Wednesday, 27 October 2021 16:20

GM Reports 40% Drop in Third-Quarter Profits, Expects Strong Year-End Results

Written by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press
The Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit sits in the background along the Detroit RiverWalk. The Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit sits in the background along the Detroit RiverWalk. Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press


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General Motors reported Oct. 27 its third-quarter net income plummeted 40% as it struggled against production constraints and thin new car inventory.

The auto industry has faced a global shortage of semiconductor chips since February. The chips are used in many car parts and, without them, production at many GM plants has either slowed or stopped completely, leaving dealers' new car lots bare.


Without inventory to sell, the result meant a third quarter loss for GM. 


The automaker reported a net income of $2.4 billion, down from $4 billion in the year ago period. Its adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was $3 billion, down from $5.3 billion. Revenue sank 25% to $26.8 billion compared to the year ago quarter when it was $35.5 billion.


In a letter to shareholders Oct. 27, GM CEO Mary Barra assured Wall Street that GM is positioned well for the future with its strategy to introduce 30 new electric vehicles by 2025 and a promise to double revenues in the next decade with EVs and other diversification the company outlined earlier this month. 


But she acknowledged the struggles GM faced this quarter. 


"The quarter was challenging due to continuing semiconductor pressures," Barra wrote. "But it also includes very strong results from GM Financial, the recall cost settlement we reached with our valued and respected supplier and JV partner LG Electronics, and ($300 million) in equity income from our joint ventures in China." 


Barra ended by saying GM is tweaking its estimate for its full-year results, saying it will approach the high end of GM's earlier guidance, "which is for EBIT-adjusted in the range of $11.5 billion to $13.5 billion, well above the $10 billion to $11 billion outlook we shared in February."


Warning signs


GM's results shouldn't be a surprise to Wall Street, after all the warning signs that were there.


"GM made it through the early part of the year relatively unscathed, keeping its all-important pickup truck and SUV factories running by...

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