General Motors (GM) has got its groove back.
Nearly four years after General Motors was injected with taxpayer dollars, it has re-emerged as a leaner and smarter company as well as a formidable player in the industry. The government’s handling of GM’s bankruptcy may still be a bone of contention for a few but “I think we can conclude that the bailout worked,” says Justin Hyde, managing editor of Yahoo! Autos.
“The management is different,” Hyde says in an interview with The Daily Ticker. “The products are different. It’s launching a full slate of new vehicles this year…The management as it stands has a feel for how to build cars that Americans want.”
GM would be firing on all cylinders if not for Opel, its “money pit” division in Europe, Hyde argues. GM’s sales in Europe have suffered like many other auto manufacturers operating in the region and it could take years for that unit to return to profitability. But what the company loses in Europe it makes up for in China. GM has become the biggest foreign carmaker by sales there and the market will “be a key to GM’s success over the next decade,” Hyde says. GM announced that it wants to boost exports to China by 70% this year to keep up with strong consumer demand.
As for U.S. drivers, GM has a “fairly high batting average” with new products including the redesign of the Cadillac ATS and XTS models, Hyde notes.
Cadillac sales increased 38% to 69,750 in May -- the brand’s biggest year-to-date increase since 1976. General Motors reported an overall 3% year-over-year gain in May sales, aided by a 15% jump in truck sales.
The U.S. automaker will return to the S&P 100 and 500 stock indexes after the market close on Thursday. GM is replacing H.J. Heinz, which is being taken private by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and Brazilian-backed investment firm 3G Capital.
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