News Column

GM CEO Barra vows to change company culture at 1st shareholder meeting

June 10, 2014

General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra pledged Tuesday in her first address to shareholders since taking up the post in January to ensure the automaker learns from the ignition switch defect that led to at least 13 deaths, a 2.6 million vehicle recall and a $35 million fine from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"You should know that I have and will be guided by two clear principles: to do right thing for those that were harmed and to make sure we accept responsibility for our mistakes and commit to doing everything within our power to prevent this problem from ever happening again," Barra told the annual meeting GM's Detroit headquarters.

Last Friday, GM announced it would create a program to compensate people who were seriously injured or lost family members due to the ignition switch defect. Although the exact amount of the fund was not announced, Barra said investors should welcome its establishment.

"I believe that if we do the right thing for customers and we do the right thing for the business, we are doing the right thing for shareholders," Barra told a press conference ahead of the meeting.

Despite recalling more than 15 million vehicles worldwide for 34 separate issues this year, Barra emphasized to shareholders that the automaker sold more cars in May than any month since August 2008.

"Last month, GM dealers delivered almost 285,000 cars, trucks and crossovers in the U.S., up 13 percent compared to a year ago, making it the company's best May in seven years and its best total sales since August 2008," she said. "That's why I am optimistic about where we are and where we are going."

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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