By now you've seen the results. While General Motors' (NYSE:GM) earnings results last week indicated that the company continues to improve its lot in many developing nations, and while its revenues in Europe have improved somewhat, it nevertheless saw its earnings decline across the pond and its loss from U.S. automotive operations continue -- albeit at a reduced level. And then there was the financing arm, about which I'll say only this: Thank goodness it's now only 49% owned by the nation's largest automobile manufacturer.

The company's results for the quarter included net income of $62 million, or $0.11 per share, a severe drop from net income of $602 million, or $1.06 per share, in the first quarter of 2006. There were several reasons for the weak quarter, including an $85 million earnings loss in North America, a 68% drop in the earnings contribution from Europe, and a $115 million share of the total $305 million loss wrung up by the GMAC financing unit.

GMAC's loss resulted not from its auto-financing activities -- which weighed in with $605 million in profits -- but from the $910 million hit from mortgage financing. So much for those seers who don't expect subprime woes to spread to the general economy.

But many of GM's problems may still lie ahead. In July, it will begin contract talks with the United Auto Workers. As with Ford (NYSE:F) and DaimlerChrysler (NYSE:DCX), the company will be attempting to gain major concessions on labor costs, including an end to the Jobs Bank program, which pays workers most of their wages if they're laid off.

And then there are the wage subsidies for GM's unionized suppliers. For instance, the company likely will have to pay as much as $500 million this year in wage subsidies for former GM workers now in the employ of Delphi, GM's former parts division.

I could go on. For instance, I could mention the high-horsepower gas guzzlers with which GM showed up recently at the 2007 automobile show in New York, or the company's having slipped behind Toyota (NYSE:TM) in unit sales. But General Motors has enough problems, and so I won't pile on. At the same time, I strongly suggest that for now, Fools steer away from investments in the U.S. auto industry.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your questions or comments. The Fool has a disclosure policy.