General Motors reports smaller-than-expected US$758m Q2 loss on lower car sales

NEW YORK: General Motors (RM) reported a smaller-than-expected loss today as strong pricing for some newer auto models partially mitigated the hit from much lower sales amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The big US automaker lost US$758 million in the second quarter, compared with a US$2.4 billion profit in the year-ago period.

The company described the results as “solid” amid the pandemic, and said steps it had taken to cut costs meant the automaker was well-positioned to weather the storm.

GM said some of the austerity measures, which included worker furloughs, would become permanent.

“We have a track record of making swift and strategic decisions to ensure our long-term success for the benefit of all our stakeholders,” GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.

“We will continue to drive the necessary change throughout the company to enable growth as we prepare to deliver a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

Strong truck and SUV sales continued to support US results, GM said, but US sales were down 34% due to the Covid-19-imposed production shutdowns. Sales in China were down just 5.3% while global sales fell 24%, the company said.

Revenues were below expectations at US$16.8 billion but the results translated into a loss of just 50 cents per share, far better than the expected hit of US$1.77 a share.

Shares of the auto giant rose nearly 4% in pre-market trading. – AFP

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