So far in this series, we looked at how General Motors’ (GM) market share rose in the US truck and crossover segment in 1Q17. The company’s increased focus on retail sales also improved GM Financial’s first quarter performance. Now, take a look at some other key highlights from General Motors’ 1Q17 earnings conference call.
Vehicle automation updates
In 2016, General Motors made significant progress in accelerating the development of its electric and autonomous vehicle technologies. The company completed the acquisition of a Cruise Automation in May 2016 to speed up its autonomous vehicle development. For the $581 million deal, General Motors paid $291 million in cash. The remaining ~$290 million was paid through the issuance of new common stock.
In 2017, General Motors plans to continue focusing on vehicle automation and electrification. On April 13, the company announced that it will “invest $14 million in a new research and development facility for Cruise Automation in San Francisco.” During its 1Q17 earnings call, General Motors’ CEO and chairperson, Mary Barra highlighted that the investment should push the company’s autonomous vehicle development program further.
Last year, General Motors started testing the self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV (electric vehicle) on public roads in the San Francisco Bay area.
Updates on 2017 outlook
During its 1Q17 earning call, General Motors’ management pointed to the company’s record-high 1Q margins, which were better than the industry average. General Motors expects to post fiscal 2017 profit margins that are equal to or better than its profit margins last year.
In the next part, we’ll explore what Wall Street analysts recommend for General Motors stock after its solid 1Q17 results.