GM actually declared a profit despite COVID-19
General Motors, which plans to reopen its U.S. and Canadian plants on May 18, announced that they had actually made a profit in the first quarter; what’s more, the North American portion of their profit beat the same period in 2019 (Q1 2019).
Overall, General Motors only declared a $294 million profit, but that was excellent news given that Ford and Fiat Chrysler both lost around $2 billion in the first quarter (Tesla declared a first-quarter profit, but that was solely due to emissions credit payments from other automakers; they lost money on making cars). GM’s net income fell by 87%; its global revenue fell by only 6%, to around $33 billion. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes were less than half of Q1 2019, at $1.25 billion, but that was a good number given shutdowns around the world.
As with Fiat Chrysler, North America supported the company; GM lost $551 million in the rest of the world (where the company had only profited by $31 million in the same quarter of 2019). Within North America, GM had adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $2.2 billion. The Cruise automated driving division lost around $200,000 but GM Financial made about $200,000.
GM had over $33 billion in liquidity, half of which had been drawn from its credit lines, at the end of the last quarter. The company withheld 20% of salaried employees’ pay, globally, but said it would return that money within a year.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, lives in Farmingdale, New York, and can be reached at +1.516-531-4021.