UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549-1004
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 001-34960
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
300 Renaissance Center,
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.01 par value
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 (g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☑
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer ☑ Accelerated filer ☐ Non-accelerated filer ☐ Smaller reporting company ☐ Emerging growth company ☐
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☑
The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant (assuming only for purposes of this computation that directors and executive officers may be affiliates) was approximately $54.7 billion as of June 30, 2019.
As of January 24, 2020 there were 1,429,002,063 shares of common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant's definitive Proxy Statement related to the Annual Stockholders Meeting to be filed subsequently are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.
Unresolved Staff Comments
Mine Safety Disclosures
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Selected Financial Data
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Consolidated Income Statements
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income
Consolidated Balance Sheets
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
Consolidated Statements of Equity
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Nature of Operations and Basis of Presentation
Significant Accounting Policies
Marketable and Other Securities
GM Financial Receivables and Transactions
Equipment on Operating Leases
Equity in Net Assets of Nonconsolidated Affiliates
Goodwill and Intangible Assets
Variable Interest Entities
Accrued and Other Liabilities
Derivative Financial Instruments
Pensions and Other Postretirement Benefits
Commitments and Contingencies
Restructuring and Other Initiatives
Interest Income and Other Non-Operating Income
Stockholders’ Equity and Noncontrolling Interests
Earnings Per Share
Stock Incentive Plans
Supplementary Quarterly Financial Information (Unaudited)
Supplemental Information for the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Controls and Procedures
Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Form 10-K Summary
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Item 1. Business
General Motors Company (sometimes referred to as we, our, us, ourselves, the Company, General Motors, or GM) was incorporated as a Delaware corporation in 2009. We design, build and sell trucks, crossovers, cars and automobile parts worldwide. Cruise, formerly GM Cruise, is our global segment responsible for the development and commercialization of autonomous vehicle technology. We also provide automotive financing services through General Motors Financial Company, Inc. (GM Financial). Except for per share amounts or as otherwise specified, amounts presented within tables are stated in millions.
On July 31, 2017 we closed the sale of the Opel and Vauxhall businesses and certain other assets in Europe (the Opel/Vauxhall Business) to Peugeot, S.A. (PSA Group). On October 31, 2017 we closed the sale of the European financing subsidiaries and branches (the Fincos, and together with the Opel/Vauxhall Business, the European Business) to Banque PSA Finance S.A. and BNP Paribas Personal Finance S.A. The European Business is presented as discontinued operations in our consolidated financial statements for all periods presented. Unless otherwise indicated, information in this report relates to our continuing operations.
Automotive Our automotive operations meet the demands of our customers through our automotive segments: GM North America (GMNA) and GM International (GMI). GMNA meets the demands of customers in North America with vehicles developed, manufactured and/or marketed under the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brands. GMI primarily meets the demands of customers outside North America with vehicles developed, manufactured and/or marketed under the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and Holden brands. We also have equity ownership stakes in entities that meet the demands of customers in other countries, primarily in China, with vehicles developed, manufactured and/or marketed under the Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Wuling brands.
In addition to the vehicles we sell through our dealer network to retail customers, we also sell vehicles directly or through our dealer network to fleet customers, including daily rental car companies, commercial fleet customers, leasing companies and governments. Our customers can obtain a wide range of aftersale vehicle services and products through our dealer network, such as maintenance, light repairs, collision repairs, vehicle accessories and extended service warranties.
Competitive Position and Vehicle Sales The principal factors that determine consumer vehicle preferences in the markets in which we operate include overall vehicle design, price, quality, available options, safety, reliability, fuel economy and functionality. Market leadership in individual countries in which we compete varies widely.
We present both wholesale and total vehicle sales data to assist in the analysis of our revenue and our market share. Wholesale vehicle sales data consists of sales to GM's dealers and distributors as well as sales to the U.S. Government and excludes vehicles sold by our joint ventures. Wholesale vehicle sales data correlates to our revenue recognized from the sale of vehicles, which is the largest component of Automotive net sales and revenue. In the year ended December 31, 2019, 34% of our wholesale vehicle sales volume was generated outside the U.S. The following table summarizes wholesale vehicle sales by automotive segment (vehicles in thousands):
Years Ended December 31,
Total vehicle sales data represents: (1) retail sales (i.e., sales to consumers who purchase new vehicles from dealers or distributors); (2) fleet sales, such as sales to large and small businesses, governments, and daily rental car companies; and (3) vehicles used by dealers in their businesses, including courtesy transportation vehicles. Total vehicle sales data includes all sales by joint ventures on a total vehicle basis, not based on our percentage ownership interest in the joint venture. Certain joint venture agreements in China allow for the contractual right to report vehicle sales of non-GM trademarked vehicles by those joint ventures, which are included in the total vehicle sales we report for China. While total vehicle sales data does not correlate directly to the revenue we recognize during a particular period, we believe it is indicative of the underlying demand for our vehicles. Total vehicle sales data represents management's good faith estimate based on sales reported by GM's dealers, distributors, and joint ventures, commercially available data sources such as registration and insurance data, and internal estimates and forecasts when other data is not available.
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
The following table summarizes total industry vehicle sales and our related competitive position by geographic region (vehicles in thousands):
Years Ended December 31,
Total North America
Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa
Total Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa
Total South America
Total in GM markets
Total United States
Includes sales by our Automotive China Joint Ventures (Automotive China JVs): SAIC General Motors Sales Co., Ltd. (SGMS) and SAIC GM Wuling Automobile Co., Ltd. (SGMW).
Includes Industry and GM sales in India and South Africa where we ceased vehicle sales for those domestic markets as of December 31, 2017.
Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria are subject to broad economic sanctions. Accordingly these countries are excluded from industry sales data and corresponding calculation of market share.
Certain industry vehicles have been reclassified between these vehicle segments. GM vehicles were not impacted by this change. The prior period has been recast to reflect the changes.
In the year ended December 31, 2019, we estimate we were the market share leader in each of North America and South America, and had the number four market share in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, which included the number two market share in China. Refer to the Overview in Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) for discussion on changes in market share by region.
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
As discussed above, total vehicle sales and market share data provided in the table above includes fleet vehicles. Certain fleet transactions, particularly sales to daily rental car companies, are generally less profitable than retail sales to end customers. The following table summarizes estimated fleet sales and those sales as a percentage of total vehicle sales (vehicles in thousands):
Years Ended December 31,
Total fleet sales
Fleet sales as a percentage of total vehicle sales
Product Pricing Several methods are used to promote our products, including the use of dealer, retail and fleet incentives such as customer rebates and finance rate support. The level of incentives is dependent upon the level of competition in the markets in which we operate and the level of demand for our products.
Cyclical and Seasonal Nature of Business The market for vehicles is cyclical and depends in part on general economic conditions, credit availability and consumer spending. Vehicle markets are also seasonal. Production varies from month to month. Vehicle model changeovers occur throughout the year as a result of new market entries.
Relationship with Dealers We market vehicles and automotive parts worldwide primarily through a network of independent authorized retail dealers. These outlets include distributors, dealers and authorized sales, service and parts outlets. The number of authorized dealerships were 4,743 in GMNA and 7,907 in GMI at December 31, 2019.
We and our joint ventures enter into a contract with each authorized dealer agreeing to sell to the dealer one or more specified product lines at wholesale prices and granting the dealer the right to sell those vehicles to retail customers from an approved location. Our dealers often offer more than one GM brand at a single dealership in a number of our markets. Authorized dealers offer parts, accessories, service and repairs for GM vehicles in the product lines that they sell using GM parts and accessories. Our dealers are authorized to service GM vehicles under our limited warranty program, and those repairs are made only with GM parts. Our dealers generally provide their customers with access to credit or lease financing, vehicle insurance and extended service contracts provided by GM Financial and other financial institutions.
The quality of GM dealerships and our relationship with our dealers and distributors are critical to our success given that dealers maintain the primary sales and service interface with the end consumer of our products. In addition to the terms of our contracts with our dealers, we are regulated by various country and state franchise laws and regulations that may supersede those contractual terms and impose specific regulatory requirements and standards for initiating dealer network changes, pursuing terminations for cause and other contractual matters.
Research, Product and Business Development and Intellectual Property Costs for research, manufacturing engineering, product engineering and design and development activities primarily relate to developing new products or services or improving existing products or services, including activities related to vehicle and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions control, improved fuel economy, electrification, autonomous vehicles, the safety of drivers and passengers, and urban mobility. Research and development expenses were $6.8 billion, $7.8 billion and $7.3 billion in the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Product Development The Product Development organization is responsible for designing and integrating vehicle and propulsion components to maximize part sharing across multiple vehicle segments. Global teams in Design, Program Management, Component & Subsystem Engineering, Product Integrity, Safety, Propulsion Systems and Purchasing & Supply Chain collaborate to meet customer requirements and maximize global economies of scale.
Our global vehicle architecture development is headquartered at our Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. Cross-segment part sharing is an essential enabler to optimize our current vehicle portfolio, as we expect that more than 75% of our global sales volume will come from five vehicle architectures by mid-decade. We will continue to leverage our current architecture portfolio to accommodate our customers around the world while achieving our financial goals.
Battery Electric Vehicles We have committed to an all-electric future and are investing in multiple technologies offering increasing levels of vehicle electrification with a core focus on zero emission battery electric vehicles as part of our long-term strategy to reduce petroleum consumption and GHG emissions. We currently offer the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which recently improved to 259
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
miles of range with the 2020 model year. We have also announced our all-new battery electric architecture that will launch on an upcoming Cadillac model. The new platform will be flexible, allowing quick response to customer preferences with a relatively short design and development lead time. It will be leveraged across multiple brands and vehicle sizes, styles and drive configurations. We confirmed the GMC Hummer EV, an upcoming battery electric truck, will be built at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, which is being re-tooled into a fully-dedicated electric vehicle facility. In addition, we have announced plans to mass-produce battery cells for future battery electric vehicles through an equally owned joint venture with LG Chem, Ltd.
To support mass market adoption of electric vehicles, we are working to ensure that our customers will have access to a robust, ubiquitous and seamless charging infrastructure. For personal vehicles, this means strategically addressing charging needs at home, the workplace and in public locations. We have announced collaborative work with several charge network operators to provide real-time data on their respective networks and charge station health to filter into our Energy Assist feature within the myChevrolet app, currently available to Chevrolet Bolt EV drivers. This collaboration will enable access to the largest collective electric vehicle charging network in the U.S.
Car- and Ride-Sharing Maven is a shared vehicle marketplace that leverages a versatile software and operational platform to provide members with on-demand access to vehicles through two primary services, Maven Gig and Maven Car Sharing. Maven Gig allows members to access vehicles that can be used in ride-sharing and delivery with companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and GrubHub Inc. Maven Car Sharing is a consumer service that provides on-demand access to Maven-owned and peer-owned vehicles. Maven is available in 15 cities in the U.S., Canada and Australia at December 31, 2019.
Autonomous Technology We expect autonomous technology to lead to a future of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. We are among the leaders in the industry with significant global real-world experience in delivering connectivity and advanced safety features that are the building blocks to more advanced automation features that are driving our leadership position in the development of autonomous technology. An example of our advanced technology is Super Cruise, a driver assistance feature that enables hands-free driving on the highway, which will be expanded to all Cadillac models. We are actively testing autonomous vehicles in the U.S. Gated by safety and regulation, we continue to make significant progress toward commercialization of a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the U.S. The Cruise AV is our production-intent self-driving vehicle that was engineered from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles We believe alternative fuels offer significant potential to reduce petroleum consumption and resulting GHG emissions in the transportation sector. By leveraging experience and capability developed around these technologies in our global operations, we continue to develop FlexFuel vehicles that can run on ethanol-gasoline blend fuels as well as technologies that support compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas. We offer several 2020 model year FlexFuel vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to retail and fleet customers capable of operating on gasoline, E85 ethanol or any combination of the two. We also support the development of biodiesel blend fuels, which are alternative diesel fuels produced from renewable sources.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Another part of our long-term strategy to reduce petroleum consumption and GHG emissions is our commitment to the development of our hydrogen fuel cell technology. Our Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell electric vehicle demonstration programs, such as Project Driveway, have accumulated more than three million miles of real-world driving. These programs are helping us identify consumer and infrastructure needs to understand the business case for potential production of vehicles with this technology. We are exploring non-traditional automotive uses for fuel cells in several areas, including demonstrations with the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. In addition, we signed a co-development agreement and established a nonconsolidated joint venture with Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Honda) for a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for commercialization in the early 2020s.
OnStar and Vehicle Connectivity We offer OnStar and connected services to more than 22 million connected vehicles globally through subscription-based and complimentary services. OnStar provides safety and security services for retail and fleet customers, including automatic crash response, emergency services, roadside assistance, crisis assist, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation. We also offer a variety of connected services, including mobile applications for owners to remotely control their vehicles and electric vehicle owners to locate charging stations, on-demand vehicle diagnostics, GM Smart Driver, GM Marketplace in-vehicle commerce, connected navigation, SiriusXM with 360L and 4G LTE wireless connectivity. Additionally, we have announced plans to integrate an in-vehicle Alexa experience through Amazon.com to millions of eligible model year 2018 and newer vehicles in 2020, and integrate Google Voice Assistant, navigation and app ecosystem into GM infotainment systems beginning in 2021.
Intellectual Property We are constantly innovating and hold a significant number of patents, copyrights, trade secrets and other intellectual property that protect those innovations in numerous countries. While no single piece of intellectual property is
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
individually material to our business as a whole, our intellectual property is important to our operations and continued technological development. Additionally, we hold a number of trademarks and service marks that are very important to our identity and recognition in the marketplace.
Raw Materials, Services and Supplies We purchase a wide variety of raw materials, parts, supplies, energy, freight, transportation and other services from numerous suppliers to manufacture our products. The raw materials primarily include steel, aluminum, resins, copper, lead and platinum group metals. We have not experienced any significant shortages of raw materials and normally do not carry substantial inventories of such raw materials in excess of levels reasonably required to meet our production requirements. Costs are expected to remain elevated due to the price of commodities and the continuing existence of tariffs.
In some instances, we purchase systems, components, parts and supplies from a single source and may be at an increased risk for supply disruptions. The inability or unwillingness of these sources to supply us with parts and supplies could have a material adverse effect on our production capacity. Combined purchases from our two largest suppliers were 11% of our total purchases in the year ended December 31, 2019 and 12% of our total purchases in each of the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017. Refer to Item 1A. Risk Factors for further discussion of these risks.
Environmental and Regulatory Matters
Automotive Criteria Emissions Control Our products are subject to laws and regulations globally that require us to control certain non-GHG automotive emissions, including vehicle and engine exhaust emission standards, vehicle evaporative emission standards and onboard diagnostic (OBD) system requirements. Emission requirements have become more stringent as a result of stricter standards and new diagnostic requirements that have come into force in many markets around the world, often with very little harmonization. While we believe all of our products are designed and manufactured in material compliance with substantially all vehicle emissions requirements, regulatory authorities may conduct ongoing evaluations of products from all manufacturers.
The U.S. federal government, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), imposes stringent exhaust and evaporative emission control requirements on vehicles sold in the U.S. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) likewise imposes stringent exhaust and evaporative emission standards. These emission control standards will likely increase the time and mileage periods over which manufacturers are responsible for a vehicle's emission performance. The Clean Air Act permits states that have areas with air quality compliance issues to adopt California emission standards in lieu of federal requirements. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have adopted California emission standards, and there is a possibility that additional U.S. jurisdictions could adopt California emission requirements in the future.
The Canadian federal government's current vehicle pollutant emission requirements are generally aligned with those of the U.S. federal requirements.
Each model year we must obtain certification that our vehicles and heavy-duty engines will meet emission requirements of the EPA before we can sell vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, and of CARB before we can sell vehicles in California and other states that have adopted the California emission requirements.
In 2019, certain areas within China began implementation of the China 6 emission standard (China 6) requirements. China 6 combines elements of both European Union (EU) and U.S. standards and increases the time and mileage periods over which manufacturers are responsible for a vehicle's emission performance. Nationwide implementation of China 6a for new registrations is expected in July 2020, and the more stringent China 6b is expected to be implemented in July 2023. Localities can implement China 6 requirements earlier than the nationwide deadlines if certain enabling criteria are met. For additional information, refer to Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Brazil has recently approved a new set of national emissions standards named L7, to be implemented in 2022, and L8, to be implemented in 2025. L7 standards include exhaust, durability, evaporative and noise limits, new OBD requirements and a phase-in for onboard refueling vapor recovery systems. L8 standards include emission targets for real driving emissions and reduce exhaust limits every two years until 2031. Many of the requirements are aligned with those of the EPA.
As a result of the sale of the Opel/Vauxhall Business, GM’s vehicle presence in Europe is smaller, but GM may still be affected by actions taken by regulators related both to Opel/Vauxhall vehicles sold before the sale of the Opel/Vauxhall Business as well as to other vehicles GM continues to sell in Europe. In the EU, increased scrutiny of compliance with emissions standards may result in changes to these standards, including implementation of real driving emissions tests, as well as stricter interpretations or redefinition of these standards and more rigorous enforcement. For example, our former German subsidiary has participated in
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
continuing discussions with German and European authorities concerning emissions control systems. For additional information, refer to Note 22 to our consolidated financial statements.
Automotive Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions In the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) promulgates and enforces Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for three separate fleets: domestically produced cars, imported cars and light-duty trucks. Manufacturers are subject to substantial civil penalties if they fail to meet the applicable CAFE standard in any model year, after considering all available credits for the preceding five model years, expected credits for the three succeeding model years and credits obtained from other manufacturers. The amount of these civil penalties is the subject of litigation currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In addition to federal CAFE standards, the EPA promulgates and enforces GHG emission standards, which are effectively fuel economy standards because the majority of vehicle GHG emissions are carbon dioxide emissions that are emitted in direct proportion to the amount of fuel consumed by a vehicle. The EPA and NHTSA also regulate the fuel efficiency and GHG emissions of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, imposing more stringent standards over time.
In addition, CARB has asserted the right to promulgate and enforce its own state GHG standards for motor vehicles, and other states have asserted the right to adopt CARB's standards. CARB regulations previously stated that compliance with the EPA light-duty program is deemed compliance with CARB standards. However, on December 12, 2018, CARB amended this regulation to state that, in the event the EPA alters federal GHG stringency, compliance with the EPA's GHG emissions standards will no longer be deemed compliance with CARB's separate requirements. Likewise, NHTSA and the EPA have recently issued a rule asserting that California is preempted from regulating GHG emissions, which is currently being challenged through litigation. As a result, depending on the outcome of the federal CAFE and GHG rulemaking and related litigation and the finality of CARB's regulatory amendment, in the future GM might be required to meet California GHG standards that are different than the EPA standards.
CARB has also imposed the requirement that increasing percentages of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) must be sold in California. The Clean Air Act permits states to adopt California emission standards, and 11 have adopted the ZEV requirements. The EPA has recently revoked the waiver it had granted to California that permitted its ZEV program. Depending on the finality of that revocation, there is a possibility that additional U.S. jurisdictions could adopt California ZEV requirements in the future.
In Canada, light- and heavy-duty GHG regulations are currently patterned after the EPA GHG emissions standards. However, the Canadian government will be conducting a mid-term review of its 2022 to 2025 model year light-duty GHG standards and there is an increased risk that future Canadian light-duty GHG regulations may not be aligned with the EPA regulations. In addition, the Canadian province of Quebec has adopted ZEV requirements for the 2018 to 2025 model years largely based on California program requirements. The province of British Columbia also passed legislation in May 2019 to enable similar ZEV regulations in the near term, and governments in Canada could adopt additional ZEV requirements in the future.
China has two fuel economy requirements for passenger vehicles: an individual vehicle pass-fail type approval requirement and a fleet average fuel consumption requirement. With a focus on the fleet average program, the current China Phase 4 fleet average fuel consumption requirement, which went into effect in 2016, is based on curb weight with full compliance required by 2020. China Phase 4 has continued subsidies for plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell vehicles, which are referred to as New Energy Vehicles (NEVs). China Phase 5 has been developed with a planned start in 2021 and full compliance is required by 2025. In addition, China has established an NEV Mandate that will require passenger car manufacturers to produce a certain volume of NEVs to generate credits in 2019 and beyond to offset internal combustion engine vehicle production volume. The number of credits per car is based on the level of electric range and energy efficiency, with the goal of increasing NEV volume penetrations. Uncommitted NEV credits may be used to assist compliance with the fleet average fuel consumption requirement. China has set forth NEV credit targets for 2019 and 2020 and is setting forth new NEV credit targets aiming at further increasing volumes of NEVs between 2021 and 2025.
In Brazil, the Secretary of Industry and Development promulgates and enforces CAFE standards and has recently enforced a new CAFE program for the period October 2020 to September 2026 and October 2026 to September 2032 for light-duty and mid-size trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), including diesel vehicles, imposing more stringent standards for each period.
Regulators in other jurisdictions have already adopted or are developing fuel economy or carbon dioxide regulations. If regulators in these jurisdictions seek to impose and enforce standards that are misaligned with market conditions, we may be forced to take various actions to increase market support programs for certain vehicles and curtail production of others in order to achieve compliance. We regularly evaluate our current and future product plans and strategies for compliance with fuel economy and GHG regulations.
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Industrial Environmental Control Our operations are subject to a wide range of environmental protection laws including those regulating air emissions, water discharge, waste management and environmental cleanup. Certain environmental statutes require that responsible parties fund remediation actions regardless of fault, legality of original disposal or ownership of a disposal site. Under certain circumstances these laws impose joint and several liability as well as liability for related damages to natural resources.
To mitigate the effects of our worldwide operations on the environment, we are converting as many of our worldwide operations as practicable to landfill-free operations, which reduces GHG emissions associated with waste disposal. At December 31, 2019, 58 (or 45%) of our manufacturing operations and 36 (or 38%) of our non-manufacturing operations were landfill-free. At our landfill-free manufacturing operations, 90% of waste materials are composted, reused or recycled and 8% are converted to energy at waste-to-energy facilities. We estimate that our waste reduction program diverted 1.2 million metric tons of waste from landfills in 2019, resulting in 5.6 million metric tons of GHG emissions avoided in global manufacturing operations, including construction, demolition and remediation wastes.
In addition to minimizing our impact on the environment, our landfill-free program and total waste reduction commitments generate income from the sale of production by-products, reduce our use of material and help to reduce the risks and financial liabilities associated with waste disposal.
We continue our efforts to increase our use of renewable energy, improve our energy efficiency and work to drive growth and scale of renewables. We are committed to meeting the electricity needs of our operations worldwide with renewable energy by 2040, pulling forward our previous commitment by 10 years. Through December 31, 2019, we implemented projects and signed renewable energy contracts globally that brought our total renewable energy capacity to over 400 megawatts, which represents approximately 20% of our global electricity use. In 2019, we executed our largest green tariff to date with DTE Energy Company, sourcing 300,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy that will begin supplying us in early 2021. We continue to seek opportunities for a diversified renewable energy portfolio including wind, solar, and landfill gas. In 2019 Energy Star certified one assembly plant in Canada through Natural Resources Canada and eight buildings in the U.S. for superior energy management. We also met the EPA Energy Star Challenge for Industry (EPA Challenge) at two additional sites globally by reducing energy intensity an average of 11% at these sites within two years. To meet the EPA Challenge, industrial sites must reduce energy intensity by 10% within a five year period. In total, 73 GM-owned manufacturing sites have met the EPA Challenge, with many sites achieving the goal multiple times for a total of 131 recognitions. Additionally, we received recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) of 50001 Ready status for 27 facilities. The U.S. DOE 50001 Ready program is a self-guided approach for facilities to establish an energy management system and self-attest to the structure of ISO 50001, a voluntary global standard for energy management systems in industrial, commercial and institutional facilities. These efforts minimize our utility expenses and are part of our approach to address climate change by setting a GHG emissions reduction target, collecting accurate data, following our business plan to operate more efficiently and publicly reporting progress against our target.
Chemical Regulations We continually monitor the implementation of chemical regulations to maintain compliance and evaluate their effect on our business, suppliers and the automotive industry.
Globally, governmental agencies continue to introduce new legislation and regulations related to the selection and use of chemicals by mandating broad prohibitions or restrictions and implementing green chemistry, life cycle analysis and product stewardship initiatives. These initiatives give broad regulatory authority to ban or restrict the use of certain chemical substances and potentially affect automobile manufacturers' responsibilities for vehicle components at the end of a vehicle's life, as well as chemical selection for product development and manufacturing. Global treaties and initiatives such as the Stockholm, Basel and Rotterdam Conventions on Chemicals and Waste and the Minamata Convention on Mercury, are driving chemical regulations across signatory countries. In addition, more global jurisdictions are establishing substance standards with regard to Vehicle Interior Air Quality.
Chemical regulations are increasing in North America. In the U.S. the EPA is moving forward with risk analysis and management of high priority chemicals under the authority of the 2016 Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, and several U.S. states have chemical management regulations that can affect vehicle design such as the California and Washington laws banning the use of copper in brake friction material. Chemical restrictions in Canada continue to steadily progress as a result of Environment and Climate Change Canada's Chemical Management Plan to assess existing substances and implement risk management controls on any chemical deemed toxic.
China prohibits the use of several chemical substances in vehicles. There are also various regulations in China stipulating the requirements for chemical management. Among other things, these regulations restrict the use, import and export of various chemical substances. The failure of our joint venture partners or our suppliers to comply with these regulations could disrupt production in China or prevent our joint venture partners from selling the affected products in the China market.
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
These emerging laws and regulations will potentially lead to increases in costs and supply chain complexity. We believe that we are materially in compliance with substantially all of these requirements or expect to be materially in compliance by the required dates.
Safety In the U.S. the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 prohibits the sale of any new vehicle or equipment in the U.S. that does not conform to applicable vehicle safety standards established by NHTSA. If we or NHTSA determine that either a vehicle or vehicle equipment does not comply with a safety standard or if a vehicle defect creates an unreasonable safety risk, the manufacturer is required to notify owners and provide a remedy. We are required to report certain information relating to certain customer complaints, warranty claims, field reports and notices and claims involving property damage, injuries and fatalities in the U.S. and claims involving fatalities outside the U.S. We are also required to report certain information concerning safety recalls and other safety campaigns outside the U.S.
Outside the U.S. safety standards and recall regulations often have the same purpose as the U.S. standards but may differ in their requirements and test procedures, adding complexity to regulatory compliance.
Automotive Financing - GM Financial GM Financial is our global captive automotive finance company and our global provider of automobile finance solutions. GM Financial conducts its business in North America, South America and through joint ventures in Asia/Pacific.
GM Financial provides retail loan and lease lending across the credit spectrum. Additionally, GM Financial offers commercial lending products to dealers including new and used vehicle inventory floorplan financing and dealer loans, which are loans to finance improvements to dealership facilities, to provide working capital, and to purchase and/or finance dealership real estate. Other commercial lending products include financing for parts and accessories, dealer fleets and storage centers.
In North America, GM Financial offers a sub-prime lending program. The program is primarily offered to consumers with a FICO score or its equivalent of less than 620 who have limited access to automobile financing through banks and credit unions and is expected to sustain a higher level of credit losses than prime lending.
GM Financial generally seeks to fund its operations in each country through local sources to minimize currency and country risk. GM Financial primarily finances its loan, lease and commercial origination volume through the use of secured and unsecured credit facilities, through securitization transactions and through the issuance of unsecured debt in public markets.
Employees At December 31, 2019 we employed approximately 95,000 (58%) hourly employees and approximately 69,000 (42%) salaried employees. At December 31, 2019 approximately 48,000 (50%) of our U.S. employees were represented by unions, a majority of which were represented by the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agriculture Implement Workers of America (UAW). The following table summarizes worldwide employment (in thousands):
December 31, 2019
U.S. - Salaried
U.S. - Hourly
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Information About our Executive Officers As of February 5, 2020 the names and ages of our executive officers and their positions with GM are as follows:
Present GM Position (Effective Date)
Positions Held During the Past Five Years (Effective Date)
Mary T. Barra (58)
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (2016)
Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors (2014)
Barry L. Engle (56)
Executive Vice President and President, North America (2019)
Executive Vice President and President, The Americas (2019)
Executive Vice President and President, GM International (2018)
Executive Vice President and President, South America (2015)
Agility Fuel Systems, Chief Executive Officer (2011)
Craig B. Glidden (62)
Executive Vice President and General Counsel (2015)
LyondellBasell, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer (2009)
Christopher T. Hatto (49)
Vice President, Global Business Solutions and Chief Accounting Officer (2020)
Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer (2018)
Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Sales Operations (2016)
Chief Financial Officer, Customer Care and Aftersales (2013)
Gerald Johnson (57)
Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing (2019)
Vice President, North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations (2017)
Vice President of Operational Excellence (2014)
Randall D. Mott (63)
Executive Vice President, Global Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (2019)
Senior Vice President, Global Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (2013)
Douglas L. Parks (58)
Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain (2019)
Vice President, Autonomous and Electric Vehicles (2017)
Vice President, Autonomous Technology and Vehicle Execution (2016)
Vice President, Global Product Programs (2012)
Mark L. Reuss (56)
Executive Vice President and President, Global Product Development Group and Cadillac (2018)
Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply Chain (2014)
Dhivya Suryadevara (40)
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (2018)
Vice President, Corporate Finance (2017)
Vice President, Finance and Treasurer (2015)
Chief Executive Officer, GM Asset Management (2013)
Matthew Tsien (59)
Executive Vice President and President, GM China (2014)
There are no family relationships between any of the officers named above and there is no arrangement or understanding between any of the officers named above and any other person pursuant to which he or she was selected as an officer. Each of the officers named above was elected by the Board of Directors to hold office until his or her successor is elected and qualified or until his or her earlier resignation or removal.
Website Access to Our Reports Our internet website address is www.gm.com. In addition to the information about us and our subsidiaries contained in this 2019 Form 10-K, information about us can be found on our website including information on our corporate governance principles and practices. Our Investor Relations website at https://investor.gm.com contains a significant amount of information about us, including financial and other information for investors. We encourage investors to visit our website, as we frequently update and post new information about our company on our website and it is possible that this information could be deemed to be material information. Our website and information included in or linked to our website are not part of this 2019 Form 10-K.
Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act), are available free of charge through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Item 1A. Risk Factors
We have listed below the most significant risk factors applicable to us. These risk factors are not necessarily in the order of importance or probability of occurrence:
If we do not deliver new products, services and customer experiences in response to increased competition in the automotive industry, our business could suffer. We believe that the automotive industry will continue to experience significant change in the coming years. In addition to our traditional competitors, we must also be responsive to the entrance of non-traditional participants in the automotive industry. Industry participants are disrupting the historic business model of our industry through the introduction of new technologies, products, services and methods of travel and vehicle ownership. It is strategically significant that we succeed in leading the technological disruption occurring in our industry, including consumer adoption of electric vehicles and commercialization of autonomous vehicles in a rideshare environment. To successfully execute our long-term strategy, we must continue to develop new products and services, including products and services that are outside of our historically core business, such as autonomous and electric vehicles, digital services and transportation as a service. The process of designing and developing new technology, products and services is complex, costly and uncertain and requires extensive capital investment and the ability to retain and recruit talent. There can be no assurance that advances in technology will occur in a timely or feasible way, or that others will not acquire similar or superior technologies sooner than we do or that we will acquire technologies on an exclusive basis or at a significant price advantage. If we do not adequately prepare for and respond to new kinds of technological innovations, market developments and changing customer needs, our sales, profitability and long-term competitiveness may be harmed.
Our ability to maintain profitability is dependent upon our ability to timely fund and introduce new and improved vehicle models that are able to attract a sufficient number of consumers. We operate in a very competitive industry with market participants routinely introducing new and improved vehicle models and features designed to meet rapidly evolving consumer expectations. Producing new and improved vehicle models that preserve our reputation for designing, building and selling safe, high-quality cars and trucks is critical to our long-term profitability. Successful launches of our new vehicles are critical to our short-term profitability. It generally takes two years or more to design and develop a new vehicle, and a number of factors may lengthen that time period. Because of this product development cycle and the various elements that may contribute to consumers’ acceptance of new vehicle designs, including competitors’ product introductions, technological innovations, fuel prices, general economic conditions and changes in quality, safety, reliability and styling demands and preferences, an initial product concept or design may not result in a vehicle that generates sales in sufficient quantities and at high enough prices to be profitable. Our high proportion of fixed costs, both due to our significant investment in property, plant and equipment as well as other requirements of our collective bargaining agreements, which limit our flexibility to adjust personnel costs to changes in demands for our products, may further exacerbate the risks associated with incorrectly assessing demand for our vehicles.
Our profitability is dependent upon the success of SUVs and full-size pick-up trucks. While we offer a portfolio of cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks, we generally recognize higher profit margins on our SUVs and trucks. Our success is dependent upon our ability to sell higher margin vehicles in sufficient volumes. Any shift in consumer preferences toward smaller, more fuel- efficient vehicles, whether as a result of increases in the price of oil or any sustained shortage of oil, including as a result of global political instability, or other reasons, could weaken the demand for our higher margin vehicles. More stringent fuel economy regulations could also impact our ability to sell these vehicles.
We may continue to restructure our operations in the U.S. and various other countries and initiate additional cost reduction actions, but we may not succeed in doing so. Since 2017, we have undertaken restructuring actions to lower our operating costs in response to difficult market and operating conditions in various parts of the world, including the U.S., Canada, Korea and Europe. As we continue to assess our performance throughout our regions, we may take additional restructuring actions to rationalize our operations, which may result in material asset write-downs or impairments and reduce our profitability in the periods incurred. In addition, we are continuing to implement a number of operating effectiveness initiatives to improve productivity and reduce costs. For example, we are continuing to execute on the transformation actions we announced in 2018 to drive significant cost efficiencies and realign our current manufacturing capacity with demand. While we have achieved significant cost savings, there is no guarantee that we will fully realize the anticipated savings or benefits from past or future restructuring and/or cost reduction actions within the time periods we expect or at all. In addition, these restructuring actions subject us to increased risks of labor unrest or strikes, supplier, dealer, or other third-party litigation, regulator claims or proceedings, negative publicity and business disruption. Failure to realize anticipated savings or benefits from our restructuring and/or cost reduction actions could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and cash flows.
Our electric vehicle strategy is dependent upon our ability to reduce the cost of manufacturing electric vehicles, as well as increased consumer adoption. We anticipate that the production and profitable sale of electric vehicles will become increasingly
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
important to our business. If we are unable to reduce the costs associated with the manufacture of battery-electric vehicles, it may negatively impact our earnings and financial condition. Our ability to benefit from certain government and economic incentives supporting the development and sale of electric vehicles has been reduced and, in some jurisdictions, eliminated or exhausted, which may negatively affect our ability to profitably sell electric vehicles. In addition, our sale of electric vehicles is dependent on consumer adoption, which could be impacted by numerous factors, including perceptions about electric vehicle features, quality, safety, performance and cost; perceptions about the range over which electric vehicles may be driven on a single battery charge; high fuel-economy internal combustion engine vehicles; volatility in the cost of fuel; government regulations and economic incentives; and access to charging facilities.
Our autonomous vehicle strategy is dependent upon our ability to successfully mitigate unique technological, operational, and regulatory risks. In recent years, we announced significant investments in autonomous vehicle technologies, including in GM Cruise Holdings LLC (Cruise Holdings), our majority-owned subsidiary that is responsible for the development and commercialization of autonomous vehicle technology. Our autonomous vehicle operations are capital intensive and subject to a variety of risks inherent with the development of new technologies, including our ability to continue to develop self-driving software and hardware, such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensors and other components; access to sufficient capital, including with respect to additional Softbank funding; risks related to the manufacture of purpose-built autonomous vehicles; and significant competition from both established automotive companies and technology companies, some of which may have more resources and capital to devote to autonomous vehicle technologies than we do. In addition, we face risks related to the commercial deployment of autonomous vehicles on our targeted timeline or at all, including consumer acceptance, achievement of adequate safety and other performance standards and compliance with uncertain, evolving and potentially conflicting federal and state or provincial regulations. To the extent accidents, cybersecurity breaches or other adverse events associated with our autonomous driving systems occur, we could be subject to liability, government scrutiny and further regulation. Any of the foregoing could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and growth prospects.
Our business is highly dependent upon global automobile market sales volume, which can be volatile. Because we have a high proportion of relatively fixed structural costs, small changes in sales volume can have a disproportionately large effect on our profitability. A number of economic and market conditions drive changes in vehicle sales, including real estate values, the availability and prices of used vehicles, levels of unemployment, availability of affordable financing, fluctuations in the cost of fuel, consumer confidence, political unrest, the occurrence of a contagious disease or illness, such as the novel coronavirus, barriers to trade and other global economic conditions. While we cannot predict future economic and market conditions with certainty, we expect U.S. and China industry sales volumes to be lower in 2020 relative to 2019. For a discussion of economic and market trends, see the Overview section of the MD&A.
Our significant business in China subjects us to unique operational, competitive and regulatory risks. Maintaining a strong position in the Chinese market is a key component of our global growth strategy. Our business in China is subject to aggressive competition from many of the largest global manufacturers and numerous domestic manufacturers as well as non-traditional market participants, such as domestic technology companies. In addition, our success in China depends upon our ability to adequately address unique market and consumer preferences driven by advancements related to infotainment and other new technologies. Increased competition, increased U.S.-China trade restrictions and weakening economic conditions in China, among other things, may result in price reductions, reduced sales, profitability and margins, and challenges to gain or hold market share. Chinese regulators have implemented increasingly aggressive “green” policy initiatives and recommended quotas for the sale of electric vehicles, which have challenging lead times.
Certain risks and uncertainties of doing business in China are solely within the control of the Chinese government, and Chinese law regulates the scope of our investments and business conducted within China. In order to maintain access to the Chinese market, we may be required to comply with significant technical and other regulatory requirements that are unique to the Chinese market, at times with challenging lead times to implement such requirements. These actions may increase the cost of doing business in China and reduce our profitability.
A significant amount of our operations are conducted by joint ventures that we cannot operate solely for our benefit. Many of our operations, primarily in China and Korea, are carried out by joint ventures. In joint ventures we share ownership and management of a company with one or more parties who may not have the same goals, strategies, priorities or resources as we do and may compete with us outside the joint venture. Joint ventures are intended to be operated for the equal benefit of all co-owners, rather than for our exclusive benefit. Operating a business as a joint venture often requires additional organizational formalities as well as time-consuming procedures for sharing information and making decisions that must further take into consideration our partners' interests. In joint ventures we are required to foster our relationships with our co-owners as well as promote the overall success of the joint venture, and if a co-owner changes, relationships deteriorate or strategic objectives diverge, our success in the
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
joint venture may be materially adversely affected. The benefits from a successful joint venture are shared among the co-owners, therefore we do not receive all the benefits from our successful joint ventures.
In addition, because we share ownership and management with one or more parties, we may have limited control over the actions of a joint venture, particularly when we own a minority interest. As a result, we may be unable to prevent violations of applicable laws or other misconduct by a joint venture or the failure to satisfy contractual obligations by one or more parties. Moreover, a joint venture may not follow the same requirements regarding compliance, internal controls and internal control over financial reporting that we follow. To the extent another party makes decisions that negatively impact the joint venture or internal control issues arise within the joint venture, we may have to take responsive or other actions or we may be subject to penalties, fines or other related actions for these activities.
The international scale and footprint of our operations expose us to additional risks. We manufacture, sell and service products globally and rely upon an integrated global supply chain to deliver the raw materials, components, systems and parts that we need to manufacture our products. Our global operations subject us to extensive domestic and foreign legal and regulatory requirements, and a variety of other political, economic and regulatory risks including: (1) changes in government leadership; (2) changes in labor, employment, tax, privacy, environmental and other laws, regulations or government policies impacting our overall business model or practices or restricting our ability to manufacture, purchase or sell products consistent with market demand and our business objectives; (3) political pressures to change any aspect of our business model or practices or that impair our ability to source raw materials, services, components, systems and parts, or manufacture products on competitive terms in a manner consistent with our business objectives; (4) political instability, civil unrest or government controls over certain sectors; (5) political and economic tensions between governments and changes in international trade policies, including restrictions on the repatriation of dividends, especially between China or Canada and the U.S.; (6) more detailed inspections or new or higher tariffs, for example, on products imported into or exported from the U.S., including under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974, or other trade measures; (7) new barriers to entry or domestic preference procurement requirements, including changes to, withdrawals from or impediments to implementing free trade agreements (for example, the North American Free Trade Agreement or its successor, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), or preferences of foreign nationals for domestically manufactured products; (8) changes in foreign currency exchange rates, particularly in Brazil and Argentina, and interest rates; (9) economic downturns in foreign countries or geographic regions where we have significant operations, or significant changes in conditions in the countries in which we operate; (10) differing local product preferences and product requirements, including government certification requirements related to, among other things, fuel economy, vehicle emissions and safety; (11) impact of compliance with U.S. and foreign countries’ export controls and economic sanctions; (12) liabilities resulting from U.S. and foreign laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, those related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and certain other anti-corruption laws; (13) differing labor regulations, requirements and union relationships; (14) differing dealer and franchise regulations and relationships; (15) difficulties in obtaining financing in foreign countries for local operations; and (16) natural disasters, public health crises, including the occurrence of a contagious disease or illness, such as the novel coronavirus, and other catastrophic events.
Any significant disruption at one of our manufacturing facilities could disrupt our production schedule. We assemble vehicles at various facilities around the world. Our facilities are typically designed to produce particular models for particular geographic markets. No single facility is designed to manufacture our full range of vehicles. In some cases, certain facilities produce products, systems, components and parts that disproportionately contribute a greater degree to our profitability than others and create significant interdependencies among manufacturing facilities around the world. Should these or other facilities become unavailable either temporarily or permanently for any number of reasons, including labor disruptions, the occurrence of a contagious disease or illness, such as the novel coronavirus, or catastrophic weather events, the inability to manufacture at the affected facility may result in harm to our reputation, increased costs, lower revenues and the loss of customers. In particular, substantially all of our hourly employees are represented by unions and covered by collective bargaining agreements that must be negotiated from time-to-time, often at the local facility level, which increases our risk of work stoppages. We may not be able to easily shift production to other facilities or to make up for lost production. Any new facility needed to replace an inoperable manufacturing facility would need to comply with the necessary regulatory requirements, need to satisfy our specialized manufacturing requirements and require specialized equipment.
Any disruption in our suppliers’ operations could disrupt our production schedule. Our automotive operations are dependent upon the continued ability of our suppliers to deliver the systems, components, raw materials and parts that we need to manufacture our products. Our use of “just-in-time” manufacturing processes allows us to maintain minimal inventory. As a result, our ability to maintain production is dependent upon our suppliers delivering sufficient quantities of systems, components, raw materials and parts on time to meet our production schedules. In some instances, we purchase systems, components, raw materials and parts that are ultimately derived from a single source and may be at an increased risk for supply disruptions. Any number of factors, including
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
labor disruptions, catastrophic weather events, the occurrence of a contagious disease or illness, such as the novel coronavirus, contractual or other disputes, unfavorable economic or industry conditions, delivery delays or other performance problems or financial difficulties or solvency problems, could disrupt our suppliers’ operations and lead to uncertainty in our supply chain or cause supply disruptions for us, which could, in turn, disrupt our operations, including the production of certain higher margin vehicles. In particular, if the current novel coronavirus outbreak continues and results in a prolonged period of travel, commercial and other similar restrictions, we could experience global supply disruptions. If we experience supply disruptions, we may not be able to develop alternate sourcing quickly. Any disruption of our production schedule caused by an unexpected shortage of systems, components, raw materials or parts even for a relatively short period of time could cause us to alter production schedules or suspend production entirely, which could cause a loss of revenues, which would adversely affect our operations.
High prices of raw materials or other inputs used by us and our suppliers could negatively impact our profitability. Increases in prices for raw materials or other inputs that we and our suppliers use in manufacturing products, systems, components and parts, such as steel, precious metals, or non-ferrous metals, including aluminum, copper and plastic, may lead to higher production costs for parts, components and vehicles. Changes in trade policies and tariffs, fluctuations in supply and demand and other economic and political factors may continue to create pricing pressure for raw materials and other inputs. This could, in turn, negatively impact our future profitability because we may not be able to pass all of those costs on to our customers or require our suppliers to absorb such costs.
We operate in a highly competitive industry that has excess manufacturing capacity and attempts by our competitors to sell more vehicles could have a significant negative effect on our vehicle pricing, market share and operating results. The global automotive industry is highly competitive in terms of the quality, innovation, new technologies, pricing, fuel economy, reliability, safety, customer service and financial services offered. Additionally, overall manufacturing capacity in the industry far exceeds current demand. Many manufacturers, including GM, have relatively high fixed labor costs as well as limitations on their ability to close facilities and reduce fixed costs. In light of such excess capacity and high fixed costs, many of our competitors have attempted to sell more vehicles by providing subsidized financing or leasing programs, offering marketing incentives or reducing vehicle prices. As a result, we may be required to offer similar incentives, which may not necessarily allow us to set vehicle prices that offset cost increases or the impact of adverse currency fluctuations. Our competitors may also seek to benefit from economies of scale by consolidating or entering into other strategic agreements such as alliances or joint ventures intended to enhance their competitiveness.
Manufacturers in countries that have lower production costs, such as China and India, have become competitors in key emerging markets and announced their intention to export their products to established markets as a low-cost alternative to established entry-level automobiles. In addition, foreign governments may decide to implement tax and other policies that favor their domestic manufacturers at the expense of international manufacturers, including GM and its joint venture partners. These actions have had, and are expected to continue to have, a significant negative effect on our vehicle pricing, market share and operating results.
Competitors may independently develop products and services similar to ours, and there are no guarantees that GM’s intellectual property rights would prevent competitors from independently developing or selling those products and services. There may be instances where, notwithstanding our intellectual property position, competitive products or services may impact the value of our brands and other intangible assets, and our business may be adversely affected. Moreover, although GM takes reasonable steps to maintain the confidentiality of GM proprietary information, there can be no assurance that such efforts will completely deter or prevent misappropriation or improper use of our technology. We sometimes face attempts to gain unauthorized access to our information technology networks and systems for the purpose of improperly acquiring our trade secrets or confidential business information. The theft or unauthorized use or publication of our trade secrets and other confidential business information as a result of such an incident could adversely affect our competitive position. In addition, we may be the target of patent enforcement actions by third parties, including aggressive and opportunistic enforcement claims by non-practicing entities. Regardless of the merit of such claims, responding to infringement claims can be expensive and time-consuming. Although we have taken steps to mitigate such risks, if we are found to have infringed any third-party rights, we could be required to pay substantial damages or we could be enjoined from offering some of our products and services.
Security breaches and other disruptions to information technology systems and networked products, including connected vehicles, owned or maintained by us, GM Financial, or third-party vendors or suppliers on our behalf, could interfere with our operations and could compromise the confidentiality of private customer data or our proprietary information. We rely upon information technology systems and manufacture networked products, some of which are managed by third parties, to process, transmit and store electronic information, and to manage or support a variety of our business processes, activities and products. Additionally, we and GM Financial collect and store sensitive data, including intellectual property and proprietary business information (including that of our dealers and suppliers), as well as personally identifiable information of our customers and
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
employees, in data centers and on information technology networks (including networks that may be controlled or maintained by third parties). The secure operation of these systems and products, and the processing and maintenance of the information processed by these systems and products, is critical to our business operations and strategy. Further, customers using our systems rely on the security of our infrastructure, including hardware and other elements provided by third parties, to ensure the reliability of our products and the protection of their data. Despite security measures and business continuity plans, these systems and products may be vulnerable to damage, disruptions or shutdowns caused by attacks by hackers, computer viruses, malware (including “ransomware”), phishing attacks or breaches due to errors or malfeasance by employees, contractors and others who have access to these systems and products. The occurrence of any of these events could compromise the confidentiality, operational integrity and accessibility of these systems and products and the data that resides therein. Similarly, such an occurrence could result in the compromise or loss of the information processed by these systems and products. Such events could result in, among other things, the loss of proprietary data, interruptions or delays in our business operations and damage to our reputation. In addition, such events could cause us to be non-compliant with applicable laws or regulations, subject us to legal claims or proceedings, liability or regulatory penalties under laws protecting the privacy of personal information; disrupt operations; or reduce the competitive advantage we hope to derive from our investment in advanced technologies. We have experienced such events in the past and, although past events were immaterial, future events may occur and may be material.
Portions of our information technology systems also may experience interruptions, delays or cessations of service or produce errors due to regular maintenance efforts, such as systems integration or migration work that takes place from time to time. We may not be successful in implementing new systems and transitioning data, which could cause business disruptions and be more expensive, time-consuming, disruptive and resource intensive. Such disruptions could adversely impact our ability to design, manufacture and sell products and services, and interrupt other business processes.
Security breaches and other disruptions of our in-vehicle systems could impact the safety of our customers and reduce confidence in GM and our products. Our vehicles contain complex information technology systems. These systems control various vehicle functions including engine, transmission, safety, steering, navigation, acceleration, braking, window and door lock functions. We have designed, implemented and tested security measures intended to prevent unauthorized access to these systems. However, hackers have reportedly attempted, and may attempt in the future, to gain unauthorized access to modify, alter and use such systems to gain control of, or to change, our vehicles’ functionality, user interface and performance characteristics, or to gain access to data stored in or generated by the vehicle. Any unauthorized access to or control of our vehicles or their system could adversely impact the safety of our customers or result in legal claims or proceedings, liability or regulatory penalties. In addition, regardless of their veracity, reports of unauthorized access to our vehicles or their systems could negatively affect our brand and harm our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.
Our enterprise data practices, including the collection, use, sharing, and security of the Personal Identifiable Information of our customers, employees, or suppliers are subject to increasingly complex, restrictive, and punitive regulations in all key market regions. Under these regulations, the failure to maintain compliant data practices could result in consumer complaints and regulatory inquiry, resulting in civil or criminal penalties, as well as brand impact or other harm to our business. In addition, increased consumer sensitivity to real or perceived failures in maintaining acceptable data practices could damage our reputation and deter current and potential users or customers from using our products and services. Because many of these laws are new, there is little clarity as to their interpretation, as well as a lack of precedent for the scope of enforcement. The cost of compliance with these laws and regulations will be high and is likely to increase in the future. For example, in Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation came into effect on May 25, 2018, and applies to all of our ongoing operations in the EU as well as some of our operations outside of the EU that involve the processing of EU personal data. This regulation significantly increases the potential financial penalties for noncompliance, including fines of up to 4% of worldwide revenue. Similar regulations are coming into effect in Brazil and China, and in the U.S., California has adopted, and several states and provinces in Canada are considering adopting, laws and regulations imposing obligations regarding personal data. In some cases, these laws provide a private right of action that would allow customers to bring suit directly against us for mishandling their data.
Our operations and products are subject to extensive laws, regulations and policies, including those related to vehicle emissions, fuel economy standards, and greenhouse gas emissions, that can significantly increase our costs and affect how we do business. We are significantly affected by governmental regulations on a global basis that can increase costs related to the production of our vehicles and affect our product portfolio, particularly regulations relating to emissions, fuel economy standards, and greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting or exceeding many of these regulations is costly and often technologically challenging, especially because the standards are not harmonized across jurisdictions. We anticipate that the number and extent of these and other regulations, laws and policies, and the related costs and changes to our product portfolio, may increase significantly in the future, primarily out of concern for the environment (including concerns about global climate change and its impact). These government regulatory requirements, among others, could significantly affect our plans for global product development and given
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
the uncertainty surrounding enforcement and regulatory definitions and interpretations, may result in substantial costs, including civil or criminal penalties. In addition, an evolving but un-harmonized emissions and fuel economy regulatory framework may limit or dictate the types of vehicles we sell and where we sell them, which can affect revenue. Refer to the “Environmental and Regulatory Matters” section of Item 1. Business for further information on regulatory and environmental requirements.
We expect that to comply with fuel economy and emission control requirements we will be required to sell a significant volume of electric vehicles, and potentially develop and implement new technologies for conventional internal combustion engines, all at increased costs. There are limits on our ability to achieve fuel economy improvements over a given time frame, however, primarily relating to the cost and effectiveness of available technologies, lack of sufficient consumer acceptance of new technologies and of changes in vehicle mix, lack of willingness of consumers to absorb the additional costs of new technologies, the appropriateness (or lack thereof) of certain technologies for use in particular vehicles, the widespread availability (or lack thereof) of supporting infrastructure for new technologies, and the human, engineering, and financial resources necessary to deploy new technologies across a wide range of products and powertrains in a short time. There is no assurance that we will be able to produce and sell vehicles that use such new technologies on a profitable basis or that our customers will purchase such vehicles in the quantities necessary for us to comply with these regulatory programs.
In the current uncertain regulatory framework, environmental liabilities for which we may be responsible and that are not reasonably estimable could be substantial. Alleged violations of safety, fuel economy or emissions standards could result in legal proceedings, the recall of one or more of our products, negotiated remedial actions, fines, restricted product offerings or a combination of any of those items. Any of these actions could have a material adverse effect on our operations including facility idling, reduced employment, increased costs and loss of revenue.
In addition, many of our advanced technologies, including autonomous vehicles, present novel issues with which domestic and foreign regulators have only limited experience and will be subject to evolving regulatory frameworks. Any current or future regulations in these areas could impact whether and how these technologies are designed and integrated into our products, and may ultimately subject us to increased costs and uncertainty.
We could be materially adversely affected by unusual or significant litigation, governmental investigations or other proceedings. We are subject to legal proceedings involving various issues, including product liability lawsuits, class action litigations alleging product defects, emissions litigation (both in the U.S. and elsewhere), stockholder litigation, labor and employment litigation in various countries (including U.S., Canada, Korea and Brazil), claims and actions arising from divestitures of operations and assets and proceedings related to the Ignition Switch Recall. In addition, we are subject to governmental proceedings and investigations. A negative outcome in one or more of these legal proceedings could result in the imposition of damages, including punitive damages, substantial fines, significant reputational harm, civil lawsuits and criminal penalties, interruptions of business, modification of business practices, equitable remedies and other sanctions against us or our personnel as well as significant legal and other costs. In addition, we may become obligated to issue additional shares (Adjustment Shares) of up to 30 million shares of our common stock (subject to adjustment to take into account stock dividends, stock splits and other transactions) to the Motors Liquidation Company (MLC) GUC Trust (GUC Trust) under a provision of the Amended and Restated Master Sale and Purchase Agreement between us and General Motors Corporation and certain of its subsidiaries in the event that allowed general unsecured claims against the GUC Trust, as estimated by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Bankruptcy Court), exceed $35.0 billion. The GUC Trust stated in public filings that allowed general unsecured claims were approximately $32.1 billion as of September 30, 2019. For a further discussion of these matters refer to Note 16 to our consolidated financial statements.
The costs and effect on our reputation of product safety recalls and alleged defects in products and services could materially adversely affect our business. Government safety standards require manufacturers to remedy certain product safety defects through recall campaigns and vehicle repurchases. Under these standards, we could be subject to civil or criminal penalties or may incur various costs, including significant costs for repairs made at no cost to the consumer. At present, the costs we incur in connection with these recalls typically include the cost of the part being replaced and labor to remove and replace the defective part. The costs to complete a recall could be exacerbated to the extent that such action relates to a global platform. Concerns about the safety of our products, including advanced technologies like autonomous vehicles, whether raised internally or by regulators or consumer advocates, and whether or not based on scientific evidence or supported by data, can result in product delays, recalls, lost sales, governmental investigations, regulatory action, private claims, lawsuits and settlements, and reputational damage. These circumstances can also result in damage to brand image, brand equity and consumer trust in the Company’s products and ability to lead the disruption occurring in the automotive industry.
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
We currently source a variety of systems, components, raw materials and parts from third parties. From time to time these items may have performance or quality issues that could harm our reputation and cause us to incur significant costs, particularly if the affected items relate to global platforms or involve defects that are identified years after production. Our ability to recover costs associated with recalls or other campaigns caused by parts or components purchased from suppliers may be limited by the suppliers’ financial condition or a number of other reasons or defenses.
We may incur additional tax expense or become subject to additional tax exposure. We are subject to the tax laws and regulations of the U.S. and numerous other jurisdictions in which we do business. Many judgments are required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities, and we are regularly under audit by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities, which may not agree with our tax positions. In addition, our tax liabilities are subject to other significant risks and uncertainties, including those arising from potential changes in laws and/or regulations in the countries in which we do business, the possibility of adverse determinations with respect to the application of existing laws, changes in our business or structure and changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities. Any unfavorable resolution of these and other uncertainties may have a significant adverse impact on our tax rate and results of operations. If our tax expense were to increase, or if the ultimate determination of our taxes owed is for an amount in excess of amounts previously accrued, our operating results, cash flows and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We rely on GM Financial to provide financial services to our customers and dealers in North America, South America and Asia/Pacific. GM Financial faces a number of business, economic and financial risks that could impair its access to capital and negatively affect its business and operations, which in turn could impede its ability to provide leasing and financing to customers and commercial lending to our dealers. Any reduction in GM Financial’s ability to provide such financial services would negatively affect our efforts to support additional sales of our vehicles and expand our market penetration among customers and dealers.
The primary factors that could adversely affect GM Financial’s business and operations and reduce its ability to provide financing services at competitive rates include the sufficiency, availability and cost of sources of financing, including credit facilities, securitization programs and secured and unsecured debt issuances; the performance of loans and leases in its portfolio, which could be materially affected by charge-offs, delinquencies and prepayments; wholesale auction values of used vehicles; higher than expected vehicle return rates and the residual value performance on vehicles GM Financial leases to customers; fluctuations in interest rates and currencies; competition for customers from commercial banks, credit unions and other financing and leasing companies; and changes to regulation, supervision, enforcement and licensing across various jurisdictions.
In addition, a substantial portion of GM Financial’s indebtedness bears interest at variable interest rates, primarily based on USD-LIBOR. The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, has announced that it will no longer persuade or compel banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. It is unknown whether any banks will continue to voluntarily submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR, or whether LIBOR will continue to be published by its administrator based on these submissions or on any other basis, after 2021. At this time, it is not possible to predict the effect that these developments or any discontinuance, modification or other reforms may have on LIBOR, other benchmarks or floating–rate debt instruments, including GM Financial’s floating–rate debt. Any such discontinuance, modification, alternative reference rates or other reforms may materially adversely affect interest rates on GM Financial’s current or future indebtedness. There is a risk that the discontinuation of LIBOR will impact GM Financial's ability to manage interest rate risk effectively without an adequate replacement.
Further, as an entity operating in the financial services sector, GM Financial is required to comply with a wide variety of laws and regulations that may be costly to adhere to and may affect our consolidated operating results. Compliance with these laws and regulations requires that GM Financial maintain forms, processes, procedures, controls and the infrastructure to support these requirements and these laws and regulations often create operational constraints both on GM Financial’s ability to implement servicing procedures and on pricing. Laws in the financial services industry are designed primarily for the protection of consumers. The failure to comply with these laws could result in significant statutory civil and criminal penalties, monetary damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, possible revocation of licenses and damage to reputation, brand and valued customer relationships.
Our defined benefit pension plans are currently underfunded and our pension funding requirements could increase significantly due to a reduction in funded status as a result of a variety of factors, including weak performance of financial markets, declining interest rates, changes in laws or regulations, changes in assumptions or investments that do not achieve adequate returns. Our employee benefit plans currently hold a significant amount of equity and fixed income securities. A detailed description of the investment funds and strategies and our potential funding requirements are disclosed in Note 15 to our consolidated financial statements, which also describes significant concentrations of risk to the plan investments.
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Our future funding requirements for our defined benefit pension plans depend upon the future performance of assets placed in trusts for these plans, the level of interest rates used to determine funding levels, the level of benefits provided for by the plans and any changes in laws and regulations. Future funding requirements generally increase if the discount rate decreases or if actual asset returns are lower than expected asset returns, assuming other factors are held constant. We estimate future contributions to these plans using assumptions with respect to these and other items. Changes to those assumptions could have a significant effect on future contributions.
There are additional risks due to the complexity and magnitude of our investments. Examples include implementation of significant changes in investment policy, insufficient market liquidity in particular asset classes and the inability to quickly rebalance illiquid and long-term investments.
Factors that affect future funding requirements for our U.S. defined benefit plans generally affect the required funding for non-U.S. plans. Certain plans outside the U.S. do not have assets and therefore the obligation is funded as benefits are paid. If local legal authorities increase the minimum funding requirements for our non-U.S. plans, we could be required to contribute more funds.
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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
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Item 2. Properties
At December 31, 2019 we had over 100 locations in the U.S. (excluding our automotive financing operations and dealerships), which are primarily for manufacturing, assembly, distribution, warehousing, engineering and testing. We, our subsidiaries or associated companies in which we own an equity interest own most of these properties and/or lease a portion of these properties. Leased properties are primarily composed of warehouses and administration, engineering and sales offices.
We have manufacturing, assembly, distribution, office or warehousing operations in 32 countries, including equity interests in associated companies, which perform manufacturing, assembly or distribution operations. The major facilities outside the U.S., which are principally vehicle manufacturing and assembly operations, are located in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and South Korea.
GM Financial owns or leases facilities for administration and regional credit centers. GM Financial has 43 facilities, of which 28 are located in the U.S. The major facilities outside the U.S. are located in Brazil, Canada and Mexico.
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Item 3. Legal Proceedings
The discussion under "Litigation-Related Liability and Tax Administrative Matters" in Note 16 to our consolidated financial statements is incorporated by reference into this Part II - Item 3.
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Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
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GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information Shares of our common stock are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "GM".
Holders At January 24, 2020 we had 1.4 billion issued and outstanding shares of common stock held by 488 holders of record.
Purchases of Equity Securities The following table summarizes our purchases of common stock in the three months ended December 31, 2019:
Total Number of Shares Purchased(a)
Weighted Average Price Paid per Share
Total Number of Shares Purchased Under Announced Programs(b)
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares That May Yet be Purchased Under Announced Programs
October 1, 2019 through October 31, 2019
November 1, 2019 through November 30, 2019
December 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019
Shares purchased consist of shares delivered by employees or directors to us for the payment of taxes resulting from issuance of common stock upon the vesting of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), Performance Stock Units (PSUs) and Restricted Stock Awards (RSAs) relating to compensation plans. In June 2017 our shareholders approved the 2017 Long Term Incentive Plan, which authorizes awards of stock options, stock appreciation rights, RSAs, RSUs, PSUs or other stock-based awards to selected employees, consultants, advisors, and non-employee Directors of the Company. Refer to Note 23 to our consolidated financial statements for additional details on employee stock incentive plans.
In January 2017 we announced that our Board of Directors had authorized the purchase of up to an additional $5.0 billion of our common stock with no expiration date.
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GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
At and for the Years Ended December 31,
Income Statement Data:
Total net sales and revenue
Income from continuing operations(a)
Basic earnings per common share – continuing operations(a)
Diluted earnings per common share – continuing operations(a)
Dividends declared per common share
Balance Sheet Data: