GM Taking $600 Mil Charge Due to South America

Devaluation of Venezuelan bolivar forces maker’s move.

by on Jun.30, 2015

GM will take a $600 million charge due to Venezuela's move to devalue its currency.

In a move that signals another round of trouble for automakers operating in the Venezuela, General Motors expects to record a pre-tax charge of approximately $600 million due to the company’s devaluation of its currency.

The “re-measurement” charge is for the Automotive cost of sales in the South American country for the second quarter of 2015, GM said in a new filing with the Securities Exchange Commission. GM will report its second-quarter financial results July 23.

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It will be treated as a special charge for EBIT-adjusted reporting purposes. GM does not expect this decision to impact its South American or Venezuelan operating results, nor does it believe it will affect 2015 adjusted free cash flows, according to GM’s filing with the SEC.

Venezuela has been forced to devalue its currency following the steep drop in the price of crude oil since the middle of 2014 and an ongoing political crisis that has destabilized the country’s economy.

The continuing turmoil in Venezuela in has proven to be a challenge for American automakers such as GM, Ford and FCA U.S., which operate subsidiaries in the country. Ford said in January it would take an $800 million charge because of the difficulty of converting bolivars to dollars.

All three reported write downs of assets located in Venezuela during the first quarter. More recently, Ford has announced it will only sell vehicles in U.S. dollars and FCA is considering a similar measure.

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The change in the way it measures currency prompted FCA to take a $130 million charge in its first quarter, Chrysler said on Friday in a filing with U.S. regulators. The uncertainty over the exchange rate in Venezuela also may have an impact on Chrysler’s business in future quarters in the country, the company said in and SEC filing

GM took a $400 million charge in the first quarter linked to Venezuelan currency re-measuring, and Ford announced a $350 million charge.

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In May, Ford of Venezuela said it planned to sell pickups and sport utility vehicles in dollars as part of a deal with the government to restart operations stalled for lack of hard currency to import parts.

Critics have pounced on the dollarized sales of cars as a sign of the economy’s decay, noting that the vast majority of Venezuelans have no access to greenbacks.

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The Explorer Limited would be priced at $69,000 including sales and luxury tax, according to figures provided by the union, the equivalent of 170 years of minimum wage using the weakest official exchange rate.

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One Response to “GM Taking $600 Mil Charge Due to South America”

  1. nobsartist says:

    More corporate welfare.