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GM execs ecstatic following Q1 earnings, but hurdles remain

General Motors (GM) has published its first-quarter earnings report, crushing earnings expectations, but the company isn’t out of the woods yet.

GM was caught with its metaphorical pants down when Ford introduced the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E, giving GM’s long-time rival a headstart into two fast-growing segments. Nonetheless, since then, GM has righted itself and is now on the cusp of delivering electric offerings of its own. With today’s earnings, the General may be poised to enter the EV segment guns-a-blazing, but the challenge of EV production remains daunting.

According to CNBC, GM substantially beat investor expectations for earnings in the year’s first quarter. America’s largest automaker pulled in $39.99 billion in gross revenues, compared to the $38.96 billion expected by investors. This is further reflected in earnings per share, in which GM secured $2.21 per share compared to the estimated $1.73 per share.

Despite this incredible earnings beat, GM profits did fall as the business continues to invest in production, pushing profit down 18% year over year, despite earnings rising 11.1% over the same timeframe. Nonetheless, the company felt confident enough in the earnings to offer yet another solid dividend for investors of $0.09 per share.

Following this positive news for investors, GM executives had numerous exciting statements, not the least of which came from the company’s CEO, Mary Barra. “Once again, we delivered strong earnings thanks to healthy customer demand for our vehicles, our intense focus on operational excellence, and great teamwork between GM, our dealers, our suppliers, and our unions,” began Barra. Continuing, the CEO focused on GM’s impressive rebound in the Chinese market and its plans for EV production coming online later this year.

“As I have shared, we plan to produce 400,000 EVs over the course of 2022, 2023, and the first half of 2024, including 50,000 EVs in North America in the first half of this year, and double that in the second half… In the weeks and months ahead, we will be sharing exciting news about our growing portfolio of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and BrightDrop EVs. This includes demonstrating that ‘work’ and ‘range’ are not mutually exclusive terms for the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV.”

Looking forward, GM certainly has a lot to be excited for, perhaps most notably including ditching its previous EV sales leader, Bolt and Bolt EUV, instead focusing on new higher-end products. However, as evidenced by almost every automaker on the market, starting electric vehicle production is no small task.

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