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General Motors Plans Next-Gen EV

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General Motors Company (GM) is planning to manufacture the next-generation electric vehicles (EV) in South Korea to boost the stalling vehicle technology. This new electric car will be produced in the Bupyeong plant, near Seoul.

LG Chem. Ltd. of South Korea will be supplying the batteries for the second-generation electric vehicles of General Motors. The electric car will be bigger in size and newly designed than the Spark small car. The existing, the Spark electric car is based on the prior gasoline engine model.

The Spark electric vehicle is produced in the Korean plant and will be available in South Korea and Europe from the second half of 2013. The Korean unit of General Motors produces 40% of Chevrolet-branded vehicles. The other vehicle produced in the Bupyeong plant includes Aveo, Trax, Captiva and Malibu.

Other automakers like Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) with its electric car Leaf are also trying to occupy a significant market position. However, higher price of the vehicle, limited driving range and lack of charging infrastructure creates challenges for the automaker.

General Motors posted an increase in profits to $0.8 billion or 48 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with $0.7 billion or 39 cents in the same quarter of 2011. The earnings per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Revenues moved up 3.4% to $39.3 billion in the quarter, higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $38.6 billion. Unit sales escalated 4.2% to 2.3 million vehicles. The improvement was driven by an increase in worldwide sales volume to 2.3 million units.

General Motors expects to boost its top-line in 2013 with the help of new vehicle launches. At the same time, the company believes cost control measures will boost its bottom-line growth. It currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Gentherm Incorporated (THRM) and Visteon Corp. (VC) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is performing well in the industry where General Motors operates.

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