General Motors Company, also known as GM, is a United States based automaker with
headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.
By sales, GM ranked as the largest U.S. automaker and the world's second largest for
2008. GM had the third highest 2008 global revenues among automakers on the Fortune
Global 500. GM manufactures cars and trucks in 34 countries, recently employed
244,500 people around the world, and sells and services vehicles in some 140 countries.
On June 1, 2009 General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings from which
it emerged on July 10, 2009 in a reorganization in which a new entity acquired the most
valuable assets. GM is temporarily majority owned by the United States Treasury and to
a smaller extent the Canadian Crown, with the US government investing a total of
US$57.6 billion under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
While no GM shares are currently available to the public, the company plans an initial
public stock offering (IPO) in 2010.
GM plans to focus its business on its four core US brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick,
and GMC. In Europe, following a period of negotiation to sell a majority stake in its Opel
and Vauxhall brands, GM decided to retain full ownership of these operations.
On February 23, 2010, GM sold Saab Automobile to Spyker Cars NV. GM is winding
down its Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn brands, the latter two remaining under the old
GM, now known as Motors Liquidation Company.
General Motors GMT800 truck assembly line.
In 2009, General Motors employs approximately 244,500 people around the world. The
Renaissance Center located in Detroit, Michigan, United States, is the global
headquarters of General Motors. In 2008, GM sold 8.35 million cars and trucks globally.
GM is the majority shareholder in GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. of South
Korea and has collaborations with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation of China,
AvtoVAZ of Russia, and most recently, UzAvtoSanoat of Uzbekistan. GM has had
collaborations with various automakers including Fiat (see GM/Fiat Premium platform)
and Ford Motor Company. GM retains various stakes in different automakers.
General Motors' best success internationally has unquestionbly been its performance in
China, GM sales rose 66.9% in 2009, selling 1,830,000 vehicles and accounting for
13.4% of the market.
GM received loans from European governments in 2009, and has reduced its ownership
stake in European operations as part of its reorganization." As of July 10, 2009, the
new GM has over $40 B in cash, with the company's reorganized liability total of $48.8 B
which includes $24.4 B to be paid to the Voluntary Employee Benefits Association
(VEBA) trust, $9 B to the U.S. and Canadian governments, and $15 B in liabilities to
suppliers and other bills. GM is slated to pay $10 B to the VEBA trust in December 2009,
with the remainder being paid in increments from 2012-19. GM isn't required to make
contributions to its pension fund until 2013, but it may elect to if needed, since the
company contribued $15.2 B to its pension fund in 2003. Stock market conditions cause
the fund value to fluctuate. In February 2009, GM's combined pension fund had about
$85 B in assets, $56B in assets for hourly pensions and $29B in assets for salaried
pensions. The domain name gm.com attracted at least 7 million visitors annually by
GM worldwide vehicle sales by country 2008
Rank Vehicle Rank Vehicle Market
Country share Country
in GM sales in GM sales share (%)
1 United States 2,981 22.1% 9 Australia 133 13.1%
2 China 1,095 12.0% 10 117 9.7%
3 Brazil 549 19.5% 11 France 114 4.4%
4 384 15.4% 12 Spain 107 7.8%
5 Canada 359 21.4% 13 Argentina 95 15.5%
6 Russia 338 11.1% 14 Venezuela 91 33.3%
7 Germany 300 8.8% 15 Colombia 80 36.3%
8 Mexico 212 19.8% 16 India 66 3.3%
Top 4 markets/regions by vehicle sales in 2008 (thousands)
1 North America 3,552 21.9% 3 European Union 905 12.3%
2 China 1,095 12.0% 4 South America 815 20.8%
See also: Cadillac, Buick, GMC (automobile), Chevrolet, List of GM factories, and List
of GM engines
General Motors is structured into the following operating groups:
Number of employees
GMAP (GM Asia-Pacific) 33,000
GME (GM Europe) no longer exists. 55,000
GM LAAM (GM Latin America, Africa and the Middle East) 33,000
GMNA (GM North America) 112,000
Other operations 2,000
Total number of employees 235,000
The Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan, is the world headquarters of General
On July 23, 2009, GM announced its new Board of Directors: Daniel F. Akerson, David
Bonderman, Robert D. Krebs, Patricia F. Russo and Ed Whitacre (GM Chairman &
Interim CEO) Board members who are not GM employees will be paid US$200,000
As of December 1, 2009, The General Motors Board Of Directors accepted Frederick
Henderson's resignation. In January 2010, chairman Ed Whitacre was appointed
permanent CEO after previously serving in an interim capacity.
On December 4, 2009, GM announced leadership changes in a press release.
• Edward Whitacre, Jr. - Chairman of the Board of the Directors and CEO
• Robert A. Lutz - Vice Chairman, advisor on design and global product
• Chris Liddell - Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer 
• Thomas G. Stephens - Vice Chairman, Global Product Operations 
• Mark Reuss - President, GM North America 
• David N. Reilly - President, GM Europe 
• Timothy E. Lee - President, GM International Operations (Asia-Pacific, Latin
America, Africa, and Middle East) 
• Ray Young - vice president, International Operations 
• Edward T. Welburn - Global Vice President of General Motors Design, current
and only the sixth head designer.
For additional Senior Management see GM Senior Leadership Group
General Motors is a conglomerate.
Main article: History of General Motors
General Motors was founded on September 16, 1908, in Flint, Michigan, as a holding
company for Buick, then controlled by William C. Durant. General Motors Co-Founder
was Charles Stewart Mott, whose carriage company was merged into GM at the time of
its creation. Over the years Mott became the largest single stockholder in GM and spent
his life with his Mott Foundation, whose benefit was shone on the City of Flint,
Michigan, his adopted home. It acquired Oldsmobile later that year. In 1909, Durant
brought in Cadillac, Elmore, Oakland and several others. Also in 1909, General Motors
acquired the Reliance Motor Truck Company of Owosso, Michigan, and the Rapid Motor
Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan, the predecessors of GMC Truck. Durant lost
control of GM in 1910 to a bankers' trust, because of the large amount of debt taken on in
its acquisitions coupled with a collapse in new vehicle sales. The next year, Durant
started the Chevrolet Motor Car Company and through this he secretly purchased a
controlling interest in GM. Durant took back control of the company after one of the most
dramatic proxy wars in American business history. Durant then reorganized General
Motors Company into General Motors Corporation. Shortly after, he again lost control,
this time for good, after the new vehicle market collapsed. Alfred P. Sloan was picked to
take charge of the corporation and led it to its post war global dominance. This
unprecedented growth of GM would last into the early 1980s when it employed 349,000
workers and operated 150 assembly plants.
GM previously led in global sales for 77 consecutive years (1931 to 2008), longer than
any other automaker.
 Chapter 11 reorganization
Main article: General Motors Chapter 11 reorganization
On July 10, 2009, a new entity, NGMCO Inc. purchased the ongoing operations and
trademarks from General Motors Corporation. The purchasing company in turn
changed its name from NGMCO Inc. to General Motors Company, marking the
emergence of a new operation from the "pre-packaged" Chapter 11 reorganization.
Under the reorganization process, termed a 363 sale (for Section 363 which is located
in Title 11, Chapter 3, Subchapter IV of the United States Code, a part of the Bankruptcy
Code), the purchaser of the assets of a company in bankruptcy proceedings is able to
obtain approval for the purchase from the court prior to the submission of a re-
organization plan, free of liens and other claims. It’s used in most Chapter 11 cases that
involve a sale of property or other assets. This process is typical of large organizations
with complex branding and intellectual property rights issues upon exiting bankruptcy.
The new company plans to issue an initial public offering (IPO) of stock in 2010.
GM's remaining pre-petition creditors' claims are paid from the remaining assets of
Motors Liquidation Company, the new name of the former General Motors Corporation,
although the directors of that company believe its debts far outweigh its assets. This
means that while the former GM's bondholders may recover a small portion of their
investment, former GM shareholders (now shareholders of Motors Liquidation Company)
will likely not receive anything.
Also on July 10, 2009, GM announced plans to trim its U.S. workforce by 20,000
employees as part of its reorganization by the end of 2009 due to economic conditions.
The following table is a comparison (estimates) of the new GM and the old GM:
Old GM (before July 10, 2009) New GM (after July 10, 2009)
Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMDaewoo
Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet,
(48.2%), GMC, Holden, Hummer,
Brands GMDaewoo (70.1%), GMC,
Oldsmobile, Opel, Pontiac, Saab,
Holden, Opel, Vauxhall
The United States Treasury, the
Common shareholders, bondholders and Crown in Right of Canada, Old
secured creditors GM bondholders, and UAW
47 US Plants 34
US$94.7 B Debt US$17 B
 North America
 Core brand focus
In North America, GM will focus primarily on its four core brands — Chevrolet,
Cadillac, Buick, and GMC — while selling, discontinuing, or scaling back its other
brands. The White House characterized the GM restructuring as a shift toward a new
leaner, greener GM, which will aim to break even with annual sales much lower than
previously stated. President Obama declared that the restructuring "will mark the end
of an old GM, and the beginning of a new GM; a new GM that can produce the high-
quality, safe, and fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow; that can lead America towards an
energy independent future; and that is once more a symbol of America's success."
In the middle of 2005, GM announced that its corporate chrome emblem "Mark of
Excellence" would begin appearing on all recently introduced and all-new 2006 model
vehicles produced and sold in North America. However, in 2009 the "New GM" reversed
this, saying that emphasis on its four core brands would dictate downplaying the GM
 Production of SUVs and trucks vs. cars
In the late 1990s, the U.S. economy was on the rise and GM and Ford gained market
share producing enormous profits primarily from the sale of light trucks and sport-utility
Following the September 11 attacks, a severe stock market decline caused a pension and
benefit fund underfunding crisis. GM began its Keep America Rolling campaign, which
boosted sales, and other auto makers were forced to follow suit. The U.S. automakers saw
sales increase to leverage costs as gross margins deteriorated.
In 2004, GM redirected resources from the development of new sedans to an accelerated
refurbishment of their light trucks and SUVs for introduction as 2007 models in early
2006. Shortly after this decision, fuel prices increased by over 50% and this in turn
affected both the trade-in value of used vehicles and the perceived desirability of new
offerings in these market segments. The current marketing plan is to tout these revised
vehicles extensively as offering the best fuel economy in their class (of vehicle). GM
claims its hybrid trucks will have fuel economy improvements of 25%.
In 2005, GM promoted sales through an "employee discount" to all buyers. Marketed as
the lowest possible price, GM cleared an inventory buildup of 2005 models to make way
for its 2006 lineup.
 SUV sales
In 2008, rapidly rising gasoline prices resulted in a 30% drop-off of sales of SUVs. These
had been GM's most profitable product, often returning profits of US$10,000 to
US$15,000 per vehicle. Sales of SUVs had been decreasing since 2004, and in May 2008,
a US$2 billion investment program for a new SUV platform, the CXX program, was
canceled. During the first 6 months of 2008, GM lost $18.8 billion; by late October, its
stock had dropped 76%, and it was considering a merger with Chrysler. In only 12
months (October 2007-2008), GM sales in the US dropped 45 percent. GM's
concentration on SUVs as a profit center dated from the 1990s.
General Motors plant in (in Arlington, Texas) produces its largest SUVs. On Tuesday,
December 23, 2008, the Janesville, Wisconsin plant, which produced the Chevrolet
Tahoe, the Suburban, and the GMC Yukon, and the Moraine, Ohio plant which produced
the Chevrolet Trailblazer and the GMC Envoy idled production. GM has yet to confirm
future product plans for the idled facilities.
 Small car sales
"As part of General Motors Company (GM)'s restructuring, it plans to revive one of its
idled U.S. factories for the production of a small car (the factories under consideration
included one in or near the cars in busville and Orion Township areas of Michigan, one in
Wisconsin, and one in Tennessee; the factory in Michigan was ultimately selected to be
revived, but only 1,200 out of a former 3,400 jobs will be left). The new small car will
add to a group of small and fuel-efficient vehicles that the company is planning to roll out
in the near future. The retooled plant will be capable of building 160,000 cars annually,
including both small and compact vehicles.
In March 2005, the Canadian Crown-in-Council provided C$200 million in incentives to
General Motors for its Ontario plants to expand production and provide jobs, according to
Jim Harris. Similar incentives were promised to non-North American auto
companies like Toyota. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, said the money pledged for
the project by the provincial Crown of Ontario and by the federal government was well
The Buick brand is especially strong in China, led by the Buick Excelle subcompact. The
last emperor of China owned a Buick. The Cadillac brand was introduced in China in
2004, starting with imports from the United States. GM pushed the marketing of the
Chevrolet brand in China in 2005 as well, moving the former Buick Sail to that marque.
The company manufactures most of its China market vehicles locally through Shanghai
GM, a joint venture with the Chinese company SAIC, which was created on March 25,
1997. The Shanghai GM plant was officially opened on December 15, 1998, when the
first Chinese-built Buick came off the assembly line. The SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile
joint-venture is also successfully selling trucks and vans under the Wuling marque (34%
owned by GM).
GM plans to invest $250m to create a research facility in Shanghai to develop hybrid cars
and alternative fuel vehicles.
 Labor relations
Main article: 2007 General Motors strike
On September 24, 2007 General Motors workers represented by the United Auto
Workers union went on the first nationwide strike against GM since 1970. The ripple
effect of the strike reached into Canada the following day as two car assembly plants and
a transmission facility were forced to close. Overnight a tentative agreement was reached,
however, and UAW officials declared the end of the strike in a news conference at 4 a.m.
on September 26. By the following day, all GM workers in both countries were back to
A new labor contract was ratified by UAW members exactly one week after the tentative
agreement was reached, passing by a majority 62% vote. In the contract are several
product and employment guarantees stretching well into the next decade. One of GM's
key future products, the Chevy Volt, was promised to the GM Poletown/Detroit-
Hamtramck plant in 2010. Also included is a VEBA (Voluntary Employee Beneficiary
Association) which will transfer retiree health care obligations to the UAW by 2010. This
eliminates more than $50 billion from GM's healthcare tab. It will be funded by $30
billion in cash and $1.4 billion in GM stock paid to the UAW over the next four years of
the contract. It also eliminates 70% of the labor cost gap with GM's Japanese rivals.
A strike at American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. will result in lost production
of an additional 230,000 vehicles in the second quarter, with an estimated $1.8 billion
impact on earnings before tax, and a total strike cost of $2.81 billion.
Together with the United Auto Workers, GM created a joint venture dedicated to the
quality of life needs of employees in 1985. The UAW-GM Center for human resources in
Detroit is dedicated to providing GM salaried employees and GM UAW members
programs and services related to medical care, diversity issues, education, training and
tuition assistance, as well as programs related to work and family concerns, in addition to
the traditional union-employer health and safety partnership.
 2008 Canadian Auto Workers bargaining
In an unusual move, GM Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union ratified a
new collective bargaining contract in May 2008, four months before the expiration of the
existing contract. As part of the agreement, among other production commitments, GM
pledged to maintain production at the Oshawa, Ontario pickup truck plant. Less than
three weeks later, GM announced that rising gasoline prices and falling truck sales made
it necessary to close certain truck and SUV plants, including the Oshawa pickup plant.
In response, CAW members staged a 12-day blockade of the GM Canada headquarters.
After further discussions with the CAW, GM agreed to compensate workers at the truck
plant, as well as making product commitments for the Oshawa car assembly plant.
 Labor costs
GM announced elimination of lifetime health benefits for about 100,000 of its white
collar retirees at the end of 2008.
 Auto racing
General Motors has an extensive history in numerous forms of racing. In particular, the
Chevrolet Corvette has long been popular and successful in international road racing. GM
also is a supplier of racing components, such as engines, transmissions, and electronics
GM's Oldsmobile Aurora engine platform was successful in the Indy Racing League
(IRL) throughout the 1990s, winning many races in the small V-8 class. GM has also
done much work in the development of electronics for GM auto racing. An unmodified
Aurora V-8 in the Aerotech, captured 47 world records, including the record for speed
endurance in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Recently, the Cadillac V-Series
has entered motorsports racing. GM has also used many cars in the American racing
series NASCAR. Currently the Chevrolet Impala is the only entry in the series but in the
past the Pontiac Grand Prix, Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass, Chevrolet Lumina,
Chevrolet Malibu, and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo were also used.
In touring cars (mainly in Europe), Vauxhall is a key player and former champion in the
British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) series and competes with a Vauxhall Vectra
in Super 2000 spec, although have announced plans to withdraw at the end of 2009. Opel
used to participate in the DTM series and also in the 1980s in the World Rally
Championship and other Rally Series with Group B Spec Opel Manta's before this
category of Rallying was banned. Chevrolet competes with a Chevrolet Cruze in the FIA
World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Tempus Sport and RML also compete with
privately run Lacettis in the BTCC.
In Australia, there is the prestigious V8 Supercar Championship which is battled out by
the two main rivals of (GM) Holden and Ford. The current Holden Racing Team cars are
based on the Holden Commodore and run a 5.0-litre V8-cylinder engine producing
635 bhp (474 kW). These cars have a top speed of 294 km/h (183 mph) and run 0–
100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. The Holden Racing Team is Australia's most successful team in
Australian Touring Car History. In 2006 & 2007, the Drivers championship was won by
the very closely linked HSV Dealer Team.
 Alternative propulsion initiatives
The company has long worked on alternative-technology vehicles, and has recently led
the industry with ethanol burning flexible-fuel vehicles that can run on either E85
(ethanol) or gasoline. The company was the first to use turbochargers and was an early
proponent of V6 engines in the 1960s, but quickly lost interest as the muscle car race
took hold. They demonstrated gas turbine vehicles powered by kerosene, an area of
interest throughout the industry, but abandoned the alternative engine configuration in
view of the 1973 oil crisis. In the 1970s and 1980s, GM pushed the benefits of diesel
engines and cylinder deactivation technologies with disastrous results due to poor
durability in the Oldsmobile diesels and drivability issues in the Cadillac V8-6-4 variable
cylinder engines. In 1987, GM, in conjunction with AeroVironment, built the Sunraycer,
which won the inaugural World Solar Challenge and was a showcase of advanced
technology. Much of the technology from Sunraycer found its way into the Impact
prototype electric vehicle (also built by Aerovironment) and was the predecessor to the
General Motors EV1.
GM supported a compromise version of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
standard increase from 27 mpg-US (8.7 L/100 km; 32 mpg-imp) to 35 mpg-US (6.7 L/100 km;
42 mpg-imp), the first such increase in over 20 years.
 Hybrid electric initiative
Main article: Chevrolet Volt
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid 2009.
In May 2004, GM delivered the world's first full sized hybrid pickups, the 1/2-ton
Silverado/Sierra. These hybrids did not use electrical energy for propulsion, like GM's
later designs. In 2005, the Opel Astra diesel Hybrid concept vehicle was introduced. The
2006 Saturn Vue Green Line was the first hybrid passenger vehicle from GM and is also
a mild design. GM has hinted at new hybrid technologies to be employed that will be
optimized for higher speeds in freeway driving.
GM currently offers two types of hybrid systems. The first type, used in the Saturn Vue,
Saturn Aura, and Chevrolet Malibu, is what GM calls the BAS Hybrid system a type of
mild hybrid which was canceled in 2009. The second hybrid drive system, co-developed
with Daimler AG and BMW, is called a "Two-Mode Hybrid". The two-mode is used by
the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon and will later be used on the Saturn Vue (cancelled),
Cadillac Escalade, GM 1/2-ton pickups and possibly other vehicles.
GM's current hybrid electric models:
• 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid (discontinued)
• 2009 Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid (discontinued)
• 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid
• 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid (discontinued)
• 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
• 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
• 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
• 2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid
GM has recently introduced the concept cars Chevrolet Volt and Opel Flextreme, which
are electric vehicles with back-up generators, powered by gasoline, E85, or fuel cells.
According to GM, a production Chevrolet Volt will be available by late 2010 as a 2011
The GM Magic Bus is a hybrid powered bus.
GM sold 843 hybrids of all types during the first quarter of 2008, according to the
industry newspaper Automotive News. Compare that with Ford, which sold 5,225 hybrids
during that time. CSM Worldwide, expects GM to seriously increase its hybrid output,
turning the automaker into a serious contender within the next few years. He expects it to
produce 40,000 to 50,000 hybrids this year, more than doubling last year's production.
 All-electric vehicles
Main article: General Motors EV1
Electric car EV1 shown plugged into charging station
GM was the first American company (in the modern era) to release an all-electric
automobile. In 1990, GM debuted the revolutionary "Impact" concept car at the Los
Angeles Auto Show. It was the first car with zero-emissions marketed in the US in over
three decades. The Impact was eventually produced as the EV1 for the 1996 model year.
It was available through dealers located in only a few regions (e.g., California, Arizona,
Georgia). Vehicles were leased, rather than sold, to individuals. In 1999 GM decided to
cease production of the vehicles. When the individual leases had expired, they declined to
renew the leases or allow the lessors to purchase them. All of the EV1's were eventually
returned to General Motors and, with the exception of a few which were donated to
museums, all were destroyed.
General Motors has announced that it is building a prototype two-seat electric vehicle
with Segway. An early prototype of the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility
vehicle—dubbed Project P.U.M.A. -- will be shown off in New York a day ahead of the
press previews for the 2009 New York International Auto Show.
On September 16, 2008, as part of its 100th anniversary celebration, GM unveiled the
"production" version of the Chevrolet Volt at the GM headquarters in Detroit.
 Battery packs for electric vehicles
GM will build battery packs with LG Chem in Michigan. GM also plans to build an
automotive battery laboratory in Michigan. GM will take full responsibility for all the
battery management systems and power electronics. The company will build a new
factory in Michigan, but a specific site has yet to be announced, in part because
negotiations are ongoing with state and local authorities on the usual financial incentives
and approvals. LG Chem's US subsidiary, Compact Power of Troy, Michigan, has been
building the prototype packs for the development vehicles and will continue to provide
integration support and act as a liaison for the program.
 Hydrogen initiative
Sequel, a fuel cell-powered vehicle from GM.
GM has prided its research and prototype development of hydrogen powered vehicles, to
be produced in early 2010, using a support infrastructure still in a prototype state. The
economic feasibility of the technically challenging hydrogen car, and the low-cost
production of hydrogen to fuel it, has also been discussed by other automobile
manufacturers such as Ford and Chrysler.
In June 2007, Larry Burns, vice president of research and development, said he's not yet
willing to say exactly when hydrogen vehicles will be mass produced, but he said it
should happen before 2020, the year many experts have predicted. He said "I sure would
be disappointed if we weren't there" before 2020.
 Flexible-fuel vehicles
 North American market
The E85, FlexFuel, Chevrolet Impala LT 2009.
GM produces several flexible-fuel vehicles that can operate on E85 ethanol fuel or
gasoline, or any blend of both. Since 2006 GM started featuring a bright yellow gas cap
to remind drivers of the E85 capabilities, and also using badging with the text
"Flexfuel/E85 Ethanol" to clearly mark the car as an E85 FFV.
GM is the North American leader in E85 flex fuel vehicles, with over 3 million FlexFuel
vehicles on the road in the U.S. As of 2009, GM offers 18 ethanol-enabled FlexFuel cars
and trucks in the US, and produce more than one million new FlexFuel vehicles. GM's
goal is to have half of their annual vehicle production be E85 or biodiesel capable by
Despite the significant amount of flex fuel vehicles sold in the US and Canada, the
percentage of users actually using ethanol has been very low as many owners are not
aware they owned an E85 flex or not enough E85 fueling stations are available nearby,
except for the Corn Belt states, where there is a great concentration of E85 stations, as
most corn ethanol is produced there. A 2005 survey found that 68% of American
flex-fuel car owners were not aware they owned an E85 flex. Several critics have
argued that GM and the other American automakers have been producing E85 flex
models motivated by a loophole in the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy)
requirements, that allows for a fuel economy credit for every flex-fuel vehicle sold,
whether or not in practice these vehicles are fueled with E85. This loophole might
have allowed the car industry to meet the CAFE targets in fuel economy just by spending
between USD 100 to USD 200 that it cost to turn a conventional vehicle into a flex-fuel,
without investing in new technology to improve fuel economy, and saving them the
potential fines for not achieving that standard in a given model year.
 Brazilian market
Brazilian Chevrolet Celta FlexPower.
GM's largest overseas subsidiary is General Motors do Brasil, which started producing
flexible-fuel vehicles since its inception in the Brazilian market in 2003. Like other
Brazilian flex-fuel vehicles, GM's flex fuel cars and light-duty trucks are optimized to run
on any mix of E20-E25 gasoline and up to 100% hydrous ethanol fuel (E100). GM
launched its first flex fuel in June 2003, the Chevrolet Corsa 1.8 FlexPower, just two
months after the first flex car was launched by another Brazilian carmaker.
GM do Brasil also introduced the MultiPower engine in August 2004, which was capable
of using natural gas (CNG), ethanol and gasoline (E20-E25 blend) as fuel, and it was
used in the multifuel Chevrolet Astra 2.0 model 2005, aimed at the local taxi cab market.
The Brazilian GM Powertrain unit also developed the EconoFlex technology, used
for the first time in the Chevrolet Prisma 1.4, which allows the flex fuel engine to
maximize fuel economy and power.
Due to the success and rapid consumer acceptance of the flex versions, GM sold 192,613
flex vehicles and 135,636 gasoline-powered automobiles in 2005, jumping to 501,681
flex-fuel vehicles, while only 949 cars and 6,834 light trucks powered by gasoline were
sold in 2007, and reaching new car sales of 535.454 flex fuels in 2008, representing 97
percent of all cars and light duty trucks sold in that year.
Since 1996, General Motors has been the exclusive source of funding for Safe Kids
USA's "Safe Kids Buckle Up" program, a national initiative to ensure child automobile
safety through education and inspection. Through 2002, the Pace Awards program led
by GM, EDS, and SUN Microsystems, gave over $1.2 billion of in-kind contributions
which includes computers to over 18 universities to support engineering education. In
2009, the GM led group has helped the Pace Awards program worldwide. General
Motors is a leading contributor to charity. In 2004, GM gave $51,200,000 in cash
contributions and $17,200,000 in-kind donations to charitable causes.
In the 2008 election cycle, General Motors contributed $802,414, with 52% of that
amount going to the Democrats and 48% to the Republicans. GM's Saturn division put
up a display at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show congratulating Barack Obama on his election
as the first African-American president of the United States.
 Environmental issues
In the middle of 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed
23,000 cubic yards (18,000 m3) of contaminated sediments and soil from the General
Motors site in Massena, New York for disposal at a licensed facility in Utah. The amount
contained 13,000 cubic yards (9,900 m3) of contaminated sediments dredged from the St.
Lawrence River. The sediments had been stored on the site since 1995. There was also
10,000 cubic yards (7,600 m3) of contaminated sludge from the active wastewater
treatment plant on the General Motors property. The Political Economy Research
Institute ranks GM 18th among corporations emitting airborne pollutants in the United
States. The ranking is based on the emission quantity (8 million pounds in 2005) and
In September 2006, the state of California filed suit against General Motors, Chrysler,
Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Ford. The companies were accused of producing cars that
emitted over 289 million metric tons of carbon per year in the United States, accounting
for nearly 20% of carbon emissions in the United States and 30% of carbon emissions in
California. This lawsuit was dismissed by a judge in September 2007.
The Union of Concerned Scientists ranked General Motors as seventh out of the eight
world's largest automakers in 2007 for environmental performance. The report noted that
GM manufactured the most vehicles achieving 30 mpg-US (7.8 L/100 km; 36 mpg-imp) or
better, but also the most vehicles under 15 mpg-US (16 L/100 km; 18 mpg-imp).
 Current brands
Buick North America, China, Israel, Taiwan
Cadillac Global (except South America, India, SE Asia, Australia)
GMC North America, Middle East
Chevrolet Global (except Australia)
Vauxhall United Kingdom
Opel Europe (except UK), Russia, South Africa, Middle East, Singapore
1948– Australia, New Zealand, Middle East (not Kuwait), South Korea,
present South Africa, UK, Japan (by Autoprestige)
Daewoo South Korea, Latin America, Europe
 Discontinued brands
• Welch (1903–1911)
• Rainier (1905–1911)
• Welch-Marquette (see Marquette)
• Cartercar (1905–1915)
• Elmore (1909–1912)
• Rapid Truck (1909–1912)
• Reliance Truck (1909–1912)
• Welch-Detroit (1910–1911)
• Marquette (1912)
• Peninsular (1912) (see Marquette)
• Samson Tractor (1917–1922)
• Scripps-Booth (1917–1923)
• Marquette (1930)
• Oakland (1909–1931)
• Viking (1929–1931)
• LaSalle (1927–1940)
• McLaughlin (1918–1942)
• Yellow Coach (1925–1943)
• Beaumont (1966–1969)
• Envoy (1960–1970)
• Acadian (1962–1971)
• Ranger (1968–1976)
• Bedford Vehicles (1929–1987)
• General Motors Diesel Division (1938–1987)
• Passport (1988–1991)
• Asüna (1993)
• Geo (1989–1997)
• Oldsmobile (1893–2004)
• Pontiac (1926–2010)
• Saturn (1985–2010)
• Hummer (1992–2010)
 Sold brands
• Frigidaire (1919–1979), sold to Ohio-based White Consolidated Industries
• Lotus (1986–1993), sold to Luxembourgish A.C.B.N. Holdings S.A.
• Saab (1989–2010), sold to Dutch supercar manufacturer Spyker Cars NV
 Former affiliates
• Fiat (2000–2005), GM owned 20% at one time with put option
• Fuji Heavy Industries, manufacturer of Subaru (1999–2006), GM owned 20% at
• Isuzu (1971–2006), GM owned 49% at one time
• Suzuki (1981–2008), GM owned over 20% at one time
• GM Defense 1950–2003 was once part of General Motors Diesel Division and as
General Dynamics Land Systems division of General Dynamics
• Electro Motive Division of General Motors was also once part of General
Motors Diesel Division and now known as Electro-Motive Diesel
• Detroit Diesel sold to Penske Corporation; broken up and portion sold to the
former Daimler-Chrysler AG (now Daimler AG); now part of Daimler AG
• Transit division was sold to Motor Coach Industries and Transportation
o RTS and Classic bus rights owned by MCI And TMC were sold off to
Nova Bus; now produced by Millennium Transit Services
• Diesel Division of General Motors of Canada Limited spun off and later
acquired by General Motors Canada as Diesel Division of General Motors of
• EDS – Electronic Data Systems
• Hughes Electronics (Now The DirecTV Group[Liberty Media])
• 1999 GM spun off its parts making operations as Delphi
 See also
• Automotive industry
• History of General Motors
• Wayne Cherry
• John DeLorean
• Pierre S. du Pont
• William C. Durant
• Harley Earl
• Robert Lutz
• Irving Jacob Reuter
• Alfred P. Sloan
• Ray G. Young
 Books and films
• Final Offer – 1985 Canadian TV documentary that shows the 1984 GM contract
negotiations that resulted in the union split of the Canadian arm of the UAW.
• Roger & Me – 1989 American documentary film directed by independent
filmmaker/author Michael Moore (his first). The film criticizes General Motors
for closing down its factories in Moore's home-town of Flint, Michigan, despite
record profits. After many Flint residents lose jobs at GM, Moore claims, the
town descends into economic chaos.
• Who Killed the Electric Car? – 2006 documentary film written and directed by
Chris Paine that explores the creation, limited commercialization, and subsequent
destruction of the battery electric vehicle in the U.S., specifically the General
Motors EV1 of the 1990s.
 Industry associations
• Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
• United States Council for Automotive Research
• List of GM engines
• List of GM factories
• List of GM platforms
• List of GM transmissions
• GM vehicles by brand
• GM Instrument Cluster Settlement
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• GM gets 60 days, names Henderson CEO
• GM CEO: Bankruptcy looks more probable
 Further reading
• "G.M.’s Road From Prosperity to Crisis". The New York Times. May 31, 2009.
INE.html. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
• "Automotive Industry Crisis". The New York Times. undated.
ndustry/index.html. Retrieved June 1, 2009.
• Barabba, Vincent P. (2004). Surviving Transformation: Lessons from GM's
Surprising Turnaround. New York: Oxford University Press.
ISBN 9780195171419. OCLC 474580094.
• Chandler, Alfred D., Jr. (1964). Giant Enterprise: Ford, General Motors, and the
Automobile Industry. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.
ISBN 9780405133497. OCLC 63017200.
• Cray, Ed (1980). Chrome Colossus: General Motors and Its Times. New York:
McGraw-Hill. ISBN 9780070134935. OCLC 6223723.
• Farber, David R. (2002). Sloan Rules: Alfred P. Sloan and the Triumph of
General Motors. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226238043.
• Gustin, Lawrence R. (2008) . Billy Durant: Creator of General Motors.
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 9780472033027.
• Halberstam, David (1986). The Reckoning. A Thomas Congdon book. New York:
Morrow. ISBN 9780688048389. OCLC 246158814.
• Keller, Maryann (1989). Rude Awakening: The Rise, Fall, and Struggle for
Recovery of General Motors. New York: Morrow. ISBN 9780688075279.
• Kimes, Beverly Rae (editor) (1989). The Standard Catalogue of American Cars
1805-1942, 2nd edition. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications.
• Leslie, Stuart W. (1983). Boss Kettering. New York: Columbia University Press.
ISBN 9780231056007. OCLC 8845819.
• Maxton, Graeme P.; Wormald, John (2004). Time for a Model Change: Re-
Engineering the Global Automotive Industry. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 9780521837156. OCLC 54826137.
• Maynard, Micheline (2003). The End of Detroit: How the Big Three Lost Their
Grip on the American Car Market. New York: Currency/Doubleday.
ISBN 9780385507691. OCLC 52623614.
• Pelfrey, William (2006). Billy, Alfred, and General Motors: The Story of Two
Unique Men, a Legendary Company, and a Remarkable Time in American
History. New York: AMACOM. ISBN 9780814408698. OCLC 61362777.
• Rae, John Bell (1965). The American Automobile; A Brief History. The Chicago
history of American civilization. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
• Sloan, Alfred P., Jr. (1990) . McDonald, John; Stevens, Catharine. eds. My
Years with General Motors. New York: Doubleday/Currency.
ISBN 9780385042352. OCLC 21376376.
• Weisberger, Bernard A. (1979). The Dream Maker: William C. Durant, Founder
of General Motors. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316928748.