General Motors Nearly Doubles Profit in 2nd Quarter

Posted August 4th, 2011 at 11:35 am (UTC-5)
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General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker, says it nearly doubled its profits in the April-to-June period compared to a year ago.

The automaker, which could supplant Japan's Toyota Motor as the world leader this year, reported Thursday that it earned more than $2.5 billion in the second quarter compared to more than $1.3 billion in the same period in 2010. It was the sixth straight reporting period that General Motors had made money since falling into bankruptcy two years ago during the depths of the global economic downturn.

GM said that for the first time it made money in all four of its geographical operating areas, including Europe, where it has lost $13 billion since 1999.

The company said it sold more than 669,000 vehicles in the United States, where it gained market share at the expense of Toyota and another Japanese automaker, Honda Motor, both of which lost production in the aftermath of the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

GM's second quarter profit slightly edged the $2.4 billion profit reported earlier by Ford Motor, the second largest automaker in the U.S.

The U.S. government kept GM afloat with a $50 billion bailout, leading critics of the deal to derisively call the company “Government Motors.” The U.S. still owns a 33 percent stake in the company and federal financial officials have been weighing when to sell more of its ownership share.

The government is hoping to sell more of its stock when the company's share price is higher than $33, the price GM set when it started publicly selling stock last November after emerging from bankruptcy. But lately the company's shares have been selling at about $26, the lowest point since renewing stock sales.