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Yesterday, General Motors finally submitted its S-1 document to the Securities and Exchange Commission as the first official step towards becoming a publicly traded company again. As we found when Tesla went down this path earlier this year, an IPO means a company has to outline the potential pitfalls it faces going forward in addition to all of the positive moves it plans to make.

On the positive side, GM recognizes that it still faces a negative consumer perception when it comes to fuel economy and says it will to strive to become the most fuel efficient automaker in the industry. In order to do that, GM is planning to use all of the technologies at its disposal to elevate the miles-per-gallon numbers on its products in hopes of drawing consumers. That will range from more conventional technologies like downsized, turbocharged,direct-injected engines to more hybrid and electric vehicles.

However, GM also acknowledges that meeting customer and CAFE requirements is going to add to the cost of vehicles in the future and could put downward pressure on sales. The more advanced technologies, like fuel cells and batteries, face even bigger hurdles as neither one has yet proven commercially feasible and there is no guarantee that GM and its suppliers will be able to bring down the costs as hoped. Nonetheless, alternative propulsion systems will be GM's top research priority going forward.

GM has also applied for up to $14.4 billion in low interest loans through the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program but there is no guarantee that it will receive any of that money. If GM is not approved for ATVM loans, it will be more expensive for it to develop and tool up new technologies.

[Source: Earth2Tech, Securities and Exchange Commission | Image: Associated Press/Paul Sancya]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      A total of 83 U.S. and international patents (26 pending) have been awarded to GM for Voltec technology. They will actively protect these patent especially in China where there is little regard for patent law or intellectual property.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just a little knowledge I picked up along the way: Invest in companies that make money.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Problem is, if you wait until they're making lots of money, the stock price will already have gone way up. Best to buy before they make lots of money, when the stock is still cheap - but of course the problem then is to figure out if they will make lots of money!
      • 4 Years Ago
      @wave54:

      Because the savings are non-existent. After tax breaks you're buying a $18,000 automobile for around $35,000 which won't net you that $17,000 in savings during the life of the vehicle. Not to mention that its effective carbon output could easily be higher if you live anywhere with significant amounts of coal-fired electrical production and you'll probably have to upgrade the electrical service to your house to charge it.

      If you really must have a GM, do them a favour and buy a Cruze. It's a Volt without the premium.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So I guess they really are gonna do as Obama commands and sell the tiny, cramped, flimsy vehicles "that Americans really want to buy", as Dear Leader has said time and time again.

      See all those SUVs and Mini-Vans out there? That didn't happen by accident. An 80 billion dollar welfare check, bondholders screwed in bankruptcy, and they're still gonna ^&%$ this up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So GM issues an IPO to try to raise $16 Billion to cover a portion of what was spent only to seek $14.4 Billion in new government loans?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Again, keep in mind that all documents filed with the SEC (like this S-1) always make things sound awful because they are written very conservatively by lawyers to avoid lawsuits. As a big investor once said, if you read all the S-1s, 10Ks, and 10Qs then you would never invest in anything. ;-)

      That said, there are serious risks with GM. However, there could be a big upside if we hit 'peak oil' relatively soon since the Volt will suddenly become very attractive. And assuming they've been filing lots of patents, they'll be able to license the technology to other companies.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, the series-hyrbid existed long ago. But the basic concept and a real-world implementation that is offered for sale is very different. They will solve all sorts of problems with reducing the price, reducing the electricity usage of the accessories, instrumentation, computer control, battery management, etc.

        So, I'm sure they have some IP.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Their patents couldn't be that restrictive, as there have been series hybrid drive trains around for more than a century, in all kinds of vehicles. Of course that doesn't mean they couldn't license something to someone.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, it says they will be making more electric vehicles? What a bunch of BS. I have not seen one of their EV's in America for 10.5 years. I don't call a vehicle that is propelled for 96% of it's range a electric vehicle, sorry, but no.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you spend most of your driving time within a local radius of 30-40 miles with an occasional longer trip, your percentage of electric could be 96% and gasoline 4%. Depends on how you use the Volt.

        I don't understand all the hate for this car -- it offers the best of both worlds to those who want it. It fills a niche during the time of transition between petroleum-fueled cars and EVs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I take real issue with GM Postwalts attacking EV's when it suits him and from the CEO on down they say misleading stuff like, "this is the only car that can travel from coast to coast on electricity. That is a flat out lye that they are trying to perpetuate on unsuspecting Americans and it is GM's excuse for not producing EV's. Seems GM is relying on people being stupid or all they care about is that people hear these things and precieve that GM is doing great things producing a EV, in reality they are producing a hybrid and this hybrid may save less fuel than a Prius depending on as you said Wave54, "your percentage of electric could be 96% and gasoline 4%. Depends on how you use the Volt." If use was as in your example wave54, these people would be far better off buying the Leaf and renting for that 4% of the time.

        GM is trying to confuse the issues here so they can continue their revenue streams for the ICE and say they are building a EV, what a crock!

        • 4 Years Ago
        Oops, should have read, " I don't call a vehicle that is propelled (on gas) for 96% of it's range a electric vehicle, sorry, but no.


      • 4 Years Ago
      some ipo(s) look better than others...

      I've been channeling visa between 71.5 and 75 for the past couple of months, with my safety net of the stocks ipo price of 55 bucks.

      gm?
      using visa as a guide, the optimum this ipo might do is 50%, but the longer term result is that the stock will fall below its ipo price within a year, but probably in less than 6 months.

      gm isn't visa though...

      visa has a stream of income, sufficent to keep the company solid. the gm play is risky, largely because the break even point does honestly come, until 2014, when gm dumps its devastating healthcare costs on the govt, while the labor unions pocket the remaining health funds.

      if the gop guts the healthcare plan, the one that was birthed under the 50 senator rule of reconciliation, gm will collapse under its own obscenely weighted benefits package.

      would dems please buy this stock...
      your money will be placed in my pockets on multiple 'puts', with the greatest payoff coming when the unions cause a collapse of adding even more pork to their plates.

      company ownership?
      61% govt, 17% union...

      this is almost 80% owned by two entities that couldn't manage a lemonade stand, without operating at a loss.

      • 4 Years Ago
      So, the bottom line is that GM's business plan is to continue to suck at the government teet until people have no choice but to buy their cars.
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