General Motors Co.'s chief financial officer, Chris Liddell, said at the Detroit Auto Show that the company hopes to attain profitability in its European operations in 2011, referring to one of the issues that was not resolved by its 2009 restructuring in bankruptcy.
Liddell said that the company aims to achieve “break-even” in 2011 but that internally, the goal is still to reach profitability. Liddell also said GM hopes to hit a fully funded pension plan within three to five years.
Liddell also said that within this period, the company aims to reach its objective, which is “zero debt, minimal debt and a fully funded pension plan.”
GM's European Opel/Vauxhall unit has been a challenge for the automaker and is one of the major investor concerns before GM's initial public offering in November 2010.
In June 2009, GM dropped plans to spin off Opel after rejecting a deal backed by Germany and dropped its request for European government aid to restructure the unit in June.
In the first three quarters of 2010, Opel has lost $1.3 billion. In December 2010, GM made a $4 billion cash contribution to its U.S. pension plans, including $2.7 billion to a plan for its hourly workers and $1.3 billion for its salaried workers. [via autonews - sub. required]