Although it has been only three months since Mary Barra became CEO of US automaker General Motors, she already has to deal with more than just the recalls.
Since Barra became CEO on January 15, the automaker’s shares have dropped almost 14%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has increased. Another company which named its CEO around the same time, Microsoft Corp., has seen its shares increasing 13%.
Several weeks into her new position, Barra, 52, had to recall 1.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches, which might have caused 12 deaths. But Mary Barra also has to end losses in the European market, surpass rival Volkswagen in China, navigate currency fluctuations in the South American market and try to get back on the track sales in the US after the bitterly cold winter has slowed retail activity.
“The reason GM’s stock is down has more to do with the fundamentals” than the recalls, Matt Stover, an analyst with Guggenheim Securities LLC, said in a telephone interview.
Although GM has put its faith in the 18 refreshed or new models introduced in the US in 2013, sales of the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup dropped 15% during the first two months of this year compared to 2013, while Cadillac, which has been among the best performing brands last year, fell 7.9% through February 2014.
“We are all working on this (recalls) as well our other initiatives to keep moving the company forward, and I’m very confident that we are and will continue to,” said Barra.