Europe Remains a Drag on G.M

By Vlasic, Bill | International Herald Tribune, February 15, 2013 | Go to article overview

Europe Remains a Drag on G.M


Vlasic, Bill, International Herald Tribune


The company said strong sales in the surging U.S. market helped it post a $1.4 billion pretax profit in North America. But in Europe, G.M., like many other carmakers, continues to struggle.

General Motors said Thursday that its profit in the fourth quarter increased slightly, even as continued losses in Europe offset positive results in North America.

G.M., the biggest U.S. carmaker, said it had net profit of $900 million in the quarter, compared with $500 million a year earlier. Revenue increased to $39.3 billion from $38 billion.

The company said strong sales in the surging U.S. market helped it post a $1.4 billion pretax profit in North America.

But in Europe, G.M., like many other automakers, is continuing to absorb big losses from the worst sales environment in nearly 20 years. The company said it lost $700 million in the region during the quarter.

The company had modest success in its other international operations, reporting a $500 million profit in Asia and profit of $100 million in South America.

The fourth quarter capped a transitional 2012 for G.M., its third full year of operations since its bankruptcy and a $49.5 billion government bailout in 2009.

While it is struggling to restructure in Europe, the company is in the process of introducing several new models in the United States, including revamped versions of its highly profitable pickup trucks.

G.M. also negotiated a sale of the U.S. Treasury's ownership stake in the company.

For the full year, G.M. said it had net profit of $4.9 billion compared with $7.6 billion in 2011. Executives said the 2011 profit included $1.2 billion in one-time gains on asset sales.

For the year, revenue grew to $152.3 billion from $150.3 billion in 2011.

G.M.'s chief executive, Daniel F. Akerson, said the company had a solid year, and said its future performance would depend on increasing sales with the help of new models.

"This year our priorities will be executing flawless new vehicle launches, controlling costs and delivering more vehicles to our customers at outstanding value," Mr. …

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