General Motors Company is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. One of the top automaker companies in the world. General Motors most well known as GM has purchase several brands over the years. Everything started with William “Billy” Durant who was the founder of General Motors on September 16, 1908 (History and Heritage) Durant was a manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles in Flint, Michigan but saw great opportunities in the automobile industry. As demand grew over the years so did GM. The automobile company bought Chevrolet, Vauxhall and Opel. GM opened many plants inside and outside the United States and they wanted to create “a car for every purse and purpose” (History and Heritage) World War I and II were hard times for every company but GM found opportunities on consumers who were eager to purchase goods that were not possible during war.
The key to the success of GM was the innovative designs that made consumers felt in love such as Chevrolet Corvette and BelAir, Cadillac El Dorado. At the same time, the company supplied the Allies during war with trucks, tanks and airplanes. GM made a lot of money and more importantly learn from this experience. However, everything was not perfect as companies need to keep innovating and adjusting in order to keep leading an industry. Foreign automakers companies from Japan and Germany made efforts to compete against GM and export cars to the United States that were smaller and had better gas mileage and they were also better for the environment.
This new types of cars brought interest to consumers and GM started experiencing losses in the market. Since GM was a large company it was very difficult to change direction. In order to compete against foreign companies, GM had to reorganize the company and compete as a single global company. In addition, GM purchase more brands to get a better variety of vehicles but the company still could not keep pace of the fuel efficient and space of other foreign companies that were growing and taking part of the market share of GM. In spite of everything, GM keeps working hard to regain share from competitors and the fuel efficient is a key area to improve.
Nowadays there are other sources of energy such as electric vehicle technology and hydrogen powered fuel-cell. GM was making big efforts to compete but a recession occurred during 2008 and the company filed for bankruptcy. The U.S. treasury gave a loan to General Motors to continue in business and restructure its operations. Nowadays, GM is a more lean company and it has restructure it is operations in order to be more focus on the market. GM has experience great sales and is selling more cars outside the U.S in key markets. Consequently, GM is the leading automaker company in China, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany and United States.
GM has a new face, they have restructure the organization and the company has a new business model with a new vision and experience employees that understand what it takes to be the leading automaker company in the world. GM is focus on delivering the world’s best vehicles with nice designs, efficient fuel and good prices. At the same time, they have learnt from the past that geographically, the demand for cars are different so they have work on delivering cars depending on the continent in which they are working.
GM knows that in order to be a leading company they cannot just sell cars; they have to sell the right car to the right market. GM has shown that they are capable of having the latest technology with the Chevrolet Volt and they would keep innovating to satisfy customers demand in every space in the globe. Finally GM wants to have a proactive approach instead of a reactive approach and they know that they need a proactive approach to stay on top of the industry and define the industry standards.
GM knows that they still have weaknesses in the company such as a large company that it is difficult to control. At the same time, foreign companies such as Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Volkswagen have gain customers loyalty and it would be a challenge for GM to gain market share from them. Other weakness of GM would be the complex supply chain of the company since it is a large company and it would have different components from different manufacturers and it is very difficult to keep track of all the orders. GM needs to develop a way to have a low fuel efficient in all of their vehicles because most people know that American cars spend lots of gas.
The opportunities of GM are several. GM has many models that are parts of the automobile industry and they have redesign some models so people would buy them. Also they have the support of the U.S government and they are able to give better loan to customers. GM is also present in emerging markets. For example, China is experiencing grow in their automobile industry because more Chinese people are able to afford one. GM is well position in China and they have learnt from joint venture what Chinese people is looking in a car. Moreover, they have restructured the business model of the company and they are aware of their competitive advantage and they know the areas in which they have to improve.
The threats face by GM could be the rise of fuel price or the innovation of a competitor that would provide a car to customer that uses a cheaper energy to use it. Also, competitor may improve their designs, prices or quality. Another threat may be the car sharing service or a new Chinese policy that disrupts businesses in China. In my opinion, the biggest threat of GM is the fuel economy standards. The company would need to work harder in this area to get even better than the leading automakers in this area which is Honda and Toyota.
To conclude, I believe that GM is doing a great job having a leaner operations and selling different models in each continent since the situation in America is definitely not the same as in Europe. However, they need to work very hard to stay in business because other companies are gaining customers’ loyalty and improving every year.
“This is the New GM”. 2010 Annual Report. General Motors Company, n,d. Web. 16 Jan. 2013. “History and Heritage.” History and Heritage. General Motors, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2013.
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