May 2 - General Motors sold 762,000 vehicles in North America during the first quarter, leading to a better-than-expected profit, but that sales growth was half of that of its cross-town rival Ford. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Your Daily Digit is 762,000. That's how many vehicles General Motors sold in North America in the first quarter. Most in demand? Chevy branded trucks and crossovers, with cars coming in a strong second. GMC trucks were the third highest selling models. Global revenues, however, down from a year ago, but GM made that up with a tight grip on costs in North American and Europe, leading to a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit. Analysts thought GM would spend more because it pumped a lot of money into plants for new vehicle launches. Plus, it went to a pricing war with other carmakers to promote its current large truck line. But, instead, it just cut expenses. Bottling up costs also worked well in Europe, where GM has had 13 straight years of going into the minus. There the losses were just smaller than expected, and the company said it sees a return to break-even by mid-decade. GM chalked up profit in China, but recorded a small loss in South America. Both results were weaker than expected.