GM reported a net profit of $2.1 billion for the first quarter, up from $1.1 billion in the year-ago period. But its earnings before interest and taxes were down 11.5 percent, its net revenue was down 3.4 percent and sales in China experienced a double-digit percentage dip.
Many analysts say it will be least five to 10 years out before fully autonomous cars can safely hit open public roads and offer a profitable business model.
GM acknowledges that it is always looking at ways to create shareholder value and attract investors, given the cost to develop self-driving cars. It has partnered with Honda and Japan’s SoftBank in the effort, with both investing more than $2 billion.
Morgan Stanley Adam Jonas wrote in a March 26 investor note. “We believe ‘peak AV’ sentiment in the market may have occurred in late 2017/early 2018.”