General Motors earned a record $7.6 billion profit last year, the highest profit in the company’s 103-year history. It sold 640,000 more cars and trucks in 2011 than it did in 2010 and took in a total of $105 billion.
Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of Edmunds.com, said while he is buying GM’s immediate success, he is not sold on the company’s future.
“The question for me about General Motors really is: Are they going to be able to sustain this momentum over the long haul?” Anwyl told ABC News. “If we are going to step back and say ‘Was the bankruptcy a success or was it a failure?’ it’s really too early to say. We need to let a few more years pass to see if the new GM really is a new GM.”
To date, GM has paid back $26 billion of the $49.5 billion bailout and U.S. taxpayers still own 30 percent of the company in stock.
For the workers at GM’s plant in Lake Orion, Mich., this GM is much better than the GM that halted production there in 2009. Today, the plant is up and running, turning out 800 cars a day and employing 2,200 people.
GM says 47,500 blue collar workers, many of whom took pay cuts of up to 40 percent and cuts in benefits as part of the bailout, learned today that they are receiving profit-sharing checks of up to $7,000.
GM employee Doreen Stover said her check is already spent.
“We get caught up on some bills – and get my new GM vehicle,” she said.
The company’s turnaround is because of increased sales in North America and China. In China, GM’s Buick Excelle is the most popular car on the market and one GM car or truck is sold in the country every 12 seconds.
Despite all the success, Anwyl said, the road ahead for GM will not be easy.
“GM is going to find a much more competitive market environment than they have during the last couple of years, and that is going to test their ability … to continue to sell vehicles and be able to control costs, particularly incentive costs.”
ABC News’ David Muir and the Associated Press contributed to this report.