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General Motors Q1 2023 Earnings Call Transcript


Listen to Conference Call View Latest SEC 10-Q Filing View Latest SEC 10-K Filing

Participants

Corporate Executives

  • Ashish Kohli
    Vice President of Investor Relations
  • Mary Barra
    Chair and Chief Executive Officer
  • Kyle Vogt
    Chief Executive Officer of Cruise
  • Paul Jacobson
    Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, and welcome to General Motors Company First Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call. During the opening remarks, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. After the opening remarks, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. We're asking analysts to limit their questions to one and a brief follow-up. [Operator instructions]. As a reminder, the conference call is being recorded Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

I would now like to turn the conference over to you Ashish Kohli GM. Vice-President of Investor Relations. Thank you. You may begin.

Ashish Kohli
Vice President of Investor Relations at General Motors

Thanks, Julie, and good morning everyone. We appreciate your joining us as we review GM's financial results for the first quarter of 2023. Our conference call materials were issued this morning and are available on GM's Investor Relations website. We are also broadcasting this call via webcast. Joining us today Mary Barra, GM's Chair and CEO; Paul Jacobson, GM's Executive Vice-President and CFO; and Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise; Dan Berce, President and CEO of GM Financial, will also join us for the Q&A portion of the call.

Before we begin, I'd like to direct your attention to the forward-looking statements on the first page of our presentation. The content of our call will be governed by this language.

And with that, I'm delighted to turn the call over to Mary.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

Thanks, Ashish. And good morning everyone. Thank you for joining us. Paul, Kyle, Dan and I are glad to have this opportunity to discuss our first quarter results with you. Once again, we delivered strong earnings and I appreciate the efforts of everyone involved, including the GM team, our dealers, our suppliers, our unions that all helped us meet strong customer demand for our products. Highlights include our international markets outside of China, which had a record quarter in North America where we earned in 10.9% EBIT adjusted margins. In the US, we are the market leader in retail and fleet sales, including commercial sales. We are in the largest year-over-year increase in the US market share of any automaker and we did it with strong production and inventory discipline as well as consistent pricing. We delivered more than 20,000 EVs in the US in the quarter on the strength of record both EV and EUV sales and rising Cadillac LYRIQ deliveries. This moved has up to the second market position and increased our EV market share by 800 basis-points. We also continue to sell more trucks in the US than any one by a wide margin.

In addition, the $2 billion of fixed cost reductions we are targeting will flow to the bottom line faster than we originally expected. And the enterprise value of these fixed cost reductions will have even greater than $2 billion value because we're strengthening our culture, which has consistently delivered strong results. We're reducing our executive ranks by more than 15% through voluntary separations, which will help reduce bureaucracy. And we are empowering our leaders to structure their teams to be faster and more agile. In addition, we are prioritizing programs and projects that have the highest revenue and cost impact. We understand the bar continues to be raised that we're holding ourselves accountable to drive improvements every single day. As we look at the performance of the business and the opportunity ahead of us with new ICE and EV launches, we're able to raise our full year 2023 earnings guidance to a range of $11 billion to $13 billion. The new ICE products we are launching around the world will build on this momentum and support strong mix pricing and EBIT. In GMI, the new Chevrolet Trax is off to a very fast start in Korea with more than 13,000 orders placed in the first week of sale.

In Brazil, the new Chevrolet Montana pickup saw more than 10,000 orders out of the gate. And demand for our new midsize and heavy duty pickups in North America is growing, especially at the high end. Over the last years, we've evolved our premium truck offerings from a niche to a franchise and we did it through manufacturing investments design, demonstrated capability and technologies like Super Cruise. Our customers are responding, 60% of dealer and customer orders for the new Chevrolet Colorado are high end Z71 ZAR2 and Trail Boss models. Last year it was 42%. 75% of the GMC Canyon orders are for higher end 84 and Denali models. Last year it was 45%. 52% of Chevrolet Silverado HD orders are for the top of the line high country model. And 30% of the GMC Sierra heavy duty orders are for the new Denali Ultimate, which is a brand new model that didn't exist a year ago. Our profitable growth opportunities extend into other segments as well. For example, the Chevrolet Trax and Trailblazer and the Buick Encore GX and Envista will help us win new customers from brands that walked away from affordable vehicles or scaled back customer choice. All four of these small SUV beautifully designed, packed with technology and include a long list of standard active safety and driver assistance technologies.

Yet, they all have starting MSR piece below $30,000 with the Trax starting below $25,000. As a measure of just how good these vehicles are, the Trax earned a 63% lease residual that's 24 points above the previous generation and the best we've ever done in this segment. As for the Envista, one auto writer said it's gorgeous styling resembles a Lamborghini and another said as far as rivals go the 2024 Envista might be playing in a sandbox alone because it's both premium and affordable. At the same time our EV volumes and market share are growing as cell production rises and our teams master new hardware, software and manufacturing technologies that we are deploying. As Paul and I have shared, we plan to produce 400,000 EVs over the course of '22, '23 and the first half of 2024, including 50,000 EVs in North America in the first-half of this year and double that in the second half. So far this year we've built more than 2000 Cadillac LYRIQS and production will continue to rise to help us meet pent up demand. Both GMC Hummer EV models are shipping from factory 0 and production is scaling. Our production ramp is carefully cadenced as we add additional trim series to the Hummer EV pickup and began production of addition one SUV. The team at CAMI has now built more than 500 BrightDrop Zevo 600 vans and the Zevo 400 begins production in the second half of the year and we've added per later in rider as customers. We already have 340 fleet customers for the Silverado EV and the team at Ramos Arizpe is making great progress preparing for the launches of the Blazer EV and the Equinox EV in the second half of the year.

All of this is enabled by rising production at Ultium Cells in Ohio, which we expect to reach full capacity at the end of the year. Everything we learned in Ohio will be applied to our next choose Ultium cell plants including in Tennessee, where we will begin hiring and training production workers in a matter of weeks. Work also continues to transform our assembly plant and orient Township, Michigan to build the GMC Sierra EV and the Chevrolet Silverado EV. We have progressed so far that it's now time to plan to end the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV production, which will happen at the very end of the year. When Oriente EV assembly reopens in 2024 and reaches full production, employment will nearly triple and we'll have a company wide capacity to build 600,000 electric trucks annually. We will need this capacity, because our trucks more than measure up to our customers' expectation and will demonstrate that work and EV range are not mutually exclusive terms for Chevrolet and GMC trucks, so stay tuned. As we scale EVs, we will lower fixed cost and we'll continue to drive margin improvements we outlined at Investor Day.

This includes optimizing our pouch cells for energy density range and cost using new approaches pioneered at our wireless battery center and by our technology partners. And we announced this morning that we're also working with Samsung SDI to add cylindrical and prismatic cells to our portfolio. Having multiple strong sell partners will allow us to expand into new segments more quickly, grow our annual EV assembly capacity in North America significantly above one million units, and integrate cells directly into battery packs to reduce weight, complexity and cost. Reducing vehicle complexity and expanding the use of shared subsystems between ICE and EV programs is another priority. For example, we are reducing the overall complexity of our software configurations and related hardware on all future ICE and EV products. One important part of our efforts includes the reduction of infotainment screen configurations by 60% across our entire portfolio. By reducing complexity, we can focus on delivering new and improved digital experiences much more quickly. We also expect that our supply chain will be an even bigger competitive advantage starting in '26 and '27 because of the direct investments we've made in lithium, nickel and other commodities, as well as Cam, which will allow us to purchase significant quantities of material on favorable commercial terms.

All of this is coming together in a way that will fundamentally change the narrative that traditional automakers can't deliver competitive EV margins. We have a lot of work to do, but we have the right trajectory and I believe we can get there much faster than people think.

Now before I turn the call over to Paul, I would like to invite Kyle to share an update on Cruise, which continues to expand the scale and scope of its operations. Kyle, over to you.

Kyle Vogt
Chief Executive Officer of Cruise at General Motors

Thanks, Mary. I'd like to give a brief update on our progress. Since last quarter, our driverless fleet has increased by 86% from 130 to 242 concurrently operating EVs. We've completed over 1.5 million driverless miles and the pace continues to accelerate. Our first million miles took us about 15 months to complete, while the next million miles will likely take less than three. We're also regularly completing over 1,000 driverless trips with passengers every day and we're seeing strong retention from our early users. This is significant quarter-over-quarter growth in our services while like, but we've had limits on when and where it operates. But today, I'm excited to share that right now, a small portion of our fleet is now serving driverless rides 24 hours a day across all of San Francisco. For us, this is a milestone years in the making and represents that our driverless fleet has real commercial value. We're completing the work needed to roll it out to the rest of our driverless fleets as soon as we can.

Another key part of rapid scaling is the readily available supply of vehicles. Fortunately, our purpose built and cost optimized AV the Cruise Origin we'll be testing in Austin and San. This vehicle has been validated almost entirely in simulation, reducing our historical reliance on expensive and time consuming supervised but test mileage collection. The launch of Origin is a critical step on our path to profitability as well and towards hitting a $1 billion in revenue in 2025, we remain on-track and slightly ahead as of today. Thanks, Mary. Back to you.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

Well. Thanks Kyle. And now I'm going to turn it over to Paul for a deeper dive into the quarter.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Thank you, Mary, and thank you, Kyle, and good morning everyone, thank you for joining us today. I'm pleased to report a strong start to the year as the team continues to execute on our transformation. We're strategically transitioning the business while at the same time leveraging our important ICE portfolio with new and refreshed products driving continued robust demand for our vehicles, while pricing has remained stable. We're also excited to bring on incremental EV volumes, particularly in the second half of the year as we increased battery cell production at Ultium Cells. And as Mary mentioned, we took initial steps in Q1 towards implementing our $2 billion cost initiative of which we now expect to realize about 50% in 2023 with the majority of this benefit occurring in the back half of the year. The performance based exits and roughly 5,000 individuals who participated in the voluntary severance program will drive approximately $1 billion towards this target. But people cost is just one of several areas we're focusing on. The remaining $1 billion will come from the following initiatives actions to reduce complexity across the portfolio and throughout the business in everything we do from vehicle design to engineering and manufacturing. Prioritizing our growth initiatives, we simply cannot do everything. We're focusing on projects like Cruise, BrightDrop and software defined vehicles, which offer the biggest returns on revenue and margin. And lastly, we're being tactical on overheads and discretionary costs including corporate travel, IT costs and marketing spend. These actions will have a near term impact on costs, but we also outlined a number of additional medium to long term opportunities at our Investor Day in November last year, which we are aggressively pursuing. For example, we are developing a fully integrated battery ecosystem and taking a portfolio approach to battery raw materials. We will source from a mix of established and early stage miners, giving us both security of supply and lower pricing volatility, these are meaningful advantages as we scale into the back half of the decade. The Treasury Department's recent guidance on the clean energy consumer purchase incentive also validated our battery supply chain work with our entire fleet of EVs under the MSRP cap qualifying for the full $7,500 incentives this year.

Now let's discuss another important topic dealer inventory. As we mentioned on the last earnings call, our plan is to balance supply with demand and that's exactly what we did this quarter. Early in the year production improved as supply constraints started to ease and began to outpace still healthy and growing demand. As a result, we proactively planned some downtime, which allowed us to end the quarter with US dealer stock flat compared to December while we gained 1.3 points of share and increased volumes, 4% year-over-year. These production actions were contemplated in our 2023 guidance metrics laid out at the beginning of the year. We are still planning to a 15 million units SAAR and targeting to end 2023 with 50 to 60 days of total dealer inventory. Although seasonality production schedules and timing of fleet deliveries may take us out of this range from time-to-time.

Now let's get into the Q1 results, revenue was $40 billion, up 11% year-over-year. We achieved $3.8 billion in EBIT adjusted, 9.5% EBIT adjusted margins and $2.21 in EPS diluted adjusted. Total company results were down only $200 million year-over-year despite a combined $800 million headwind from lower pension income and lower GM financial earnings, providing more evidence that the underlying business remains quite strong. Adjusted auto free cash flow was essentially flat year-over-year driven by higher capital expenditures related to our EV investments, seasonal working capital headwinds and GM Financial dividend timing. However, we used our strong balance sheet to repurchase $365 million of stock in Q1 retiring 9 million shares and early retiring $1.5 billion in debt maturing later this year. Given the strong Q1 results and our current outlook, we are increasing our full year guidance to EBIT adjusted and the $11 billion to $13 billion range EPS diluted adjusted to the $6.35 to $7.35 range and automotive adjusted automotive free cash flow in the $5.5 billion to $7.5 billion range.

I'll provide more details on this after I cover the regional results. North America delivered Q1 EBIT adjusted of $3.6 billion, up $400 million year-over-year and EBIT adjusted margins of 10.9%. Results were primarily driven by higher pricing and volume, partially offset by mix, lower pension income, warranty reserve adjustments and higher commodity and logistics cost. We saw $1.3 billion pricing tailwind year-over-year in the quarter, driven largely by the price increases in 2022 carrying into 2023. We expect this year-over-year pricing benefit to moderate as we progress through the year. However, we anticipate pricing performance on all -- on our all new mid-size pickups and refreshed HD pickups to partially offset this headwind. Demand for our full-size pickups remained strong with increased year-over-year total sales of our Silverado and Sierra full-size pickups up 3%. We also gained 0.3 percentage points of total market share to continue our number one position in full size pickup sales.

Encouragingly, April to date, performance is also trending well as demand remains healthy, inventory levels are essentially flat, pricing has been consistent and we're seeing a steady increase in industry volume. GM International delivered Q1 EBIT adjusted of $350 million, largely flat year-over-year, despite the fact that equity income in China was down $150 million due to lower-volume and pricing pressure partially offset by cost actions. The environment in China has been very challenging as the industry navigates continued COVID related impacts, regulatory changes for both EV and ICE vehicles and greater than expected competitive pricing actions, the China team is taking aggressive actions to offset, however, we don't expect an improvement in equity income until the second half of the year. EBITDA, EBIT adjusted in GM International, excluding China equity income was $250 million, up over $150 million versus last year. The successful turnaround the team has executed over the past few years continued with another record quarter. The results were driven by higher pricing, volume and mix, partially offset by commodity and logistics costs and foreign currency headwinds. For the full year, we expect pricing to be up on a year-over-year basis, leveraging the strength of the portfolio and more than covering FX headwinds.

For GM international, we anticipate moderately improved full year 2023 results relative to '22, the strong results and momentum for the rest of GM international are anticipated to more than offset continued headwinds in China. GM financial delivered first quarter EBT adjusted of over $750 million, down $500 million year-over-year. As expected primarily due to the expected decrease in net leased vehicle income driven by lower lease sales mix as a result of reduced new vehicle production since Q3 2021 and lower net gains on lease terminations. Also, while higher cost of funds impacted results versus 2022, it was partially offset by higher effective yields on new originations and growth in the loan portfolio. GM financials key metrics, balance sheet and liquidity remained strong, providing them the ability to support the GM Enterprise across economic cycles. We've seen no material impact due to the recent banking crisis, in fact earlier this month, we were able to renew our $16 billion revolving credit facilities while also receiving a ratings upgrade of GM and GM financial bonds from Moody's. This upgrade should improve credit spreads on future bond issuances and improve cost of funds as their debt portfolio reprices.

GM financial also paid a $450 million dividend to GM in Q1. Our full year GM financial expectations of EBT adjusted in the mid $2 billion range and dividends similar to 2022 have not changed. Corporate expenses were $300 million in the quarter down slightly year-over-year as we continue to invest in growth initiatives. Cruise expenses were $550 million in the quarter, up $250 million year-over-year driven by an increase in operating spend as well as by the inclusion of stock based compensation expense this quarter versus Q1 2022. As we look forward to the rest of the year, our goal is to remain agile and adapt to the dynamic macro environment. Our updated guidance assumes that the pricing benefit we saw in Q1 is neutralized over the rest of the year as we cycle price increases taken in 2022 and incentives gradually increase. Commodity and logistics costs have been stickier than originally estimated, primarily due to higher steel prices on market index contracts. For the full year, we now expect commodity and logistics costs to be essentially flat year-over-year versus our prior expectation for a modest tailwind.

Our expectation to realize at least $300 million EBIT adjusted benefit in 2023 from the clean energy production tax credits is unchanged. And while we continue to experience parts availability and logistics challenges as we did in Q1, we expect these issues to gradually improve over the next few quarters and are therefore still expecting 2023 year-over-year wholesale volumes to increase 5% to 10%. As Mary mentioned, we are making great progress towards our goal of one million units of North America EV capacity in 2025. As we scale and launch multiple high volume EVs in strategically important segments, we will see the benefits of the Ultium platform, expand and help us deliver margins in the low to mid single digits by 2025.

In closing. I also want to say how proud and thankful I am for all of our amazing team members for their tireless efforts. They've executed quarter-after-quarter and delivered two consecutive years of record profits despite many external challenges needless to say, my optimism for GM's long-term potential remains very high.

This concludes our opening comments and we'll now move to the Q&A portion of the call.


Questions and Answers

Operator

Thank you. [operator instructions] Our first question comes from John Murphy with Bank of America. Your line is open.

John Murphy
Analyst at Bank of America

Good morning, everybody. I just wanted to your point, you mentioned that the first quarter pricing would reverse through the course of the year and that's something close to neutral. But you know it seems like there some lessons that have been learned for the last couple of years on creating mix and price upside and managing the business to be more profitable over time. So I'm just curious if you can talk about maybe the lessons that were learned, the products that are being launched, because it seems like the mid part pickups in the HD refresh, they are leaning into higher mix, but then, Mary, you mentioned four crossovers below 30,000, that's kind of going in the other direction. I mean, how do you think about managing this going forward and do you think this current price level is something that you might be able to maintain, you might give back what you gained in the first quarter in the face of what sort of an increasing threat from one large player, Tesla that is cutting price aggressively in the market.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Yes. Good morning, John, and thanks for thanks for kicking us off today. I think there's a lot to unpack in your question, I'll just start by saying we need to be very conscious of the macro-environment around us and as we set going into the year, we were planning I think somewhat conservatively in recognition of that macro. So about a 15 million units SAAR with some normalization of incentives and pricing to a little bit lower demand. We certainly haven't seen that in Q1 and despite that forecast, we're still comfortable taking up our guidance because I think we've reflected some of that in the back half. And certainly if we see demand hold up, I would expect that we can we can outperform these results across the board, but we want to make sure that we're very conscious of the macro. When you ask about lessons learned, I think we certainly have really focused on vehicle margins and I think one of the important steps this quarter that I'm not sure that the market digested all that well was when we took down capacity for a couple of weeks at a plant to balance production to demand.

And I think when you look-back on that decision to have inventories flat while we gained share and increased volumes over the time period, I think is one of those really valuable lessons learned that we can take to the future going forward. So on on the trim side, clearly what we're seeing is strong demand for the higher end trims Mary mentioned in her remarks the demand for the Denali ultimate. This is a trim level that didn't even exist a year ago, yet customers were asking for it and you see they've responded with their orders. So I think there's lots to, lots to look at, lots of encouraging signs for how we think about the business going forward.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

Yes. I would just add, John that we also, you have to have the right portfolio for the market, yes, we're doing really well at the very high end especially in trucks, as Paul mentioned, but having the Trax and the Envista the Buick Envista at affordable levels and we've been able to do that profitably because of the work we've done to reduce complexity, leverage the scale of components across the vehicles. For instance the Trax only has one powertrain, so, I think when you talk about mix. I think the opportunity you still have to cover the market for what people can afford, but doing it in a way that you really reduce complexity I think is one of the big lessons learned and we're going to continue to drive that, not only across the ICE portfolio, but the EV portfolio as well.

John Murphy
Analyst at Bank of America

And maybe if I just ask one follow-up. The cap yield of 96% in North America that was outlined in the financial data, it was on based on a two shift straight time that's given were absolute vibes that's actually much higher than I would have thought. Taking that higher is going to require adding extra shifts. I mean, how do you that and how do you sort of balance sort of this maybe step up in volume that you might execute on later this year. You add third shifts. I mean you get into this thing where you're seeing like drop that you're managing the business very optimally right now and if you start growing volume, then you're going to become a lot less optimal as yet for adding third shifts, particularly with that 96% cap you number. How do you..

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Yes. So John, it obviously varies by vehicle type and where we are and we've been running pretty much as flat out as we can on full -size SUVs and pickup trucks overtime. So there's a little bit at the margins, but that's something that we've got to really manage aggressively across the board. So there are opportunities to be able to do that should we see demand pickup, but balancing it to demand I think is the most important piece of that as we can. So if we, if we need to take down to moderate some of the growth, I think you'll see us do that opportunities to make up for it. We're really centered around making sure that we've got those shift capacities as well as the the parts and components and logistics to be able to move the inventory when it's finished too.

John Murphy
Analyst at Bank of America

But fair to say that's all variable cost that comes in.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Absolutely.

John Murphy
Analyst at Bank of America

Okay. Thank you guys.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Ethan Michaeli with Citi. Your line is open.

Itay Michaeli
Analyst at Citi Group Global Markets

Great. Thank you. Good morning, everybody and congrats. Just two questions from me. First maybe Paul hoping you could maybe talk a bit about the, how we should think about the cadence for North America earnings the rest of the year, particularly with the strong start you mentioned in April in terms of the production, any part plan you'll have for the trucks. And then secondly, maybe for Mary and Kyle. Congrats on 1.5 million driverless miles. Hope you can share a bit of A, where you're seeing safety metrics on those miles performance metrics relative to expectations and how the experience is informing you on future scale plans for Cruise.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Yes. Good morning Itay. Thanks for the question. So on a cadence side. I think we alluded to on the full year guidance, the original guidance was that we thought the second half is going to be more challenging. So as we lap the price increases of last year as well as building in a little bit of time if there are any downturns in demand. That's where we kind of see it, so I would say it's a little bit of a first half, second half story. We still got time to be able to manage the second half, we're watching it closely. As we said in the prepared remarks, April has been very strong for us as well and has continued to be strong, so I would say that the risks still lies a little bit in the second half, but it's one that even with that out there, we felt comfortable raising our guidance today.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

And Kyle, do you want to take the question on Cruise scaling.

Kyle Vogt
Chief Executive Officer of Cruise at General Motors

Sure, yes I can do that. So we are in this rapid scaling phase right now and on the safety side our performance was strong. We're very happy with how that's going. We'll have some more to share on that soon. But for scaling, we've almost doubled our fleet size, just in the last quarter and we expect that kind of rate of improvement to continue. And as we do that at surfaces just one bottleneck after another that we continuously burned down and move out of the way so we can keep scaling up the fleet.

Itay Michaeli
Analyst at Citi Group Global Markets

That's all very helpful. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Rod Lache with Wolfe Research. Your line is open.

Rod Lache
Analyst at Wolfe Research

Good morning, everybody. It's great to hear the comments about changing the EV margin narrative. I'm hoping you can maybe just broadly address the developments that we're seeing in North America and China and the EV market, it does look like competition is pretty aggressive in both areas. So I was wondering if anything that you're seeing is surprising to you and are there strategic adjustments that you are making as you kind of observe the market dynamics in both markets, North America and China, maybe you could. Just provide a little color on how you adjust strategy in real time.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

So let me, Rod. I appreciate the question. Let me start with China. As Paul said, the industry is pretty tough right now, it's still recovering from COVID, pricing is in growth is very aggressive as you know. I mean, you look at the fundamentals of the industry in China. You got 50% capacity utilization. You've got more than 100 brands competing there. I don't think that's a steady state that you can look at. But if you look a little longer-term from a country perspective, I mean, there's still tremendous growth and I think the market can still be strong and have great profitability potential. So from a GM specific perspective, we're launching the right EVs right now off the Ultium platform. I think '24 and '25 are going to be key years for us as we not only get the right EV products in market that we think we'll compete at the right price, that allows us to be profitable, but then we're also aggressively pursuing improvements from a structural cost perspective across our China operation. So, I think China is in a period right now, because of where the industry is and the number of competitors with the pricing challenges that will sort and I think we'll be well-positioned. We do have brands that have value in the country and we're going to have the right EV portfolio there. And frankly right now, our ICE portfolio is strong and so that's going to enable us to fund it as we look at the price challenges. From a US perspective, our main focus right now is two-fold. One is getting the EVs out there, we're launching the battery plants, the module, the assembly and then the vehicle. Also at the same time from a Cadillac Lyriq perspective, we're launching, It's really the first vehicle with ultra ultrahigh. So there's a lot, a lot of new that's why we have a very measured cadence as we're ramping. We're now the battery cell plant is flowing very well and that is enabling us now to really focus on module and pack, which we're doing. That's why we said even at the beginning of the year that the second-half is when you're really going to see the the curve start to accelerate and we're on-track to do that. So we're really focused on getting the vehicles out there because we think we price them right to begin with when you look at where the Lyriq is below, starts below $60,000 or right at $60,000. The Equinox at around $30,000 the Blazer. In the mid mid 40s. These are price points that I think are very important. And then when you look at the vehicles from a styling technology perspective, I think they're going to be great.

While we're working to really get these vehicles out there because the customer response is so strong, we're also working on costs, and so the $2 billion structural cost-reduction that we're working, as Paul indicated, we're doing well on that and we'll continue to look for those opportunities, but then we're also looking at how do we continue to drive improvements from a, from a both an ICE and EV margin perspective and there is a tremendous amount of work going on there so. Get the vehicles out, continue to work on pricing around costs so you can have the right price, it's really the focus that we have right now and this is going to be a critical year for that. But as Paul and I both said, we believe even with not only the challenges of commodities, but also the pricing pressures, we still think we are well-positioned to achieve the low-mid single, low-to-mid-single-digit margins in 2025.

Rod Lache
Analyst at Wolfe Research

All right, thanks for that. And just kind of keying off of the comment on costs. Can you talk a little bit about the components of that $1 billion cost increase that we saw in North-America. And obviously over time, just given the amount of spending on growth initiatives, your structural costs are going to go up certainly through mid decade. Can you just provide some thoughts on how we should be thinking about the trajectory of that and the extent to which that changes breakeven points in the business.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Yes, thanks, Rod. So a couple of things on costs in North-America. Obviously we had the lower pension income, a little bit higher commodities and logistics costs in particular. We also saw a bit of an uptick in warranty costs. I think that's probably a bit of an anomaly and won't repeat throughout the year across-the-board. So we're still getting, like I said early traction on the $2 billion controllable fixed-cost reduction, as we talked about the biggest placeholder on that being the voluntary program. So the $1 billion of savings will begin to accrue savings really probably late second-quarter and then really start to get into bulk in the second half of the year. So that was a really good way to kick-start that program and we're grateful to the employees who chose to take that package. The other side is a lot of a lot of grinding around on overhead as we talked about going-forward. A lot of discretionary spend, so we've got teams that are focused on getting savings in discretionary spend, IT-related costs, marketing-related costs across the board and we think that we can get traction on those things pretty quickly as well. So that's why we feel confident getting to about 50% this year, with the remainder accruing into 2024. Now this is important I think not just for offsetting some of the near-term pressures, but some more of those competitive dynamics we've talked about for the long-term in an effort to. Continue to improve the margin trajectory of the company.

Rod Lache
Analyst at Wolfe Research

Just any color Paul on the kind of intermediate-term outlook for structural costs. Is that something that you think can be sort of held at this level with the amount of capital that you're spending and the growth initiatives, do we think that there'd be some uplift to that.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Yes, well, we're seeing obviously some pressure in D&A, but that's where if you recall, we talked about the $2 billion program offsetting that and resulting in savings. So that's what we're aiming for. That's going to be a little bit of a hurdle to get over, but one that we feel comfortable that we can do.

Rod Lache
Analyst at Wolfe Research

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Dan Levy with Barclays. Your line is open. Hi, good morning. Thank you for taking the question. First wanted to ask about the share buybacks. Interesting to see that you didn't share buybacks in the quarter. And I'm guessing that speaks to your, the confidence in your liquidity profile, but as we need to ramp on growth spend and there's an open question on type of cycle normalization of where we're going into. How are you going to approach share buyback.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

Well, I think what you saw in the first quarter when you looking in, it's our cash generation is cyclical as we move through the year, but we're following our capital allocation framework and first reinvesting in the business and we think we've optimized that to have the right products, both from an ICE and EV perspective as we make this transformation, along with the focus that we have on some growth businesses like BrightDrop in Cruise that are we really think are going to lead to tremendous growth and margin expansion as well. But with that, we saw our way to do the share buyback. We're going to continue to evaluate that quarter-by-quarter as we go through the year, but I think we felt confident doing that, felt confident in raising guidance and we feel confident overall in our cash position to be able to continue to look for those opportunities.

Dan Levy
Analyst at Barclays

Great, thank you. And then the second question. I know you've laid out the 2025 low-to-mid-single digit EV margin target. One of your competitors obviously has put out, they've laid out more clearly where they are in TV today. I don't know if you're in a position to disclose more thoroughly, where you are in terms of the contribution margin standpoint or on an absolute EBIT endpoint. So it would be great. But beyond that in light of the current environment I think this touches on Rod's question, you have this 400,000 EV target. But given the ongoing cost dynamics, are you going to be nimble with that target or balancing profit dynamics with volume or is that purely going to be a function of the supply and you're going to be very firm on that 400,000 target.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Yes, so Dan, I'll start with that, Mary can jump in. I think in the early stages, we're going to be very firm with those targets across-the-board because when you look at the EV profitability and we're not, we're not going to give a lot of details right now, just because the numbers aren't that meaningful. When you look at the infrastructure investment that we've made already starting to depreciate that not fully utilizing as we ramp-up, etc. that will start to become more clear. So we need to be able to ramp-up the capacity to realize the scale benefits and get to the pricing efficiency or the cost-efficiency that we're targeting to be able to drive those margins going forward. So I think it's one that we've got to make sure that we look to where the demand is, but as we look at the order books and the indications of interest for the vehicles that we've announced and the ones that we've taken orders for. We feel very confident about the demand there for the 400,000 and ramping-up to the million. And we'll continue to, we'll continue to balance that, but structurally we obviously have a lot of work to do on costs. We've talked about that, we've got a lot of work to do on scaling and all of that is coming together.

And as you can see picking-up speed pretty quickly as we get into the middle and back part of this year.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

Paul, you said it well.

Dan Levy
Analyst at Barclays

Great. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Adam Jonas with Morgan Stanley. Your line is open.

Adam Jonas
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Thanks everybody. I just want to follow-up on Dan and Rod's question and maybe in a different way. I apologize, but again you expect to earn low-to-mid-single digit EBIT adjusted margins in the EV portfolio kind of from 2025 before the impact of clean energy credits. On my numbers at least, that's going to be probable, that could be higher than Tesla's margins. But putting that aside, if you are, If you are confronted with the choice of doing the million or doing the mid single digit margin. If it had to be a choice and you couldn't do both. My interpretation of what you just said Is that you you'll prioritize volume, is that the message here. In the case that the economics did require you to make a choice, a trade off.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

Yes Adam. I mean I think we're going to work toward profitable growth. I'm not going to say is, as we're sitting in 2025 second, third, or fourth quarter that we're going to do this or that and depending on the situation when you look at the portfolio that will have and I believe it's the right portfolio. We're not duplicating our ICE portfolio. We are very targeted in having the right vehicles from different price points, because to get to a point where there is that many EVs being sold in the US, recognizing competition as well. You have to meet the customer where they're at from a affordability perspective and I know you've written about that in some of your notes. So we're going to look and be smart maintain the brand value, the vehicle value, the residual value, but we think with the portfolio, we're going to be well-positioned to achieve the million units with the right profit margins. So but we're gonna be nimble. So just to put an either or out there, right. We're going to make I'd say, make our own luck as we do this with the right products and continued cost reduction. [Speech overlap]

Okay. Thanks. Adam.

Adam Jonas
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Thank you, Mary. I just had a follow-up for Kyle. A lot of tech companies are undergoing cost saving or restructuring kind of actions to give themselves a bit of a lower breakeven point, maybe some more runway given the changing capital markets environment. Obviously, you have the luxury of having GM as a partner on a lot of levels that's a huge advantage, but I'm just wondering, if you also would have identified some actions that could be taken maybe reduce that burn rate going forward in the new environment. Thanks, Kyle.

Kyle Vogt
Chief Executive Officer of Cruise at General Motors

Yes. Thanks for the question. I mean, as we march towards profitability, which is a big focus for us. We've been looking for a lot of ways to do more or less and run really efficiently and so similar to what Paul mentioned across the board in terms of some of the restructuring and streamlining inside of GM we're doing those types of activities and Cruise as well and seeing some good results there. But really, for us, the focus is on rapid scaling and therefore getting incrementally closer to profitability.

Adam Jonas
Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Thanks.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Dan Ives with Wedbush. Your line is open.

Daniel Ives
Analyst at Wedbush Securities

Thanks. So what would you say has been the biggest surprise this quarter on the positive, something where, from either from production perspective, costs or even efficiency from a development, in specific on EV side. Especially given the transformation that's happened.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

Great question and I would say it's multiple and that I've been extremely pleased with the organization on how we keep finding ways to drive efficiency. When I talked about the fact that our screen configurations for reducing by 60%. So really dialing-in on how do we reduce complexity on EVs by the way of benefits ICE as well to be able to have the right models with the right features and then the ability to really start taking advantage of the software platform. That's what's really being rolled-out now that we have Ultium and Ultifi. And so that is something that I'm really proud of the team of what they're doing. And then just overall I knew we had a strong product set, but the strong customer and dealer reaction that we're seeing to the products that we put out from an EV perspective. I think that also gives me a lot of confidence in the strength of execution. And then finally, even as we're in a year of of rapid launches, I think we haven't had this many launches. I think, excuse me, for more than a decade. The team is still very aggressively is working to take cost-out as signified of what we've been able to do, we're taking 15% of the leadership structure out which is, and the way that the teams are looking to optimize reduce complexity, become more agile.

So it's not only, I feel we have the right products and we're really reducing complexity. I think we have the right culture that is really driving a continuous improvement mindset from a cost perspective. So Dan, those are the two things I'm most proud of.

Daniel Ives
Analyst at Wedbush Securities

Great, great job the team. Thanks.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Emmanuel Rosner with Deutsche Bank. Your line is open.

Emmanuel Rosner
Analyst at Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft

Well, thank you very much, good morning. My first question Paul. I was hoping you could put maybe a little bit of a finer point in terms of what are the puts and takes you're assuming for the balance of the year in terms of I guess revenue and the cost. I mean it seems based on your previous comments, maybe an assumption of some moderation in pricing in North America, but then I think your cost should be going down as a result of some of the headcounts reduction. Is that directionally the right way, are there any other important pieces.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Yes, good morning Emmanuel. I would say we expect pricing, so North-America pricing was about a $1.3 billion benefit in the quarter as we lap last year's pricing increases. We expect or we're planning for, I wouldn't say we expect at this point, but we're planning and assuming that we end up giving some of that back. So that were essentially net flat for the year on that, whether that's through incentives or through pricing changes, etc. So a little bit of a little bit of a give back for the rest of the year. And like I said to the earlier question, that's, most of that's sort of backloaded. But if we see demand continuing to be strong, then I would say that will probably outperform that assumption going-forward. On the cost side, a little bit kind of moderation from where we were before. We thought commodities and logistics would be down year-over-year. We're now seeing that essentially be flat. Like I said, we've seen some pressure in steel and some other things in logistics across-the-board.

So, overall production up 5% to 10%, as we said, pricing relatively flat for the year and that's how you can kind of center on where we, where we're projecting at the midpoint.

Emmanuel Rosner
Analyst at Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft

Okay, thanks. And then I guess, as we're trying to figure out your progress towards some of the EV margin targets. And I understand you're not prepared to share sort of like current economics. Are you able to tell us. I guess what portion of the company's capex and engineering is currently spent on EV and what would be the targets for that EV share of capex and engineering maybe by mid decade.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Yes, so right now, we've said it's about 3/4 is on EV, when you look at, when you look at capital and engineering expense. We still have some mid cycle vehicles that we're doing on the ICE side. But largely the engineering and the capital is going into the EV side. That will obviously as we work-through the transformation go to a 100% over the next few years.

Emmanuel Rosner
Analyst at Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft

Okay, thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from James Picariello with BNP Paribas, your line is open.

James Picariello
Analyst at BNP Paribas

Hi, good morning, everyone. Can you clarify how the structural cost-savings range is now trending for this year relative to the $2 billion GM is targeting to be achieved by the end of next year. And then just, how should we be think about the associated cash costs tied to this effort for this year.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

So, fair question. As we said when we launched the program last quarter 30% to 50% we expected to get in the first year. We're now guiding to the high-end of that range, so. I think we'll come in about 50%. That ultimately is going to offset some of the pressures that we've seen. So we may not see a full $1 billion come off of structural costs, but certainly we'll get the savings from where we were going forward. The biggest component of that is obviously the voluntary severance program. We disclosed about a $900 million cash charge associated with that will largely be spent this year. The rest of the things that we identified, whether it's travel, IT, marketing or some of the complexity, we don't expect we will have significant cash costs associated with it.

James Picariello
Analyst at BNP Paribas

Got it that's helpful. And then as we think about fleet mix and the general rule of thumb for the US, for the industry in the US, if the fleet channels have been starved of product for almost three years. Is this potentially helping the profitability of your fleet mix or the industry's fleet mix for for at least this year. Just thinking about that dynamic.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Yes, that's a fair question, obviously we're seeing gains in fleet, and I think the historical view of fleet as a discount chain to drive volume. Is it really there anymore. We're seeing really strong pricing on the fleet side and we expect that business is going to continue to grow and be a contributor to our margins.

James Picariello
Analyst at BNP Paribas

Thanks.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Ryan Brinkman with JP Morgan. Your line is open.

Ryan Brinkman
Analyst at J P Morgan

Hi, thanks for taking my questions and thanks to you for the earlier comments on China. I just want to ask a bit more around your operations there though just because on the one-hand, it seems like less of a needle mover for total company profits than it used to be with North-America, more profitable than before and consolidated IO flipping from loss-making to profitable. But on the other hand, the equity income there was the lowest in sometime, apart from a couple of quarters impacted by COVID closures. So can you talk about any one time disruptions you might have incurred during the quarter such as a paradoxically maybe around COVID reopenings as the virus spread or any other one time factor. And then what is it that you need to do now to restore profitability to where you want it to be. You're strong at the low-end of the EV market, I'm guessing that's probably a more well-rounded higher-end EV lineup that you see the most opportunity to close the gap. So, along those lines, can you help us in terms of like what that comment in the shareholder letter around 400,000 I think Ultium EVs produced over '22 and '23, with 50K in the first-half in the US, double in the back-half. Now what does that kind of squeeze to for your anticipated Ultium ramp-in China. And then just how are you thinking about the profitability impact to your operations in China once those EVs do launch, maybe in light of some of the recent EV pricing actions in that market.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

So, yes, great question. And from a China perspective. I think. COVID definitely had an impact in COVID across the country, very impacted from a Shanghai specific perspective that impacted our business. But I think what is really important for us right now, on the low-end we need to build-on the strength we've had with the Hongguang Mini EV and we're repositioning with SGMW the Baojun brand to be the right, have the right brand characteristics from an EV perspective. And so that's very important that we execute that in the Wuling, SGM Wuling joint-venture. In SGM venture, it's getting the vehicles off of Altium launched and then in country, because we've seen good reception to them. We just did some launch in the last couple of weeks, and the market reaction was very good. So it's getting those vehicles scale to getting them into the market. We think because they're new, we're going to, brand new and well received, we're going to be able to achieve the pricing that we intended for those and we're just kept remain dynamic and that's why in addition to getting the Ultium EVs launched in China. we've also got to really continue aggressive measures on taking out structural cost, which we already will do have plans in-place to execute on and we'll report on those as we go-forward.

Ryan Brinkman
Analyst at J P Morgan

Okay, great and then just lastly, with regard to the reiterated low-to-mid-single-digit EV margin target in 2025, which. I think is encouraging in light of the recent pricing action. This target continues to exclude any benefit from the energy tax credit portion of inflation reduction act. When you introduced that target at '25 targeted at the EV Investor Day last November. It excluded the benefits in part because I thought the act wasn't yet law and there were uncertainties about whether the credit would be refundable against the net, totally against the manufacturing cost or if it was only against the taxable income and then possibly maybe you had yet to finalize on negotiations with your JV battery partner then [indecipherable] Solutions, how those credits would be shared. Now that we do have the details around the act and it's you passed the law. Do you have any updated thoughts on how much the low-to mid single-digits margin could benefit from those credits. And then with regard to the new JV from Samsung. I mean you entered into that JV knowing about the IRA. So did you already finalize how that would be shared relative to the credits going into the JV and that may be enter into your thinking to start a JV with an additional partner.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

So Ryan, I'll take a shot at that. I think when you look at the guidance that we gave around EVs back-in November, we drew sort of two lines around it, just to help show you where we're going. So the first was the low-to-mid single digits without any tax credits. That's to make sure that you know that we're focused on the vehicle profitability. We've obviously are in this for the long-term and we've got to make sure that we're hitting goals for the long-term assuming that we get a normal world where maybe there aren't EV tax credits. So the vehicle program is one thing. The second piece of it, on the tax credits themselves. We did say that about $3500 to $5500 per vehicle is what our what our estimate is. We said about $300 million this year that we would expect to get-out of that. We're not going to comment specifically on any deals, how that might be shared etc. across the board. But again, we feel confident about the tax credits in the short-term, helping us to narrow that gap between that low-to-mid-single-digit vehicle profitability on the vehicle and getting it to ICE parity faster than we originally thought. So those are the ways that we're thinking about how we go to it, but longer term, the vehicles have got to standby themselves.

Ryan Brinkman
Analyst at J P Morgan

Very helpful. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our last question comes from Colin Langan with Wells Fargo. Your line is open.

Colin Langan
Analyst at Wells Fargo & Company

Great. Thanks for taking my question. GMC be leading in sort of securing the raw-material supply. Curious what your thoughts are on the 2032 ETA targets that require about 67% of vehicles to be EV by 2032. Do you think there is enough lithium to hit the targets, do you think you could get enough lithium by then the industry. And do you think we have enough capacity in-place to get there I guess considering you been pretty good about getting capacity so far.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

Yes, I'll let Paul talk about specifically about Lithium. But when we look at the '27 through '32 targets, what EPA has put out, we're still digesting them understanding what it means and we'll provide comment as appropriate. We do support continuing to increase to combat climate change, but we've got to dig into the details a little bit more on what's being put out there to make sure that we're, this is being driven, able to be driven by customer demand, because anything else is not going to be productive. And then Paul you can share, talk about lithium specifically.

Paul Jacobson
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at General Motors

Yes, so Colin, obviously we've been doing a lot of work with multiple partners across the entire battery raw materials spectrum. We think that's the prudent thing to do both for not only from a scarcity perspective, but also making sure we get to a security of supply for our longer term ambition. So we're not just looking at do we do a procurement contract for this year and for that we're looking at forming big long-term partnerships. So whether it's the work we did with Lithium Americas, the joint-venture that we've done with POSCO, you see these relationships, getting set-up as structural and that's where we're really focused to do because we've got the million vehicle target in 2025, we said we're targeting 50% by 2030, and then ultimately all electric vehicle production in 2035. So building that infrastructure now is where I think we're securing an advantage.

Colin Langan
Analyst at Wells Fargo & Company

Got it. And you're ahead of your $2 billion in your annual target for the next few year. Just wanted to check, does that incorporate the potential changes in the UAW contract because that could sort of add some costs and is also the guidance contemplate things like the signing bonus and stuff like that in terms of cash flow that might occur this year from the UAW contract.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

You know we are having, we aren't even at the negotiations and we're not going to negotiate in the media here. We're working to make sure we're building a strong relationship with the new leadership, getting to know them and making sure we identify what are the challenges the business and when it becomes, working together to solve the issues to get to a good place. And so beyond that, we're not going to really comment, but I would say, with what we've done in the past we've always demonstrated that we can continue to drive efficiencies and that's what we'll do.

Colin Langan
Analyst at Wells Fargo & Company

Got it, alright thanks for taking my questions.

Mary Barra
Chair and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

All right. Well, thanks everybody. I really appreciate all your questions today and I want to close by reiterating what I said as we opened the call. I really believe we have the right products and strategies in place to continue to deliver strong results. And although we have a lot of work to do, there is a lot of execution as we ramp-up EVs. I believe that's where GM shines. We have the capability to execute and that's exactly what we're going to do, and I believe that we're going to do it faster than most people think. In addition, this is a milestone year for Cruise as they continue to expand their commercial operation and with the EVs that we have coming, I really think it's a breakout year for Altium. So. I look-forward to sharing updates along the way and I really appreciate your time today, so I hope everyone has a great day.

Operator

Thank you for your participation. Participants you may disconnect at this time

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