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Aggressive GM determined to meet challenges of tough market

GM is taking an aggressive approach to increasing efficiencies and grow its global market share, says its president and chief executive officer Rick Wagoner.

Yesterday the world's largest automotive company reported that it earned $385m (£267m) in the third quarter of 2001, excluding special items on revenues of $42.5 billion (£29.5 billion). The results exclude one-time charges totalling $573m (£397.6m) due largely to the announced closure of an assembly plant in Canada.

GM's automotive operations delivered $212m (£147m) in net income. GMAC achieved record third-quarter earnings of $437m (£303m), a $36m (£25m) improvement over the third quarter of 2000.

Mr Wagoner said: “There is considerable uncertainty regarding the strength of the key automotive markets during the balance of the year and in 2002. We're buckling down to enhance our cost position while remaining aggressive in our effort to maximize growth grow market share.

"GM Europe is implementing a major turnaround plan designed to restore profitability. The plan, called Project Olympia, focuses on improving revenue in a number of areas, especially through the introduction of a broad range of new innovative Opel products, while taking aggressive actions to reduce costs in all areas of the business."

GM estimates that in the fourth quarter of 2001 total industry sales in the United States will be down approximately 6% compared with the prior-year period, bringing industry sales for the calendar year to approximately 16.8m units. Total industry sales in Western and Central Europe are expected to be down approximately 5% in the fourth quarter, compared with the fourth quarter of 2000.

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