Electric Vehicle Inventory and Labor Dispute Impact G.M. Profits

General Motors states that financial performance in the fourth quarter and full year of 2023 was subdued by unsold electric vehicles and the cost of a 40-day labor strike at U.S. plants. G.M. increased profit to $2.1 billion from $2.0 billion last year, while revenue grew to $171.8 billion. The company also incurred approximately $1.6 billion in charges related to the unsold electric vehicles and a $1.1 billion loss due to the labor strike. G.M. also had an $800 million settlement with LG Energy Solution regarding a mass recall of the electric Chevrolet Bolt.

G.M. expects a profit range between $9.8 billion and $11.2 billion for 2024, reflecting increasing uncertainty in the auto industry. The company is also scaling back its self-driving unit, Cruise, and has revised its electric vehicle production targets in response to slower-than-expected consumer demand for battery-powered vehicles. Despite challenges, G.M. remains optimistic about the future of its electric vehicles. In the fourth quarter, G.M. sold over 19,000 electric vehicles, although most were Bolts using older battery technology. G.M. is cautious about overproducing electric vehicles but is confident in consumer demand.

Tesla and Ford Motor have also experienced lower demand for electric vehicles, leading to a price reduction. G.M. attributes its challenges in producing electric vehicles to manufacturing issues with a new battery technology called Ultium. Consequently, the company has scaled back its electric vehicle ambitions and delayed the introduction of new electric models. G.M. expects the uncertainty in the electric vehicle market to persist in the coming years.

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