Company exits bankruptcy protection
10 July 2009

GM has officially been reborn as a new company after it exited its 39-day stay in bankruptcy protection.

GM chief Fritz Henderson described the announcement as a “new beginning” for the troubled car maker. Under the terms of the sale, GM will now be 60.8 per cent owned by the US treasury.

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The new GM will be focused around its four key brands – GMC, Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet – while other unwanted assets will be left behind in bankruptcy court to be sold off or liquidated.

Pontiac is the major brand that will be discontinued, while Saturn, Saab, Hummer and Opel/Vauxhall will be sold off.

The US treasury is providing new GM with £37.3 billion of funding in return for its 60.8 per cent stake. The United Auto Workers union are the next biggest stakeholder with 17.5 per cent, while the Canadian government and GM bondholders will get 11.7 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

Henderson said: "One thing we have learned from the last 100 days is that GM can move quickly and decisively. Today, we take the intensity, decisiveness and speed of the past several months and transfer it from the triage of the bankruptcy process to the creation and operation of a new General Motors.

"Business as usual is over at GM. Today starts a new era for General Motors and everyone associated with the company. Going forward, the new General Motors is fully committed to listening to customers, responding to consumer and market trends, and empowering the people closest to the customer to make the decisions.

"Our goal is to build more of the cars, trucks, and crossovers that customers want, and to get them to market faster than ever before."

The US treasury plans to run new GM as a less bureaucratic company by cutting 20 per cent of its white collar workforce ad 35 per cent of executives.

It will become a more fuel-efficient company, based around its flagship plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, which is due to go on sale in the US later next year.

Bob Lutz may stay on at GM

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Mark Tisshaw

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