Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

A worker at the Vauxhall car factory in the U.K. gets his temperature read. Photo: Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images

There's a growing consensus that automakers can safely resume vehicle production this month as they continue to ride strong demand for pickup trucks and SUVs through the coronavirus crisis.

The big picture: The pandemic crippled auto production and sales as it rolled across the globe, but signs of improving business in China are providing hope that the industry will see a similar V-shaped recovery in North America.

Driving the news: "We're certainly seeing green shoots in China," General Motors' CFO Dhivya Suryadevara told reporters during a call to review first-quarter results.

  • In the U.S., she said, "there are bright spots in the industry," particularly surging truck sales in regions not heavily affected by the virus.
  • Other automakers have also been encouraged by China's rebound, but Volkswagen warned that Europe could take longer to bounce back.

By the numbers: GM reported a net profit of $294 million, down 87% from the first quarter a year ago on a 6% drop in revenue to $32.7 billion — beating Wall Street's low expectations.

Between the lines: This is the first big test of GM's resiliency since the global financial crisis in 2009 pushed the company into a government-backed bankruptcy.

What's next: GM and FCA have announced plans to restart production in North America on May 18. Ford has not given a date, but will likely do the same.

  • They'll start slowly, operating just one shift, and then gradually ramp up.
  • Employees are being trained on strict health safety protocols developed jointly with the United Auto Workers union.

What to watch: Vehicle demand is still in question. While China's rebound is encouraging, the economic fallout of the prolonged shutdown of the American economy is too difficult to read, GM officials said.

Go deeper

Aug 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

GM toys with spinning off its electric vehicle business

Coming in 2022: the electric Cadillac LYRIQ. Photo: GM

Wall Street still views General Motors as yesterday's news, so one way for GM to get credit for its in-house capability is to spin off its electric vehicle operations as a stand-alone business.

Why it matters: Pure plays on electric vehicles are all the rage among investors — just look at Tesla's valuation.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

3 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.