General Motors reports a jump in profit as demand for vehicles climbs.


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The General Motors headquarters in Detroit. The automaker said it made $2.8 billion in the second quarter and raised its full-year forecast.
Credit…Rebecca Cook/Reuters

General Motors said on Wednesday that it made $2.8 billion in the second quarter and increased its profit forecast for the full year, suggesting the largest U.S. automaker was faring a lot better than expected.

G.M. and other automakers have been forced to idle factories periodically this year because of a global shortage of computer chips. The production slowdown has kept a lid on sales, but it has created shortages of new and used cars, increasing the selling price of cars and trucks.

Three months ago, G.M. indicated it would only make about $500 million in the three months that ended in June, after earning $3 billion in the first three months of the year. The second quarter results including $1.3 billion in warranty and recall costs, including $800 million for fixes to Chevrolet Bolt electric cars whose batteries can overheat and catch fire — a big headache for G.M., which plans to do away the internal combustion engine in its cars and trucks by 2035.

The company reported revenue of $34.2 billion in the second quarter, up from $16.8 billion a year ago. In the first quarter, G.M. had revenue of $32.5 billion.

G.M. now expects to make an profit of $11.5 billion to $13.5 billion before interest and tax in 2021, up from the $10 billion to $11 billion it had previous expected.

In a letter to shareholders, G.M.’s chief executive, Mary T. Barra, said the company had managed the chip shortage by allocating electronic components in short supply to the plants making its most profitable and popular models. In a conference call to discuss the results, she said the shortage would continue to be a problem until next year.

“G.M. had a very strong second quarter and first half of the year,” Ms. Barra said. “Of course, we will continue to monitor Covid very closely.”

A system installed at Salesforce Tower in San Francisco will filter an estimated 40,000 gallons of water a day.
Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

A water-recycling effort is gaining traction as a severe drought punishes industries in states like California, Montana, New Mexico and Utah.

The concept of filtering the dirty water generated by daily operations for use in toilets and drip irrigation isn’t new, but it’s increasingly seen as a promising sustainability push, especially as more cities and states enact measures to limit water use, and as a smart hedge against rising water costs and future shortages, Patrick Sisson reports for The New York Times.

Water-conservation advocates say such technology is where solar and renewable power were a decade ago: technologically feasible, with pioneering projects starting to bend the cost curve and push the concept toward wider accessibility.

“Ten or 15 years ago, a green building was a ‘nice to have,’ whereas now it’s driven by regulations and the market,” said Aaron Tartakovsky, a co-founder and the chief executive of Epic Cleantec, a wastewater tech start-up in San Francisco. “It’s undeniable that the drought has accelerated conversations many were already having.”

Increasingly, developers see value in so-called black-water systems, especially at scale, to provide water for irrigation and cooling towers. Even the cost to retrofit a building, long considered infeasible because of the need to add so many pipes for recycled water, is now more viable, Mr. Tartakovsky said.

Mission Rock, a 28-acre, $2.5 billion multiuse waterfront project led by the San Francisco Giants and developed by Tishman Speyer, will use a black-water system. Every building on the site, which broke ground this year, will tie into it over time. A new nonprofit utility, Mission Rock Utilities, will build and manage both it and a central thermal energy system.

Water reuse isn’t being embraced just in drought-stricken Western states. On the Brooklyn waterfront, the 11-acre, roughly $3 billion Domino Sugar Refinery redevelopment will feature a more than $10 million black-water system designed not only to cut water use but to reduce pressure on storm-water systems.

Residents are acutely aware of water quality. “It’s pretty obvious when there’s a storm and the East River smells like poop,” said one developer.


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