GM posts loss, but foresees profit by year’s end
For the million-billionth time in a row, General Motors once again posted a big loss today.
GM reported a $4.3 billion 2009 net loss covering the period from its emergence from bankruptcy in July through the end of the year. The automaker said it was committed to repaying the outstanding balances on its U.S. Treasury and Export Development Canada loans by June “at the latest.”
Completing the “fresh start” accounting process lays the groundwork for GM to launch an initial public offering that would reduce the U.S. government’s majority stake.
GM Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said in a conference call that he was “incredibly encouraged” by the automaker’s progress in its turnaround.
“General Motors should never again be in the financial position it found itself in last year,” Liddell said.
The CFO’s optimism may not be misplaced.
The company has a number of promising new cars in the pipeline, such as Cadillac’s huge and luxurious XTS, Chevy’s hyper efficient Cruze and Volt (the latter of which is expected to have an EPA rating of 230 miles per gallon), and the Buick Regal, a sporty import from the company’s German division.
These products, coupled with a smattering of labor and management concessions, the PR woes of rival Toyota, and the sale or closing of GM’s least viable businesses – Saturn, Pontiac, Saab and Hummer – could mean a turnaround for GM, which hasn’t turned a solid profit in three years (make that ANY profit).