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General Motors  General coincidence: GM CEO and chairman Mary Barra announced that GM’s global pre-tax profit was $10.8 billion – identical to cross-town rival Ford’s.

General coincidence: GM CEO and chairman Mary Barra announced that GM’s global pre-tax profit was $10.8 billion – identical to cross-town rival Ford’s.

First it was 9.8 million, but now GM says its 2015 sales tally was 9.93 million


WAIT a minute … General Motors might have overtaken scandal-hit Volkswagen to take second place in global vehicle sales behind Toyota in 2015 after all.

A week ago, the American giant issued a media release claiming global sales of 9.8 million units, up 0.2 per cent on 2014’s tally.

This would place GM in third place behind market leader Toyota’s 10.15 million and Volkswagen Group’s 9.93 million.

But in a table supplied with today’s annual financial results for 2015, GM says its global sales for the calendar year were 9.958 million, which puts it ahead of VW and into second place.

Remarkably, the figures suggest GM sales in its two biggest markets, North America and China, were identical – 3.612 million vehicles in each.

In another remarkable coincidence, GM’s global pre-tax profit announced overnight was line-ball with Ford’s – both $10.8 billion ($A14.7b).

GM did better on net income, however, recording a $9.7 billion profit compared with Ford’s $7.4 billion.

Ford, on the other hand, made its profit on fewer global car sales – 6.63 million – representing a tiny 0.2 per cent increase on 2014 figures.

If GM has indeed knocked VW out of second place in the 2015 sales race, the damage was done in China where VW suffered a 3.4 per cent sales tumble, to 3.55 million vehicles, while GM’s collective brands, including joint-venture lines Baojun and Wuling, jumped 5.2 per cent.

In the United States, GM last year rode the success of its light truck and SUV lines to top three million vehicle sales for the first time since the 2009 chapter 11 bankruptcy re-organisation in the global financial crisis.

Profits from those vehicles helped to drive up GM’s 2015 global pre-tax profit by a whopping 67 per cent, although revenue dipped slightly in 2015, to $US152.4 billion ($A212.8b) due to currency impacts.

Announcing the results, GM CEO and chairman Mary Barra said GM had had a strong year on many fronts, capped with record sales and earnings.

“We continue to strengthen our core business, which is laying the foundation for the company to lead in the transformation of personal mobility,” she said.

“We believe the opportunities this will create in connectivity, autonomous, car-sharing and electrification will set the stage for driving value for our owners for years to come.”

Although GM’s universe was rosy on either side of the Pacific, Europe continued to drag on GM’s purse, recording a $US393 million ($A548m) loss, although that was a significant improvement on 2014’s $US1.37 billion ($A1.91b) shortfall.

GM’s European sales fell from 1.25 million units to 1.17 million, but this was entirely attributable to the withdrawal of the Chevrolet brand from that market. In fact, sales of Opel and Vauxhall cars improved, from 1.07 million in 2014 to 1.12 million last year.

GM executives say GM Europe is on track to return to profit this year after years of red ink.

GM International Operations, which includes both China and Australia, recorded a profit of almost $US1.4 billion – up from $US1.22 billion the previous year – but GM says that without China’s contribution, GMIO would have recorded a loss.

So far, no figures have been given for GM Holden, but with sales down 3.0 per cent in Australia, it does not bode well for the Aussie subsidiary.

In other 2015 reports released recently, the Hyundai Motor Group – including Kia – sold 7.76 million cars last year, up 46,000.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported 4.6 million sales, a slight increase on the previous year and almost entirely attributable to the success of the Jeep line globally.


General Motors  General coincidence: GM CEO and chairman Mary Barra announced that GM’s global pre-tax profit was $10.8 billion – identical to cross-town rival Ford’s.








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