(Originally published on LinkedInFeb. 15, 2018)
More than 30 years after I started at General Motors, I am still inspired and invigorated to come to work every single day. We are working harder and smarter to create a world that is safer, better and more sustainable looking to a future of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. Yesterday, I shared my 2018 expectations with the GM team. This team is one that continues to innovate and take smart risks which is why I’m excited about our future. Read the letter I shared with them here:
Do you remember your first day at General Motors
Mine was in 1980. I was 18 and dreamed of being an engineer. General Motors Institute and GM accepted me as a co-op student and I was thrilled, alternating classes with work at Pontiac Motor Division, where I worked in many different areas of the business.
Over the years, it’s been exciting to be part of an iconic American company that helped revolutionize how the world moved. Yet, for all the freedom automobiles have given us over the past 100 years, we recognize that today there are new challenges.
That’s why I still come to work energized and inspired to be part of a team that I believe is building our best cars, trucks and crossovers while on the road to a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.
Great products power our business.
As you saw in our 2017 earnings report, our products and services helped drive very good performance in 2017, despite continued pressure in the global business environment.
We expect another strong year of earnings largely in line with our 2017 results. When we’re talking with investors, we share the ways in which we’re growing our core business and advancing the future of mobility:
-We are delivering winning vehicles from strong brands that result in a No. 1 or No. 2 market share position in our key global markets;
- Cadillac, Buick and Baojun set China sales records
- Cadillac and Baojun grew 51 percent and 45 percent respectively in China
- Chevrolet held share in the U.S., was No. 1 in South America and grew 4 percent in China
-Our financial performance includes;
- GMNA margin on 10.7 percentfor the third straight year of 10 percent plus margins
- GMSA returned to profitability in 2017, recording two consecutive profitable quarters
-We are reshaping the company for long-term success by making tough, strategic decisions to focus our resources on higher-return opportunities;
-We are driving cost efficiencies to deliver strong financial results year after year, and we are making significant progress toward our 10 percent core margin goal;
-We expect $1.5 billion of profit growth opportunity with adjacent businesses such as GM Financial, Aftersales and OnStar over the next several years;
-We are following a very disciplined capital allocation strategy to drive shareholder value. We returned $6.7 billion to shareholders last year, and approximately $25 billion from 2012 through 2017.
In 2017, we completed the refresh of our crossover portfolio, where we grew market share, and in 2018 we’ll benefit from a full year of sales of crossovers such as the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Terrain and Buick Enclave. I was thrilled to see our all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado at the North American International Auto Show, and the enthusiastic response it received from customers and media.
Silverado is the first of our new full-size truck and SUV family that will be introduced over the next few years. It is one of more than 25 new or refreshed models in 2018, including the GMC Sierra full-size pickup, the Cadillac XT4 luxury crossover and the Baojun 530.
With so many important launches, we must remain committed to launch excellence. This means ensuring that, throughout the development process, our deliverables are completed on time and with uncompromising quality. This is how we will deliver vehicles that exceed our customers’ expectations and build loyalty to our brands.
The future of transportation has begun.
We all should be proud of what we have accomplished together, but we cannot rest because the pace of innovation is only accelerating.
Our journey to zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion has already begun, through innovations that make our vehicles safer, lighter and smarter. For example, our new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is lighter in weight, has aerodynamic improvements and includes new 5.3L and 6.2L V-8s with industry-first Dynamic Fuel Management that actively shuts off any number of cylinders, in a variety of combinations, to optimize fuel economy. We’re the leader in affordable, long-range EVs, delivering more than 46,000 Bolt EV crossovers and Volt sedans in 2017. We will introduce two more all-electric vehicles by mid-2019, and at least 20 new all-electric vehicles to global markets by 2023.
As part of our vision of zero crashes, we recently filed a safety petition with the U.S. Department of Transportation for our fourth-generation self-driving Cruise AV. It is the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls. We plan to deploy self-driving vehicles into a ridesharing environment next year.
Together, we will win.
So, when you think about it, two worlds of transportation are converging before us: a new generation of full-size trucks – and we’ll continue building this workhorse for decades to come – alongside a fully driverless, all-electric vehicle. This is what I mean when I say this industry is changing more today than it has in the past 50 years.
Our goals are aggressive, but we have the right team and a commitment to stay focused on safety and quality, and to push ourselves to keep innovating. We must work together – as one GM team – to put our customers at the center of everything we do.
This is how we will win. And we only win if we do it with integrity.
This is why I’m inspired to work with you every day.
This is why I’m so excited about the year ahead – and I hope you are, too.
Let’s get going.