×

GM bullish on North America after Q2 beat: CFO

General Motors CFO Chuck Stevens said Thursday demand for new vehicles remains strong in North America after the automaker reported a profit beat but fell short revenue estimates.

Shares were up more than 7 percent in premarket trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (See what the stock is doing now.)


"I think the North American results speak for themselves," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "We're very optimistic for the rest of the year for continued strength in North America."

GM's North American operations generated nearly all of its operating profit, doubling profits to $2.8 billion on margins of 10.5 percent, which the company said were a record for any quarter since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009.

GM has lately commanded higher prices for its products, but the automaker is not seeing signs of resistance from consumers, Stevens said.

"Our pickup share in the second quarter was up close to 3 percentage points on a year-over-year basis, so we continue to see a lot of strong demand for full-size pickups, SUVs and crossovers," he said.

Read MoreApple adds another auto exec to its roster

In its earnings report, General Motors said adjusted net income more than doubled in the second quarter, due to robust profit margins driven by North American truck sales and continued strength in China.

Stripping out one-time charges, GM earned $2.9 billion, or $1.29 a share, in the latest quarter, up from $1.4 billion, or 58 cents a share, and well ahead of the $1.08 a share forecast of analysts. Profits rose despite declining global vehicle deliveries and a 3.5 percent decline in worldwide revenue.

Net income rose to $1.1 billion, or 67 cents a share, from $200 million, or 11 cents a share, a year ago, when it was hurt by a big charge relating to recall costs.

Quarterly revenue of $38.2 billion was well below analyst estimates for $40.2 billion.

The translation of non-U.S. based currency shaved about $2.2 billion off the top line, Stevens said. "If you exclude that, our revenue was up close to a billion dollars year over year, with strength really in North America."

Read MoreAward Anxiety: How Can the Best Car Brands Also be the Worst?

GM said its joint venture operations in China improved profit margins to 10.2 percent from 10 percent a year ago, despite sluggish demand in the world's largest car market.

Stevens said GM expects the Chinese market to improve in the second half of 2015 as automakers launch new products and seasonal factors kick in, driving 2 to 3 percent growth for the year.

"We're seeing more a moderate industry growth, a more challenging macro environment in China," Stevens said.

GM is proactively addressing issues there by seeking to improve its mix of SUV offerings and cost efficiency, he added, saying the company expects to sustain its performance through the year.

—Reuters contributed to this story.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter Morning Squawk

CNBC's before the bell news roundup
Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about about our products and service.Privacy Policy.