Why General Motors is riding high

The automaker posts strong earnings and earns kudos for its new Chevrolet Impala.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 25, 2013 5:05PM
Thursday was a good day for General Motors (GM).

The automaker posted better-than-expected quarterly results and also earned praise from Consumer Reports for the Chevrolet Impala, something that a few years ago seemed like a pipe dream.
GM's financial success was attributed to higher prices on some models, such as the Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck, coupled with aggressive cost-cutting in Europe. (Click here for a closer look at the numbers.)

The praise that Consumer Reports heaped on the Impala, which GM recently redesigned, was nothing short of extraordinary.2014 Chevrolet Impala LTZ (© Chevrolet/AP Photo)

The magazine noted that the Impala (pictured) has "been transformed from a woefully uncompetitive and outdated model that was to be avoided even as a free upgrade at the rental-car counter into a thoroughly modern and remarkably enjoyable vehicle."

Consumer Reports gave the Impala its highest ranking for a sedan, an honor that had exclusively gone to European and Japanese vehicles for at least two decades, according to CNNMoney. The only cars rating higher than the Impala are Tesla Motors' (TSLA) Model S, an electric-powered car, and the BMW 135i coupe.  

The Impala's suggested retail price is $27,500, far cheaper than the $31,200 to $48,000 seen for the BMW and the $48,000 for Tesla's Model S.

About the only thing bad that can be said about GM is that the company's stock would have to more than triple for taxpayers to break even on their $49.5 billion bailout of the automaker at the height of the recession. That is highly unlikely, according to many experts.

--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter@jdberr

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Jul 26, 2013 8:47AM
I love my Chevy's, I have 2.  06 Trailblazer and a 79 Vette, both run and look like new.  Unlike Honda's were the paint is always falling off or Toyota's that are recalled daily.
Jul 29, 2013 9:44PM

I have all ways been a GM man but now none of the cars are built in the states,.there is only 3 that's built here now and none are GMs

Jul 26, 2013 6:39PM
After my experience with my 1964 Corvair Spyder, I swore I would never buy another GM product--and I haven't and I won't.  Had I saved and invested the money spent on repairs to the Spyder, I would be significantly better off today financially.  Another factor was the incredibly arrogant attitude of GM management in those days, up through the 1980's.
Jul 26, 2013 10:44AM
GM puts $$ first then forgets or takes away from retirees.
My father was a GM dealer in the 1960's-1970's. Cars were of such poor quality, they rarely made it to 100k miles before blowing an engine. I had a 1973 El Camino that had regular service and blew an engine at 90k. I switched to Hondas and had 3 over 15 years with incredible reliability. I then switched to Toyota in 1993 and have had a 4runner and now a Highlander Hybrid. Both excellent performance and quality and superb customer service. They will last over 300k before they become too costly to maintain.Toyota got a bad rap in the recalls, but has always gone the extra mile to correct any deficiency, even when it has cost them to suffer financially. I don't believe Ford got the bad press when the Pintos were blowing up because of a fuel tank flaw. American cars have  a long way to go before I buy one again. The best cars are the German cars, far and above superior in quality and performance then all others. My ex-wife has a 530I BMW and current wife has an Audi TDI, both of which have been high quality and high performance automobiles.
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