The General Motors Company

High School ・Business ・MLA ・4 Sources

General Motors Company (GM)

General Motors Company (GM) is one of the world’s largest automakers that began production in 1908. However, it was renamed in 2009 after the previous company went bankrupt. It has its operational base in Detroit with various branches across 140 countries. The multinational corporation has in its employ over 215,000 people in the major regions in which it operates. It also in collaboration with other partners to manufacture trucks and cars in 35 countries, selling them in brands like Buick, GMC, Saab, Opel-Vauxhall, Cadillac, Pontiac, Saturn, and Oldsmobile among others. Back in 2006, General motors sold more than 9 million vehicles in about five continents of the world and had a 13.5 percent market share. Due to the competitive nature of this industry, corporations are forced to introduce novel products. Novelty is a key aspect of drawing consumers. Therefore, this paper will attempt to provide an in-depth analysis of the company and whether it fits the definition of international business. It will also discuss how internationalized it is as well as consumer and investor impact on decision making.

Definition of International Business

An international business can be described as any commercial transactions i.e. transportation, logistics, governmental, private, or sales among others that happen between two or more countries or regions past their political borders. These are business activities that entail cross-border relations of products, services, as well as resources between countries. The transactions include people, skills, or capital among others with the aim of international generation of physical goods and services like construction, insurance, banking, and finance. As such, a multinational enterprise (MNE) is a corporation that operates in a global perspective to markets across several countries. Drawing from this description, General Motors fits the definition of international business since it operates in more than 140 countries across the globe. It also manufactures vehicles, typically trucks and cars in 35 countries. The enterprise also has numerous brands that are sold globally to meet the worldwide consumer demands. In 2015 alone, the company sold more than 9,900,000 vehicles across the globe. As an international entity, the company also employs many people with the current figure standing at 215,000 in 2015. As such, all these aspects embody the notion that GM is an international business corporation (GM Financial 4).

Internationalization of General Motors

GM has been engaged in numerous ventures across the globe meant to extend their market penetration as well as shares. It utilizes acquisitions, strategic alliances, joint ventures, and exports to penetrate foreign markets founded on the business perspectives. It has also managed to expand its capacities in manufacturing via technical competencies. This was mainly attained through the formation of subsidiaries, joint ventures, and strategic alliances with automobile corporations in various parts of the globe. A good example can be relayed by its 2006 press release where the company demonstrated how it had ventured globally to heighten its market share. Use of partnerships allows GM to promptly grow its technical fields that borrow knowledge that is applied to the corporation or even corporate matters. Via the different phases of internationalization, General Motors has managed to broaden its dissemination and offer entree to necessary materials (GM Financial 20).

Furthermore, the corporation established and enhanced its functions providing access to novel technologies as well as a rich store of knowledge and new capacities. The company opted to internationalize so as to attract a wider market, develop strategic alliances, and reduce costs. For instance, it strategically partnered with Fiat in 2000 to adopt a joint procurement project. The partnership strengthened then corporations bargaining power while decreasing the supplier management costs. It also migrated its production abroad when internal competition heightened. As such, the need to discover a novel incentive for the administration of a new market while maintaining the low costs forced the corporation to internationalize.

A good example of General Motors internationalization can be demonstrated by do Brasil. It is the company’s third-largest venture outside the United States after China. At first, it was only involved in assembly of vehicles that were imported from the U.S. Five years later i.e. 1930; the GMB opened a plant in Sao Paulo. This led to a full-scale development of a production facility that was a success. Due to this achievement, the company opened another facility 28 years later. It is the reason why Brasil is the chief exporter of General Motors automobiles in the entire South American continent. Breaking from their domestic markets to venture in larger operations beyond their boundaries typifies internationalization. Furthermore, the example demonstrates that developing smaller distribution nodes rather maintaining a single epicenter is key to achieving success. Once the firm overcame the cultural obstacles and got its first experience entailing international operations, it was easier to conquer other markets progressively.

Impact of Investors and Consumers on the Company’s Decisions

In a competitive industry, a company’s decision-making process is influenced by the customer demands. In the automobile industry, clients are given a chance to customize their purchases. As such, companies are forced to abide by the requirements to heighten their sales. GM is also influenced by customers through the social media platforms to make decisions regarding the vehicle designs. While the corporation's employees achieve most of the design process, consumers have a say when it comes to the final product. As such, GM allows customers to make recommendations regarding their vehicle designs.

Investors also influence business decisions of any company. In this case, they tend to define how GM makes its investments. They determine the suitability of indulging in a project. For instance, if an investment is bound to heighten the profit margins, investors provide the capital to indulge in the same. Investor contribution has been key to GM’s expansion into other regions. It is the reason GM is investing massive amounts of cash in Mexico to facilitate the Chevrolet Cruze. Therefore, as described above, investors and consumers shape GM’s business decisions (Maynard).

Hard and Soft Power

Soft power is the skill to model the inclinations of others. A company can co-opt and attract others into liking the products. On the other hand, hard power entails coercion, force, or money to persuade. As one of the most dominant corporations located in a superpower, GM both utilizes hard and soft power to entice consumers. GM produces attractive products that attract a broad customer base who make decisions based on these enticing aspects. For instance, due to appealing nature, the company was able to grow in South America opening several plants in Brazil. Furthermore, the competitive nature of this industry mandates corporations to use the appealing approach to attract a wider market. In most instances, the forceful approach does not attract customers (Davies).

Code of Conducts

Like many other corporations, GM has a code of conducts that strives to provide the ethical standards of the company. In what is termed as "Winning With Integrity," the company champions honesty in all their business undertakings so as maintain a healthy image. The codes also govern the corporation's activities, particularly regarding design and manufacture. The "Winning with Integrity," code of conduct sets forward the central pledge to conducting business honestly and ethically. Under this code, the core values entail excellence, customers, and relationships. The ethical codes also require the members to uphold integrity, accountability, and doing the right thing. Safety and quality for customers as well as in the workplace are never compromised (General Motors 2).


General Motors is a leading corporation based on automobiles. It operates in many countries; hence, has achieved the status of an international business. Based in Detroit, the company has several plants across 140 countries and manufacturers vehicles in 35 nations. All these aspects underline its status as a global enterprise. In general, this corporation continues to serve many countries with a variety of products that are influenced by consumer demands. In a means to address the customer demands, the company provides the consumers with a chance to customize the vehicles to meet certain desires.

Works Cited

Davies, Alex. "How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car." 2016. 26 March 2017.
General Motors. "GM's Code of Conduct." (n.d.): 1-47.
GM Financial. "General Motors Strategic and Operational Overview." (2016): 1-55.
Maynard, Micheline. "As Trump Leans On Ford And GM, How Reagan And Other Presidents Shaped The Auto Industry." 3 January 2017. 26 March 2017.

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