DETROIT -- General Motors on Tuesday said it expects to build fewer electric vehicles by the end of next year than it previously forecast, citing a slow start to production at a new battery plant in Ohio.
But the automaker said it was able to clear most of its backlog of gasoline-powered vehicles awaiting parts in the third quarter, helping push net income up 37 percent and revenue to a record high.
GM posted net income of $3.3 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30 on improved truck production, better microchip supply and rising prices. Global revenue rose 56 percent to $41.9 billion, and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes rose 47 percent to $4.3 billion. As a result, the company’s net margin slid to 7.9 percent from 9 percent a year earlier.
GM earned $3.9 billion in North America before interest and taxes, an 83 percent increase, and its adjusted margin for the region rose to 11.2 percent from 10.3 percent.
"While the operating environment remains challenging, our team continues to adjust quickly when and where it needs to. This is especially true of our supply chain and manufacturing teams,” CEO Mary Barra told analysts on GM’s quarterly earnings call.
“As we’ve moved through the year, we have seen gradual improvement in the supply chain, including semiconductors,” Barra said. “Short-term disruptions will continue to happen, but we're taking concrete steps to minimize them and build long-term resiliency. This includes signing several strategic supply agreements for mature nodes where supply is most constrained. We're also working directly with semiconductor suppliers and sharing long-term forecasts to increase transparency and ensure their planning cycles include our volume."
In July, GM said it would hold about 95,000 vehicles awaiting microchips and other parts that were in short supply. CFO Paul Jacobson said Tuesday that the automaker cleared out about three quarters of those unfinished vehicles in the third quarter.
“Chips are getting better, certainly, than they were a year ago,” Jacobson said. He said GM is still building some vehicles without certain parts but not at the volume seen earlier in the chip shortage.
GM shares rose 3.6 percent to close at $37.01 on Tuesday.