GM to Repay Bailout Early, Posts (Smaller) $1.2B Loss

Auto giant speeds $1.2B per quarter repayment sked
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2009 5:23 AM CST
Updated Nov 16, 2009 6:48 AM CST
People check Buick cars at a GM dealership in Shenyang, in northeast China's Liaoning province, last month.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – General Motors will start repaying its $6.7 billion debt to the US and Canadian governments early, with $1.2 billion quarterly payments beginning next month, reports the Detroit News. The accelerated repayment plan is a strong indication that finances are looking up for the troubled automaker, which today posted a $1.2 billion loss in its first quarterly report since leaving bankruptcy in July—far better than anticipated in what the AP notes is a sign the automaker's turning around.

CEO Fritz Henderson said GM feels a "sense of urgency" about repaying taxpayers. GM is ahead of its financial turnaround plan, thanks to early emergence from bankruptcy, strong sales in China, and a boost from the "cash for clunkers" program. Still, taxpayers will lose a projected $25 billion on the GM bailout, as the government is being repaid partially in GM stock not worth enough to cover the investment.