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GM’s Recent Success Owed to Smart, Savvy Decision-Making

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Mary Barra at Auto Shanghai 2015

Mary Barra at Auto Shanghai
Photo: © General Motors

General Motors told Automotive News last month that it was temporarily suspending plans to invest $1 billion in India in light of slowing sales and a crackdown on diesel engines brought about by the Volkswagen scandal. Where some automakers may see this decision as an admission of failure, GM indicates that it is rather a sign of why it has been so successful.

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In an article penned by Auto News’ Mike Colias on Monday, it is noted that the decision to pull back instead of double down is indicative of General Motors’ new philosophy with regards to new markets. It is because of this disciplined approach, indicated as Colias notes in similar scale-downs and phase-outs in markets like Indonesia, Europe, and Russia, that has kept GM humming along since restructuring.

“In the past,” one GM executive said of the India move, “because of the potential of that market, we’d have kept throwing billions at it until we got it right.”

It is pointed out that General Motors has been reserved in its approach since Mary Barra took the reins as CEO. Colias posits the example of Cadillac’s $12 billion expansion plan, stating that keeping higher-end, six-digit-fetching models off of the immediate to-do list in favor of much-needed crossovers signals a logical way of thinking that should ultimately help the brand achieve its lofty sales aims.

Another example: the continued cutting of lucrative daily rentals in favor of beefing up retail sales and the expansion of its commercial lineup. Where this has led to an overall sales slide, retail sales have been strong, suggesting consumer confidence.

And when the approach is savvy and the leadership is steadfast, confidence is an easy enough thing to earn.

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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)