Beating expectations, General Motors Co.'s European division posted a $1.76 billion full-year operating loss (before interest and tax), which helped its Detroit-based parent record a $4.67 billion net profit. This is better than the $1.9 billion loss CEO Nick Reilly predicted in November 2010 and was much better than the $3 billion loss GM Europe predicted at the start of 2010.
GM posted its first full-year profit since 2004 and it comes after its U.S. government-backed 2009 bankruptcy.
In 2009, GM lost $23.5 billion. GM Europe is the only unprofitable division of GM following its reorganization. GM Europe includes UK-based Vauxhall, Germany-based Opel and Chevrolet.
Reilly says that GM Europe, which lowered its year-on-year fourth-quarter operating loss to $568 million from $799 million, aims to break-even in 2011 and make a profit in 2012.
GM is removing 8,300 of its 48,000-person work force in Europe. A big portion of those jobs came when GM Europe completed the closure of a factory in Antwerp, Belgium, at the end of 2010.
In 2010, GM Europe sold 1,662,000 vehicles, down slightly from 1,668,000 in 2009. According to company figures, Opel/Vauxhall's full-year sales fell to 1,178,000 from 1,209,000 while Chevrolet increased sales to 477,000 from 426,000. [via autonews - sub. required]