G.M. Profit Down 7% in Strike-Affected Quarter

General Motors said on Tuesday that it made $3.1 billion in profit from July through September, a year-over-year decline of more than 7 percent that was due partly to the six-week strike by the United Automobile Workers, which has idled two of the company’s vehicle plants and 18 of its parts distribution centers.

G.M. said the strike had lowered its earnings before interest and taxes by about $200 million in the final weeks of the third quarter, and by about $600 million since the fourth quarter started on Oct. 1. The automaker also estimated that the strike could cost it $200 million a week going forward.

“We continue to be optimistic we will be able to reach an agreement as soon as possible,” G.M.’s chief financial officer, Paul Jacobson, said in a conference call with reporters, but he declined to say if the company believed it was near a deal on a new contract with the U.A.W.

On Friday, G.M. gave the union a contract offer that included a 23 percent increase in wages over four years. That would lift the standard U.A.W. wage from $32 an hour to more than $40. At that wage, an employee working 40 hours a week would earn about $84,000 a year, not including extra pay for overtime or profit-sharing bonuses, which have topped $10,000 in the past two years.

Mr. Jacobson said negotiations with the union were continuing. The union’s strike, which has targeted specific sites owned by Detroit’s Big Three automakers, has idled a G.M. pickup truck plant in Missouri and another in Michigan that makes large sport utility vehicles.

In the third quarter, G.M. earned almost all of its profit in North America, which is largely driven by factories in the United States staffed by U.A.W. members. Its bottom line was hurt by a 42 percent drop in profits from its joint ventures in China, a small profit decline in its financial arm and a loss from its Cruise division, which is working to develop self-driving cars.

Despite the strike, G.M. reported that its revenue rose about 5 percent in the third quarter, to $44.1 billion. It sold 981,000 vehicles globally in the quarter, about 15,000 more than a year earlier.

Mr. Jacobson said that G.M. hoped to introduce redesigned S.U.V. models that would be more profitable than those they were replacing, and that the company would save money by slowing its planned rollout of electric vehicles. G.M. recently said it was pushing back the start of production of electric pickups at a plant in Orion, Mich., from 2024 to late 2025, in response to slower-than-expected growth in sales of E.V.s.

While G.M. is now planning a slower ramp-up of E.V. production in 2025, it still aims to be able to produce one million electric vehicles a year in North America by the end of 2025, Mr. Jacobson said.

“Our commitment to an all-E.V. future is as strong as ever,” he said.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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