Pickups key for GM
New cars were key for General Motors in the first quarter. New trucks will be the key to the rest of this year.
Two new Opels — the Mokka subcompact SUV and Adam small car — helped GM stanch its first-quarter losses in Europe, while the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Malibu sedans took China by storm. GM’s worldwide sales rose almost 4 percent in the first three months.
Now, GM’s fortunes rest on the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups. The trucks go on sale in a few weeks.
GM said Thursday its net income fell 14 percent to $865 million, partly because it slowed shipments of the old pickup models so factories could prepare to make the new ones. GM also spent more on incentives to try to clear old pickups off dealer lots.
Interest rate cut
The European Central Bank cut its key interest rate to a record low 0.50 percent Thursday and announced other measures to spur lending and help lift the euro area out of a stubborn recession.
ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank was prepared to flex its muscles further in the face of high and rising unemployment and growing evidence that Europe’s economy is getting weaker.