By on October 21, 2015

General Motors Renaissance Center HQ

General Motors announced Wednesday that third quarter, adjusted profit for the company was $3.1 billion, led by truck sales in North America and car sales in China. The net revenue was down $500 million from the same period last year, which GM says is due to currency fluctuations, but the automaker’s profits were decidedly higher.

Automotive News reported that the profit margin was the largest for GM since its 2009 bankruptcy, even after its $1.5 billion charge to settle claims related to its defective ignition switch that resulted in 124 deaths.

The automaker posted an 11.8 percent profit margin — also its largest since 2009 — and said it would end the year above 10 percent. 

“These results reflect our work to capitalize on our strengths in the U.S. and China, while taking decisive, proactive steps to mitigate challenges elsewhere,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.

According to the automaker, trucks largely led the way for increased sales in North America. Chevrolet reported selling 239,000 trucks in the third quarter, up 34,000 from the same quarter last year. GMC sold 146,000 total vehicles in the three months ending on Sept. 30, up from 134,000 last year. In all, North American sales accounted for 931,000 of GM’s 2.3 million worldwide sales.

In China, the automaker reported stronger-than-expected sales. GM posted $463 million pretax profit, a 9.8-percent margin, despite worries that the country’s economy was slowing.

The company’s dwindling South American sales were the only blemish on its accounting report. That region struggled for GM, as its market share shrank from 16.4 percent in the third quarter of 2014 to 14.1 percent for the same period this year. Worldwide, GM’s market share dipped from 11.6 percent to 11.4 percent.

According to Automotive News, GM spent more on incentives during the quarter than last year. The automaker spent 12.3 percent of average transaction price on incentives, compared to 11.4 percent last year. The report noted that average transaction prices rose by more than $500 per vehicle, however.

Shares of GM rose 6 percent Wednesday on the news.

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23 Comments on “General Motors Posts Largest Quarterly Profit Since Bankruptcy...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    GM President Barra pointed to the success of the ATS as the driving force ogf the company’s profits.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The UAW will certainly want a piece of this, and I don’t blame them.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    Its like they never killed 120+ people and hid the evidence twice and got caught twice. PROFIT!

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Now if they could just get Chinese hooked on pickups…

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      The Chinese already are but non from GM

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        No, *real* pickups!

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          No, they have real pickups, doing real work. They are not and virtually everyone outside NA , is not interested in your Faux variety

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            No, a *real* informal fallacy is different from Oz-baiting :-D

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Actually, that *was* directed at RR. American pickups are not any less “real” (“Faux,” as he put it) than anything made elsewhere. They’re made out of metal and rubber and plastic and glass and other real components, just like everything else.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Well, I’m just as bad for baiting him!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Wait the folks in China have “real” pickups but in North America we have faux tough pickups? The only automotive product we have that’s real IS the pickup.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @DrZhivcargo
            I am aware of that, but even if read Matt Gasniers blog, that is part of this website, you will see in one Country , China how much preferences change. Still my comment applies, US Pickups are like Australian Utes, very country specific
            @28 Cars., they are the only type of vehicle saving the Bacon for GM, Ford and FCA in NA, otherwise they would be in real trouble

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            See, *that* first statement is true. China, Australia and the US all have very country-specific markets. But you could have just stated that the first time around without stooping to the level of saying that American pickups are fake.

            And the second statement, yeah, that’s probably true, too. Our family’s trucks have always been and always will be Fords, but our CUVs are all different Asian makes (Mazda, Kia, and Honda, respectively).

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Dr Zhivago,
            I was reacting to Ride Heights post
            ” No, *real* pickups!”

  • avatar
    Russycle

    So gas prices hit the floor and GM sells more trucks. Who could have predicted? I’m glad they’re making money, and can’t fault them for giving people what they want, but I expect those profits will evaporate if gas hits $3.50+ again.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Cain had charts out that showed GM was no different that Ford (or is Ford doomed on $3.50 a gallon gas too) and better than FCA.

      The big difference between 2005 and 2015 is that GM apparently actually makes money on cars they sell, and they have some good offerings in the A, B and C segments, as well as can be credited (for right or wrong) for creating the sub-compact CUV market in both near luxury and mainstream trims. Everyone else is jumping into the niche and despite the dire predictions from the B&B the Encore would never sell – it has – and despite dire predictions from the B&B the HR-V et al would kill the Encore/Trax, it hasn’t happened.

      If gas goes to $3.50 a gallon GM pickups specifically will keep selling fine. $3.50 is nothing in the picture right now – in some parts of the country this summer gas broke $3.10 a gallon. Customer can go Colorado/Canyon (12 day inventory turn and good luck finding a stripper model) or a number of CUV products. They have A, B and C segment offerings, and then if gas were to explode to say $6 a gallon – they have places they can with the Voltec platform and drive line – which is supposed to leverage technology in the upcoming Malibu.

      GM is a healthier company by ever definition than it was a decade ago — where they go with that is a whole different question. But the current generation of fullsize trucks from FCA, Ford, and GM, are no where near what they were 10 years ago.

      If you want old school style fuel economy, Toyota will happily sell you a Tundra.

  • avatar
    Ralph ShpoilShport

    Yea, GM! Yea!

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    “These results reflect our work to capitalize on our strengths in the U.S. and China, while taking decisive, proactive steps to mitigate challenges elsewhere,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.
    .
    .
    .
    Uhhh…?

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