General Motors Company (GM - Free Report) intends to manufacture 500,000 vehicles per annum by 2017 that will include some from of electric technology as a part of its long-term goal to become a leader in the fuel-efficient vehicles market.
The vehicles would mainly include plug-in hybrids such as Chevrolet Volt, apart from pure electric vehicles such as Chevrolet Spark EV that will go on sale next year. The company also plans to push its eAssist system technology in its new vehicles. The eAssist system boosts fuel efficiency by 25% in gasoline-powered vehicles.
Last year, GM announced plans to manufacture a luxury electric car dubbed ELR based on the technology used in its Volt plug-in hybrid for its Cadillac brand. The Volt, which went on sale in mid-December 2010, is the most fuel-efficient compact car sold in the U.S. as rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
GM has already chosen the battery supplier A123 Systems Inc. – which filed for bankruptcy last month – for its Chevrolet Spark EV. The pure electric Chevy subcompact would compete with Nissan Motor Co.’s (NSANY - Free Report) Leaf, which was introduced in late 2010.
Many automakers started focusing on electric powered vehicles as President Barack Obama’s administration set a goal of achieving 1 million battery-powered vehicles on the road by 2015.
In August this year, Ford Motor Co. (F - Free Report) announced its plan to invest $135 million to develop key components, including advanced battery systems, for its next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles. The automaker is looking forward to double its battery-testing capabilities to 160 individual battery-test channels by 2013. It aims to boost development of hybrid-electric vehicles by at least 25%.
The company plans to launch five fuel-efficient hybrid-electric vehicles this year including Focus Electric, C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, new Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. It also plans to triple production capacity of electrified vehicles by 2013.
GM, a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) stock posted a 9.7% fall in earnings to 93 cents per share (excluding special items) in the third quarter of the year from $1.03 in the corresponding quarter a year ago. However, earnings per share in the quarter far exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 61 cents.
Revenues in the quarter grew 2.5% to $37.6 billion, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $36.3 billion. Worldwide sales volume inched up 1.6% to 2.3 million units from 2.2 million units a year ago. However, total market share declined to 11.6% from 12.1% in the third quarter of 2011.