Mary Barra
Truck, SUV profits send GM earnings higher

Encouraged by lower gas prices, consumers in the U.S. spent big in the first quarter on vehicles that carry lots of passengers and cargo — and deliver hefty profit margins for General Motors. The shift to pickups and SUVs helped GM record $2.18 billion first-quarter profit in North America, its most lucrative market. Tougher conditions in Europe, particularly Russia, and South America whittled GM's overall quarterly net profit down to $945 million. Late last decade, big SUVs such as the Chevrolet Tahoe fell out of favor as consumers consistently saw prices above $3 at the gas pump and the U.S. economy struggled. But the economy is now growing, if somewhat unevenly, and gas has...