General Motors pulls monthly conference calls
American car manufacturer General Motors (GM) has put an end to its monthly sales conference calls after holding them regularly for more than a decade.
Speaking on what turned out to be the final call, which covered GM’s December performance, company spokesperson Jim Cain said the new approach will mean investors, analysts and media contacts hear less about the ‘minutiae’ of isolated markets.
‘We are ending the call to concentrate on conferences and other forums that allow us to discuss our strategy and our results with a long-term view and in a very holistic way,’ he explained.
Cain said GM’s management believes the firm already provides enough opportunity to interact with its executives throughout the year. He noted that GM takes part in six or seven major analyst conferences, holds quarterly earnings calls and conducts media interviews at auto shows.
A stand-alone sales results release will continue to be released on a monthly basis.
Though some of GM’s investors and analysts may miss the monthly call, others have received the move enthusiastically. Adam Jonas, an auto analyst at Morgan Stanley, says too much attention was paid to monthly sales figures, according to the Wall Street Journal. ‘I think everyone should join GM and kill off the sales call,’ Jonas adds.
The change in approach has been overseen by GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, who took up the role last month. She joined the Detroit-based car firm at the age of 18, most recently serving as head of product development and presiding over the revamp of several of GM’s flagship vehicles, including the Chevrolet Impala.
The decision to drop the call follows similar moves by other US car manufacturers, notes the WSJ. Chrysler, for example, cut its monthly calls in 2009 after being taken over by Italian firm Fiat. A handful of car companies – including Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota – maintain the practice.