Working at the Car Wash Blues

Fisker might be in the… shooter, but not all the car news is bad:

[Ford] remains heavily dependent on its home market — and Ford posted its best quarter ever in North America.

It reported a pre-tax profit there of $2.4 billion, up 14% from $2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2012, on revenue of $22.3 billion, up 20% from $18.6 billion. And while Ford’s operating margin in the automotive business declined to 5.3% from 6.4% a year ago, it remained 11% in North America, despite strong growth in less profitable small to midsize cars vs. higher-margin trucks.

Ford’s U.S. market share in the quarter grew to 15.9% from 15.2% a year ago. And its U.S. deliveries for the quarter were up 11% from the quarter last year, according to Autodata.

Ford restructured because it had to in order to survive. GM restructured because it had to in order to serve Washington better. And here’s what they’re doing:

General Motors has decided to channel additional financial resources towards making its subsidiary Opel in Germany profitable again. The money is to be used in the development of engine technology.

US auto giant General Motors announced Wednesday it would invest an additional 230 million euros ($299 million) in its struggling European subsidiary Opel headquartered in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

It said the money would be made available over the three to four years and would come on top of the 4 billion euros already pledged by GM for its European operations earlier this month.

But Opel has become something of a money pit for GM, which refused to sell its struggling European subsidiary when it had the chance.

There might be a lesson in all this somewhere.