Page last updated at 05:54 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 06:54 UK

GM eyes return to profit in 2010

A Hummer H3
GM announced in June it was reviewing the future of the Hummer brand

US car giant General Motors (GM) is hoping to return to profit in 2010, a top executive at the firm has said.

In the past 18 months, GM has lost $57.5bn (31.36bn), $15.5bn in the second quarter of 2008 alone.

GM has closed factories and laid off staff but has struggled to counter a slowing economy and rising fuel prices.

If GM continues to cut costs and car sales recover in 2010 "we would hope to have the corporation profitable again by then," vice chairman Bob Lutz said.

But he added: "At this point, the future is so cloudy in terms of the development of the market, when it's going to pick up again."

The company is losing money on all its model lines, Mr Lutz said.

Prices for small, more fuel-efficient, cars should rise as demand grows, he added.

Hummer slowdown

High fuel costs have dampened demand for the large sports utility vehicles that GM is known for.

The company has previously said it will consider selling the iconic Hummer brand.

Among the mooted buyers are Russian Machines, the engineering firm which makes trains, planes and some automobile parts and Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra.

GM bought the Hummer brand in 1998. In June, Hummer sales were slightly over 2,000, well below their peak.

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