GM launches as new company

July 10, 2009
by Purchasingb2b staff

July 10, 2009—General Motors has launched itself as a new company. Created today from an asset sale approved by the bankruptcy courts, the reinvented automaker will have four core brands in the US—Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

GM is aiming for just 34 nameplates in the US by 2010. Having fewer entries will enable it to dedicate more resources to each nameplate, resulting in better products and marketing, according to the company.

In May, GM accelerated its dealer consolidation efforts, with the goal of reducing the number of dealers in the US from 6,000 this spring to approximately 3,600 by the end of next year.

"We’re also working on new ways to make car buying more convenient for our customers, including an innovative new partnership with eBay in California to revolutionize how people buy vehicles online," said Fritz Henderson, president and CEO.  "Customers will be able to bid on actual vehicles just like they do in an eBay auction, including the option of choosing a predetermined ‘buy it now’ price. We’ll be testing this and other ideas with our dealers over the next few weeks…”

GM will continue to work on energy-saving technologies, including advanced internal combustion engines, biofuels, fuel cells, and hybrids. Extended-range electric vehicles will remain a focus, with the Chevy Volt scheduled to launch in 2010.

In June, GM announced it will build a new small car at a plant in Orion Township, Mich., adding to GM’s growing portfolio of fuel-efficient cars and restoring approximately 1,400 jobs.

In the US, GM will be leaner. By the end of 2010, it will operate 34 assembly, powertrain, and stamping plants, down from 47 in 2008. Capacity utilization is expected to reach 100 per cent during 2011.

Overall, US employment at GM will decline from about 91,000 at the end of 2008 to around 64,000 by the end of 2009, the company reported.

To speed day-to-day decision-making, two senior leadership forums—the automotive Strategy Board and Automotive Product Board—will be replaced by a single, smaller executive committee, which will meet more frequently and focus on business results, products, brands, and customers.

Bob Lutz has come out of retirement to join the new GM as vice-chairman responsible for all creative elements of products and customer relationships.

—Photo: Fritz Henderson, president and CEO of General Motors announced today the company has come out of bankruptcy. (Photo credit: GM)