European nations are struggling to contain a debt crisis and are dealing with weak economies and high unemployment, which have sapped car buying in the region.
Even North America, GM's profit center, showed weakness. Pretax profit fell almost 13 percent to about $2 billion. International operations, which include China, saw pretax earnings fall 3 percent to $557 million.
Overall revenue slipped 5 percent to $37.6 billion.
GM's overall profit was better than Wall Street expected. It earned 90 cents per share, compared with the 75 cents forecast by analysts.
Chief financial officer Dan Ammann would not predict when GM would make money again in Europe, saying it largely depended on the broader regional economy.
GM is restructuring in Europe and has an array of new vehicles coming out this year and next around the globe. Ammann said that was reason for optimism.
"That makes us feel good about the general prospects for the business going forward," he said.
Still, GM said its third-quarter North American pretax profit is likely to be below second-quarter results.