General Motors is reaping the benefits of strong stateside sales, posting a near-threefold jump in profits for 2002.

The world’s biggest auto firm reported net earnings of $1.7 billion (€1.6bn; £1.1bn) for last year, considerably higher than the $601 million in 2001. Revenues stood at $186.8bn, after GM brought in a company record of $48.66bn in the fourth quarter.

Driving the profits surge is GM’s performance in North America, where costs have been cut and the negative effects of the ongoing incentives war have been offset by the strong sales it has sparked. Indeed, income from this region doubled from $1.5bn in 2001 to $3bn.

However, the outlook for 2003 may not be so rosy, as many doubt that car sales can remain so strong. Moreover, GM will have to contend with numerous new models from its rivals.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff