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GM Reports Quarterly Loss on Impact of COVID-19

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

General Motors Co. today reported a second-quarter loss as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted in lower vehicle sales.

Detroit-based GM said its loss totaled $758 million, or 56 cents a share. That compares with a year-earlier profit of $2.4 billion, or $1.66. Revenue slid 53 percent from a year earlier to $16.8 billion.

On an adjusted basis, GM’s loss was 50 cents a share. That was better than the $1.77 loss forecast by analysts, according to Reuters.

GM’s second-quarter U.S. vehicle sales plunged 34 percent as COVID-19 caused the automaker to implement temporary plant shutdowns and reduced overall vehicle demand. GM’s North American unit, normally its biggest source of profit, had a $101 million loss.

The automaker lost eight of 13 weeks of production during the quarter. GM reopened plants in May.

The company is boosting production of large pickups, its primary source of profit, as it tries to recover from the financial impact of COVID-19. GM said its full-size pickup plants are operating on three shifts. The company also said its Fort Wayne, Ind., pickup plant will increase output of trucks by 1,000 a month beginning in September.

Almost all other company North American factories are back to production levels before COVID-19 shutdowns, GM said.

GM is navigating the pandemic while also investing in new electric and autonomous vehicles. The company said those programs continued “at a rapid pace” despite COVID-19.

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