G.M. Profits Hurt by Unsold Electric Vehicles and Strike

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General Motors said on Tuesday that its profit in the final three months of 2023 was depressed by losses stemming from unsold electric vehicles and the cost of a 40-day strike at some of its U.S. plants.

The automaker, which has been banking on a rapid rise in sales of battery-powered models, earned $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter, it said, up from $2.0 billion a year earlier. G.M.’s revenue jumped about 10 percent, to $171.8 billion.

“The pace of E.V. growth has slowed, which has created some uncertainty,” the company’s chief financial officer, Paul Jacobson, said in a conference call.

G.M. took a charge of $1.6 billion related to unsold electric vehicles. The strike, by the United Automobile Workers union, cost the company $1.1 billion, and G.M. spent $800 million on a settlement with LG Energy Solution, a battery supplier, that was related to a mass recall of the electric Chevrolet Bolt.

Several carmakers, including Tesla and Ford Motor, have lowered prices in response to weaker-than-expected demand for battery-powered cars. G.M. has also struggled to produce such vehicles in large numbers because of manufacturing problems with a new battery technology the company calls Ultium.

For the full year, G.M. said, it made $10.1 billion, a nearly 9 percent increase from 2022.

The automaker said it expected 2024 profit of $9.8 billion to $11.2 billion. That range suggests G.M. could enjoy a big jump in profits or suffer a small decline, highlighting the growing uncertainty about demand for cars and the overall health of the auto industry. The company expects to spend about $1 billion less than last year on its Cruise autonomous driving division, which has suspended the testing and commercial service of its fleet nationwide in response to growing safety concerns.

G.M. has also pared its electric vehicle ambitions. At one time, G.M. expected to produce 400,000 electric vehicles by the middle of 2024, but consumers have not flocked to battery-powered cars as fast as auto executives expected.

The company dropped that production target last year and has delayed the introduction of some new electric models it has been developing. Last month, it told dealers to stop selling the electric version of the Chevy Blazer until G.M. engineers could fix a software issue that could cause certain features of the sport utility vehicle to stop working.

In the fourth quarter, G.M. sold more than 19,000 electric vehicles, but most were Bolts, which are no longer being produced and used an older battery technology. Only about a third of the electric vehicles that were sold used the newer battery packs produced at a factory in Ohio that G.M. owns in a joint venture with LG.

Mr. Jacobson said that G.M. had “a lot of demand” for its electric vehicles, but that it was being cautious about building more vehicles than customers were ready to buy. “We feel good about where we are,” he said.

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