By Jeff Gilbert

DETROIT (WWJ)  – General Motors earned $1.5 billion in the third quarter.  That beat analyst expectations.  But, it was also 12 percent lower than the same period last year.

“We’ve been able to grow revenue year over year,” said GM Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann. “Core profits, year over year, our margins are up, modestly and our cash flow is up. We’re profitable in four out of five of our reporting segments.”

[cbs-audio url=”″ name=”GM Posts $1.5 Billion 3Q Profit” artist=”Jeff Gilbert”]
INTERVIEW: WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert talks with GM CFO Dan Ammann about earnings, and about his experience in New York during the storm.

Like its domestic competitors, the bulk of GM’s earnings came from North America, $1.8 billion.

LINK — GM 3Q Earnings Press Release

“GM had a solid quarter because customers around the world love our new vehicles and we’re also seeing green shoots take hold on tough issues like complexity reduction, pensions and Europe,” said Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.  “We are going to keep playing offense.”

LINK: GM 3Q Earnings Report

GM lost $478 million in Europe, and expects losses in that part of the world to run between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion for the full year.

Part of that cost, GM says, will come from the expense of turning around the money losing operations in Europe.  CFO Dan Ammann says it will likely include plant closings, as we saw announced last week at Ford.

“We expect to take capacity actions in Europe,” he said. “You’ve seen announcements from some of our competition that they are taking actions as well. So, we’re encouraged that the industry seems to be beginning to deal with the overcapacity issues. So, we would expect to contribute our share of that.”

GM also announced that 30 percent of its salaried retirees accepted the company’s lump sum pension offer.  That was better than expected, and should save GM $29 billion.

Full year earnings, said GM, should be slightly better than last year.

Dan Ammann said they are positioning the company for growth going forward.

“While we still have a lot of work to do, especially in Europe, it is encouraging to see our results begin to reflect the discipline we are bringing to bear on the overall business.”

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Twitter: @jefferygilbert


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