General Motor's strong performance in North America and China offset losses in Europe and South America. Fred Katayama reports.
What recall? American consumers kept flocking to GM showrooms despite the recalls related to those deadly ignition switches, helping boost quarterly revenue. GM was able to charge more for new vehicles. Strong sales of Chevy trucks helped grow its margin and drive its North American earnings up 12 percent, and Buicks and Wulings helped expand its market share in China. But profit fell 14 percent from the prior year because GM had to take charges for the August flooding of its tech center in Detroit and the downturn amid the political turmoil in Russia, where it is cutting production. And it's losing money in Europe and South America. Still the profit GM did make beat analysts expectations. CLSA senior analyst Emmanuel Rosner said, "GM North America's margins continued to benefit from the company's new products, while international results were not as bad as many investors feared and should see future improvement from restructuring actions." GM stock rose in early trading. The stock has lost nearly a fourth of its value this year, lagging far behind Ford and FiatChrysler.