Automaker rescue gets mixed review

Jan 14, 2011 | 11:39 AM | Corinna Petry

The Congressional Oversight Panel has criticized the Obama administration's turnaround of General Motors Co., saying it rushed the automaker into an initial public offering (IPO) that has not yielded the best possible return for taxpayers who rescued the company from insolvency in 2009.

Overall, however, the U.S. Treasury Department's "automotive investments have, in financial terms, starkly improved," the panel said.

When the panel reviewed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding to the domestic auto industry in September 2009, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated taxpayers would lose $40 billion on their automotive investments.

"CBO has reduced its loss estimate to $19 billion, and the three largest recipients of automotive bailout funds—General Motors, Chrysler and GMAC/Ally Financial—all appear to be on the path to financial stability," the panel said in a report released Thursday. The government's "ambitious actions have had a major impact and appear to be on a promising course." ....

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