General Motors Company
) revealed that it will pump in $1.5 billion in its North
American facilities in 2013 as part of its $8 billion annual
investment plan for its global operations for new vehicle
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GM has invested $10.2 billion in its North American facilities
since 2009. In May 2011, the company had also initiated an
investment plan of $2 billion, targeting 17 assembly and
components plants in 8 states for 18 months in the U.S. The
program, intended to create or preserve more than 4,000 hourly
and salaried jobs at the plants, has been completed.
Recently, GM also mentioned that it would be able to save
thousands of dollars in costs per car in the production of next
generation Volt by adopting a more efficient design. The new
design will help the company use smaller vehicle components and
save weight. However, the company did not reveal the launch date
of the plug-in hybrid car.
Recently, at an industry conference in Detroit, GM stated that it
expects modest growth in global auto sales in 2013 as
improvements in China and the U.S. will be offset by sluggish car
sales in Europe. The automaker predicted a 5% rise in industry
sales in the U.S. and international market each and European
market to shrink 4% in the year.
The company foresees pricing pressures to exist, particularly in
China and Europe. However, it expects that moderate market share
gain across the world, driven by new vehicle launches will boost
its profit margins. GM plans to upgrade 70% of its global lineups
by the end of this year.
In North America, GM aims to boost market share and increase
vehicle pricing. The company expects to enhance profit margins in
the region to 10% in the next three or four years from 8%
currently. Meanwhile, the company has targeted break-even results
in Europe by 2015. In China, GM intends to improve margins by
continuing investing in Cadillac and rolling out its OnStar
communications, in-car safety system.
Many automakers started focusing on electric powered vehicles as
President Barack Obama's administration set a goal of achieving 1
million battery-powered vehicles on the road by 2015.
In August 2012,
Ford Motor Co.
) announced its plan to invest $135 million to develop key
components, including advanced battery systems, for its
next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles. The automaker is
looking forward to doubling its battery-testing capabilities to
160 individual battery-test channels by 2013. It aims to boost
development of hybrid-electric vehicles by at least 25%.
Nissan Motor Co.
) announced that it has started the production of all-electric
2013 LEAF at its Smyrna, TN plant. The new LEAF will be produced
together with the company's gasoline-powered products in the
plant. The automaker also opened its largest lithium-ion
automotive battery plant in Smyrna, which is adjacent to the LEAF
assembly facility. The plant will address the company's goal of
making zero-emissions mobility around the world.
Toyota Motor Corp.
) had revealed plans to unveil 21 gas-electric hybrid models by
2015, most of them having a similarity with its widely acclaimed
Prius. As many as 14 vehicles among these hybrids will be all
This apart, Toyota plans to launch a fuel cell vehicle, which
runs on hydrogen to produce electricity, by 2015. However, Toyota
will launch eQ (iQ EV in the U.S.) in limited numbers due to a
conservative view on the global hybrid vehicles market.
GM, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, posted a 9.7% fall in earnings
to 93 cents per share (excluding special items) in the third
quarter of the year from $1.03 in the corresponding quarter a
year ago. However, earnings per share in the quarter far exceeded
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 61 cents.
Revenues in the quarter grew 2.5% to $37.6 billion, surpassing
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $36.3 billion. Worldwide sales
volume inched up 1.6% to 2.3 million units from 2.2 million units
a year ago. However, total market share declined to 11.6% from
12.1% in the third quarter of 2011.