Things are finally looking up for GM. On top of news that Americans again believe the U.S. makes better cars than Asian companies, the automaker announced it had repaid $8.1 billion in government loans. Has the troubled company finally tuned the page? Business writers analyze the news:
- Great News for Taxpayers, writes Zach Bowman at Autoblog: "As it is, the federal government still owns 60.8 percent of GM, which means that whenever the company issues its IPO, the tax payers could easily get all of their money back."
- Bailout Was Worth It, writes Libby Spencer at the Detroit News: "This won't create any new jobs but it will preserve existing ones. Looks like that bailout we all hated turned out to be the right move after all."
- Time to Cut GM Some Slack, writes Fred Meier at USA Today: "Consider that at least they didn't burn through that money. That's good news .GM also has new products in showrooms, vehicles in the pipeline to fill some glaring gaps (like the aged Cobalt) and they can still make cars as good as that CTS-V. Maybe we will see the rest of that money."
- This Is a Brand New GM, boasts GM CEO Ed Whitacre in the Wall Street Journal: "Following the initial crisis and the bankruptcy of the old GM last year, a new GM has emerged as a leaner, stronger company. We have eight new members on our 13-member board of directors. Twelve of the top 13 senior leaders are new to GM (from places outside the industry such as Microsoft and AT&T) or in new jobs at the company. You can feel a renewed energy and commitment at GM. Our new vehicles are generating sales, and these sales are allowing us to make investments and create jobs."
- GM Still Has to Improve Quality, writes Douglas McIntyre at 24/7 Wall Street. He dismisses the latest poll citing strong approval of American cars: "The headline of the Associated Press-GfK Poll is that Japanese cars have slipped behind their American rivals. Nothing could be further from the truth... If the news about Toyota is left out of the research, the results paint a completely different picture. Fifteen percent in the March poll said Toyota makes the best cars, down from 25 percent who said so in 2006."