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Why GM's in Our Doghouse

The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which advisor Charly Travers and analyst Jason Moser discuss topics across the investing world.

Even with gas at the pump at $4 and likely to climb higher as summer approaches, GM still can't sell its electric car, Volt. Despite the popularity of its gas-efficient Chevy Cruze, GM's vehicle lineup remains heavily tilted toward gas-guzzling trucks and crossovers. Other automakers are better positioned for the coming high gas prices this summer.

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Charly Travers has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Jason Moser has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Ford and General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2012, at 11:24 AM, dennypat38 wrote:

    GM used other tarp money to pay back loans FACT this was all smoke and mirrors and the Gov't knows it. Now if Gov't sells GM stock at 40 dollars they GM will still owe tax payers 35 BILLION or MORE FACT. And to ALL GM LOVERS that is REAL WORLD so where is the MONEY GM

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2012, at 12:28 PM, capitolvolt wrote:

    Toral sales for Toyota Prius, US, first year: 5,800

    A smashing success, right?

    Total sales for Chevrolet Volt, US, first year: 7,700

    A dismal failure according to you, right?

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2012, at 1:01 PM, AmericanFirst wrote:


    I think you might want to go to the link below that will challenge your credibity of your statement regarding the Volt sales performance.

    On another note, the average income of a retail customer purchasing a a Volt is $170,000. With that said, at current sales level and the customer the Volt is attracting, I think it would be fair to say the VOLT has been a retail failure thus far.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2012, at 3:00 PM, jcain21 wrote:

    My name is Jim Cain, and I am the financial and sales news manager for GM. I want to respond to some of the points made in this video about GM.

    It’s true that trucks remain an important part of our business – appropriately so as they remain extremely popular with U.S. consumers. But GM is doing a much better job selling fuel-efficient vehicles than the story gives us credit for.

    Year over year, our February small and compact car sales, which include the Chevrolet Sonic, Cruze and Volt, and the Buick Verano, were up 43 percent. In addition, about 40 percent of the vehicles we sell on a volume basis in the US achieve at least 30 mpg on the highway. That's up from about 16 percent three years ago.

    New fuel-efficient GM products like the Sonic and Cruze are at or near the top of their segments in terms of revenue and sales. In addition, the Buick LaCrosse saw a 21% sales increase in February. One in four use our eAssist powertrain, which helps the LaCrosse deliver 36 mpg highway. We also just launched a new Chevrolet Malibu Eco with eAssist that achieves 37 mpg highway.

    With respect to the Volt, sales have been lower than we had hoped and planned. That’s why we’re taking downtime at the plant. But sales have been increasing since NHTSA ended its safety investigation (up 66% in Feb. vs. Jan.), and we’re seeing a lift from our marketing efforts, as well as the news that Volts now have access to HOV lanes in California.

    I know Charley is a Ford fan, but it might interest everyone to note that the (up to) 40 mpg Chevrolet Sonic is killing the Ford Fiesta in the marketplace, the (up to) 42 mpg hwy. Chevrolet Cruze consistently outsold the Ford Focus in 2011, and sales of the 36 mpg hwy. Buick LaCrosse with eAssist are more than double sales of the Lincoln MKZ hybrid.

    Charly - I’m happy to provide you sales and other data should you decide to cover GM in the future, even if you take a contrarian view. That way your readers and our customers (and investors) can make better decisions.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2012, at 2:09 AM, AmericanFirst wrote:

    Mr. Cain,

    I believe you need to check your numbers. The Ford Focus did outsell the Cruze in February. Regarding 2011, the Ford brand outsold any two brands of GM. Ford had more vehicles (3) in the Top 10 vehicles sold in the U.S., despite GM having the highest rebate/marketing incentives per unit sold in the industry in 2011. On another note, it is well known the Focus is stealing sells from the Fiesta.

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