Global sales at GM halved to $16.8bn in the second quarter
Global sales at GM halved to $16.8bn in the second quarter © REUTERS

General Motors fell to a loss in the second quarter, dragged down by a collapse in profits and falling sales from its traditionally lucrative North American operations.

Global sales at the Chevrolet and Buick owner halved to $16.8bn in the quarter, with a net loss of $758m, compared with a $2.4bn profit in the same period in 2019.

Its North American arm posted a $101m net loss for the quarter, compared with a $3bn profit in the same period a year earlier.

US sales of Chevy trucks fell from 248,000 to 176,000, while deliveries from its GMC truck brand slid from 153,000 to 100,000. Both units are significant profit drivers at the business.

Total US vehicle sales fell from 747,000 to 492,000, while global sales dropped from 1.9m to 1.5m.

Both its international arm and its self-driving Cruise business also lost money, while profits from its financial division halved from $536m to $226m.

The company managed to eke out a $294m profit in the first quarter, buoyed by truck sales in the US.

Carmakers across the world were hammered during the second quarter, as factories reopened but consumer demand was hit by the pandemic and global economic uncertainty.

GM slashed costs in the quarter, including “reductions in advertising and other discretionary spending, compensation deferments and certain employee furloughs”.

It said some of the cost-saving measures will remain “permanent”.

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