DETROIT, Dec 1 (Reuters) - General Motors Co expects
full year adjusted pre-tax profits will reach about $14 billion,
higher than the previous forecast, the automaker's Chief
Financial Officer Paul Jacobson said during a presentation.
GM had previously forecast full-year adjusted pre-tax
profits at $11.5 billion to $13.5 billion. GM shares were up
more than 2.5% in mid-afternoon trading following Jacobson's
GM's financial performance is benefiting from strong
consumer demand, high prices for new vehicles and more stability
in supplies of semiconductors, Jacobson said.
However, GM's vehicle production and inventories won't get
back to normal until late 2022, Jacobson cautioned.
Tight inventories support higher prices, but GM and its
rivals are still working to find a balance between stocking too
many vehicles, as in the past, and too few for a U.S. market
where many consumers still buy what is on a dealer lot.
GM is also wrestling with rising costs for commodities used
in its vehicles.
"We see inflation everywhere," Jacobson said.
So far, Jacobson said the company is not seeing much impact
from the new Omicron coronavirus variant.
"We are continuing with the protocols that we have put in
place, that have worked," Jacobson said.
During an online talk with Credit Suisse auto industry
analyst Dan Levy, Jacobson said GM will be aggressive in
investing in electric vehicles and other technology as it tries
to catch up with electric vehicle market leader Tesla Inc
and compete with rivals such as Volkswagen AG
and Ford Motor Co .
"We have pulled forward about 12 EVs from the original plans
a year and a half ago," he said.
Jacobson said he would rather have GM build a battery plant
that sits idle for two or three years than have the company be
caught short without enough battery capacity. Jacobson said he
has told other GM executives he will support spending to
accelerate EV programs or invest in promising technology.
"Theres money in the account and the checkbook is open,"
Jacobson said. "You have to put on the memo line what you are
going to use it for."
That is a sharp contrast with the austerity GM imposed in
early 2020 when the pandemic forced an almost total halt to
North American production.
Despite a strong recovery from the pandemic shock, and
aggressive plans to double revenue by 2030 https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/gm-aims-double-revenues-by-2030-it-drives-pass-tesla-2021-10-06/#:~:text=DETROIT%2C%20Oct%206%20(Reuters),up%20with%20Tesla%20Inc%20(TSLA,
GM's $84 billion market value remains a fraction of Tesla's $1
trillion value and also trails newly-public, and much smaller,
electric truck and van maker Rivian.
"We have some clear advantages over startups," Jacobson
said. "Not every startup is Tesla."
(Reporting By Joe White
Editing by Nick Zieminski)