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Elusive Profits Punish GM

GM lost $722 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. It needs to continue to cut costs and develop more hit cars to get back in the black

General Motors (GM) has a few hit cars, and sales overseas have sent revenue soaring, but profits remain elusive.

The struggling auto giant lost $722 million in the fourth quarter of last year and made a scant $64 million profit for the year, after accounting for special items. But even that small profit is due to a one-time tax windfall of $1.6 billion that stems from the sale of its Allison Transmission business last year and a reduction in retiree liabilities.