DETROIT Jan 15 General Motors Co expects
its operating profit to rise "modestly" this year with improved
results anticipated in each region because of new vehicles and
greater demand in the United States and China.
The U.S. automaker said on Tuesday it expects global market
share growth in 2013 and improved vehicle pricing and operating
profit margins, Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said.
"We're very much focused on this huge wall of new product
that we have ready to bring into the market place," he said on a
conference call with reporters. "The real focus for us this year
is on execution of these launches."
"As a result of an expectation of some overall industry
growth around the world, and based on this product portfolio, we
do expect to have an improvement in profitability for the
company in 2013," he added.
Analysts, on average, expect GM's 2013 profit to be $3.89 a
share, up from an estimated $3.27 a share for 2012, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
An analyst said the GM's outlook was weaker than Wall
Street had expected, and that analysts' estimates for 2013 would
have to come down.
GM reiterated that its U.S. product lineup would be 70
percent refreshed over 2012 and 2013.
The Detroit automaker expects U.S. industry sales to
increase about 5 percent, and it expects to increase its market
share modestly while boosting vehicle pricing. GM also is
targeting 10-percent operating profit margins, up from about 8
In China in 2011, GM and its joint venture partners,
including SAIC Motor, began rolling out more than 60
new or upgraded models that will be introduced to that market
Industry sales in the international region, which includes
China, are expected to rise about 5 percent this year, along
with a moderate improvement in pricing. GM's goal is to improve
margins in the region and continue profitable growth in China.
GM officials said in China they are seeing pressure on
profit margins and they blamed an industry drop in pricing of
about 5 percent. GM international CFO Tim Stonesifer said GM's
pricing is down less than that.
He also cited sales growth in smaller cities in China, which
are lower-margin vehicles, as well as fewer government tax
incentives. To improve margins in China, he said GM needs to
continue investing in Cadillac and rolling out its OnStar
communications, in-car safety system, both of which would boost
GM reaffirmed that it expects the European auto market to
contract about 4 percent and show pricing pressure this year,
although the company expects a modest share gain. It has said it
is targeting break-even results in the region by mid-decade.
Chief Executive Dan Akerson said last week that GM expects
Europe to weaken further in 2013 and Germany, maybe slipping
In South America, GM expects moderate industry growth and a
slight market share increase for the company in 2013. The
company is targeting mid-single digit profit margins.
Ammann said GM's "fortress balance sheet" would allow the
Detroit company to invest in vehicle development so it can
sustain its profits. The company reiterated it would invest $8