Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

FOCUS SHORT

Mixed results for carmakers

GENERAL Motors recorded its highest ever profit of $7.6 billion in 2011, a remarkable result for a company that had to be saved by the US government in 2008. The world’s largest carmaker is still partially owned by the US government with 31.96 percent of shares.

GENERAL Motors recorded its highest ever profit of $7.6 billion in 2011, a remarkable result for a company that had to be saved by the US government in 2008. The world’s largest carmaker is still partially owned by the US government with 31.96 percent of shares.

While the company did well in the US, its South American and European branches recorded losses of $100 million and $700 million respectively.

General Motor's European operations, Opel/Vauxhall, nearly sold in 2008, returned to the spotlight just days after the 2011 results were announced when it emerged that GM was in advanced talks with the French carmaker PSA (Peugeot-Citroen).

PSA, the second largest European carmaker, announced its asset-disposal programme as it recorded a €3.4-billion net debt at the end of 2011.

A GM-PSA alliance would help both struggling companies to compete with the European leader – Volkswagen. The Wolfsburg-based German carmaker reported an €11.3-billion operating profit in 2011 as its worldwide sales surged 14.7 percent to 8.3 million units.

Meanwhile, Mazda, the fifth largest Japanese car manufacturer, said it was looking for strategic partners and, according to its CEO Takashi Yamanouchi, is willing to consider “every option” that does not include a capital alliance. Mazda generated its fourth annual loss in a row as its fortunes depend on exports that have been hurt by a strong yen. It will seek to raise JPY100 billion ($1.25 billion) in a new share issue.

Topic: Finances and Advisory


Top stories

In praise of concrete

It was once notorious for its drab tower blocks and urban crime, but Petržalka now epitomises modern Slovakia.

Petržalka is the epitome of communist-era architecture.

Slow down, fashion

Most people are unaware that buying too many clothes too harms the environment.

In shallow waters, experts are expendable

Mihál says that it is Sulík, the man whom his political opponents mocked for having a calculator for a brain, who “is pulling the party out of liberal waters and towards somewhere completely different”.

Richard Sulík is a man of slang.

Blog: Exploring 20th century military sites in Bratislava

It seems to be the fate of military sites and objects in Bratislava that none of them were ever used for the purposes they were built for - cavernas from WWI, bunkers from WWII, nuclear shelters or the anti-aircraft…

One nuclear shelter with a capacity for several hundred people now serves as a music club with suitable name Subclub (formerly U-club).