General Motors has been able to sell 10 million cars in just a year, an unprecedented achievement in the company’s century-plus existence.
The company’s robust sales in China overshadowed the company’s lower sales in the U.S and the record sales provided GM, America’s leading car manufacturer with record profits.
Overall, GM just came in third among the world’s car manufacturers, trailing Toyota’s 10.2 million units sold, while Volkswagen came in at first place with 10.3 million vehicles sold.
General Motors was the biggest car manufacturer for more than 75 years but Toyota took over the spot in 2008 and Volkswagen bagged the top spot last year.
China is now the biggest market of GM and sales there have enabled it to experience a level of sales growth that it never achieved when it was the global leader in the auto industry. The automaker has achieved four straight years of record sales even whilst the company’s sales in the U.S. declined, the first drop in the automaker’s domestic market in eight years.
The American car market, which has climbed for seven straight years over its own record, may have ground to a halt last year. Car sales are expected to fall there this year and GM has already publicised three tranches of redundancies which will shed 3,300 workers from its U.S. operations.
GM still sees growth this year positively because of the Chinese market and while production facilities in China provide for most of its demand, it does still export some from the U.S.
The company’s record sales in 2016 have provided GM with record operating profits of $12.5 billion. In 2010, GM struggled with bankruptcy and a bailout by the federal government enabled the company to stay afloat.
The company’s stellar performance came in as good news for GM’s 50,000 plus U.S. factory workers as each of them will be receiving a profit-sharing payment of $12,000. That’s US$1,000 more than last year.
The amount reflected a record year for profit-sharing in the U.S. car industry, not just GM.