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https://www.gm.com/content/dam/gm/en_us/english/Group4/InvestorsPDFDocuments/10-K.pdf

Risks...page 12

Our profitability is dependent upon the success of full-size pick-up trucks and SUVs.

While we offer a balanced and complete portfolio of small, mid-size and large cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks, we generally recognize higher profit margins on our full-size pick-up trucks and SUVs. Our success is dependent upon consumer preferences and our ability to sell higher margin vehicles in sufficient volumes. Any increases in the price of oil or any sustained shortage of oil, including as a result of global political instability, could cause a shift in consumer demand towards smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles, and weaken the demand for our higher margin full-size pick-up trucks and SUVs.

We could be materially adversely affected by a negative outcome in unusual or significant litigation, governmental investigations or other legal proceedings.

We are subject to legal proceedings involving various issues, including product liability lawsuits, stockholder litigation and governmental investigations, such as the legal proceedings related to the Ignition Switch Recall. Refer to the "GM North America" section of MD&A for additional information on the Ignition Switch Recall. Such legal proceedings could in the future result in the imposition of damages, including punitive damages, substantial fines, civil lawsuits and criminal penalties, interruptions of business, modification of business practices, equitable remedies and other sanctions against us or our personnel as well as significant legal and other costs. For a further discussion of these matters refer to Note 15 to our consolidated financial statements.

If, in the discretion of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (the Office), we do not comply with the terms of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (the DPA), the Office may prosecute us for charges alleged by the Office including those relating to faulty ignition switches.

On September 17, 2015 we announced that we entered into the DPA with the Office regarding its investigation of the events leading up to certain recalls announced in February and March 2014 relating to faulty ignition switches. Under the DPA, we consented to, among other things, the filing of a two-count information (the Information) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charging GM with a scheme to conceal material facts from a government regulator and wire fraud. We pled not guilty to the charges alleged in the Information. The DPA further provides that, in the event the Office determines during the period of deferral of prosecution (or any extensions thereof) that we have violated any provision of the DPA, including violating any U.S. federal law or our obligation to cooperate with and assist the independent monitor, the Office may, in its discretion, either prosecute us on the charges alleged in the Information or impose an extension of the period of deferral of prosecution of up to one additional year. Under such circumstance, the Office would be permitted to rely upon the admissions we made in the DPA and would benefit from our waiver of certain procedural and evidentiary defenses. Such a criminal prosecution could subject us to penalties that could have material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

Our defined benefit pension plans are currently underfunded and our pension funding requirements could increase significantly due to a reduction in funded status as a result of a variety of factors, including weak performance of financial markets, declining interest rates, changes in laws or regulations, changes in assumptions or investments that do not achieve adequate returns.

Our employee benefit plans currently hold a significant amount of equity and fixed income securities. A detailed description of the investment funds and strategies is disclosed in Note 13 to our consolidated financial statements, which also describes significant concentrations of risk to the plan investments.
There are additional risks due to the complexity and magnitude of our investments. Examples include implementation of significant changes in investment policy, insufficient market liquidity in particular asset classes and the inability to quickly rebalance illiquid and long-term investments.
Our future funding requirements for our U.S. defined benefit pension plans depend upon the future performance of assets placed in trusts for these plans, the level of interest rates used to determine funding levels, the level of benefits provided for by the plans and any changes in government laws and regulations. Future funding requirements generally increase if the discount rate decreases or if actual asset returns are lower than expected asset returns, assuming other factors are held constant. Our potential funding requirements are described in Note 13 to our consolidated financial statements.
Factors which affect future funding requirements for our U.S. defined benefit plans generally affect the required funding for non-U.S. plans. Certain plans outside the U.S. do not have assets and therefore the obligation is funded as benefits are paid. If local legal authorities increase the minimum funding requirements for our non-U.S. plans, we could be required to contribute more funds.
 

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And the big elephant in the room was not mentioned at all

"The apparent success of the direct to consumer model and reservation numbers for the Tesla Model 3 could spell trouble for our Bolt sales, Volt sales, and electrification strategy"
 

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And the big elephant in the room was not mentioned at all

"The apparent success of the direct to consumer model and reservation numbers for the Tesla Model 3 could spell trouble for our Bolt sales, Volt sales, and electrification strategy"
Tesla is a small player still. The odds of a successful automobile maker start-up is close to zero. Tesla has way more headwinds than GM at this point. The M3 alone has controversial design elements that may limit sales to normal people. Never mind the MX issues.

I think GM has the right mix for the current market. We shall see. Maybe GM gets a boat-load of interest for Bolt/Volt based on the hype coming from Tesla.

The direct sales model may be a non-issue if people start renting cars by the trip. Some forward thinkers are looking at a 50% decrease in consumer sales within the next decade as new tech enables a radically different business model. Even for Tesla.
 

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No surprises here. However most of these items are risks to profitability (and not necessarily to the business itself). As one of the largest automotive companies in the world there are always people trying to get a piece of them and that generates risks to the bottom line.

Also while true that Trucks and SUV's are certainly GM's biggest profit driver. If the price of oil was to return to $100+/barrel in the near future GM would still likely be profitable. Just not nearly as profitable as they are today. GM's cost structure is in much better shape today than it was 10 years ago.
 

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Industry experts expect oil prices to remain low for a decade at least as some of the larger international oil suppliers try to keep competing technologies like fracking unprofitable and offline. And even if/when gas prices rise, there will still be a solid demand for the heavier vehicles for commercial purposes where they are necessary for hauling equipment and pulling trailers, etc. That's not the same as selling loaded Escalades at a huge markup, but it should keep their factories running.
 

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Industry experts expect oil prices to remain low for a decade at least as some of the larger international oil suppliers try to keep competing technologies like fracking unprofitable and offline. And even if/when gas prices rise, there will still be a solid demand for the heavier vehicles for commercial purposes where they are necessary for hauling equipment and pulling trailers, etc. That's not the same as selling loaded Escalades at a huge markup, but it should keep their factories running.
I don't think those industry experts predicted the low near $1.30 per gallon prices that we saw over the last year. So I don't believe anything that says prices will remain low for the next decade. Oil prices change, for any reason whatsoever - an oil sheik farts, prices go up.
 

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Here's a thought: TO mitigate risk to SUV/pickup sales from rising oil prices, design Voltec variants. Sheesh.

Granted, they may be less profitable at that point, but then again, it seems like EV components are becoming more and more affordable, and the NRE has largely already been done.
 

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Here's a thought: TO mitigate risk to SUV/pickup sales from rising oil prices, design Voltec variants. Sheesh.

Granted, they may be less profitable at that point, but then again, it seems like EV components are becoming more and more affordable, and the NRE has largely already been done.
I'll be first in line for a voltec Subyukonade (Suburban, Yukon XL, Escalade ESV)
 

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And the big elephant in the room was not mentioned at all
Our defined benefit pension plans are currently underfunded and our pension funding requirements could increase significantly due to a reduction in funded status as a result of a variety of factors, including weak performance of financial markets, declining interest rates, changes in laws or regulations, changes in assumptions or investments that do not achieve adequate returns.
This could very well be that elephant. Not just for GM, but for just about everyone including the public sector. The lion's share of our real estate tax increases go to exactly this, while actual funding for the schools goes down every year.
 
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