GM Is Defying Naysayers With A Bullish 2019 Outlook, And Plans To Take On Tesla With Cadillac

The global auto industry is entering a defensive crouch in early 2019, but General Motors is a notable exception.

On Friday, the largest US carmaker by sales kicked off its Capital Markets Day in New York with a bullish outlook for 2019 and a better-than-expected look back on its 2018 financial results, which the company will report in February.

GM doesn't anticipate a collapse in the US sales market; after four years of record or near-record sales above 17 million, the company guided Wall Street to a number in that range for 2019.

The company also expects the Chinese market — a source of concern for investors amid macro-economic pressures and the Trump trade war — to hold up, totaling about 27 million in vehicle sales for 2019.

Read more: How GM went from a government bailout and bankruptcy to being one of the world's best-run car companies a decade later

Ahead of its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings announcement, GM also said it should exceed its previous 2018 guidance of $5.80 to $6.20 per share on a diluted, adjusted basis. It also guided significantly higher for 2019's bottom line: a range of $6.50 to $7 per share, above Wall Street's anticipated consensus of about $6.

Adjusted free cash flow for 2018 should beat $4 billion, and GM guided toward an improved range of $4.5 billion to 6 billion for 2019. On a conference call in New York, CFO Dhivya Suryadevara indicated that GM's restructuring process in 2018 could contribute between $2 billion and $2.5 billion to the company's profit outlook.

On the product front, GM said that it would begin rolling out new vehicles in China this year. CEO Mary Barra added that a strong portfolio of SUVs and full-size pickups would drive the positive expectation for the bottom line.

GM president Mark Reuss at the unveiling of a Cadillac SUV.
GM

Big news for Cadillac: It will become GM's main electric-vehicle brand

In other news, the company said Cadillac would become its lead electric-vehicle brand, spearheading a plan to introduce 20 new electrified vehicles by 2023.

GM is defying naysayers with a bullish 2019 outlook, and plans to take on Tesla with Cadillac
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