GM raises its 2018 forecast, predicts stronger 2019 earnings

General Motors is off to a roaring start in 2019 — although thousands of its workers won’t be enjoying the ride.

Shares of the Detroit auto giant surged more than 9 percent intraday on Friday after it projected “strong” 2019 profits and said last year’s results blew past its expectations.

GM — whose sales are lately getting a boost from the brisk demand for its pickups and SUVs — said its 2019 outlook got an assist from cost-cutting initiatives that recently attracted the ire of President Trump.

While the president has criticized its plans to close a factory in Lordstown, Ohio, as part of a bloodbaththat could engulf as many as 14,000 workers, GM executives stood their ground in a Friday presentation to investors in New York.

GM is “no longer investing in things that don’t make money,” GM President Mark Reuss said.

Chief Executive Mary Barra likewise defended the cuts, adding that GM has had a history of “tough and strategic decisions.”

“Because of the actions we have been taking for several years, General Motors enters 2019 leaner, more agile and positioned to win,” Barra said.

She believes GM has job opportunities for most of the affected hourly employees “provided they can relocate.”

Elsewhere, GM said it’s looking to challenge Tesla by making its Cadillac brand the “tip of the corporate spear” in its budding electric-vehicles business.

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