DEARBORN, Mich. Citing a
large decline in first-quarter earnings compared with a year
earlier, General Motors Co. management "has internal issues
were fixing (and) we are not getting ahead of ourselves,"
chairman and chief executive officer Daniel F. Akerson said
during GMs quarterly earnings conference call.
Detroit-based GMs revenue
totaled $37.76 billion in the three months ended March 31, a
4.3-percent improvement over $36.19 billion a year earlier, so
"were pleased with the progress in most areas,"
especially top-line growth, Akerson said, but first-quarter net
income fell 68 percent to $1 billion from $3.15 billion.
"Were not immune to industry issues like recession,
overcapacity in Europe or competition thats intensifying
everywhere we do business," he said.
GMs first-quarter global
deliveries increased, with North America and the international
operations segments results more than offsetting declines
in Europe and flat results in South America. "Globally, our
deliveries were up 60,000 units," Akerson said.
"Europe obviously remains a work
in progress," Akerson said. "Our Ebit-adjusted loss was $256
million compared to a breakeven result last year. Net revenue
declined about 20 percent, which reflects our lower sales of
vehicles and components as well as the impact of a stronger
dollar relative to the euro and the British pound.
"These results are disappointing
but not unexpected, and were working hard to identify new
revenue and cost-reduction opportunities to put the business on
a path to sustainable profitability," Akerson said.
GM accounted for a 16-percent
share of U.S. auto retail sales in the first quarter, down 2.2
percentage points from a year earlier. U.S. dealer inventories
totaled 713,000 vehicles (86 days supply) at the end of
March vs. 574,000 vehicles (75 days supply) a year
Daniel Ammann, senior vice
president and chief financial officer, said GM will be working
down its finished vehicle inventory during the balance of the
year, "but our objective is to work a good chunk of that down
through the second quarter."
GMs North American vehicle
production totaled 862,000 in the first quarter, up 76,000
vehicles from the same period last year. Capacity utilization
at North American operations was 103 percent, but GMs
plants and work force are not under any stress, Ammann said.
"Were quite comfortable running at that level of capacity
utilization and even higher," he said.
Ammann said GM expects total
U.S. light vehicle sales for the year to be in the 14-million
to 14.5-million range, up about 500,000 vehicles from GMs