DETROIT — The sales figures might not show it, but General Motors executives insist their strategy of slowly rolling out the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups is working.
The latest evidence? GM's second-quarter earnings.
The automaker last week posted better-than-expected net income of $2.4 billion, up 1.6 percent from a year ago. In North America, GM earned $3 billion on a 10.7 percent profit margin, thanks largely to the sale of more lucrative crossovers and pickups.
"You're really starting to see the earnings potential of our truck franchise," CFO Dhivya Suryadevara told reporters.
That franchise has come under attack in recent months as the Silverado has slipped to third place behind Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Ram 1500 in the hypercompetitive full-size pickup sales race. Through the first half of the year, Silverado sales fell 12 percent, while Sierra sales were down 3.4 percent.
"If you look at it from a sales standpoint, you'd think things are not particularly positive," Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds, told Automotive News. "But I think that from a profitability standpoint, it looks a lot different. It's the cornerstone of their business."