Autoblog reports, "General Motors reported its first quarter earnings today, and the beleaguered U.S. automaker posted a $6 billion net loss compared to a net loss of $3.3 billion one year ago. At the same time, GM burned through $10.2 billion in cash during Q1, though still has $11.6 billion in cash reserves on hand thanks in large part to the $13.4 billion in loans that it's accepted from the U.S. government so far."
The news adds to speculation that the automaker will declare bankruptcy soon, according to the Detroit Free Press. "General Motors Corp.'s dismal performance in the first three months of the year...shows why a bankruptcy, if one is necessary, must be swift, the company said. The automaker said Thursday the prospect of a bankruptcy filing, on top of the recession, is likely aggravating its worldwide drop-off in sales."
Japan's Toyota Motors, the only automaker larger than GM, may have done worse last quarter. Jalopnik reports, "Toyota forecasts a much bigger-than-expected $8.6 billion loss for the current fiscal year and sell one million fewer vehicles. Bigger news? They blew through $7.6 billion during 2009's first quarter...more than GM lost."
Automotive News adds, "The global crisis that has battered demand for cars and pushed U.S. rival Chrysler into bankruptcy has hit Toyota hard, reversing its rapid expansion into overcapacity almost overnight. Dozens of its factories stand half idle."
No major automakers were profitable in the first quarter, but several did better than the largest two. "Honda Motor Co. last week forecast a small profit for this year thanks to its relatively healthy motorcycle business," according to Automotive News.
Meanwhile, Motor Trend reports, "BMW, once known as the most profitable full-line automaker -- there are no profitable full-line automakers now -- lost 55 million euro, equal to $73.7 million U.S." That small loss could have a big impact on the cars we'll see on lots in future years. Motor Trend speculates that "BMW has the kind of cash that GM lacks for developing future products."