DETROIT -- General Motors Co. is touting its global reach to potential investors.
In its filing last week for an initial public offering of stock, the carmaker said that by 2014, more than half of its vehicles will be built off common global platforms compared with 17 percent today.
The increased use of common designs and standard vehicle parts is expected to save GM big money on engineering and manufacturing. The company's budget this year is $13 billion for engineering and capital expenditures, the IPO filing said.
GM also noted that its factory footprint is shifting to emerging nations. Today, 43 percent of GM's vehicles are built in low-cost countries, where GM pays workers less than $15 an hour for wages and benefits combined. Those countries include China and Mexico.
An additional 17 percent of GM vehicles are built in so-called medium-cost countries, such as South Korea and Brazil. Wages and benefits combined for those GM workers total between $15 and $30 an hour.
GM's UAW work force in the United States totals about 52,000. Those workers earn about $55 an hour with wages and benefits combined.
GM's progression to common vehicle platforms will quicken with its product cadence. The IPO reports that the carmaker will launch 19 vehicles in North America between 2010 and 2012 and 27 vehicles in 2013 and 2014.
The move to common vehicle platforms will help GM optimize its manufacturing flexibility to produce vehicles anywhere in the world without requiring significant additional capital investment.
For example, GM said, using a global architecture allowed the carmaker to start initial production of the U.S.-market Buick Regal 11 months ahead of schedule by shifting production temporarily from North America to its plant in Ruesselsheim, Germany.