GM repays U.S., Canada loans in full, invests $257 million in Fairfax for next Chevy Malibu

GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre

General Motors’s CEO Ed Whitacre announced today that the Detroit automaker has made its final payment of $5.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and Export Development Canada, paying back its government loans in full.

The announcement went hand-in-hand with the company’s announcement of an investment of $257 million at its Fairfax Kansas and Detroit Hamtramck assembly plants. The investment will prepare the Fairfax plant to build the next-generation of the Chevrolet Malibu sedan and will make Detroit Hamtramck a second source for Malibu production.

“GM is able to repay the taxpayers in full, with interest, ahead of schedule, because more customers are buying vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse we build here in Fairfax,” said Whitacre. “We are now building some of the best cars, trucks, and crossovers we have ever built, and customers are taking note. Our dealers are increasing their sales, we are investing in our plants, and we are restoring and creating jobs.”

The U.S., Canadian and Ontario government originally provided $8.4 billion of loan as a part of the new GM launch. Today’s payment of $5.8 billion completes the payback of these loans.

“GM’s ability to pay back the loans ahead of schedule is a sign that our plan is working, and that we are on the right track. It is also an important first step toward allowing our stockholders to reduce their equity investments in GM,” said Whitacre. “We still have much hard work ahead of us, but we are making progress toward our vision of designing, building, and selling the world’s best vehicles.

“We appreciate the support the taxpayers have given GM, and our great new products are tangible results of that support,” he said.

GM said that sales of its four core brands (Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac) are up 36 percent through March versus the same period in 2009. It said that the Chevy Equinox, Camaro and Traverse; GMC Terrain and Acadia; Buick LaCrosse; and Cadillac SRX ““ remain in short supply at GM dealers due to high demand.

– By: Omar Rana