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GM loses $16.8B, teetering on bankruptcy
General Motors Corp today announced its fourth quarter and calendar year 2008 financial results, which were affected by the dramatic deterioration in global economic and market conditions during the year, declining consumer confidence and a 50-year low in per-capita auto sales in the United States.

For the 2008 calendar year, GM reported an adjusted net loss, excluding special items, of $16.8 billion, or $29.00 per diluted share. This compares to an adjusted net loss of $279 million, or $0.49 per diluted share in 2007. The 2008 results were driven by the impact of the U.S. recession and subsequent global contagion. Including special items, the company reported a loss of $30.9 billion, or $53.32 per diluted share, compared to a reported loss of $43.3 billion, or $76.52 per diluted share in 2007, which included a non-cash special charge of $38.3 billion in the third quarter related to the valuation allowance against deferred tax assets.

“2008 was an extremely difficult year for the U.S. and global auto markets, especially the second half, ” Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said.“ These conditions created a very challenging environment for GM and other automakers, and led us to take further aggressive and difficult measures to restructure our business.

“We expect these challenging conditions will continue through 2009, and so we are accelerating our restructuring actions. At the same time, we are continuing our commitment to exciting, fuel-efficient cars and trucks, and the leadership in advanced propulsion technology .”

GM total revenue in 2008 was $149 billion, compared with $180 billion in 2007. GM’s core automotive business generated revenue of $148 billion in 2008, down from $178 billion in 2007. The revenue decline was predominantly due to the precipitous drop in sales amid record low consumer confidence in the U.S. and sharply lower sales across all of GM’s operating regions due to economic turmoil in the global markets. Global industry sales in 2008 were down 5 percent, or 3.6 million vehicles, versus 2007 levels, and U.S. industry sales fell by 18 percent, or nearly 3 million units.

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