GM Sputters In U.S., Hits Throttle Abroad

Kinda reinforces the fact that GM US Management is totally incompetent
GM Sputters In U.S., Hits Throttle Abroad http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId 6734155
All Things Considered, July 20, 2009 General Motors, once the world's largest automaker, has had a rough few months. In June, the company filed for bankruptcy. Last week, as part of a massive restructuring plan, 60 percent of the company's ownership shifted to U.S. taxpayers.
However, the news isn't all doom and gloom for the U.S. auto giant. Many of the company's international operations are posting strong gains. In China, GM's second-largest market, sales jumped to 814,442 units in the first half of 2009 from 590,132 during the same period in 2008 an increase of 38 percent. And in Latin America, seven countries set GM sales records in 2008.
Strong Market Share In Ecuador
A recent morning at Mirasol, the main GM dealership in Ecuador's southern city of Cuenca, was busy. Saleswoman Marianna Moreno spent hours at the entrance of the showroom, greeting people and fielding questions. Customers thumbed through glossy brochures and listen intently to sales pitches.
Outside, Luz Santandero looked over a Chevy pickup. She traveled almost two hours by bus to check out this particular truck.
"I've never had a car, but my husband wants one. And I think he's gotten good recommendations about the car, the brand, everything," Santandero says.
She says Chevy is by far the most popular truck where she lives and adds that she is not even considering another brand.
Mirasol is one of Ecuador's most successful GM dealers and one of a handful that has helped GM maintain a strong presence in the country. GM's market share in Ecuador is currently about 44 percent, the highest of any country in the world.
Last year was Mirasol's best in history, says Pedro Torres, the dealership's general manager. In 2008, sales grew 35 percent to $53 million, compared to $39 million the previous year.
"If we can repeat that in 2009, we'll be great," he says. Torres reports that, so far, his 2009 sales are up slightly, about 3 percent. As of June, the dealership has sold 1,322 units, compared to 1,274 units during the same period last year.
Brand Recognition, Price Key Factors
Several factors contribute to the success of operations such as GM Ecuador. First, Chevrolet the most common GM vehicle in the country has remarkable brand recognition, due in part to the fact that GM has had a presence here since the 1920s.
Price is another key factor, says economist Marcelo Vazquez, chairman of the economics department at the University of Cuenca. The majority of GM vehicles sold in Ecuador are in fact GM in name only. Many are assembled here, and the parts are either imported from Asia or made domestically. This gives GM an edge, he says.
"That fact means that you can count on the vehicles being affordable which is the secret to the company's success and relatively cheap in the local market, which has led to considerable growth in demand," he explains.
In January, the Ecuadorian government introduced a new set of import restrictions, including steep tariffs on cars. But GM, with its Ecuador-based assembly plant and parts production, remained relatively unaffected. In fact, the restrictions have allowed GM dealers to maintain lower prices at a time when imported cars are only getting more expensive.
Cautious Optimism About GM's Future
But GM's uncertain future is a concern for some. In the parking lot of Supermaxi, one of Cuenca's biggest grocery stores, Andres Pena stands near his new Chevrolet Grand Vitara, the fourth Chevy he's owned.
"My car is the Chevrolet for life," he says, adding that if Chevrolet were to disappear, he would be the first to wear black.
For his part, Torres, Mirasol's general manager, is circumspect. Given GM's uncertain future, he admits his business could change overnight.
Like many others in the industry, Torres will be closely watching General Motors as it transitions to its new life But there is a hint of optimism in his voice.
"We're seeing a new General Motors without debt, with money, with new ideas to work on, so let's see what they can do," he says.
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Civis Romanus Sum

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And they will never do well at home after shafting the taxpayers. They might have to wait a whole generation to see some brand recovery on this issue.
Maybe the foriegn non-union with different management parts of Government Motors can subsidise the NA taxpayers? LMAO.

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Not so sure about that. There are many people who really liked GM vehicles and who today, just want to see the signs of change within GM with respect to the way they care about their customers. There has always been a lot of for GM to be proud of in the vehicles they produced - not just the shameful things they did. I believe the American public would like to trust in GM again, and might indeed, as long as they see some marked changes in a few critical areas.
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-Mike-
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I don't doubt you are right, many would buy a GM despite their taxpicking their pockets. GM is at a cross roads where they need to do or die, they need to take the attitude that they need to try like never before in the history of auto. Take Lutz, still with GM, was part of the problem and still talks with no delivery. Waste that needs cutting.
GM is destined to stay as Government Motors Give Money Quietly (GMGMQ).
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But, but, but we all heard you say months ago that GM would be gone by now. When will you admit tour were wrong and have no idea what the hell you are talking about? LOL

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I LOVE MY NEW CAMARO!!!!! WOOHOO!!!
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