General Motors

US carmakers' sales drop in China

GM and Chinese flag
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Ford and General Motors (GM) have both reported a drop in second quarter sales in China, though at a slower pace than the first three months of the year.

Ford's Chinese sales declined 21.7% between April and June, compared to a 35.8% slump in the first quarter.

For GM, sales slid by 12.2% in the period to June from a 17.5% drop in the previous three months.

US car shares head south

Car plant in Mexico
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US car shares have come under particular pressure today as many of their cars and car parts are made in Mexico.

Fiat Chrysler is down more than 5%.

General Motors is down more than 4%.

Ford is down more than 3%.

All three companies depend on Mexico for cars and parts.

GM imports almost a third of its car parts from Mexico and Fiat Chrysler almost a quarter.

GM also sources 41% of its Silverado trucks from Mexico - it sells around 580,000 of those a year.

Are Americans reluctant to buy electric cars?

The US is cutting a tax credit to Chevrolet Bolt buyers making electric cars a tough sale
The United States is a land where gas guzzling pick up trucks are kings of the road and it is a major challenge for the automotive industry to sell electric cars. 

From this week the US government is cutting a tax credit to buyers of the Chevrolet Bolt, the flagship electric vehicle made by General Motors, which will provide another reason for drivers to swerve away from battery powered cars.  

Rebecca Lindland, founder of rebeccadrives.com in New York, says drivers are concerned about engine emissions, but reluctant to go electric and she tells the BBC's Russell Padmore how GM is not making a profit from its Chevrolet Bolt.

(Picture: Chevrolet Bolt electric car. Getty Images.)

GM posts stronger sales

Donald Trump's use of a Cadillac limousine is said to have helped sales in China
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General Motors has reported better-than-expected quarterly profits following cost-cutting and stronger sales of some higher-priced vehicles in the US and China.

Earnings in the fourth quarter came in at $2bn, compared with a loss of $5.2bn in the same period a year ago. Revenues rose 1.8% to $38.4bn.

GM's sales total actually fell in both North America and China, the two most important markets. But the affect was offset by strong-sales of higher-priced trucks in the US. In China, the carmaker notched strong sales of the luxury Cadillac line.

The company's shares are more than 1% up.

GM to 'lay off 4,000' staff

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General Motors is preparing to start laying off around 4,250 employees, according to the Detriot News.

According to the report, the process will begin on Monday.

It cites a statement from GM: "We are not confirming timing. Our employees are our priority, and we will communicate with them first."

In November, the carmaker had announced plans to halt production at five factories in North America and cut more than 14,000 jobs.

General Motors shutters factories during polar vortex

Ice and snow builds up along Lake Michigan in Chicago
AFP
Ice and snow builds up along Lake Michigan in Chicago

General Motors will suspend operations at 11 of its Michigan plants and its engineering campus after a utility company made an appeal to conserve natural gas in the extreme cold.

The US Midwest is currently facing record-breaking cold temperatures.

The largest US automaker said it had been asked by Consumers Energy, a unit of CMS Energy, to suspend operations to allow the utility to manage supply issues.

CMS chief executive Patricia Poppe said a number of large companies had agreed to halt production to tackle the problem, which was prompted by a fire at a Michigan facility and the record-breaking cold.

Car makers on trade wars

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

GM logo
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The BBC's Michelle Fleury has a report from the Detriot Motor Show.

Mary Barra, chief executive of General Motors, who has incurred criticism from Donald Trump for halting production at factories in North America and cutting more than 14,000 jobs, said she was optimistic that trade talks would reach a conclusion.

"Trade is very important. We remain optimistic that all the countries involved in the trade discussions will see that there is opportunity for all economies to grow if we have the right trade policies," she said.

But Jim Farley of Ford points that while China has temporarily reduced its retaliatory tariffs, they are "pretty high" at 15% for US imports to March. "We like certainty," he said.