GM making its way to the top

by Dagmark Garcia | Thursday, Jun 21, 2012 | 460 views

In the latest car-quality ratings by J.D Power & Associates, GM has shown a marked improvement across all four major brands- Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and Buick. Cadillac was 4th overall in the list up from its rating at 9 in 2011. The Buick Enclave and the Chevy Malibu were rated as the top vehicles in their respective categories. Honor of this sort comes as a great respite and has been very rare for General Motors ever since the dark days started to loom on the firm leading to its bankruptcy in 2009.

The improvement by GM is definitely a small vindication both for the car-maker and the Obama Administration, which had engineered the bailout for GM in 2009. Mitt Romney, the republican candidate in the Presidential elections, had opposed the bailout and the stances of each are likely to factor into the elections in battleground areas like Michigan and Ohio, where thousands of auto-worker jobs were preserved as a result of the bailout.

Chrysler, which had also been helped through a bailout, did not fare so well in the power rankings. The turnaround for the firm is taking much longer than anticipated and it is among the few firms whose quality rankings have seen a decline since 2011. None of the Chrysler vehicle topped in any category and the Dodge and Fiat divisions were almost near the bottom of the list. Other car makers whose rankings have slipped include, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Mini and Subaru.

Although Ford slipped and was below the industry average, it was mainly because of the “sync’ system in Ford which manages entertainment and phone features and has been very confusing and complicated for the drivers. The Taurus Sedan and Mustang Sports car from Ford however, were found to be best in class and the Lincoln division also saw considerable improvement. Future models like the Escape and the Fusion Sedan are likely to bring Ford toward the top league and re-energize it as it continues to surge from the troubled era.

The government at present owns around one-third share in GM and if it tries to sell at the current market price , the taxpayers will end up losing $15 billion. For the government to break even, the share prices must touch the magical mark of $52 a share. It is not out of question and if the overall sales continue to increase and it gets more quality awards, the day could be near.

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