The Opel Mokka SUV has been a surprise hit for GM in Europe. Photo credit: General Motors Co.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) reported a strong profit on Wednesday, thanks to profitability gains in North America and ongoing improvements in Europe. Excluding some one-time items, GM's pre-tax profit was $2.6 million, ahead of Wall Street estimates and ahead of many expectations for the still-recovering Detroit giant.

Europe is one part of GM that is exceeding expectations. GM's European business lost $214 million in the third quarter -- a huge improvement over the $487 million that GM lost in the region a year ago.

This was the third quarter in a row of sharply reduced losses for GM in Europe. As Fool contributor John Rosevear explains in this video, GM's restructuring efforts are finally bearing fruit -- and shareholders can start to look forward to even better days ahead.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of General Motors. You can connect with him on Twitter at @jrosevearThe Motley Fool recommends General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.