GM posts high profits while others play blame game

General Motors had a high profit for the first quarter—enough to raise its guidance for the full year. While other  executives were blaming unions, greens, global issues, and so on (and playing the M&A game), GM CEO Mary Barra seemed to have been taking care of business. GM’s net income was close to $3 billion, with an 8% hike in revenues to $43 billion. Adjusted EBIT was $3.9 billion.

Chevy Blazer police car
This police Blazer EV is one of the vehicles heading for full production when battery making hits its stride. GM’s Ultium battery system can be repaired after a crash, unlike the Tesla and Stellantis batteries.

Nearly all of GM’s profits came from North America, where pretax profits rose by over 7% to reach $3.8 billion and revenue was $36.1 billion—a first quarter record for the General. This came despite delays in receiving and installing robotics at two battery plants. GM has sold or closed most of its production outside North America; ironically, Stellantis owns its former European car unit, Opel.

The company is currently losing money on electric vehicles, but expects operational profits by the second half of the year. The company is likely losing even more on the Cruise self-driving unit, which lost $442 million during Q1—a lower loss than in Q1 2023. GM has scaled back its expectations and timetables for Cruise, as some experts have publicly stated that true self driving is still quite a ways off.

Financial officer Paul Jacobson said that GM assumed prices will drop by 2% to 2.5% this year. However, GM has been cutting fixed costs through voluntary employee buyouts and cuts in marketing. The quarter’s figures include a drop in fixed costs of $300 million, achieved without layoffs.

STLA Large

Stellantis will release its revenue statement on April 30. The company has had numerous layoffs in France, Italy, and the United States, and more are expected throughout the year. However, early 2024 is likely to look worse than the rest of the year as new product based on STLA Large and STLA Medium is added to the mix.

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