General Motors Co. earned $2.4 billion in the second quarter of the year, up 1.6% from the same period a year ago.
The results were driven by strong truck sales in North America as the automaker battles Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the lucrative pickup market. GM earned $3 billion in North America due in large part to those truck sales, which drove its profit margin to 10.7%.
"You are really starting to see the earnings potential of our truck franchise," Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara said Thursday.
The second-quarter results came on revenue of $36.1 billion that declined by about 2% year-over-year. The roughly 11% increase in profits before taxes in North America came as the automaker lost $48 million from GM international operations. GM reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.64, which beat analyst expectations.
The automaker saved $700 million during the second quarter through its restructuring efforts and $1.1 billion for the first half of the year. GM has said it will save up to $2.5 billion this year through restructuring, which includes cutting 15% of its salaried workforce and ceasing production of cars like the Lordstown, Ohio-built Chevrolet Cruze. In addition to the Lordstown Assembly Plant, the Warren Transmission Plant is also on GM's list of four "unallocated" plants in the U.S. The Warren plant will close its doors Friday.
The United Auto Workers has said it plans to fight to keep GM product in the four plants. The UAW and the Detroit automakers recently entered contract negotiations. Contracts expire Sept. 14.
The automaker also lost $279 million on the GM Cruise, the autonomous-vehicle unit of General Motors. Last month, Cruise announced an indefinite delay in the deployment of its driverless taxis. Cruise originally set a year-end launch deadline. When the taxis are deployed, they will launch in San Francisco.
GM's sales of trucks and SUVs were expected to help its earnings this quarter as they did during the first quarter. Overall, GM's sales were down about 1.5% year-over-year in the April-through-June period.
Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab, introduced in summer 2018, were both up 12%. Full production of all cab styles started in March, so sales of those models were down year over year because of limited availability.