GM Upbeat Despite Low Second Quarter Earnings

By Maureen Mespell

August 2, 2012 Updated Aug 2, 2012 at 6:28 PM EDT

Detroit, Mich. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- GM remains upbeat Thursday, despite some bad numbers.

Second quarter earnings plunged by nearly half.

GM released its earnings reports Thursday morning.

It looks small, but, Chevrolet is expecting big things from it's new Spark. The subcompact is produced in South Korea, and is just now hitting the road in the United States.

Nearly 1,500 Sparks have been sold in just the first month.

Cristi Landy, Director for Chevrolet small cars says, "Our first sale was July 19th, we only had the last third of the month for sales, but, we've been hearing a lot of positive feedback from our dealers."

The Spark is also Chevrolet's latest model in GM's growing small car inventory.

"It completes our mini segment, which is something new for the U.S. market, kind of curious to see what we can do with the vehicles," says Vice President of Chevrolet, Chris Perry

GM is hoping its latest offering will give the automaker a much needed spark. GM's second quarter sales fell 41% from a year ago.

GM posted strong earnings in North America, but, continued losses in Europe and South America hurt.

The earnings also beat the expectations of industry analysts.

"This is our 10th consecutive quarter of earnings, positive earnings, and profit," says Perry. "That's probably the first time that's happened in a decade now."

Ft. Wayne Assembly is also feeling some of the pain.

It's the home of the heavy duty versions of the Chevy Silverado, and GMC Sierra pick-up trucks.

Sales of all versions of the two dropped 12.5%, and nearly 12% respectively in July.

Overall truck sales fell 12-percent for the month.

Perry says, "Certainly the trucks are extremely important for us, we're going to continue promoting them the best way we can, but, we just like the fact we have an extended range of products to offer consumers."

That includes something new GM hopes will help "Spark" sales.

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