The third largest automaker in the world and the biggest at home in the United States, General Motors, forecasts a soaring operating profit this year on the back of continued advancements from its two largest auto markets – China and America.
GM took a bold move last year and put Mary Barra as chief executive officer, the first woman to control a major global auto manufacturer. They were revealed to have needed a strong leadership as the company had to navigate the shallow waters of a record recall year – mostly triggered by a massive campaign to fix a defective ignition switch problem. The initial defect that spanned 2.6 million cars has been so far linked to more than 45 deaths and the company went on to recall a total of 27 million cars and trucks during 2014.
Now, without providing any specific figures, the company forecasted a small increase in worldwide vehicle sales for 2015 that would allow the automaker to see positive results across its regions. On the back of continued expansion in China and the US, GM reiterated its plan for the 2016 goals – including a North American profit margin of 10 percent and the end of yearly losses for the ailing European operations. Barra said that even as recall issues mounted, 2014 was “a pivotal year” and the company wants to build on this year.
GM’s 2014 consolidated margin in the third quarter – excluding the recall associated costs – was of just 6.4 percent and the carmaker announced its threshold level will be a profit margin of 9 to 10 percent after 2020.