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GM Down 14% Shows Barra Challenges From Recalls to ChinaBack

GMLogoLess than three months into her tenure as General Motors Co. chief executive officer, Mary Barra has more than recalls to worry about. GM shares have dropped almost 14 percent since Barra took the helm in Jan 15 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen. Microsoft Corp, which also named a new CEO around the same time, has climbed about 13 percent. Within weeks of taking the helm, Barra, 52, began recalling 1.6 million small cars with faulty ignition switches tied to 12 deaths. Her challenges also include stemming losses in Europe, navigating currency fluctuations in South America, buffering Volkswagen AG’s advances in China, and managing a slow start to 2014 sales in the U.S. where a bitterly cold winter hamstrung retail activity. While GM has been looking to benefit from last year’s introduction of 18 new or refreshed vehicles in the U.S., deliveries of the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup fell 15 percent in the first two months of this year, compared with a year earlier. Cadillac, one of the market’s top-performing brands last year with a 22 percent increase, has seen sales slide 7.9 percent through February this year. In Europe, GM wants to break even by mid-decade after losing more than $18 billion in the region since 1999. The Detroit-based automaker is pulling its Chevrolet brand from the region to better position its Opel line against Volkswagen. The U.S. company is also closing its assembly plant in Bochum, Germany, the first auto factory to be shuttered in the country since World War II. The barrage of bad news is a reversal for Barra.

Source: Bloomberg

Posted by Sue Robinson on 28/03/2014