27 Feb 2009

General Motors posts $30.9 billion loss

7:37 pm on 27 February 2009

US auto manufacturer General Motors has posted a loss of $US30.9 billion on Thursday for 2008 and said its auditors were likely to cast doubt on its viability as it seeks an expanded federal bailout to stay afloat.

GM burned through $US5 billion in the fourth quarter and ended the year reliant on the first $US4 billion in loans from the US Treasury.

Quarterly revenue plunged by more than a third to $US30.8 billion.

The company, which asked for up to $US30 billion of US government aid, also warned that its pension plans were underfunded by about $US12.4 billion as of the end of 2008.

GM's loss for 2008 was the deepest among Detroit-based automakers as industry-wide auto sales dropped to 16-year lows. Ford lost $US14.6 billion while Chrysler lost $US8 billion.

The grim results came as GM chief executive Rick Wagoner and other executives met with members of the autos task force headed by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House economic adviser Larry Summers.

"They are in fact-gathering mode right now, and so we are here in order to respond to their questions," GM Chief Financial Officer Ray Young told reporters on a conference call from Washington ahead of the meeting.

GM said it could receive a "going concern" notice from auditors when it files its annual report for 2008 with US

securities regulators by the middle of March.

The automaker has received $US9.4 billion from the government this quarter and has said it needs additional funding as soon as next month to avoid bankruptcy.