The bankruptcy financing by the government will mean that the Obama administration will have a 60% stake in the new GM, but despite owning the majority of the company the government has assured media that it will not run it as a government agency, but rather let it continue as a regular automaker first and foremost.
Despite this stance, the government will be given some freedom when it comes to deciding who will be running the new GM, reports Automotive News. Under the guidelines likely to be set forth by bankruptcy courts, the White House will be able to control all seats on the current board of directors, except for one seat reserved for a director chosen by the UAW and one for a Canadian-appointed director. It’s expected that the Canadian government will be pumping in almost $10 billion into GM, which will give it a 12% stake, or around one-fifth of the U.S. government's share.
With the bankruptcy restructuring, it’s also likely that GM will be forced to close a number of plants, with reports suggesting that as many as 11 will be completely shut down, while three others will be idled. According to the White House, the new GM will be much more efficient and profit will come in at lower volumes than ever before. GM’s own figures shows the automaker would currently need sales of close to 16 million units annually to turn a profit, while after the restructuring just 10 million units are expected to be needed to break even.
Stay tuned as GM is scheduled to announce its bankruptcy preparations later today.