The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

NEW YORK ( Trefis) -- General Motors ( GM) is currently the world's second largest automobile original equipment manufacturer based on vehicle sales volume. GM sells cars, trucks and crossover vehicles, and offers vehicle leases and loans through GM Financial. Its business is diversified across products and geographic markets, with operations and sales in more than 120 countries. In China, GM operates primarily through its three joint ventures. General Motors competes with players like Toyota ( TM), Honda ( HMC), Ford ( F), Daimler, Volkswagen and Hyundai.

We recently launched coverage of the company with a Trefis price estimate of $45 for GM's stock, which is about 25% above the current market price of $36.


The company's brands include Cadillac, GMC, Buick and Chevrolet globally; Opel and Vauxhall in Europe; and Daewoo, FAW, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Baojun and Wuling in other international markets. We've broken down our analysis of GM into eight major business segments: GM Cars U.S.; GM Trucks U.S.; GM Canada & Mexico; GM Europe; GM China; GM International; Vehicle Leases; and GM Other Income.

GM faced immense problems during the automobile crisis that followed the global crisis but has managed to restructure its business and come out stronger. The new GM commenced operations on July 10, 2009, after it completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of the old GM through a 363 Sale under the Bankruptcy Code. In the second half of 2010, it achieved profitability.

GM's U.S. total vehicle sales business is the most valuable business for GM. The vehicle sales business in U.S. is closely followed by its vehicle sales business in China, where GM operates through three joint ventures and is the second most valuable region for GM. After GM sold its majority stake in Ally financial, GM's vehicle lease business contributed only 5% to GM's total valuation, but we expect GM's vehicle leasing business to grow and become increasingly more valuable following the acquisition of AmeriCredit.

GM's Brand Rationalization Strategy

GM is now focusing its resources upon four core brands: Cadillac, GMC, Buick and Chevrolet. As a result, GM completed the sale of Saab in February 2010, the sale of Saab Automobile GB (Saab GB) in May 2010 and has ceased production of the Pontiac, Saturn, and HUMMER brands as it continues to wind down the related dealerships.

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