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GM made sure everyone heard the good news - they paid back their TARP funds in full and ahead of schedule.

Instantly, company naysayers do an about face upon learning this. This has to be a good thing. Maybe things are turning around for GM. But are they? Do you recall hearing how they were able to accomplish this? Here's an interesting explanation of how things went down.
 



What's your take? Interested in hearing from GM people as well...


Originally posted on WhyBuyUsedCars.com

Bart Wilson
Wow! This video is brutal!! We all knew that GM didn't pay back all of the bailout money and this was just a PR spin. At the end of the day does it really matter? I mean, it does as a taxpayer but if this increases consumer's confidence and they spend money on a new vehicle don't we indirectly win?
Steve Devereaux
The government is going to make a ton of money whenever GM's stock goes public. Yes, the "we paid our loan back in full and ahead of schedule" was for PR, but the company itself has been completely revamped. The new products they are coming out with are great. GM is also a bigger company and has half as much debt as Ford does. Everyone talks about Ford doing a great job by not taking money from the government, but who's really the stronger company? I think the real question should be did Ford not take the money because they were a strong company, or did they not want the government coming in and telling them what to do?
Jon Groenig
Steve, I am very confused by your comments, but the main one that sticks out is the comment on Ford. With GM and Chrysler it was never about government involvement, either they took the money or ceased to exist, there was absoulutely no way either company could survive without it. Now going back to your comment about Ford being the stronger company or not, they didn't take any of the government money because they were able to keep going without it, so yes I would have to say they were better off. And then there is you comment about the debt diffence between the two. I am sure if Ford went through a bankrucpty, screwed everybody over and closed down a couple thousand dealership along with three nameplates(Hummer, Saturn, Pontiac) their debt load would be substantially less(maybe even, dare I say, half). So I am left thinking either you work at the GM corporate offices or the comment was intended as a joke. If it happens to be the second of the two, your comment was absolutely brilliant.
Steve Devereaux
Hi Jon, My comment wasn't meant to be a joke. I am optimistic about the future of both GM and Ford. My comments did regard what you just stated -- the way that Ford has been marketing themselves to everyone in the auto industry since the Bailouts. What you stated pretty much wraps up exactly how they have been marketing themselves since the bailouts happened last year. If you go back a year before the bailouts, you probably couldn't even give away a Ford dealership. Fast forward to a few months into the bailouts.. What's Ford doing? They're marketing themselves as "the company that didn't need government money," and everyone is hoping on the bandwagon. Fords stock jumps from $3 something a share to $11 where it is today. Part of the reason why I think their stock jumped so much is 1. How they marketed themselves 2. Investors guessed that the auto sector was at the rock bottom and Ford was the only one of the big three that you could invest in (Since GM's stock was not longer public and Chrysler has been a private company for years now) But why didn't they need government money? One reason is that they financed a lot of their own debt... through stocks etc. Right where we stand today, Ford has twice as much debt as GM and GM's a much larger company. The Government is going to make their money when GM's stock goes public since they own a lot of it. Do you think the government is going to let them fail? They are still hiring and firing people like crazy to get the perfect people in there to do that job right. The company is much different than they were 2 years ago. As far as closing down dealerships, that really didn't effect the manufactures debt load by that much. I know the shareholders got screwed over when GM went into Bankrupsy, but I'm not sure who exactly you're referring to in your comment and how it would effect their debt. I don't work for GM's corporate office, but my family does have a GM Franchise. I've experienced everything first hand from a GM dealer's point of view and I watched the bailouts very closely. These are my honest conclusions that I've drawn from the bailouts. If GM was doing a bad job, I wouldn't be saying they are doing a good job. I'm not saying Ford is doing a bad job either. I'm just saying that they might not be in as great of a position as they've marketed themselves to be.

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