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GM Europe Coming Under Tough New Scrutiny

Balance sheet bleeding again.

by on Nov.09, 2011

Opel's declining market share is weighing down the General Motors balance sheet.

General Motors faltering European operations are coming in for additional scrutiny from GM’s top management after posting a loss for the third quarter – and putting an end to hopes of finally staunching the flow of red ink at the troubled subsidiary.

GM Europe finished the quarter reporting an EBIT-adjusted loss of $300 million. Overall, GM earned $1.7 billion in the third quarter, compared to $2 billion during the same period in 2010, the 15% decline largely the result of problems in Europe and Latin America.  (Click Here for more on GM’s second quarter results.)

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GM Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann lamented that, “We have to do a better job in Europe and South America. The results there are just not sustainable.”

GME had shown some positive signs by breaking even during the first quarter of 2011 and turning in a modest profit three months later, but the latest figures raise questions about forecasts that the European subsidiary will be able to push back into the black for all of 2012.