Profit for 2020 was actually down 4.5 percent, to $6.5 billion for the year, but that wasn’t nearly as much of a decline as some had been expecting, and probably what no one was expecting as the pandemic took hold in the US last spring. The fourth-quarter was particularly good for GM, good enough to set a record.
From The Wall Street Journal:
Net income for GM’s September-to-December period was $2.85 billion, reversing a small loss from a year earlier, when a strike at its U.S. plants shaved off billions from its bottom line.
Its fourth-quarter pretax profit totaled $3.71 billion, a record for that quarterly period and up from a small gain in the year-earlier period. That amounted to $1.93 a share, better than the average analyst estimate of $1.60.
Revenue rose about 22% from the strike-marred fourth-quarter of 2019, to $37.52 billion.
The nation’s largest auto maker said it expects profits to climb this year despite ongoing supply-chain disruptions from the semiconductor shortage and a sharp rise in the price of raw materials, including steel.
And this has all given GM CEO Mary Barra the chance to take a small victory lap, in the form of a letter to shareholders, in which Barra outlined all the ways that GM is transforming and winning. My favorite part is when she mentions GM’s wonderful Wuling EV.
To meet these commitments, we will offer EVs across all our brands and span the global EV market from the low-cost Wuling Hong Guang Mini to the hand-crafted Cadillac CELESTIQ. Our next EV launch is the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, which will be the first vehicle outside of Cadillac to offer Super Cruise, the world’s first true hands-free driver-assist system for the freeway. It goes on sale this summer.
Later this year, the Ultium-powered GMC HUMMER EV will launch from our transformed Factory ZERO plant in Detroit and Hamtramck; and production is slated to begin on the Brightdrop EV600 commercial van.
A few months later, in early 2022, we will begin production of the Cadillac LYRIQ luxury EV in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Again, the vehicles I’ve just mentioned are among the 30 EVs we’ll launch globally by 2025 – an acceleration of our previous plan.
GM is entitled feel pretty good about itself at the moment, and while 2021 looks like it’ll be another good year — GM said it expects pretax profits of up to $11 billion this year — it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the rubber hits the road on all of GM’s EVs, since Tesla has had such a big head start. Hummer EV? Sure! But do you know anyone who’s really amped for Celestiq?