US GM sales boost Q1 profits
Strong sales in the U.S. helped General Motors increase its first-quarter net profit 19% over a year ago, leading the company to raise its full-year profit guidance based on expectations that demand for its vehicles will remain robust, according to the Associated Press.
The Detroit automaker made $2.37 billion from January through March, up from $1.99 billion in the previous year. Excluding a $900 million charge to pay severance packages to about 5,000 white-collar workers who took buyouts during the quarter, GM made $2.21 per share, soundly beating analyst estimates of $1.72.
Revenue for the quarter came in just shy of $40 million, up 11% from a year ago. After the strong start to the year, the company raised its pretax profit guidance for 2023 to a range of $11–13 billion. Shares of General Motors Co. rose more than 3% before the opening bell Tuesday.
Although GM’s average transaction price dropped slightly, prices remained strong as sales in the U.S., GM’s most lucrative market, rose almost 18% during the quarter. The average price paid for a GM vehicle in the U.S. was $50,263, down $490 from a year ago.
GM expects several new electric vehicle models to raise sales this year. The company expects to build 400,000 EVs in North America between 2022 and the first half of 2024. In the first quarter, GM sold only 20,670 EVs, still good enough to reach the No. 2 spot behind Tesla.
Also on Tuesday, GM and South Korea’s Samsung SDI said that they plan to invest more than $3 billion in a new electric vehicle battery cell plant in the United States. The location is unknown, but the companies plan to begin operations there in 2026. The companies said it was expected to create thousands of jobs.