LaHood voices support for GM chief despite company's mega loss

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gave new General Motors CEO a thumbs-up at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast this morning in Washington. "I am encouraged by the leadership at GM," he said.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood voiced strong support for the leadership of General Motors a day after the company reported a $6 billion loss in the first three months of 2009.

LaHood said he met recently with Frederick (Fritz) Henderson, the new president and chief executive of GM. “I left the meeting feeling like GM is in very, very good hands with someone who has a great deal of experience in the company, knows a lot of the employees, knows a lot about the American automobile industry, and I was very encouraged by my meeting with him. “

Imploding sales

GM announced Thursday that its revenue plunged 47 percent from the same quarter in 2008 as the recession and fears GM will go bankrupt kept auto buyers out of showrooms. The company called it a “revenue implosion.”

Speaking Friday at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast with reporters, LaHood noted that the government’s negotiations with GM regarding a restructuring of the massive auto company have been handled by the Treasury Department.

“This activity has been done through the Treasury. I am a member of the auto task force, I have been at the meetings when some of these things have been discussed, and I was at the press conferences with the president when he announced these things… I am encouraged by the leadership at GM,” La Hood said.

Chrysler's outlook

When asked about the outlook for Chrysler, which recently declared bankruptcy, LaHood said, “I have my fingers crossed.”

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