July 10, 2009

GM sells assets, vows focus on customers

General Motors Corp. vowed it would focus on customers after selling a majority of the company to the U.S. government Friday morning.

Papers were signed at 6:30 a.m. at the offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges that give the government 61 percent of the company with lesser portions owned by the Canadian government and the United Auto Workers union. Bondholders will also own a share, The New York Times reported.

At a press conference, Chief Executive Officer Frederick Fritz Henderson said, the last 100 days has shown everyone ... (GM) can indeed move very fast.

In the past 40 days, the company zipped through bankruptcy, following Chrysler, which recently sold most of its assets to Fiat.

The new GM will be temporarily named the Vehicle Acquisition Co., then renamed General Motors Co.

The plan for the company includes significant shrinkage. GM will no longer produce Saturn, Hummer, Opel or Pontiac brands. The assets that remain include Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC.

Plans include closing factories and laying off 21,000 union workers.

Touting a new focus on customers, Henderson promised an online suggestion box called Tell Fritz to increase public discourse.

The company's new Chairman Edward Whitacre Jr. said, I know most Americans want this company to succeed.