Currently reading: US loses £18bn on car bailouts
But estimates suggest losses won't be as bad as first feared

The US government expects to lose $30 billion (£18bn) of its $82bn (£50bn) bailout of the car industry.

However, that's an improvement on initial estimates, which suggested it would lose $44bn (£27bn).

President Barack Obama said: "We also took steps to prevent the rapid dissolution of the American auto industry, which faced a crisis partly of its own making, to prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs during an already fragile time.

"These were not decisions that were popular or satisfying; these were decisions that were necessary."

GM received $50bn (£31bn) in loans, the vast majority of which the government swapped for stock in the company. It is now set to start repaying the loan from 31 December.

Chrysler received $12bn (£7bn) in government loans, of which Fiat - which now owns 20 per cent of the company - must pay back half before it is allowed to take a majority stake.

Car finance company GMAC also received $13.5bn (£8bn).

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