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Europe Quite Challenge for GM, CFO Admits

Chinese and Latin American arms are profitable. U.S. is, well...

by on Mar.17, 2010

Logo on the Renaissance Center's 740 foot high, 73-floor hotel tower identifies the complex as General Motors Global Headquarters.

General Motors Company should be profitable this year even though its European operations are a mess, said Chris Liddell, GM’s new chief financial officer.

In Europe for 2009, General Motors  suffered from its well-publicized bankruptcy, problems at Saab and Opel/Vauxhall, as group sales for all brands dropped more than 9%. GM’s share settled at 9% for fifth place, with it losing almost 2 percentage points in share.

Liddell also stressed at a meeting with reporters today that he was not offering any kind of official  financial guidance to investors or analysts.

But he said the automaker has a chance of being profitable in 2010. GM’s operations in China and Latin America already are profitable, North American is “in the middle” while GM’s European operations are struggling.

“ I think we have a reasonable chance of being profitable this year,” said Liddell, who was initially recruited from Microsoft by former GM CEO Fritz Henderson.

Liddell said GM’s profitability and the future stock offering are interconnected. “There are a large number of factors that go into the decision,” to launch an initial public offering of new common stock, he said.    (more…)