AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

U.S. Government sells final shares in General Motors

U.S. Government sells final shares in General Motors image

Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: | posted December 10, 2013 12:35

'Government Motors' is no more

After nearly four and a half years, the U.S. government has sold off all their remaining shares of General Motors, the last chapter of the old GM's bankruptcy following the U.S. auto crisis of 2008-2009.

The U.S. government had bought into General Motors after the company filed bankruptcy in 2009 for US$ 49.5 billion under the presidency of George W. Bush and continued by President Barack Obama. The company was reorganized into the 'new GM', but public perception earned the company the derogatory nickname 'Government Motors'.

Following the reorganization, GM eliminated many of their former brands such as Hummer, Pontiac, Saturn and Saab. The company focused on their strongest brands such as GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick, along with regional operations by brands such as Holden (Australia), Vauxhall (UK) and Opel (Europe), among others.

Of the $49.5 billion U.S. government investment into GM, the Treasury was able to recover $39 billion, yielding a loss of $10.5 billion dollars to U.S. taxpayers, a loss of about 20 percent.

“The U.S. Treasury’s ownership exit closes just one chapter in GM’s ongoing turnaround story,” said Dan Akerson, CEO of General Motors. “We will always be grateful for the second chance extended to us and we are doing our best to make the most of it. Today is not dramatically different from the hundreds of preceding days during which we have worked to make GM a company our country can be proud of again.”

Chrysler also filed for bankruptcy around the same period. Following the government's $12.5 billion bailout of Chrysler, the Treasury was able to recover $11.2 billion.

Only Ford was able to avoid a government bailout.