By Ben Klayman
DETROIT Jan 13 Dan Ammann, the incoming
president of General Motors Co, said on Monday the
automaker expects the U.S. market to continue to grow modestly
"We see modest continued growth in the industry here in the
U.S., in line with general expectations," Ammann said at the
North American International Auto Show in Detroit. He is
currently the chief financial officer of GM.
Most analysts and industry executives expect 2014 U.S. sales
to finish in the range of 16 million to 16.5 million light
vehicles. In 2013, industry sales rose 7.6 percent to 15.6
Ammann also said GM has a big opportunity to more fully
integrate its global operations as it pushes to boost production
efficiency and cut production costs. He said the company can
better integrate its manufacturing operations globally as it has
done the last several years with product development.
"We have an opportunity to run this much more like one big
integrated organization than we have," he told reporters, adding
that the Detroit-based automaker had made progress in that area
but could accelerate those efforts.
Asked whether GM was committed to its Holden brand in
Australia and New Zealand in light of the company's announcement
last month it would stop building cars in Australia by 2017, the
New Zealand native said GM will continue to support the brand
Ammann added that Australians have voted with their wallets
by buying so many imported cars so he did not expect a backlash
against GM's brand.
"It's a very, very important brand," he said of Holden. "It
means a lot in Australia and New Zealand and we see a very
significant role for the brand."
Ammann declined to say how much GM's global recall last week
of its newly introduced 2014 full-size pickup trucks would cost,
but said it was a "simple fix to address." GM said Friday it
would recall about 370,000 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra
trucks to reprogram software to avoid overheating that could
lead to a fire.