The federal government’s role in the daily operations of General Motors is expected to lessen in the wake of this week’s initial public offering (IPO) that yielded the company over $20 billion in cash and reduced the US Treasury Department’s stake in the company to 37 percent.
Barack Obama will stop at three auto plants over the next several days, visiting General Motors and Chrysler factories in Michigan on Friday and a Ford facility in Chicago next Wednesday.
GM said Monday that interim CEO Ed Whitacre will stay on permanently, and Whitacre laid out a plan to pay back federal bailout money. Both announcements were viewed as positive signs.
Surging demand for cars in rapidly growing nations will mean a robust car industry in 20 years. The US will have a piece of it – though smaller than today – and the models it turns out will be much greener as the iconic industry reinvents itself.
The auto company would have to bounce back to sustained profits before the US government would get any money back.