GM posted its best full-year profit of all-time (emperl... GM posted its best full-year profit of all-time (emperley3, Flickr).
Just two years years after emerging from bankruptcy, General Motors made $7.6 billion in 2011, its best full-year profit ever.

"In our first full year as a public company, we grew the top and bottom lines, advanced our global market share and made strategic investments in our brands around the world," said GM CEO Dan Akerson, in a statement released by the company.

The performance was significantly higher than the $4.7 billion profit that GM posted in 2010, and substantially tops GM's previous all time high earnings of $6.7 billion in 1997.

Nonetheless, GM shares were down in early trading today, largely because the company's troubled European operation lost more than expected. It remains a significant and unpredictable drag on the company's earnings in 2012.

"GM's North American operations show solid, fundamental success, with consumers reacting extremely well to new products such as Chevy Cruze and Equinox, as well as Buick Regal and LaCrosse," said David Kiley, editor-in-chief of AOL Autos. "If you are looking for reasons GM will have another strong year, I'd point to the fact that they are still carving big inefficiencies out of its global product creation, and the very positive reaction to new products coming out this year like the Cadillac ATS sedan and Chevy Spark."

GM's fourth quarter - as expected - was weak. The company lost $700 million on its European operations. GM earned $7.2 billion dollars in North America.

GM has become much more efficient since its government-assisted bankruptcy in 2009. The company trimmed unproductive brands from its roster, such as Hummer, Pontiac, Saturn and Saab, and was relieved of billions in annual healthcare costs for retirees.

The automaker returned to its status as the world's largest automaker in 2011, helped in part by lost production by Toyota in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake last year.

GM's record earnings come at a time when the validity and success of the government-led rescue of GM in 2009 is being hotly debated in political circles ahead of the Michigan Republican primary scheduled for Feb. 28.

Analysts agree the company is succeeding in fundamentals that will keep it more competitive than ever with Ford and Asian rivals Toyota and Honda.

"2011 was a year of solid recovery for GM. The company increased its sales by over 13 percent, added a half of point of market share, increased average transaction prices by over $1,100, all while lowering incentive spending by 5 percent," said analyst Jesse Toprak of

GM's executives forecast higher sales in 2012 and further market share gains.

"We are executing an aggressive product plan that will give customers around the world even more reasons to purchase a General Motors vehicle," said CFO Dan Ammann in a statement.

"Behind the scenes we are working hard to eliminate complexity and cost throughout the organization to increase margins in all of our regions, and return Europe and South America to profitability."

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      • 3 Years Ago
      Good lie, when are they going to PAY ALL THE MONEY BACK, they still owe 15 billion, but I am sure the UNION men will get there Bonus Just in case that is what the stock is worth that the government OWNS, along with the poor mouth UAW that still has 3.4 Billion left , after selling 3.4 Billion in Nov 2010, That even there own members do not know about, and STILL DON'T TO THIS DAY, Wonder where that money went, And the UAW giving there diues to who ever they want to get Re-Elected mostly all Democrats, no matter what the membership wants, Thats after they screwd the retiree on the last contract, and do not tell me I am wrong, I worked for the UAW for 31 Years, so cut with the UNION BS , and read ,listen for yourself
      • 3 Years Ago
      Some one should explain the only country where GM had good sales gains was China where 98% of the vehicles were made in China. Europe has already been fairly honestly reported but in the US the unsold cars in dealers inventories is at all time highs so the only place where sales gains have come is between manufacturer and dealers so they arent sold only inventoried on a different report. Also the Obama administration changed the way employment and unemployment is reported. 8 months ago the reporting was changed now those who have dropped out of the work force unable to find work in over 2 years are not counted only those filing reports and getting unemployment insurance payments are counted. Also the number of underemployed is almost half as many as the total work force. The whole recovery is a sham!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is it not wonderful that Government Motors and its CEObama are doing so well ? I say SCREW 'EM both ! Neither one is worth the time it takes to take a DUMP ! I for one want my tax dollars back with intrest !
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess I am old school. If GM owes $25,000,000,000,000. to US taxpayers how are they turning a profit?
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm with you wlouche. When will "Government Motors" repay the taxpayers?
      • 3 Years Ago
      WTG Len !! The Obama administration is bragging all over the place about how they saved GM but as you say they forget to mention in the news that GM does not pay income taxes for ten years. Hummm this sounds like all the rest of the crap that comes out of Washington. The unions were a good thing when they were first started many years ago but now they have helped to break our great country. Now we find out a youngster has their lunch taken away by a represenative of our wondeful people in Washington and told it was not healthful. It is just a matter of time till the current regime trys to take away more of our freedom. What a bloody mess this country is in and all we can hope is that there are major changes this fall !!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM'S success sure makes the republicans who opposed President Obama's G.M.bailout look stupid.They thought,said and advocated , go under.Congratulations To GM ,President Obama and all the hard working people who made this success possible
      • 3 Years Ago
      when are they going to completly pay off the debt to the taxpayers?
      • 3 Years Ago
      and yet all those who owner bonds or stock in gm were screwed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am going to get even with them i plan on buying on of thier cars and then screwign with it so after three returns its declared a lemon then get a new one and i will keep doing this year after year until i feel i have been repaidSCREW GM
        • 3 Years Ago
        I would not do that now. You just announced it on an open forum and they will find it. I would also say, do not do it. but if you cannot stop yourself, NEVEr, EVER announce anything like that. on an open forum.
        • 3 Years Ago
        not too bright are you?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Glad to hear it. GM has more attractive product in the showrooms than any other car maker in the world. My Buick LaCrosse is the best car I have yet owned, better than the new BMWs and the one Lexus (I pity the fool who buys these barely concealed Toyotas). USA!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      But not one cent will go to repaying the TARP bailout or to pay one cent in federal taxes.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want my money back!!!!!!!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      But the GOP still says that the government should have let them close their doors, leaving 200,000 people out of work. They cannot let the government get any credit for saving those jobs.
        • 3 Years Ago
        So we the tax payers should pay to employ other people???? Really?
        • 3 Years Ago
        At what cost to tax payers? When are they going to pay the 15 BILLIONS owewd? Any chance they will pay interest on it? Ja! My grandchildren will be paying for the Union jobs saved..., sad, eh?
        • 3 Years Ago
        GM has to almost doulbe in order for the tax payers to get their money back. Further, some union jobs may have been saved, however, how about all the investers that got zero return from Obama.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Is not a sustainable company,private investors will not touch them at all
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