What's Good for GM . . .

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DETROIT: In spite of the continuing bad economic news, General Motors reported that its $6.9 billion in profits made 1995 the best year ever for the company. The company earned a record $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter alone. "This an organizational success, but not a sales success," reports TIME's William McWhirter. "GM cut sales and manufacturing costs and pruned its operation to the point where chairman Jack Smith even lost his private dining room. But the company's sales are down in the car division, and only their truck division continues to do well." Expect just the opposite when Ford's earnings are released Wednesday, McWhirter says. "Their truck division is setting new sales records, but their earnings should be way down." One reason: the expensive redesign of the Taurus, the company's flagship car, produced an auto that many admired but few wanted to pay for. "The new Taurus is one of the best cars in its class ever made. But the large increase in price was simply too much of a jump for consumers, so they're looking, but not buying."