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First female boss and first share dividend since 2008 for General Motors

First female boss and first share dividend since 2008 for General Motors
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On the day that Mary Barra became the first ever female boss of a
global carmaker, General Motors announced it will pay the first quarterly dividend on its common stock in almost six years.

Investors have been pushing GM to return cash to them in the form of a dividend or a buyback of shares.

That pressure mounted after the US Treasury sold the last of its stake in the biggest American carmaker in December. That was the legacy of the huge taxpayer bailout that saved GM from bankruptcy in 2009.

“This return to shareholders is consistent with our capital priorities and is an important signal of confidence in our plans for a continuing profitable future,” Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said in a statement.

Days earlier Ammann had said he believed the European car market sales slump has bottomed out but was not sure how fast the market would rebound.

He said GM continues to believe it will break even financially in Europe – where it currently loses money – by the middle of the decade.

Opel, Vauxhall boost market share

On Tuesday, the European unit of GM – Opel and Vauxhall – said it had raised its market share for the first time in 14 years, selling 1.064 million cars in 2013.

Germany-based Opel and UK affiliate Vauxhall raised their market share in Europe to 5.61 percent in 2013, up from 5.59 percent in the previous year.

Opel had 62,000 orders for its ADAM car and 177,000 for the Mokka, Peter Christian Kuespert, Opel’s board member responsible for sales, said in a statement.

It said Opel and Vauxhall were able to increase their market share in 11 countries last year, including core markets like Germany, the UK and Spain, as well as growth markets such as Turkey and Russia.