GM car sales up over last year despite recall woes

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As GM announces more recalls, the company’s June 2014 sales best those of June 2013. GM CEO vows to improve vehicle safety. 
( Michael Kumm | Creative Commons )

As General Motors prepares to compensate the family of individuals injured due to faulty vehicle components, beginning Aug. 1 and ending Dec. 31, the company’s June 2014 sales were 1 percent higher that it had been a year earlier at the same point.

The positive sales for June 2014 emerged despite the millions of cars called back by the automaker during the month. GM ended the month announcing a recall of approximately 7.6 million vehicles that were said to have been manufactured between 1997 and 2014.

Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst, said GM’s positive numbers in June 2014 was backed by activity on her company’s website.

“Throughout the recall crisis, car shoppers on have not avoided GM vehicle pages, as one might imagine,” said Caldwell.

With 13 deaths and 31 crashes already linked to faulty ignition switches in GM’s vehicles, the company had to announce the knowledge of more fatalities along with its June 30 recall. While evidence hasn’t been deemed conclusive, GM said it was aware of three fatalities and eight injuries associated with its recalled vehicles.

After announcing on June 30 the recall of 7.6 million vehicles manufactured between 1997 and 2014, Mary Barra, GM CEO, underscored her company’s new review process and restated her resolved to raise the safety of the company’s vehicles.

“We undertook what I believe is the most comprehensive safety review in the history of our company because nothing is more important than the safety of our customers,” said Barra. “Our customers deserve more than we delivered in these vehicles. That has hardened my resolve to set a new industry standard for vehicle safety, quality and excellence.”

Stressing its desire to improve, GM said it has been working on addressing each of the 90 recommendations made by Anton Valukas, former U.S. Attorney, in a report he made to the company.

“We have worked aggressively to identify and address the major outstanding issues that could impact the safety of our customers,” said Barra. “If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation.”

GM said it expected to absorb roughly $1.2 billion in costs in the second fiscal quarter of 2014, all of which were related to recalls. That $1.2 billion reportedly accounted for $700 million the company said it expected to be docked in the first quarter.

Ford’s sales fell by 6 percent in June 2014 when compared to June 2013 and Honda’s fell by roughly four percent. Toyota’s sales rose by approximately 4 percent, Chrysler’s by around 8 percent and Nissan rose by just over 5 percent.


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