General Motors’ European arm lost $747 million (£476 million) in 2011, but it was not enough to prevent the Detroit-based firm from posting record full-year profits.
GM’s overall profit for 2011, its first full year of trading since emerging from bankruptcy, stood at $7.6 billion (£4.83bn). Its previous profits record was in 1997, when it made $6.7bn (£4.3bn).
The full-year loss for GM’s European arm, which includes Opel-Vauxhall, was an improvement from the near $2bn (£1.3bn) that it lost in 2010, but fourth quarter losses were $562m (£358m) alone due to the financial insecurity the continent is currently engulfed in.
GM has persistently stated it has no desire to sell Opel-Vauxhall and is committed to fixing it, but it has not ruled out making further cuts. Dan Ammann, GM’s financial chief, said that the restructuring of Opel’s business over the past two years “has not gone far enough and has not reached break even in the environment we're in today”.
He confirmed GM was in talks with unions regarding further cuts, but did not comment on the future of plants including Britain's Ellesmere Port. GM is “looking at all elements of the business," he said, "to make sure that we make the changes we need to make to get the business profitable."