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News and Information about general motors

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General Motors is using tablet tool to hike service revenues

There is a new tool that allows General Motors’ around 1,200 dealerships help service departments increase customer retention and service revenues. Dealers are now having their service advisers use a tablet laden with a software program “Service Workbench” that allows them to immediately see a vehicle's history, course through an inspection and detail a menu of factory-recommended maintenance items.

While similar systems have been employed by Chrysler Group, Hyundai Motor America, Sonic Automotive Inc. and AutoNation Inc., GM is using it on a wide scale. GM has already made the tablet tool available to its 4,300 stores for free in early 2013. Just as a customer drives his vehicle in the service lane, a service adviser would use a tablet to enter the vehicle identification number and mileage.

Information like any outstanding recalls, warranty eligibility, claims history and customer-pay work will then pop up. The service advisor would then do a walk-around of the vehicle using a list of inspection items like battery life and tire tread. Each item would be rated green, yellow or red based on the urgency of the needed service.

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Susan Docherty is leaving General Motors effective September 30

Susan Docherty, president and managing director of Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe – is leaving her posts at General Motors to spend time with her family, effective September 30, 2013. GM said it will appoint a successor to Docherty at a later date. Tim Lee, GM Vice President, Global Manufacturing, and President, International Operations, remarked that throughout Docherty’s over 27 years of service in GM, she has been instrumental in many of the carmaker’s sales and marketing initiatives.

He remarked that Docherty played a vital role in building the equity of GM’s brands and reach customers in “new and innovative ways.”

In her present role which was disclosed in December 2011, Docherty started the restructuring of Chevrolet and Cadillac’s operations in Europe. GM said she was responsible for growing Chevrolet market share in 2012 in Europe.

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General Motors to stop disclosing monthly output numbers

General Motors' decision to stop disclosing its monthly output figures to the public has raised concerns from industry analysts and economists as well as suppliers who depend on the data for their production plans. GM and other major carmakers have been disclosing the monthly output figures of their North American sites, detailing production numbers by nameplate.

GM’s production data are included into various economic indicators and are a benchmark for industry insiders to forecast GM's future output. The carmaker, however, informed several research providers -- including IHS Automotive, the Automotive News Data Center and Autodata Corp. -- this month that it will no longer provide them the figures, and instead will provide only wholesale numbers.

According to GM, a change in the manner it records financial results for its vehicles renders the production data less relevant. However, the carmaker’s move is expected leave a large gap in a data set that has been watched by both auto industry insiders and outsiders.

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Berkshire Hathaway recently acquired 10 million shares in General Motors

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. now has 25 million shares in General Motors after having recently acquired 10 million shares. This latest investment from Warren Buffett's company was revealed last Thursday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. This disclosure coincides with the announcement that the U.S. government is unloading a part of its share in the firm.

After the release of the company's fourth-quarter and 2012 financial results, its shares have dropped by 3.2%, or 92 cents, to $27.75 on Thursday in New York Stock Exchange trading. Today, the shares climbed 1 cent to $27.76. Based on the closing price last Thursday, Berkshire's GM shares are valued at about $694 million. This makes it one of the company’s biggest shareholders. Buffett is prominent in these circles as a patient value investor with a long-term view of equity markets.

Furthermore, Berkshire Hathaway is a partial owner of BYD Co., a Chinese automaker whose specialty is electric vehicles. In early 2012, Berkshire acquired 10 million shares of GM at an average price of $25.66. It bought an additional 5 million shares in the third quarter of 2012. When interviewed by The Detroit News in 2012, GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson, a former managing director at private equity firm Carlyle Group, described Buffett to be a "wise investor" with a proven track record.

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Opel is not for sale but rather, its officials are looking at implementing plans so that the company’s issues would be resolved, according to General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky who was interviewed at the Automotive News World Congress last Tuesday. Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne had revealed that Opel and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen are potential targets.

Marchionne said that for the company to raise efficiencies and reduce development costs, it may decide to merge with another automaker. In 2009, Marchionne made a bid for Opel but it eventually withdrew.

In the later part of 2009, GM decided that it will keep Opel and sister brand Vauxhall instead of selling them to supplier Magna International Inc. Girsky became chairman of Opel's supervisory board in November 2011. GM CEO Dan Akerson tasked Girsky to revive a unit that has reported about $13 billion in losses since 1999.

Read the entire article General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky says that Opel is not for sale

General Motors Co. has transferred the marketing of Chevrolet vehicles in Europe to its Middle Eastern and Asian unit. The General Motors International Operations unit will take on Europe as of January 1, according to the division's president, Tim Lee. The unit already sells the company's brands, Chevrolet included, outside central and western Europe as well as the Americas.

The company has abandoned its target of achieving breakeven this 2011 in Europe as the region's economic conditions deteriorate. The company manufactures its Vauxhall and Opel models in Europe. The GMIO unit was the company's only business outside North America to post a profit during the third quarter.

Meanwhile, GM in South America and Europe posted losses in the same period. Lee said that he is "very optimistic" that among Chevrolet, Vauxhall and Opel, they can find "good synergies" and improve their business conditions.

Read the entire article General Motors transfers Chevrolet’s European maketing operations to Asia