see their rivals' vehicles as plain, unstylish, and unexciting. But there is indeed a large market out there for efficient, reliable transportation, and GM should go after it.
Few cars elicit less emotion in me than GM's.
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