New York (CNN Business)General Motors was able to turn a profit in the first three months of the year during the Covid-19 pandemic, and America’s largest automaker intends to reopen its US and Canadian plants on May 18.
The company reported net income of $294, a big drop from the $2.2 billion it earned a year ago, but better than the first-quarter losses reported at Ford ( and )Fiat Chrysler (. Revenue fell 6% to $32.7 billion. )
GM ( took a bigger hit in its international operations, )particularly in China, which is its largest market for car sales. The company suspended Chinese operations for a much longer time than it shut down North American production: GM extending its new year holiday shutdown until mid-February.
US factories were shut beginning the last two weeks of March. So GM reported operating income of $2.2 billion in North America, while losing $551 million in overseas operations.
GM said it is working with the unions and government health officials on safety measures that will be needed to reopen its US and Canadian plants later this month and operate them safely. Although auto plants have reopened in Asia and Europe, they have, for the most part, remained closed in North America.
“These procedures meet or exceed CDC and WHO guidelines, and are designed to keep people safe when they arrive, while they work and as they leave the facility,” said the company in its statement.