GM reports big increase in profits on sales of gasoline-powered cars

General Motors on Tuesday reported a big profit increase for the first three months of the year, based on the strength of its gasoline-powered vehicle business, and raised its outlook for the rest of the year.

The company has seen slow growth in electric vehicles, but robust sales of internal combustion vehicles, particularly pickup trucks, helped boost its profits to $3 billion in the first quarter, a 24% increase over the same quarter. period of one year ago. GM also said it now expects to make profits of $10.1 billion to $11.5 billion this year, compared with a previous forecast of $9.8 billion to $11.2 billion.

“We are maximizing the strength of our ICE business, growing our electric vehicle business and improving profitability,” GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson said on a conference call with reporters, using the abbreviation for engine internal combustion.

Jacobson said GM has resolved manufacturing challenges in battery production and is ramping up production. He repeated an earlier prediction that GM's battery-powered cars and trucks would start generating profits in the second half of this year.

GM made all of its profits in North America and lost money in the rest of the world, including a $106 million loss in China; a year earlier, the company had reported an $83 million profit in that country.

GM sold 895,000 vehicles globally in the first quarter, an increase of 4%.

In the first three months of the year in the United States, GM sold 9,385 electric vehicles that use its latest battery technology. That's an increase from 972 in the same period a year ago, but significantly lower than GM initially expected.

The company plans to add several new electric vehicles this year that use the new Ultium batteries. They include a GMC Sierra pickup truck that's expected to have a maximum range of 440 miles and a Chevrolet Equinox sport-utility vehicle that GM says would have a starting price of $34,995 and a range of up to 319 miles.

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