General Motors is one of the world's leading maker of automobiles and trucks. However, a steep drop in sales could force the company to file bankruptcy.
GM sells automobiles under the brands Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. In some countries, the GM Group distribution network also markets vehicles manufactured by GM Daewoo, Isuzu, Fuji (Subaru) and Suzuki.
On Dec. 31, 2008, GM entered into a loan agreement with the U.S. Department of Treasury (UST) for funding of $13.4 billion, payable in three tranches. The initial installment of $4.0 billion was provided to GM on Dec. 31, 2008, followed by subsequent installments of $5.4 billion and $4.0 billion on Jan. 21, 2009 and Feb. 17, 2009, respectively. The company may seek more money from the federal government this year.
GM 2008 worldwide sales were 8.35 million vehicles, down 11 percent, or 1.01 million vehicles, driven by the industry-wide contraction in global vehicle sales. In 2008, 5.38 million vehicles, or 64 percent of GM’s global sales, were outside of the U.S., up from 59 percent a year ago. GM's Asia Pacific (GMAP) and Latin America, Africa and Middle East (GMLAAM) regions each grew sales volume by nearly 3 percent, and more than 2 million vehicles were sold in Europe for the third consecutive year.
Genuine GM Parts and Accessories are sold under the GM, GM Performance Parts, GM Goodwrench and ACDelco brands through GM Service and Parts Operations, which supplies GM dealerships and distributors worldwide. GM engines and transmissions are marketed through GM Powertrain.
GM also has a financing subsidiary GMAC. It sold a 51% stake in GMAC to Cerberus Capital Management for $9 billion in 2006.
GM has manufacturing operations in 33 countries, and its vehicles are sold in 192 countries.
GM's largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany.
In 2008, GM reported an annual loss of $30.8 billion on revenes of $149 million. The company has made significant job cuts over the past several years. It also plans to cut 46,000 jobs this year.
Rick Wagoner was ordered to step down as CEO by the U.S. government and was replaced in March by Fritz Henderson, Vice Chariman and Chief Financial Officer.
In late April, GM annnounced it would cut 21,000 factory jobs. GM in the U.S. will focus its resources on four core brands, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. The Pontiac brand will be phased out by the end of 2010. GM will offer a total of 34 nameplates in 2010, a reduction of 29 percent from 48 nameplates in 2008, reflecting both the reduction in brands and continued emphasis on fewer and stronger entries.
GM announced in May plans to cut 1,100 of its dealers by 2010 by ending their franchising affiliation.
GM was originally founded in Sept. 16, 1908 after incorporating as the Buick Motor Company. Its history dates as far back as 1897 with the Olds Motor Vehicle Company, which produced the first Oldsmobile. Olds Motor was sold to GM in 1908.
Most GM workers who work in manufacturing are unionized and enjoy excellent benefits.
Salaried workers have a wide variety of healthcare options to choose from, including the Basic Medical Plan, the Enhanced Medical Plan, and where available, a HMO or PPO option. They also receive basic life and disability insurance, a Savings-Stock Purchase 401(k) Program, 14 paid holidays each year, vacation time ranging from two to five weeks, plus the opportunity to buy GM vehicles at a discount for themselves and immediate family members.
Updated May 20, 2009