According to Mary Barra, the first female chief executive officer of the largest US automaker, General Motors, the country’s deliveries in 2015 are expected to flatten out, though a rising economy and continued low gasoline prices could support growth.
The GM CEO comes after a very turbulent first year at the helm of the biggest of the Detroit three – saying to reporters that interviewed her that she is “cautiously optimistic” about this year. General Motors, after disclosing it had concealed for more than a decade a deadly defective ignition switch problem had gone to post a record recall tally of more than 27 million units alone – while overall the US auto industry exceeded the 60 million mark in 2014. As for the company she runs, Barra disclosed that General Motors needs to rethink its strategy to adjust to “twists and turns” in numerous regional markets, including Europe – while core strengths remain the United States and China – the second and first world auto markets.
“We remain committed to the mid-term targets that we’ve set,” Barra commented, including when it comes to GM Europe – expected now to finally return to profitability after years of losses in 2016. The bold outlook is in contrast to rival Ford which also struggles with regional losses for its European business and in the autumn lowered its forecast – citing struggling economies and the growing weakness of one of its key markets – Russia. According to Barra, the largest US automaker forecasts US overall 2015 industry sales could reach a total of 16.5 million to 17 million vehicles, with a 0 to 3% increase.