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An investor’s guide to General Motors: Revenue and key drivers

William Lowry

A must-know investor's guide to General Motors Company (GM) (Part 2 of 11)

(Continued from Part 1)

Key drivers

We’ll take a brief look at industry sales and then look at where GM fits in the global industry. First, it’s the industry sales and secondly, it’s GM’s ability to capture its share of the market. As we’ve seen, the top industry players are Toyota Motor Corporation (TM), General Motors, Volkswagen (VOW), Ford Motor Company (F), and BMW Group (BMW). The exchange-traded fund providing industry exposure is CARZ.

Based on calendar 2013 units sold, General Motors is the world’s second-largest manufacturer, selling 9.29 million vehicles in 2013 versus Toyota Motor Company’s 9.75 million vehicles in 2013. In North America, GM sold 3.2 million vehicles, but approximately 0.7 million were in fleet sales, bringing GM and Toyota rounding to the same 2.5 million vehicles sold in 2013. We discussed the macroeconomic industry drivers in our previous article in this series.

Industry revenue by geography

While North America is an important region, with 18 million units sold in the last 12 months from March 31, 2013, Asia Pacific is the largest geographic market in the world, with 37 million units sold in the last 12 months and 22 million units sold in China alone. Europe is the third-largest region by industry sales, with 16 million in the past 12 months. Latin America represents 5 million units. As we discussed in our automobile industry overview, China and Brazil have been the engines for growth in the global market, as Japan and Europe are eclipsed by these higher-growth economies.

In the first quarter, China’s role in driving industry growth remained, as weakness in Brazil and Venezuela reduced automobile sales in Latin America. As the table above shows, global sales increased 4% during the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same quarter in 2013. Automobile sales in Asia increased 7%, while automobile sales in China increased 9%. Automobile sales in Latin America declined in the quarter, and auto sales increased 5% in Europe.

Let’s look at how GM stacks up against the industry. Read on to this next part of this series.

Continue to Part 3

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