U.S. gov't to make money on GM rescue, GM CEO says

07:59, January 12, 2010      

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U.S. automaker General Motors Co. chairman and chief executive officer Edward Whitacre said Monday that GM will repay the balance of its 6.7-billion-U.S.-dollar government loan by June and the government will make money.

Speaking to reporters at the 2010 North America International Auto Show (NAIS) in Detroit, Whitacre said the government bailout was well placed and they will make a lot of money.

Whitacre said, "GM's on its way back. We'll be back. The government has made a good investment. We appreciate their support." This was Whitacre's first tangle with the 5,000 journalists assembled for the show. "I can't breathe," he said at one point as the scrum of reporters tightened.

A profit, after five years of losses, would be important to GM's ability to float a stock offering to repay some of the 52-billion-dollar investment and loans the federal government has poured intothe company last year. The government has converted much of that into a 61 percent stake in GM and received a 1-billion-dollar payment last month from the company on its remaining 6.7 billion dollars in loans.

GM has made large gains in reducing the cost of building autos and now has to focus on growing revenue, something Whitacre said should be possible as the economy improves.

In December, Whitacre, 68, became the temporary chief executive officer after the GM board pushed out Fritz Henderson and launched a search for a permanent replacement.

Source: Xinhua
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