GM posts better than expected truck sales in Q3
Shares of the automaker increased over 7% during premarket trading before leveling off at around 3%.
GM didn’t provide new earnings guidance for the year but cited several “moving pieces” such as potential stimulus and the COVID-19 pandemic. GM CEO, Mary Barra, commented that the fourth quarter isn’t thought to be as strong as the third quarter. She added that the possibility of an uncertain outcome of the presidential election could damage sales for the rest of the year.
“When we look at the election, we think the extended length of time to finalize the vote count was anticipated given the unique circumstances coming into this election,” Barra commented during a media call Thursday morning. “There are a lot of moving pieces right but we’re hopeful that we’ll continue to have a strong recovery that we’ve seen in the United States and in China.”
GM’s North American operations earned around US$4.3bn during the third quarter, which is up from 44% on the previous year despite US sales declining 9.9% during the period. The organisation reported a 15% pretax profit margin for the quarter. Earnings for its international operations were in the black with pretax earnings of US$10mn.
John Stapleton, GM interim CFO, commented that the automaker’s “sales in the US and China are recovering quicker than many people anticipated and GM is benefiting from robust customer demand for our new vehicles and services, especially its full-size pickups and SUVs.”
Barra added that GM is working to scale production of its trucks, and added that an announcement is expected “very shortly. “We are always working to eek out every single truck we can possibly produce,” she said. “I’d just ask you to stay tuned. You will hear more about that very shortly.”
Net income increased 74% to US$4bn from US$2.3bn during the third quarter of 2019.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.