“Government Motors” Dreams of Being General Motors Again

Though General Motors has strung together nine consecutive quarters of profitable quarters, in the minds of many, GM continues to be Government Motors due to declaring bankruptcy and receiving a taxpayer bailout nearly three years ago.

Despite, this relatively lengthy stretch of success, there is good reason for this cynical view of the American automaker: the Treasury Department continues to own 26% of the company. This help-ownership brings with it a menu of window dressing restrictions including a ban on corporate jets and pay restrictions on new hires.

Though GM bigwigs tend to downplay how big of a burden government ownership can be, at least one fellow has just about had enough. Talking about this and the Treasury’s future plans with GM, the automaker’s chief executive Daniel F. Akerson said, “I try not to let it bother me, but the fact is it does bother me. I don’t know what the government plan is. I think it would be helpful if they would publicly state it.”

Surely this state of things can’t be good for GM’s public image or sales, though after talking to a few in house financing car dealers in NC, it doesn’t seem as though die-hard GM fans have been swayed enough to become Chrysler or Ford turncoats.