GM predicts continued growth for 2013
The company adds capacity to meet expected demand
Despite a worldwide sales increase of 2.9% to 9.29 million units, GM's global market share decreased by (0.4%) to 11.5%. This put the company in second place behind Toyota's 9.75 million units and ahead of third place VW who sold 9.07 million units. US market share fell to 17.9% from 19.6% in 2011, its lowest level since the 1920s.
General Motors announced 2012 calendar-year net income of USD 4.9 billion, or USD 2.92 per fully diluted share, down from USD 7.6 billion, or USD 4.58 per fully diluted share in 2011. The drop in income was due primarily to charges of unfavorable special items such as non-cash goodwill impairment charges. Revenue increased 1% to USD 152.3 billion, compared with USD 150.3 billion in 2011. Earnings before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) was up in all regions except Europe.
Despite the continued revenue growth and sustained profits in North & South America and record sales in China, European operations continue to pose a challenge. GM Europe lost USD 1.8 billion last year and more than USD 18 billion since the late 1990s. GM CEO Dan Akerson hopes to trim this loss by one-third or one-half in 2013 as a good first step toward the goal of breaking even by the middle of this decade.
In December 2012, as part of an effort to shed its "Government Motors" image, GM bought back 200 million shares of GM stock owned by the US Government for USD 5.5 billion, or USD 27.50 per share. The share repurchase is part of the government's plan to sell all of its holdings in GM Stock within 12-15 months.
The company has embarked on one of the busiest launch schedules in GM's history. The US product update, which started in 2012, will see 70 percent of GM's portfolio completely refreshed by the end of 2013. Over the next 12 to 18 months, GM will introduce redesigns of its biggest money makers, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups and its four big SUVs. This combination of new model launches and planned capacity increases has LMC Automotive predicting global GM sales to rise by 6.1% in 2013 and global production to steadily increase through 2016.
Building on these results, chairman and CEO Dan Akerson announced that GM's priorities for 2013 will be "executing flawless new vehicle launches, controlling costs and delivering more vehicles to our customers at outstanding value."
After posting a 1.0% gain in 2012, LMC Automotive predicts that global sales for GM will increase 6.1% to 7.9 million in 2013 (excluding the SAIC-GM-Wuling alliance). As part of GM's global plan to reduce the number of platforms, the consolidated architectures will be capable of supporting a wider range of vehicle types and an increased economies of scale.
In North America, trucks will be critical to the near term success of GM because large pickups make up a sizable share of sales. Total sales in 2013 are forecast to total over 2.8 million which translates to a market share of 18.4%, down from 18.8% in 2012.
In the Asia Pacific region, sales in 2013 are expected to pass 2 million for the first time, mainly driven by increases in China, India and Indonesia. Sales of the group will continue to depend largely on the Chinese market.