GM is relying cost cuts and richer prices on new models to boost profit through the end of the year.
While the inventory build helped profits in the quarter, Stevens told reporters in Detroit that cost reductions drove results.
The downtime scheduled at plants this year will cost GM production of about 60,000 vehicles, Stevens said.
The GM Financial lending unit earned $260 million in the first quarter, compared with $225 million a year earlier.
In China, GM made $504 million, down slightly from $518 million in the first quarter of last year.
GM Truck and SUV Build Boosts Profit as Plant Shutdowns Loom
Click on the button below to set up your account or log in if you already have one.
Already a subscriber?
General Motors’ Profit Jumps 34% on Strong SUV and Truck Demand — The Motley Fool
7.25% in North America) and 8.3% in North America) earlier in the week.
In North America, GM is also building up its inventories of pickup trucks and some SUV models ahead of scheduled factory downtime later this year.
Wholesale deliveries rose 7.6% to about 940,000 vehicles, while retail sales rose 2.1% to about 816,000.
As noted above, GM North America earned $3.4 billion, up $1.1 billion from a year ago.
Opel and Vauxhall accounted for 97% of GM’s retail sales in Europe in the first quarter.