General Motors Reports Record $7.6 B Profit In 2011

The automaker announced Thursday that it earned its largest profit ever in 2011 — $7.6 billion — citing strong sales in the U.S. and China. The company nearly collapsed two years ago and needed a bailout by the U.S. government, which still owns about 26 percent of the company.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A record rebound for General Motors is at the top of NPR's business news.

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INSKEEP: Let's remember the carmaker almost collapsed two years ago and needed a government bailout. Today, GM announced it earned its largest profit ever in 2011.

Here's the number, $7.6 billion on strong sales in the United States and China. That is up almost a billion dollars over GM's previous record year, which was back in 1997. Now the U.S. government still owns about 26 percent of the company, so it stands to recover bailout money as GM's stock price rises.

With all that said, GM's report for the final quarter of 2011 and some less-than rosy numbers, big losses in Europe and South America and sales growth slowing in the U.S.

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