General Motors

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General Motors Company
Type Public
Traded as Template:NYSE
Industry Automotive
Predecessor General Motors Corporation
Founded September 16, 1908
Founder(s) William C. Durant
Headquarters Renaissance Center
Detroit, Michigan
United States
Number of locations 156 facilities on six continents[1]
Area served Worldwide
Key people Daniel F. Akerson, Chairman and CEO
Products Automobiles
Financial Services
Revenue 11px US$ 150.28 billion (2011)[2]
Operating income 11px US$ 9.287 billion (2011)[2]
Net income 11px US$ 7.585 billion (2011)[2]
Total assets 11px US$ 144.60 billion (2011)[2]
Total equity 11px US$ 38.99 billion (2011)[2]
Employees 207,000 (2012)[1]
Divisions Chevrolet
Subsidiaries General Motors India
GM Components Holdings LLC
Adam Opel AG
GM Holden Ltd
GM Financial
GM Korea
General Motors do Brasil
Vauxhall Motors

General Motors Company (Template:NYSE, Template:TSX), commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated (until 2009) as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's largest automaker, by vehicle unit sales, in 2011.[3]

GM employs 202,000 people[1] and does business in some 157 countries. General Motors produces cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sells and services these vehicles through the following divisions/brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Opel, Vauxhall, and Holden, as well as two joint ventures in China, Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile. GM's OnStar subsidiary provides vehicle safety, security and information services.

The late-2000s financial crisis and late-2000s recession exacerbated GM's pre-existing financial and corporate culture problems and pushed the corporation into a period of crisis. Two successive U.S. presidential administrations wrestled with the question of what role the U.S. government should or should not play in emergent intervention in the automotive industry, most especially at GM. In December 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush agreed to a $13.4 billion bailout for General Motors; within months, an additional $39 billion was added by the Barack Obama administration.[4] The financing came from the $700 billion fund known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program that was intended for financial institutions.[5] Both presidents have stated that despite counterarguments presented to them in which the creative destruction of capitalism should be allowed to run its course, they chose intervention for GM in order to prevent collapse of the North American segment of the automotive industry and the economic sequelae that it was expected to have throughout the supply chain, such as huge job losses, credit market freezing, and loss of industrial base. GM emerged from a Chapter 11 reorganization in 2009, with an initial public offering that was one of the world's top 5 largest IPOs to date. GM has returned to profitability, even posting a record annual profit in 2011, although its economic impact and surroundings are different[6] from those in the era when GM was by many measures the largest and most important corporation on earth.


Corporate governance

Based on global sales, General Motors is currently the world's no. 1 automaker. Headquartered at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, GM employs approximately 202,000 people around the world. In 2009, General Motors sold 6.5 million cars and trucks globally. Much of General Motors' recent growth has been in the People's Republic of China, where its sales rose 66.9 percent in 2009, selling 1,830,000 vehicles and accounting for 13.4 percent of the market.[7]

Calendar Year U.S. sales Chg/yr.
1998[8] 4,603,991
1999 5,017,150 11px9.0%
2000[9] 4,953,163 11px1.3%
2001 4,904,015 11px1.0%
2002 4,858,705 11px0.9%
2003 4,756,403 11px2.1%
2004[10] 4,707,416 11px1.0%
2005 4,517,730 11px4.0%
2006[11] 4,124,645 11px8.7%
2007 3,866,620 11px6.3%
2008[12] 2,980,688 11px22.9%
2009[13] 2,084,492 11px30.1%
2010[14] 2,215,227 11px6.3%
2011[15] 2,503,820 11px13.7%

On July 23, 2009, GM announced its new Board of Directors: Dan Akerson, David Bonderman, Robert D. Krebs, Patricia F. Russo and Ed Whitacre (GM Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer). Board members who are not GM employees will be paid US$200,000 annually.[16]

Executive management:[17]

  • Daniel Akerson – Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • Daniel Ammann – Chief Financial Officer
  • Thomas G. Stephens – Vice Chairman, Global Chief Technology Officer
  • Mark Reuss – President, GM North America
  • Karl-Friedrich Stracke[18] – President, GM Europe; CEO, Adam Opel AG
  • Timothy E. Lee – President, GM International Operations (Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa, and Middle East)
  • Mary Barra – Senior Vice President of Global Product Development[19]
  • Edward T. Welburn – Vice President of Global Design for GM[20]

As part of the company's advertising, Ed Whitacre announced the company's 60-day money-back guarantee and repayment of $6.7 billion loan from government ahead of schedule.[21] On August 12, 2010 GM announced that Whitacre would relinquish the CEO position effective September 1, 2010 and that of Chairman of the Board at the end of the year, to be replaced in those functions by current board member Dan Akerson.[22] From June 2009 to March 2011, the company had three chief executive officers and three chief financial officers.[23]

Recent results

The company has reported annual profits since 2010. It can carry forward previous losses to reduce tax liability on future earnings. It earned $4.7 billion in 2010. The Wall Street Journal estimated the tax break, including credits for costs related to pensions and other expenses can be worth as much as $45 billion over the next 20 years.[24]

Top 3 Automakers Global, 2010
Group Units Share
Toyota 8,557,351 11.0%
G.M. 8,476,192 10.9%
Volkswagen 7,341,065 9.4%
Top 3 automakers 2010 by global volume, based on OICA data.Template:Citation needed Market share based on OICA 2010 global total of 77,743,862.

In 2010, General Motors ranked second on the list with 8.5 million units produced globally.[25] In 2011 GM returned to the first place with 9.025 million units sold worldwide, corresponding to 11.9% market share of the global motor vehicle industry. The top two markets in 2011 were the United States, with 2,503,820 vehicles sold, and China, with 2,547,203 units. The Chevrolet brand was the main contributor to GM performance, with 4.76 million vehicles sold around the world in 2011, a global sales record.[26]

As of January, 2012, the US government's Troubled Asset Relief Program had about $25 billion invested in GM. Break even for the government was figured at $53.98 v. the then-current share price of about $25.[27]

World presence

North America

GM products focus primarily on its four core divisions – Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC. The White House characterized the GM restructuring as a shift toward a new leaner, greener GM, which will aim to break even with annual sales much lower than previously stated.[28] President Obama declared that the restructuring "will mark the end of an old GM, and the beginning of a new GM; a new GM that can produce the high-quality, safe, and fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow; that can lead America towards an energy independent future; and that is once more a symbol of America's success."[29]

GM worldwide 2008 vehicle sales[30]
in GM
Location Vehicle
share (%)
1 22x20px United States 2,981 22.1%
2 22x20px China 1,095 12.0%
3 22x20px Brazil 549 19.5%
4 22x20px United Kingdom 384 15.4%
5 22x20px Canada 359 21.4%
6 22x20px Russia 338 11.1%
7 22x20px Germany 300 8.8%
8 22x20px Mexico 212 19.8%
9 22x20px Australia 133 13.1%
10 Template:KOR 117 9.7%
11 22x20px France 114 4.4%
12 22x20px Spain 107 7.8%
13 22x20px Argentina 95 15.5%
14 Template:VEN 91 33.3%
15 22x20px Colombia 80 36.3%
16 22x20px India 66 3.3%

In the mid 2005, GM announced that its corporate chrome power emblem "Mark of Excellence" would begin appearing on all recently introduced and all-new 2006 model vehicles produced and sold in North America. However, in 2009 the "New GM" reversed this, saying that emphasis on its four core divisions would downplay the GM logo.[31]


The company manufactures most of its China market vehicles locally through Shanghai GM, a joint venture with the Chinese company SAIC, which was created on March 25, 1997. The Shanghai GM plant was officially opened on December 15, 1998, when the first Chinese-built Buick came off the assembly line. The SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile joint-venture is also successfully selling microvans under the Wuling marque (34 percent owned by GM).

The Buick brand is especially strong in China, led by the Buick Excelle subcompact. The last emperor of China owned a Buick.[32] The Cadillac brand was introduced in China in 2004, starting with exports to China. GM pushed the marketing of the Chevrolet brand in China in 2005 as well, transferring Buick Sail to that marque.

GM also maintains a dealership presence in Japan, called GM Chevrolet Shop, previously known as GM Auto World Shop. Current GM Japan dealerships were either former Saturn dealerships or Isuzu dealership locations. GM products are also sold by the company Yanase, Ltd.

In August 2009 the joint venture of FAW GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle Co Ltd was formed that mainly produces Jiefang light-duty trucks.[33]

General Motors vehicle sales in China rose 28.8 percent to a record 2,351,610 units in 2010.[34] GM set up an auto research center as part of a USD250 million corporate campus in Shanghai to develop 'gasoline-hybrid cars, electric vehicles and alternative fuels, engines and new technologies'.[35] The company plans to double its sales from 2010 to about 5 million units in China by 2015.[36]

SAIC-GM-Wuling established the low-cost Baojun brand to better compete with domestic rivals, Chery, Geely and BYD for first-time buyers of cars priced around USD10,000. It is estimated that such market in China is about 5 million vehicles a year, larger than the auto market in France and Britain combined. However, some are worried that 'local brands like Baojun could eventually become threats to their parent brands if they compete more against established models over time'. Shanghai-GM-Wuling sold 1.23 million vehicles in 2010, mainly commercial vans and trucks, of which about 700,000 units were a van called Sunshine.[37]

In August 2011, GM announced plans to build a plant in Bekasi, West Java, Indonesia,which would produce 40,000 passenger cars per year for the Southeast Asian market. It is the third plant in Southeast Asia, after the Rayong plant, Thailand and the Hanoi plant, Vietnam.[38]

In October 2011, President Obama, in a joint appearance at a GM plant in Michigan, said that the recently approved South Korea Free Trade Agreement would open up the South Korean auto market to American made cars.[39]


General Motors has a long history in Egypt which began in the 1920s with the assembling of cars and light pickup trucks for the local market. In the mid of the 1950s, GM withdrew from the Egyptian market. Some year later, the Ghabbour Brothers began to assemble Cadillac, Chevrolet and Buick models up to the 1990s.

Since 1983 GM and Al-Monsour Automotive Company has founded the General Motors Egypt which is currently the only manufacturer of traditional GM branded vehicles in Egypt. The Speranza Motors is a big company which started in the 1990s with the SKD assembling of Daewoo cars. Today the main products of Speranza are from the Chinese Chery concern.

GM began operating in South Africa in 1913 through its wholly owned subsidiary, General Motors South Africa. Following the passage of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986, GM was forced to divest from South Africa, and GMSA became the independent Delta Motor Corporation. GM purchased a 49% stake in Delta in 1997 following the end of apartheid, and acquired the remaining 51% in 2004, reverting the company to its original name.

Another manufacturing base of the GM for the African markets is the Industries Mécaniques Maghrébines headquartered in Kairouan, Tunisia which assembles Isuzu and Mazda models for the Maghreb region.

General Motors East Africa (GMEA) located in Nairobi, Kenya assembles a wide range of Isuzu trucks and buses including the popular Isuzu N-Series versatile light commercial vehicle, TF Series pick-ups and Isuzu bus chassis. Formed in 1975, GMEA's facility is the largest assembler of commercial vehicles in the region exporting to East and Central African countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda and Burundi. In addition to assembly, GMEA also markets the Chevrolet products Spark and Optra.

In the 1920s Miller Brothers Nigeria was founded as an importer of commercial vehicles of the Bedford brand into the country. In 1949, the company opened its own assembly plant and operated under the name Niger/Nigeria Motors. In 1965 the plant and its distribution network was split into different companies and renamed as Federated Motors Industries. In 1991 the company was taken in by a joint venture between General Motors and UACN of Nigeria.

Racing heritage

File:Jimmie Johnson 2008 Lowes Chevy Impala.jpg
2008 Chevrolet Impala driven by NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson

GM has participated over the years in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), 24 Hours of Le Mans, NASCAR, SCCA, and many other world venues.

File:Nicola Larini 2009 WTCC Marrakech.jpg
Chevrolet Cruze in the WTCC

GM's engines were highy successful in the Indy Racing League (IRL) throughout the 1990s, winning many races in the small V-8 class. GM has also done much work in the development of electronics for GM auto racing. An unmodified Aurora V-8 in the Aerotech, captured 47 world records, including the record for speed endurance in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Recently, the Cadillac V-Series has entered motorsports racing.

GM has also used many cars in the American racing series NASCAR. Currently the Chevrolet Impala is the only entry in the series but in the past the Pontiac Grand Prix, Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass, Chevrolet Lumina, Chevrolet Malibu, and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo were also used. GM has won a total of 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series manufacturer's championships, including 34 with Chevrolet, the most of any make in NASCAR history, 3 with Oldsmobile, 2 with Buick, and 1 with Pontiac. GM leads all other automobile manufacturers in races won in NASCAR's premier series at 1,011. Chevrolet leads individual makes with 677 wins.

In Australia, there is the V8 Supercar Championship which is battled out by the two main rivals of (GM) Holden and Ford. The current Holden Racing Team cars are based on the Holden Commodore and run a 5.0-litre V8-cylinder engine producing 635 bhp (474 kW). These cars have a top speed of 318 km/h (198 mph) and run 0–100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. The Holden Racing Team is Australia's most successful team in Australian Touring Car History. In 2006 & 2007, the Drivers championship was won by the very closely linked HSV Dealer Team.

Research and development

Research and development (R&D) at General Motors began organically as the continuation of such R&D as the various divisions (e.g., Cadillac, Buick, Olds, Oakland) were already doing for themselves before the merger. Its character was entirely empirical; it was whatever key people in each company had been competent enough to organize and pursue.

Charles F. Kettering's Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco), at Dayton, Ohio, was still an independent firm at this time. Its work was well known to GM central management through its relationship as a supplier and consultancy to Cadillac and Buick.

In 1916, Durant organized the United Motors Corporation as an amalgamation of parts suppliers, supplying GM and other OEMs but independent of GM.[40] Alfred P. Sloan, head of the newly acquired Hyatt Roller Bearing Corporation, became United Motors' CEO. United Motors acquired Delco, and Kettering began his association with Sloan. United Motors also acquired at this time the original Remy corporation[40] (called the Remy Electric Company), a competitor of Delco. In 1918 General Motors bought United Motors.[40] Various entities grew out of the original Delco and Remy, including the Dayton Metal Products Corporation, the General Motors Research Corporation, the Delco Division and Remy Electric Division of GM, Delco Remy (now Remy International, Inc.), ACDelco, Delco Electronics, and others. Today's main successor corporation is Delphi Automotive, which nowadays is an independent parent corporation.

The General Motors Research Corporation, at Dayton under Kettering, was the world’s first true automotive research center.Template:Citation needed During the next few decades it led the development of:

  • many electrical-appliance features for cars and trucks
  • tetraethyllead and its widespread use as a gasoline additive (recognized today as a bad idea environmentally, but a technological wonder of its day)
  • dichlorodifluoromethane refrigerant for HVAC and refrigeration applications (Freon, R-12; recognized today as a bad idea environmentally [being a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)], but a technological wonder of its day)
  • commercially practical two-stroke diesel engines
  • better transmissions for track-laying vehicles
  • many other advancements

Although GM R&D (as it is known in colloquial shorthand) began as an organization largely built around one extraordinary man (Kettering), it eventually evolved into a more modern organization whose path is shaped by individuals but not dominated entirely by any of them. World War II was a turning point wherein military affairs, after mingling with the technologies of applied science for some 80 years, first started to become fundamentally reinvented by them. Civilian life, too, changed in this direction. By the 1950s, corporations such as GM and many others were facing a new era of R&D, different from earlier ones. Less about genius inventors and individual inventions, and more about organizational progress and integrated systems, it raised new questions about where the capital for R&D would come from in an era of limitless demand for R&D (although not necessarily for production). Alfred Sloan, longtime CEO of GM (1920s to 1960s), discussed in his memoir (also considered a seminal management treatise) the relationships between government, academia, and private industry in the areas of basic science and applied science, in light of this new era.[41] The views he laid out reflected (and influenced) wide consensus on these relationships that persists largely to today.

Today, GM R&D, headquartered in Warren, Michigan, is a network of six laboratories, six science offices, and collaborative relationships in over twelve countries including working relationships with universities, government groups, suppliers, and other partners from across the globe.

Small car sales

File:Chevrolet Aveo RS concept front.jpg
Chevrolet Aveo Concept, later went into production as the Chevy Sonic

From the 1920s onward, General Motors always maintained an internal dialog about what its economy-car and small-car policies should be.[42][43] The economy and size considerations often naturally overlapped, although a strong distinction was always drawn in the 20th century between policies for the U.S. market and policies for other markets. Economy (in some form) always had good demand anywhere, but its definition in the U.S. was long considered different from that in other markets. In this view, "economy" in the U.S. did not mean "small" in the sense of what qualified as "small" outside the U.S. The policy discussion often focused on topics like the higher demand for truly small cars in non-U.S. markets than in the U.S., and whether it made more sense to import a car into a certain country or to build it domestically within that country, either as some variant of knockdown or with truly extensive domestic sourcing.[42] GM's acquisitions of Vauxhall Motors Ltd (UK, 1925)[42] and Adam Opel AG (Germany, 1929),[42] rather than starting new domestic companies to compete against them, were based on analyses that convinced GM managers that acquiring an existing domestic manufacturer was a better business decision.[42]

Although GM since the 1920s has always offered economy models in the U.S. market (relative to that market's definition in any given decade), and had done research and development in the 1940s and 1950s in preparation for any potential rise of strong demand for truly small cars in the U.S. market,[43] it has also been criticized over the decades for not doing enough to promote fuel efficiency in the U.S. market in the 1970s through 1990s. GM's response has been that it has always responded to market demands, and that most Americans, despite anything they said to the contrary, did not actually demand (at purchasing-decision time) small size or fuel efficiency in their vehicles to any great or lasting extent. Although U.S. consumers flocked temporarily to the ideal of fuel economy whenever fuel supply crises arose (such as 1973 and 1979), they flocked equally enthusiastically to SUVs when cheap fuel of the 1980s and 1990s temporarily shielded them from any downside to these choices.

Since the return of high fuel prices in the 2000s and 2010s, GM's interest in [truly-]small-car programs for the U.S. market has been renewed. As part of General Motors Company development, it plans to revive one of its idled U.S. factories for the production of a small car in Orion, Michigan, with the creation of 1,200 American jobs. This will be the first time ever that a large manufacturer produces a supermini vehicle in the United States. The new small car will add to a group of small and fuel-efficient vehicles that the company is planning to roll out in the near future. This retooled plant will be capable of building 160,000 cars annually, including both small and compact vehicles.[44]

Environmental initiatives

File:Chevrolet Volt WAS 2010 8852.JPG
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt, a government mandated vehicle for GM, was a plug-in electric vehicle. It is being discontinued due to very low sales and public interest.

General Motors is one of the leading users in renewable energy. The company has published principles regarding the environment and maintains an extensive website to inform the public. In 2008, General Motors committed to engineering half of its manufacturing plants to be landfill-free. In order to achieve its landfill-free status, production waste is recycled or reused in the manufacturing process.

The world's largest rooftop solar power installation was installed at General Motors Spanish Zaragoza Manufacturing Plant in fall 2008. The Zaragoza solar installation has about 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) of roof at the plant and contains about 85,000 solar panels. The installation was created, owned and operated by Veolia Environment and Clairvoyant Energy, who lease the rooftop area from General Motors. [45][46][47] In 2011, the company also invested $7.5 million in solar-panel provider Sunlogics, which will install solar panels on GM facilities.[48]

The company has long worked on alternative-technology vehicles, and has led the industry with ethanol-burning flexible-fuel vehicles that can run on either E85 (ethanol) or gasoline. The company was the first to use turbochargers and was an early proponent of V6 engines in the 1960s, but quickly lost interest as the muscle car race took hold. They demonstrated[49] gas turbine vehicles powered by kerosene, an area of interest throughout the industry, but abandoned the alternative engine configuration in view of the 1973 oil crisis. In the 1970s and 1980s, GM pushed the benefits of diesel engines and cylinder deactivation technologies with disastrous results due to poor durability in the Oldsmobile diesels and drivability issues in the Cadillac V8-6-4 variable-cylinder engines. In 1987, GM, in conjunction with AeroVironment, built the Sunraycer, which won the inaugural World Solar Challenge and was a showcase of advanced technology. Much of the technology from Sunraycer found its way into the Impact prototype electric vehicle (also built by Aerovironment) and was the predecessor to the General Motors EV1.

GM supported a compromise version of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard increase from 27 mpg-US (8.7 L/100 km; 32 mpg-imp) to 35 mpg-US (6.7 L/100 km; 42 mpg-imp), the first such increase in over 20 years.[50] GM announced they will introduce more Volt-based plug-in hybrids.

Hybrid electric vehicles

In May 2004, GM delivered the world's first full-sized hybrid pickups, the 1/2-ton Silverado/Sierra. These mild hybrids did not use electrical energy for propulsion, like GM's later designs. In 2005, the Opel Astra diesel Hybrid concept vehicle was introduced. The 2006 Saturn Vue Green Line was the first hybrid passenger vehicle from GM and is also a mild design. GM has hinted at new hybrid technologies to be employed that will be optimized for higher speeds in freeway driving.

GM currently offers the 2-mode hybrid system used by the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon/Cadillac Escalade, and GM 1/2 half-ton pickups and will later be used on other vehicles.[51]

GM introduced the Chevrolet Volt in 2010, an electric vehicle with back-up generators powered by gasoline. The production Chevrolet Volt was available in late 2010 as a 2011 model with limited availability.[52] GM delivered the first Volt during December 2010. GM has announced that the Volt is being discontinued do to poor sales and lack of public interest.

The GM Magic Bus is a hybrid-powered bus.[53]

All-electric vehicles

  1. REDIRECT Template:Further

General Motors was the first company (in the modern era) to release an all-electric automobile. In 1990, GM debuted the "Impact" concept car at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It was the first car with zero-emissions marketed in the US in over three decades. The Impact was eventually produced as the EV1 for the 1996 model year. It was available through dealers located in only a few regions (e.g., California, Arizona, Georgia). Vehicles were leased, rather than sold, to individuals. In 1999 GM decided to cease production of the vehicles. When the individual leases had expired, they declined to renew the leases or allow the lessors to purchase them. All of the EV1s were eventually returned to General Motors and, with the exception of a few which were donated to museums, all were destroyed. The documentary film Who Killed the Electric Car? covered the EV1 story.

The EV1's cancellation had disappointed supporters of electric vehicles. In 2010, GM debuted the Chevrolet Volt, an electric vehicle with back-up generators powered by gasoline. Poor sales, and little public interest lead GM to cancel the Volt in 2012. General Motors has announced that it is building a prototype two-seat electric vehicle with Segway. An early prototype of the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility vehicle—dubbed Project P.U.M.A. – will be shown off in New York a day ahead of the press previews for the 2009 New York International Auto Show.[54]Template:Fix

Battery packs for electric vehicles

GM builds battery packs in southern Michigan.[52] GM also established an automotive battery laboratory in Michigan.[55] GM will be responsible for battery management systems and power electronics, thermal management, as well as the pack assembly. An existing GM facility at Brownstown Township was chosen to be upgraded as battery pack plant.[52] LG Chem's U.S. subsidiary, Compact Power of Troy, Michigan, has been building the prototype packs for the development vehicles and will continue to provide integration support and act as a liaison for the program.

Hydrogen initiative

Sequel, a fuel cell-powered vehicle from GM

GM has prided its research and prototype development of hydrogen powered vehicles,[52] to be produced in early 2010, using a support infrastructure still in a prototype state. The economic feasibility of the technically challenging hydrogen car, and the low-cost production of hydrogen to fuel it, has also been discussed by other automobile manufacturers such as Ford and Chrysler.

In June 2007, Larry Burns, vice president of research and development, said he's not yet willing to say exactly when hydrogen vehicles will be mass produced, but he said it should happen before 2020, the year many experts have predicted. He said "I sure would be disappointed if we weren't there" before 2020.[56]

Flexible-fuel vehicles

GM produces several flexible-fuel vehicles that can operate on E85 ethanol fuel or gasoline, or any blend of both. Since 2006 GM started featuring a bright yellow gas cap to remind drivers of the E85 capabilities,[57][58][59][60] and also using badging with the text "Flexfuel/E85 Ethanol" to clearly mark the car as an E85 FFV.[61][62]

GM is the leader in E85 flex fuel vehicles, with over 3 million FlexFuel vehicles on the road in the U.S. As of 2009, GM offers 18 ethanol-enabled FlexFuel cars and trucks in the US, and produces more than one million new FlexFuel vehicles. GM's goal is to have half of their annual vehicle production be E85 or biodiesel capable by 2012.[63]


The company was founded on September 16, 1908, in Flint, Michigan, as a holding company for Buick, then controlled by William C. Durant.[64] At the turn of the 20th century there were fewer than 8,000 automobiles in America and Durant had become a leading manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles in Flint, MI, before making his foray into the automotive industry.[65] GM's co-founder was Charles Stewart Mott, whose carriage company was merged into Buick prior to GM's creation. Over the years Mott became the largest single stockholder in GM and spent his life with his Mott Foundation which has benefited the city of Flint, his adopted home. It acquired Oldsmobile later that year. In 1909, Durant brought in Cadillac, Elmore, Oakland and several others. Also in 1909, GM acquired the Reliance Motor Truck Company of Owosso, Michigan, and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan, the predecessors of GMC Truck. Durant lost control of GM in 1910 to a bankers' trust, because of the large amount of debt taken on in its acquisitions coupled with a collapse in new vehicle sales.

File:2007 Chevrolet Suburban LT -- 07-10-2010 1.jpg
The longest-lived continuous automobile nameplate still in production is the Chevrolet Suburban

The next year, Durant started the Chevrolet Motor Car Company and through this he secretly purchased a controlling interest in GM. Durant took back control of the company after one of the most dramatic proxy wars in American business history. Durant then reorganized General Motors Company into General Motors Corporation in 1916. Shortly after, he again lost control, this time for good, after the new vehicle market collapsed. Alfred P. Sloan was picked to take charge of the corporation and led it to its post-war global dominance. This unprecedented growth of GM would last into the early 1980s when it employed 349,000 workers and operated 150 assembly plants.

GM led global sales for 77 consecutive years from 1931 through 2007, longer than any other automaker. In 2008, 2009, and 2010, GM has ranked as the second largest global automaker by sales. GM is expected to retake the number one spot at the end of 2011 from Toyota.[66]Template:Dead link

Chapter 11 reorganization

At the end of March 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama declined to provide financial aid to General Motors, and requested that General Motors produce credible plans, saying that the company's proposals had avoided tough decisions, and that Chapter 11 bankruptcy appeared the most promising way to reduce its debts, by allowing the courts to compel bondholders and trade unions into settlements. Chapter 11 filing was necessitated largely by inability of former GM entity to support its pension liabilities and also to form commercial alliances with other automakers that could have aided cost reductions in existing business model. On June 8, 2009, General Motors filed for reorganization under the provisions of Chapter 11, Title 11, United States Code, and as a direct result investments of all former common stockholders were lost completely, (Reorganized GMGMQ Corporate statement of June 10, 2009; "GM management strongly believes that any recovery for the common stockholders in the chapter 11 bankruptcy process is highly unlikely, even under the most optimistic of scenarios. Stockholders of a company in chapter 11 generally receive value only if all claims of the secured and unsecured creditors are fully satisfied." Prior to chapter 11, the former GM stock hit a high of $93.63 on April 28, 2000.). On July 10, 2009, with financing partially provided by the US Government, General Motors emerged from reorganization. GM was re-listed on the NYSE on November 18, 2010, setting the record for the largest IPO in US history with a value of $20.1 billion.[67] Before the IPO, the U.S. government owned a 27% stake in GM, and the Canadian government still owns a 12% stake in the company. The Ontario government has owned a 3.8% stake in the company since 2009.

GM had filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on June 8, 2009. Only the US Subsidiary was forced into bankruptcy. Shareholders were left without access to assets from GM owned assets in Asia or Europe. On July 10, 2009, General Motors emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization.[68][69][70] The Company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange again on November 18, 2010 following a US$33-a-share initial public offering of US$23 billion, including preferred shares. The shareholding in the Company by the U.S. Treasury department is reduced from about 61% to about 33%, including preferred shares and accounting for stock options given to former GM bondholders.[71][72] Disposal of such shares gave the Treasury department about US$13.6 billion in proceeds. It was previously estimated that the Treasury would have to sell GM shares at an average of $43.67 a share to break even. SAIC Motor, partner of GM in China and India, acquired just less than 1 percent of the GM shares for about $500 million.[73][74]




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