“We are on plan. GM has delivered five consecutive profitable quarters, thanks to strong customer demand for our new fuel-efficient vehicles and a competitive cost structure that allows us to leverage our strong brands around the world and focus on driving profitable automotive growth,” aid Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO.
Meanwhile, GM North America reported its earnings before tax of $2.9 billion, more than double compared with $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2010. GM’s U.S. sales climbed 25 percent to 592,545 light vehicles in the first quarter, outpacing the industry’s 20 percent gain, according to Autodata Corp., a researcher based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Rising U.S. sales of Chevrolet Equinox sport-utility vehicles and Silverado pickups helped GM’s revenue climb 15 percent to $36.2 billion. Ford and Chrysler also reported profits for the quarter, so it looks like demand is back again.
Meanwhile, earnings in GM’s international operations, which include China, fell to $480 million in the first quarter from $908 million a year earlier. Sales for the unit rose 8.2 percent to about 855,000 vehicles in the quarter, GM said. However, the pretax loss in GM’s European operations narrowed to $390 million from $477 million. GM has said it plans to break even in Europe by the end of 2011.