Overall, GM reported an $865 million profit on sales of $36.9 billion, as the company continued its turnaround following a 2009 government-assisted bankruptcy. Even as GM has shown steady improvement elsewhere, its European unit has remained an albatross, but the company now says it expects to be break even in the region midway through this decade. "The year is off to a solid start as we increased our global share with strong new products that are attracting customers around the world," GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson said. "In addition, we saw progress in Europe thanks to strong cost actions and great vehicles like the Opel Adam and Mokka." GM gained 3.2% to close Friday at $32.10 extend its 2013 advance to 11%. Ford ( F) also rose 3.1% to $13.83 to extend its gain this year to 6.8%. But even with the success of those new vehicles it is not smooth sailing for GM in Europe, a region where economic hardship and declining rates of auto ownership have all automakers scrambling to cut costs and reduce capacity. Akerson last month committed to invest ¿4 billion ($5.3 billion) in the company's Adam Opel AG European operations to support the unit's recovery, and weeks later finalized plans to close a plant in Germany after GM was unable to win worker approval for a wage freeze.
GM has had a shaky relationship with Opel in recent years. The automaker had planned to sell Opel during the parent's 2009 restructuring, but reversed course and instead committed to spend an initial ¿3.3 billion to restructure the business.