GM expects modest profit uptick, flat margins in 2014

DETROIT Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:42am EST

DETROIT Jan 15 (Reuters) - General Motors Co's new executive team expects a slight uptick in pretax profits this year, but said margins likely would remain flat until 2015.

A new management team led by Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra and President Dan Ammann took the reins Wednesday, issuing a cautious outlook for the coming year ahead of a Deutsche Bank auto analyst conference.

GM continues to cut its losses while boosting revenue in Europe, executives said, but the company expects growth this year in the United States and China to help fund about $1.1 billion in restructuring costs.

China remains GM's strongest market. The automaker plans to open four additional plants there through 2015, increasing annual production capacity to 5 million vehicles, keeping in neck and neck with chief rival Volkswagen AG.

In comparison, GM last year built 3.3 million vehicles in North America.