History and Background of General Motors

Automotive legend of the last century, GM, is one of the biggest corporations in the world. Although GM had big turmoils in its business, it still operates successfully in all over the universe. The aim of this assignment is to determine the GM’s business strategies with rises and falls by looking into their history, having the data of what and how did they do in their businesses and analysing their company activities.

Being a leader and pioneer of the automobile industry since this sector’s infancy times , General Motors Corporation still keeps its successful place in this competitive business. Since 1908, General Motors Corporation (GM) is one of the largest auto producer in the world as measured by global industry sales, whose headquarters is in United States of America. William C. Durant was the founder of General Motors Company with being an innovator in automobile technology. As being a multinational automobile manufacturer General Motors employs about 280 million people all around the world with the total assets of 149 billion US Dollars. The company manufacturers the cars and the trucks in 55 different countries (excluding US and Canada). General Motors has sub-brands under its management. Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Hummer, Pontiac, Saab, Vauxhall, Holden, Saturn and Wuling are some one the names of General Motors’ brands.

The General Motors Company placed into a global market throughout the 1920s. Meanwhile, the company built itself as a firm which provided prestige, power and the other options. As a competitor, Ford, that focused on lower costs and lower prices, reversely GM targeted customers who had likely money to spend on more featurative products. During the World War II, General Motors Company manufactured armament and military vehicles,both for Allied and Axis forces. GM had improved its business level and become the largest corporation in the United States after the world war II.

During the 1950s, style, desing, and engineering innovations are applied into the company’s production line. In 1960s, GM also focused on insurance, home appliances, financing, electronics, locomotives and banking etc. In request for the smaller cars of European producers , GM introduced Chevrolet Corvair, that was ciriticized for safety issues in following days.

In the next decade, oil prices went up and as well as the oil costs , environmental problems are taken into consider at those times. Therefore, there were a shift from huge oil guzzling cars to smaller European cars increased with the first energy crisis. After that , second crisis followed quickly by rising the concern for pollution and controlling of over emission and safety problems resulted GM lose of its market share to more economical and smaller vehicles.

Especially between 1980s and 1990s , the Japanese imports rocketed, so that, that time of a period was a hardship for GM, which was plagued by high competition with Japanese companies. As a result of this, GM had changed its strategies like redesigning and re-engineering of its car models. However , because of the high production costs, GM had continued its high losses in the market with huge numbers. In 1990s, General Motors Company had started to close many of its plants and also cut the jobs. With these turmoils among the company, GM followed different strategies, like buying Saab and Daewoo, and a little portion of Subaru and Suzuki’s shares, that were sold later for increasing the money. As follows, GM merged with FIAT car company which lasted five years.

In the late-1990s, General Motors Company seemed on the way to big recovery, with sales stabilizing and stock increasing. However, end of the 2001 September, the company started to have challenges, and the system was changed again. In the following next few years, General Motors became a survivor in the highly competitive automobile industry with the economic recession in 2008, therefore the company had bailed out by the government for avoiding bankruptcy.

In the first quarter of 2009, the auto giant posted a 6 billion dollars loss and said that it burned through 10.2 billion dollars of cash in the first three months of the year as revenue plummeted by 20 billion dollars. However, besides these hard circumstances, in the first half of 2010, the General Motors sold more vehicles in China than in the US.

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