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G.M. Reports Big Jump in Profit on Gasoline Car Sales

BusinessG.M. Reports Big Jump in Profit on Gasoline Car Sales

General Motors on Tuesday reported a big jump in profits for the first three months of the year, based on the strength of its gasoline vehicle business, and raised its outlook for the rest of the year.

The company saw slow growth in electric vehicles, but robust sales of internal combustion vehicles, especially pickup trucks, helped raise its profit to $3 billion in the first quarter, a 24 percent jump from a year earlier. G.M. also said it now expected to make $10.1 billion to $11.5 billion in profit this year, up from a previous forecast of $9.8 billion to $11.2 billion.

“We’re maximizing the strength of our ICE business. We’re growing our E.V. business and improving profitability,” G.M.’s chief financial officer, Paul Jacobson, said in a conference call with reporters, using the shorthand for internal combustion engine.

Mr. Jacobson said G.M. had ironed out production difficulties in battery pack manufacturing and was ramping up output. He repeated a forecast that G.M.’s battery-powered cars and trucks would start generating profits in the second half of this year.

G.M. made all of its profit in North America and lost money in the rest of the world, including a $106 million loss in China; a year earlier, the company reported an $83 million profit in that country.

G.M. sold 895,000 vehicles globally in the first quarter, an increase of 4 percent.

In the first three months of the year in the United States, G.M. sold 9,385 electric vehicles that use its latest battery technology. That was an increase from 972 a year earlier but significantly fewer than G.M. had originally expected.

This year, the company plans to add several new electric vehicles that use the new Ultium batteries. They include a GMC Sierra pickup truck that is supposed to have maximum range of 440 miles and a Chevrolet Equinox sport utility vehicle that G.M. said would have a starting price of $34,995 and a range of up to 319 miles.

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