GM Stock Falls Over 50% as Sales Plunge

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) reported that its sales in China, the largest market in the world, fell 35.5% in the second quarter to 484,200. China sales are absolutely critical to GM’s health and were a strong point until recently.

GM’s comment about July sales was not comforting. “In the meantime, GM is continuing its pivot to a platform innovator. Following the Cadillac LYRIQ, Ultium-based EVs from Buick and Chevrolet will make their debut in China in the second half of this year.” It is unclear what a “platform innovator” is.

GM’s stock has suffered horribly. From a 52-week high of $67.21, it has fallen to near $32. The company’s market value has lost almost $50 billion.

Despite constant comments about how its electric vehicle development makes progress, it remains very far behind market leader Tesla. Rival Ford has launched its F-150 Lightning. Ford has millions of F-150s on the road, which means the universe of possible buyers is huge.

GM’s competition in the EV market is not limited to Ford and Tesla. Every major car company in the world has spent or will spend billions of dollars on EV development and production. A KPMG study showed car executives expect half their sales to be EVs in 2030.

GM’s sales in its home market are nearly as troubling as those in China. Last year, Toyota sold more cars in the United States than GM did. GM has held the lead since 1931. GM regained the lead this year, but not by much.

GM’s shares made a long and steady climb from mid-2017 to early this year. The recent sell-off has wiped out those gains.

GM can argue some of the decline in its stock is due to a sharp fall in the stock market. However, that explanation is not enough. GM is not considered a leader in EVs, which are the future of cars worldwide. Not every large car company will have a large market share in this sector. GM is at risk of being one of the laggards.

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