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General Motors Company (GM - Analyst Report) is set to showcase the all-new Chevrolet SS rear-wheel-drive sedan in the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series motor race in Florida in February 2013. The new vehicle will hit the market in the second half of 2013. The company recently unveiled the NASCAR Sprint Cup racing version of Chevrolet SS in Las Vegas.

Chevrolet SS is the first rear-wheel-drive vehicle in the U.S after the company stopped marketing Pontiac G8 in 2009. The vehicle will be produced in Australia using the technology, infrastructure and engineering of the Holden Commodore automobile, which was build by the Australian subsidiary of General Motors.

The new vehicle launch is expected to enhance the company’s business based on the rising demand from the dealers and customers. The rear-wheel-drive sedan features better acceleration, braking and handling system than the front-wheel-drive models.

Recently, General Motors announced its plans to launch the electric version of Chevrolet Spark in the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show. The new Spark features an electric motor and a 20 kWh lithium ion battery, making it faster than the gasoline version of Spark. The company expects that the launch will enhance its business and provide a low cost alternative to the customers.

General Motors posted a 9.7% decline in earnings (excluding special items) to 93 cents per share in the third quarter of 2012 from $1.03 in the corresponding quarter a year ago. However, the results outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 61 cents.

Profit ebbed 5.9% to $1.6 billion from $1.7 billion a year ago due to lower profits from North America and higher loss in Europe. Revenues grew 2.5% year over year to $37.6 billion, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $36.3 billion. The improvement was driven by an increase in worldwide sales volume to 2.3 million units.

Detroit, Michigan-based General Motors is the largest automobile manufacturer in the world and one of the ‘Big Three’ U.S. automakers. However, like its competitor Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report), the company's significant exposure to troubled Europe has adversely affected its operations in the continent.

Currently, General Motors retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. We have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.
 

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