GM: Pension Costs Will Be Up in 2003

January 16, 2003 ( - General Motors Corp. has announced expectations of a continued increase in pension underfunding and lowered profits in 2003.

The automaker said its US pension fund ended 2002 underfunded by $19.3 billion.   Looking to lower the gap, GM said it is anticipating a cash contribution between $3.5 billion and $4 billion to be made in 2003, according to a Dow Jones report.

This latest announcement comes after the company earlier announced rising pension costs are anticipated to cut earnings by 25% in 2003.

However, GM will not go quietly in the night, announcing plans to ramp up production to make up for pension shortfalls.   The company expects to lift production in North American by 6% to 1.43 million units in the first quarter, while at the same time cutting costs. Additionally, the Motor City manufacturer said it will continue use of aggressive incentives to haul in buyers by the truckload.