'My prognosis is that we will make it,' he told US journalists in Detroit on Wednesday evening (6.1.). That would be a surprise: General Motors accumulated heavy losses for five years and therefore slipped into bankruptcy last year.
Repay government debt quickly
A slimmed-down GM was only able to make a fresh start with an injection of 50 billion dollars from the state. Employees and creditors had to cope with some deep cuts. Thousands of jobs are being lost, plants are being closed and entire brands are being crushed. The end for Pontiac and Saturn has already been decided , the Hummer SUVs will be produced by the Chinese in the future, for the Swedish subsidiary Saab there is hardly any hope of rescue.
With the four remaining US brands Chevrolet , Buick , Cadillac and GMC as well as the European subsidiaries Opel and Vauxhall wil l GM boss Whitacre ultimately earn so much that he can also repay the debt to the state by the end of the year. Whitacre said he wanted to get rid of the burden. $ 6.7 billion is still outstanding; the US has become the majority owner of GM for the remaining amount. The other shares are held by Canada, the employees and the old creditors.
A return to profitability is a prerequisite for GM to go public again. According to experts, the plan will only succeed with a tailwind from the recovery of the economy. In the past year, GM's sales in the home country fell by 30 percent and were thus stronger than with hardly any other manufacturer. Towards the end of the year, however, the situation had eased.