GM loans repaid – launching Volt in October

I think he hand-delivered the check
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

GM CEO Ed Whitacre announced that GM paid back its bankruptcy bailout loans of $5.4 billion to the US Treasury Department, and $1.1 billion to the Canadian government. This payback is five years ahead of schedule and completes repayment of $7.8 billion in total loans.

The government also paid GM $50 billion in exchange for 60% ownership stake in the company. Whitacre later stated he also believes US taxpayers will be made whole too after GM issues an IPO possibly later this year.

“I think the stock could be worth a lot and the taxpayers could get all their money, plus,” Whitacre told reporters. “I’m an optimistic guy.”

We are encouraged that GM has repaid its debt well ahead of schedule and confident that the company is on a strong path to viability,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement.

Whitacre made the announcement at a Kansas GM plant where he also announced GM would be putting an additional $120 million investment into the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where the Volt will be built.

Ostensibly, the new money will go into expanding that plant’s production capacity so that GM could use it to build additional Chevrolet Malibus. Though in theory, the increased production capacity could be used to build more Volts if demand is greater than predicted, or more Malibus if its less than expected.

Buried in Whitacre’s discussion was an additional nugget. He appeared to verified previous comments he made to GM-Volt that Volt would roll out early. He specifically stated the car will be released one month early, in October.

Looking forward to real world figures on Volt use/performance. The extended-range concept has grown new supporters since GM adopted it. Notably Honda.

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