Amidst concerns that vehicle inventories in North America were piling up, General Motors Friday announced net income of $2.9 billion, up 38.7 percent over the same period last year, from $41.2 billion in revenues, for the first quarter of 2017. All these revenue numbers were records for a single quarter.
GM’s results exceeded Wall Street analysts’ expectations, and while shares were off late Friday morning, the stock had climbed 0.09 points to $34.63 per share shortly before the 4 p.m. close. The automaker maintains a slim margin over Tesla’s market cap, at $52.31 billion for GM versus $50.97 billion for the electric auto company upstart.
North American net revenue was up 38.7 percent to account for $29.3 billion of the $41.2-billion global total, itself up 10.6 percent. GM sold 2.344 million vehicles in the first three months of this year, off 1.4 percent from the first quarter of ’16.
Sales in the U.S. totaled in round numbers 690,000 in the first three months, up 0.9 percent, while in Europe, where the post-Great Recession auto sales recovery began later, GM moved 320,000, 1.9 percent more than last year. Opel/Vauxhall, which GM is selling to PSA Peugeot Citroen for $2 billion, sold 310,000 vehicles in the first quarter, up 3 percent, though GM posted a net loss of $0.2-billion for the region.