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General Motors records $6.4 billion profit in 2020 amid pandemic

General Motors records $6.4 billion profit in 2020 amid pandemic
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General Motors recorded a $6.4 billion profit in 2020, a slight drop from the previous year, even with the coronavirus pandemic affecting businesses around the world.

The automaker issued its full-year and fourth-quarter reports for 2020 on Wednesday, showing the company made a strong comeback last year after its North American plants had to shut down in the spring for about two months.

“GM’s 2020 performance was remarkable by any measure, and even more so in a year when a global pandemic caused companies around the world — including GM — to temporarily suspend manufacturing operations to keep employees safe,” CEO Mary Barra wrote in a letter to shareholders released Wednesday. 

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"Once-in-a-century challenges like these are tough, but they also provide much-needed clarity and perspective," she added.

The company still documented an 11 percent drop in revenue to $122 billion compared to 2019’s $137 billion revenue and $6.7 billion profit, according to The New York Times.  

GM, like other automakers, has faced a shortage of semiconductors needed when building several parts of a car, including touch screens. The global shortage prompted GM to cut its prediction for profit this year by $1.5 billion to $2 billion and to temporarily close plants in Kansas, Canada and Mexico, CNBC reported.

Barra told reporters in a conference call that the automaker was striving to obtain more semiconductors and was optimistic that they could offset any loss in production caused by the shortage before the end of this year.

“The semiconductor shortage won’t slow our growth plans, and without mitigation strategies we still expect to see a very good year for General Motors,” she said, according to the Times. “Right now, we won’t lose any production as it relates to full-size trucks and SUVs throughout the year.”