Wednesday, January 5, 2011, AM | Leave Comment
U.S. sales of General Motors cars and trucks rose 6.3 percent last year. A strong lineup of new models helped the company make a comeback from its 2009 bankruptcy. In the same year, unemployment level rose to almost record level. GM sold 2.2 million cars and trucks in 2010, nearly 131,000 more than the prior year, even though it got rid of four brands to focus on Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC.
GM had nine brands including Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, SAAB and Hummer until it either sold or disbanded them during bankruptcy, just leaving four. It had discontinued Oldsmobile long before.
General Motors seem to be on a roll. Chevrolet Equinox, a smaller SUV that seats five people, was a hot seller. Equinox sales rose 80 percent – an excellent showing. It means a lot to the national economy. It would mean a lot more if it started to rehire folks that it had laid off.
These figures have some in the industry talking about a return to the glory days when GM brands meant a lot to the public. However, it’s a fragile economy. Rising gas prices or more economic trouble could still shake the confidence of American car-buyers. But for now, GM has every right to celebrate its rise once again.
Any car manufacture that comes so strong in sales in this sluggish and slow moving economy must be commended for their strategy and execution and implementation of it.
U.S. automakers are relieved to have the past two years behind them. When the financial crisis hit in the fall of 2008, car sales plummeted. GM and Chrysler were on the brink of death, saved by a $60 billion government bailout and speedy bankruptcies that helped both companies close plants and eliminate debt. Ford didn’t declare bankruptcy or take a bailout, but it closed plants, laid off employees, and worked to lower its overall cost structure.
The corporate bloating of the past is no more. Instead, there is the tendency of leaner and meaner operation of corporation. The resulting drawback is the lay off of the workers especially the so-called blue-collar workers. However, you win some, you lose some.
National Automobile Dealers Association
According to NADA, the average vehicle on U.S. roads is now 10.2 years old – the most since 1997 and a full year older than in 2007, before the recession. Because of the lousy economy, many Americans, even if they had money, were wary to commit to monthly car payments. The result was that they put off making such a large purchase. Many opted to continue to repair their vehicles.
In a Nutshell
Let’s hope for the national economy sake, GM continues to be on the path of recovery and making profits so that it can rehire the folks that it had laid off.