GM to top outlook with truck plant ramp up

General Motors Co. will boost output at two truck plants, allowing the company to beat its first-half forecast of $5.5 billion in profit and to hit the high end of its full-year target of around $11 billion.

The company will increase production of especially profitable heavy duty pickups in Flint, Michigan and of midsize pickups in Missouri, according to a statement Thursday.

The automaker has done a better job than many competitors of securing semiconductors during scant supply worldwide and has kept production at higher levels.

“The global semiconductor shortage remains complex and very fluid, but the speed, agility and commitment of our team, including our dealers, has helped us find creative ways to satisfy customers,” Phil Kienle, GM vice president North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations, said in the statement.

GM reversed premarket declines to climb 2.3% to $61.01 at 9:35 a.m. in New York. The stock had surged 43% this year through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 advanced 12%. Ford Motor Co. also rose on GM’s announcement.

While the Detroit-based company didn’t change its full-year guidance it expressed optimism about reaching the high end of its previous forecast of between $10 billion and $11 billion in earnings before interest and taxes.

To get there, the automaker will boost production of the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD full-size pickups by about 1,000 trucks a month beginning in mid-July.

GM credited production line efficiencies achieved at its Flint Assembly plant in Michigan. Output of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups will increase by about 30,000 total units from mid-May through the week of July 5.