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America's Four Point Turnaround Plan
Following is a brief update and
summary of the other key elements of the GMNA turnaround plan
beyond structural cost reductions.
Health-care Cost Reductions
On Oct. 17, GM announced a far-reaching
agreement with the UAW that will introduce a series of changes to
the hourly retiree health-care plan. As part of the agreement,
pending court approval, active hourly employees will contribute
financially to this health-care plan. As a result, GM will
continue to provide competitive health-care benefits to its
hourly employees and retirees, but at a significantly lower cost.
The agreement is projected to reduce GM's retiree health-care
liabilities by approximately 25 percent of the hourly liability,
or about $15 billion, and cut the company's health-care expense
by about $3 billion on an annualized, pre-tax basis. Annualized
cash savings will be approximately $1 billion a year.
GM North America will continue
with its aggressive product assault on all vehicle segments. To
target key growth segments with the right products, GM earlier
this year increased capital expenditures, with the vast majority
of that increase going toward future car and truck programs. This
increased investment will allow GM to average 15 all-new entries
a year in the North American market for the foreseeable future.
We remain committed to a
diversified portfolio of hybrid cars and trucks, including hybrid
versions of the Saturn VUE, Chevrolet Malibu, and the next
generation of GM full-size pickups and SUVs. We also will
continue to lead in the implementation of other fuel savings
technologies, such as Displacement on Demand and six-speed
transmissions. GMNA also will expand its offerings of ethanol-capable
vehicles (E85 fuel).
To help drive additional sales in
the future, the product plan includes a heavy emphasis on high-growth
segments, such as "crossovers," compact and luxury
SUVs, large pickups and entry luxury cars.
Starting in January, GM will begin
rolling out more than a dozen all-new versions of its full-size
SUVs for Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac, to be followed in late 2007
with the availability of GM's advanced two-mode hybrid powertrain.
In the same year, GM will begin rolling out an entire new lineup
of full-size pickups, another segment in which GM is the industry
GM's strategy also builds on its
recent move to create a single, global product development
organization, which will permit the company to better leverage
its considerable design and engineering resources around the
globe. By taking full advantage of its unique global footprint
and that of its global partners, GM will more effectively be able
to address emerging trends and markets, and take advantage of its
creative talent base around the world.
Sales & Marketing
GM also laid out a focused
strategy designed to improve significantly the company's
performance in the retail marketplace.
This strategy includes
strengthening GM's automotive brands, marketing that emphasizes
the inherent value of GM cars and trucks, completing GM's
distribution channel strategy, and aggressively targeting markets
where GM has underperformed against the competition.
GM's newest products continue to
attract new customers. Chevrolet introduced two new cars this
year that rank among the top 10 best-selling cars in the industry:
the Impala and Cobalt. The Buick LaCrosse is conquesting sales at
impressive rates with 24 percent of its customers citing Toyota,
Honda and Nissan as second choice and 50 percent claiming a non-GM
brand as a second choice. The Pontiac G6 retail sales in October
were up 100 percent versus October 2004. And the HUMMER brand has
posted the largest percent increase (up 86 percent in 2005) of
any GM division, with the H3's successful launch.
GM brands have focused more on
consumer benefits in advertisements this year, moving away from
the deal-only ads that focused largely on monthly payments. For
instance, Chevrolet ads spend more time addressing segment-leading
fuel economy, safety and product quality.
The dealer-channel strategy is
progressing well. There are over 200 Chevrolet dealers
implementing the brand's image program. At HUMMER, over 70
percent of the dealerships will be consistent with that brand's
image vision by the end of 2005. Cadillac has nearly 200
dealerships completed or in progress, representing 60 percent of
the brand's sales, and nearly all Saab dealerships are consistent
with that brand's image vision. By the end of 2005, 60 percent of
Pontiac, Buick and GMC sales will be from combined dealerships.
As part of the move toward
emphasizing the value of GM cars and trucks, GMNA will continue
to adjust suggested retail prices to more closely match actual
transaction prices, manage inventories and resale values more
closely, and focus strongly on improving retail sales.
In addition, GM will specifically
address certain regional markets in the United States in which
GM's potential has not been fully realized. This more targeted
approach to incentives, advertising, and promotion is expected to
result in significant volume and share gains in these markets.