US giant's year-on-year figures go from £4.1bn loss into £600m profit
18 May 2010

General Motors has made its first quarterly profit since 2007.

The company said its $865m (£600m) profit in the first three months of 2010 was a result of dramatic cost-cutting and strong sales. In the same period last year the company lost $6bn (£4.1bn).

GM has closed 14 factories and shed more than 65,000 jobs in the US since it filed for bankruptcy protection last year, It has also sold or dropped the unprofitable Hummer, Saab and Saturn brands.

GM came out of bankruptcy protection in July 2009, and announced last month that it had repaid the $8.1bn (£5.6bn) in loans it had received from the US and Canadian governments.

However, it still owes $45.3bn (£31.4bn) to the US and $8.1bn (£5.6bn) to Canada. It received this money when the governments of each nation took significant stakes in the company.

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18 May 2010

Come on, Autocar, you're missing half the story. If you're going to pull stories from the overnight wires, please report everything.

Profits were up in the US and, especially, China. Factories which had been dormant are in production again.

Europe remains a problem, and is still loss-making for GM. This is partially due to the shut down of scrappage schemes, but also, I think, because of the underlying structural problems within GM Europe.

The question is: how is GM going to fix it?

18 May 2010

Sounds as if a rerun of the Great Bank Scam - one day a corporation about to go belly up squealing for public money to bail it out and put the rest of us in hock for years to come, and hey presto, the next day it announces a profit ... while still owing the public billions. So it isn't really a profit, rather it is a modest operating surplus earmarked for national repayment.

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