Wednesday, March 17, 2010

General Motors changes focus to profit, not survival

News from Detroit that General Motors could make money this year after losing as much as $88 billion since 2004 probably comes as a big surprise -- and a good one for U.S. taxpayers, who own 60 percent of the country's largest automaker as a result of government efforts to save the company. GM's new chief financial officer, Christopher Liddell, who left a similar job at Microsoft in December, said the company had a "reasonable chance" of earning money in 2010, according to the New York Times. "Preconditions for success are extremely good," Liddell said at a news conference at GM headquarters. Liddell also said GM was considering a stock offering this year that could substantially increase the value of the government stake, the Times said. "It's an important part of rejuvenation for the company," he said, "but it's important that we do this at the right time." Liddell said GM would wait until the national economy and the automobile market had improved before attempting to sell shares, the Times said. General Motors, once the world's largest carmaker before losing that title to Toyota, emerged from bankruptcy protection last summer. Liddell said the company was in better financial shape than critics contended, and said it had made substantial progress since its bankruptcy filing in 2009.

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