Tag Archives: General Motors Company

Saab Cars North America Continues Onstar Program

Posted on 16. Apr, 2010 by .

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In a surprising move, Saab Cars North America has made a decision to continue to offer Onstar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors Company, to all new 2010 Saab vehicles only sold in the United States.

onstar

Saab to Continue to Offer OnStar Hardware and Service to Customers

2010-04-16

Detroit – Saab Cars North America has reached an agreement with OnStar to continue to offer OnStar subscription service to Saab customers under the automaker’s new owner, Spyker Cars NV. The agreement begins with model year 2010 vehicles and applies to Saab vehicles sold in the United States.

As a standard feature on the Saab 9-3 Aero and the all-new Saab 9-5 models, OnStar continues its tradition of “always being there” with highly trained and knowledgeable OnStar advisors to assist Saab customers when they need it most. The OnStar service is complimentary for one year for Saab customers.

“OnStar is a critical technology that our customers demand and expect,” said Mike Colleran, President and Chief Operating Officer Saab Cars North America. “With this agreement, we look forward to continuing to deliver exceptional service and support for Saab customers.”

OnStar offers a number of industry-first safety and security services like Automatic Crash Response and monthly OnStar Vehicle Diagnostic e-mails. Additionally, OnStar’s Turn-by-Turn Navigation is the only embedded vehicle navigation system that pairs audible directions through vehicle speakers with the support of a live OnStar advisor. OnStar Hands-Free Calling can also make it easy to stay in touch while on the road by allowing drivers to use simple voice commands to connect with others while keeping their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and minds on the drive.
[…]

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Spyker Cars Finalizes The Purchase of Saab

Posted on 23. Feb, 2010 by .

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spykercars


* Spyker Cars finalizes deal over the purchase of Saab Automobile
* Transfer of ownership has taken place
* Transaction signals the start of an exciting new era for Saab
* Saab and Spyker to operate under parent company Spyker Cars N.V.

Trollhättan. Spyker Cars N.V. today confirmed it has finalized the deal with General Motors Company to purchase Saab Automobile AB. The transfer of ownership took place at TIME on February 23. Going forward Saab Automobile and Spyker Cars will operate as sister companies under the umbrella of the Amsterdam Euronext listed parent company Spyker Cars N.V. (Ticker symbol:SPYKR). This transaction secures the future of Saab Automobile and signals the start of an exciting new era for the iconic brand.

Victor Muller , CEO of Spyker Cars NV said: “We are delighted – Saab´s future is now secure.” He continued: “From today we will be concentrating all of our efforts into reviving Saab and transforming it into a sustainable and profitable company with the confidence to be bold. We will reinforce the emotional experience between Saab drivers and their cars and we will focus on Saab’s historical strengths in the fields of independent thinking, aircraft heritage, ecological performance and motorsport.

“Through this acquisition we add approximately 15 euros per share in equity and 60 euros of assets. With a well funded business plan in place we are looking forward to working with Saab´s management on the realization of that plan and bringing exciting new products to our customers. Real Saabs, Saab Saabs”

Jan Åke Jonsson, CEO of Saab Automobile AB said: “Today´s announcement is great for Saab´s customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe, the level of passion and support shown to Saab over recent months has been remarkable and this does bode well for the future. Now we aim to get back to the execution of our business plan, starting with the introduction of the new 9-5 later this year, and with the continued support of our employees and business partners I am confident we will succeed.”

“This transaction represents the successful outcome of months of hard work and intense negotiations, all aimed at securing a sustainable future for this unique brand, and we are pleased with the positive outcome,” saidJohn Smith , GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances. “This is a great day for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, and a great day for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide.”

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GENERAL MOTORS AND SPYKER CARS REACH AGREEMENT ON SAAB

Posted on 26. Jan, 2010 by .

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News Release
spykerheader

• GM and Spyker Cars announce a binding agreement over the transfer of ownership
of Saab
• Terms are agreed and the deal is expected to close in February
• Saab’s future as an independent company is secured
• Saab will exit the orderly wind-down process
• Spyker shareholders will restructure at closure of the deal
• Swedish Government issues guarantee in favour of EIB

ZEEWOLDE, The Netherlands (26 January, 2010) – General Motors Company and Spyker Cars N.V, today confirmed the details of a binding agreement over the transfer of ownership of Saab Automobile AB of Trollhättan, Sweden. The transaction is expected to close in February and Saab Automobile will exit the orderly wind down process in line with that timetable.

The transaction will be accomplished as follows:

• Spyker acquires from Saab Automobile Investering AB, a subsidiary of General Motors (“GM”), all the issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of Saab Automobile A.B. (“Saab”) for a consideration of USD 74 million (“Purchase Price”).

• The Purchase Price will be paid in two instalments. The first instalment of USD 50 million will be paid on the date of completion of the transaction, expected to take place on or before February 15, 2010 (“the Closing”). The second instalment of USD 24 million will be paid on July 15, 2010.

• The Share Purchase Agreement is subject to the execution of a EUR 400 million loan agreement between Saab and the European Investment Bank (“EIB”), guaranteed by the
Swedish Government. Today, the Swedish government announced approval of this guarantee. The guarantee is subject to approval by the European Commission, which is expected shortly.

• Upon completion of the transaction GM will retain redeemable preference shares of USD 326 million. The preference shares represent less than 1% of the voting rights in the capital of Saab. The mandatory redemption date is 31 December 2016 and Saab has the right to request voluntary redemption at any time prior to this date. The preference shares carry a dividend entitlement of 6% starting from January 2012, increasing to 12% as from July 1, 2014. The dividend over 2012 will be added to the principal, but as from January 1, 2013 the dividend is payable in cash. Should Saab have insufficient distributable reserves to pay the cash dividend it will be added to principal increased with a penalty factor.

• In order to allow Saab to operate on a stand-alone basis outside GM, Saab and GM will enter into a number of ancillary agreements. As part of the transaction, Spyker intends to negotiate the acquisition of all the outstanding shares in Saab Great Britain Limited, the UK distribution, marketing and sales company for Saab from General Motors UK Limited.

• Spyker will issue a corporate guarantee not exceeding USD 10 million for Saab’s obligations to and for the benefit of the financing company GMAC.

• Spyker will as soon as practically possible convene a general meeting of shareholders to approve the transaction. Spyker obtained irrevocable voting undertakings to vote in favour of the transaction representing the voting majority of its current shareholders.

• It is the intention to change the name of Spyker Cars N.V. at that general meeting of shareholders to Saab Spyker Automobiles N.V.

• As back-up financing, Spyker entered into a EUR 150 million Equity Credit Line Facility with GEM Global Yield Fund Limited (“GEM”) for a term of 3 years. According to this facility, Spyker may issue shares to GEM at 90 per cent of the volume weighted average price of the shares over a period of 15 trading days following a draw down notice sent to GEM by Spyker. In relation to the GEM facility, Spyker has issued to GEM share warrants in respect of 1,570,000 ordinary shares at an exercise price of EUR 4 per ordinary share. The warrants have a 5 year
term.

The object of acquisition
• In spite of media reports that certain parts have already been sold off, the object is Saab as a complete entity and going concern with all IP rights, trademarks, facilities and other infrastructures. The sale of pre 2003 Saab 9-3 and current Saab 9-5 technology to BAIC in December 2009 did not result in any part of Saab’s business being divested or devalued. On the contrary, Saab has already started the production of the new generation Saab 9-5 in Trollhättan.

• Both Saab management and Saab GB management prepared an estimated balance sheet as at 31 December 2009 for the purpose of this transaction. These estimated balance sheets are
still subject to final account closing and audit procedures.

• Spyker Cars does not yet have a balance sheet as at 31 December 2009 ready for reporting purposes. As such, it would be premature to show a pro-forma combined balance sheet for
Spyker, Saab and Saab GB as at 31 December 2009.

• Therefore Spyker only disclose an indicative combined balance sheet of Saab and Saab GB as at Closing date based on the estimated balance sheets for both entities as at 31 December
2009, adjusted for the impact of the transaction items as at Closing date.

• It should be noted that the indicative closing balance sheet is based on the latest estimated balance sheets of both entities by Saab and Saab GB management which are subject to final closing and audit procedures and therefore subject to change, and does not reflect any potential fair value or purchase price allocation adjustments. The indicative closing balance sheet should therefore not be considered as the actual closing balance sheet, but only as an indication for the assets and liabilities to be acquired at closing date.

stats

Saab’s and Saab GB’s combined revenue amounted to some EUR 1.0 billion in 2009 (2008:
EUR 1.6 billion). Earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation amounted to EUR 0.4 billion
negative in 2009 (2008: EUR 0.3 billion negative). In 2009 Saab sold 39.903 cars and
produced 20.791 cars versus selling 94.751 cars in 2008 and producing 89.086 cars.

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RESTRUCTURING AND MANAGEMENT BUY-OUT

As from Closing of the Saab acquisition, the ownership structure of Spyker will change as follows:

• Tenaci Capital B.V. (“Tenaci”), a company wholly owned by Mr. V.R. Muller has made a successful bid on Mr. V. Antonov’s current shareholding in Spyker consisting of 4.6 million ordinary shares. As agreed in 2007, when Mr V. Antonov acquired his shares in Spyker, Mr. V. Antonov will cause the transfer of the priority share to Spyker if and when he would dispose of his shareholding. A resolution to cancel the priority share will be proposed at the upcoming EGM.

• Messrs. N. Stancikas, M. Bondars and Mr. V. Antonov will retire as members of Spyker’s Supervisory Board effective as per the date of Closing.

• Tenaci will grant to Spyker two loans. One for an amount of USD 25 million towards payment of part of the Purchase Price for Saab upon completion of the transaction. A second loan for an amount of EUR 57 million for repayment of all of Spyker’s current outstanding loans to banks and other financial institutions controlled directly, or indirectly by Mr. V. Antonov. This loan mirrors the existing terms (including the lender’s right to convert EUR 9.5 million into ordinary shares at a conversion price of EUR 4.00 per share).

• The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale are not being disclosed at this time. Victor R. Muller, Spyker’s CEO, stated: “We are very much looking forward to being part of the next chapter in Saab’s illustrious history. Saab is an iconic brand that we are honoured to shepherd. We are delighted to have secured the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of loyal Saab employees, suppliers and dealers and to have given reassurance to the 1.5 million Saab drivers and enthusiasts around the world. It was breathtaking to see so much support from the global Saab community over the last months which not only shows the strength of the brand but also helped us in our relentless determination to get the deal done.”

“Spyker Cars will provide Saab with the backing required to compete as a competitive global brand along with an entrepreneurial leadership team sensitive to the uniqueness, heritage and individuality of the Saab brand. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Vladimir Antonov for his formidable support during the past two years. His contribution has allowed Spyker to get to the point that this
transaction was made possible. I also want to extend my gratitude to Messrs. Stancikas and Bondars as Members of the Supervisory Board. They have made very valuable contributions to our company
during their respective terms.”

“Finally I would like to thank the Swedish Government for its constant support for our efforts culminating in granting the Guarantee in favour of the European Investment Bank today for an EUR
400 Million loan to Saab which we hope to secure in the coming weeks.”

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Jan Åke Jonsson, CEO of Saab Automobile AB said: “It has been a challenging 15 months for Saab but our global organization has shown a fighting spirit that will serve us well going forward. The
agreement with Spyker Cars has secured Saab’s future and will enable us to maximize the brand’s potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Saab character.”

“Today’s news is great for Saab’s customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe. The level of passion and support shown to Saab over recent months has been remarkable and I would like
to take this opportunity to thank all of those people who continued to believe that Saab deserved a future. Now we aim to get back to the execution of our business plan and with the continued support
of our employees and business partners I am confident we will succeed.”

Nick Reilly, President GM Europe, added: “As a responsible corporate citizen in Europe, and throughout the entire period, GM has always had the hope to find a positive solution for Saab that
would avoid a wind-down of the brand. We have worked very hard with many parties, including governments and investors, and I’m very pleased that we could come to such a positive conclusion
that preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere. GM will continue to support Saab and Spyker Cars on their way forward.”

-Ends-

Note for the media, not for publication
For further media information, please contact:

Saab Automobile Press Office
Tel: +46 (0)520 279797

Spyker Cars Europe, PFPR Communications:
Mike Stainton
T: +44 (0) 1622 77 66 87
M: +44 (0) 7739 891 040
E: mike.stainton@pfpr.com

Tom Housley
T: +44 (0) 1622 766510
M: +44 (0) 7746 646 356
E: thomas.housley@pfpr.com

Peter Rawlinson
T: +44 (0) 1622 691 361
M: +44 (0) 7971 472 715
E: peter.rawlinson@pfpr.com

Spyker Cars North America, PCG Campbell:
Shane Smith
T: +1 310 224 4965
M: +1 310 224 4965
E: ssmith@pcgcampbell.com

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SPYKER TALKS COLLAPSE, GM TO WIND DOWN SAAB!

Posted on 18. Dec, 2009 by .

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I never thought that this day would happen, Spyker talks Collapse and Saab Automobile is closing.

Every news source is covering this right now, so more will be forthcoming but really what can we really say at this moment.

It’s an incredible sad time for everyone right now, and my heart and mind goes to all of us that have been trying to ensure Saab Automobile has a bright future.

Here’s GM’s Official Press Release:

Saab Sale Cannot Be Concluded Brand to be Wound Down

2009-12-18

Detroit. General Motors announced today that the intended sale of Saab Automobile AB would not be concluded. After the withdrawal of Koenigsegg Group AB last month, GM had been in discussions with Spyker Cars about its interest in acquiring Saab. During the due diligence, certain issues arose that both parties believe could not be resolved. As a result, GM will start an orderly wind-down of Saab operations.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has become very clear that the due diligence required to complete this complex transaction could not be executed in a reasonable time. In order to maintain operations, Saab needed a quick resolution,” said GM Europe President Nick Reilly. “We regret that we were not able to complete this transaction with Spyker Cars. We will work closely with the Saab organization to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner. This is not a bankruptcy or forced liquidation process. Consequently, we expect Saab to satisfy debts including supplier payments, and to wind down production and the distribution channel in an orderly manner while looking after our customers.”

Saab will continue to honor warranties, while providing service and spare parts to current Saab owners around the world.

As part of its efforts to become a leaner organization, GM began seeking a buyer for Saab’s operations in January. Last week, Saab Automobile AB announced that it had closed on the sale of certain Saab 9-3, current 9-5 and powertrain technology and tooling to Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd. (BAIC). GM expects today’s announcement to have no impact on the earlier sale.

As the company continues to reinvent itself, GM has been faced with some very difficult but necessary business decisions. The focus will remain on the four core brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC – and several regional brands, including Opel / Vauxhall in Europe. This will enable the company to devote more engineering and marketing resources to each brand and model.

A media conference call with John Smith GM Vice President, Corporate Planning and Alliances will take place at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time.

Call-in-details are as follows:
Teleconference Dial-In Number(s) for Media:
United States: (800) 230-1059
International: (612) 234-9960
No Passcode required. Operators will request Name & Affiliation

General Motors Company, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall, Wuling and Jiefang. More information on the new General Motors Company can be found at www.gm.com.

# # #

Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

John McDonald
General Motors Company
Phone: 313-667-3714
Mobile: 313-418-2139
john.m.mcdonald@gm.com

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Saturn Closing Down After Penske Deal Falls Apart

Posted on 01. Oct, 2009 by .

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It was just over a month ago when we learned that Saturn-Saab dealerships in Canada were to be closed for good by the end of the year, then we hear this today.

While it is not related to Saab, it kind of feels bad like a sister or something to Saab under GM’s wing that did not make it to it’s next home and died in transit. This is what is happening with Saturn as it will be officially over and the company will wind down between now and December 31st, 2009. The company effectively has three months, and that’s it and it’s over.

After 24 years since Saturn started in 1985, the company created quite a loyal following over the years and today, it marks the three months until its over. There were a number of great byproducts from this company for Saab, one notable was Joel Manby who, previously worked for Saturn who later led Saab as President from 1996 until 2000, doing his very best to carry over this culture to Saab in the United States.

It’s just really sad to see a company that began with the best intentions with some incredibly loyal customers close down like this. I vividly recall getting a chance to meet Saturn’s President, Jill Lajdziak last year and never forgot her quote “At Saturn, we start our relationship when a customer buys or leases a vehicle, unlike many other brands”.

Thank to Saturn for realizing that customer loyalty is something that should never be forgotten in any industry and many of us are sad to see you go.

Here is the official press release below from Penske Automotive as well as GM.

Penske Automotive Terminates Discussions with General Motors to Acquire Saturn

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Sep 30, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: PAG) an international automotive retailer, today announced that it has terminated its discussions with General Motors Company (“GM”) to acquire the Saturn brand, citing concerns directly related to the future supply of vehicles beyond the supply period it had negotiated with GM.

Since announcing its discussions with GM on June 5, 2009, the company has been in the due diligence process to determine the feasibility of developing an independent distribution model for Saturn-branded products and service parts in the United States, including the sourcing of vehicles from GM and other potential suppliers. The company had negotiated a definitive agreement with GM to source vehicles on a contract-manufactured basis for a period of time. After this period, the company would have been required to source vehicles from another third party under a similar contract-manufacturing agreement.

Penske Automotive Group negotiated the terms and conditions of an agreement with another manufacturer; however, that agreement was rejected by that manufacturer’s board of directors. Without that agreement, the company has determined that the risks and uncertainties related to the availability of future products prohibit the company from moving forward with this transaction.

General Motors Media Statement Attributed President & CEO Fritz Henderson

Today we learned that Penske Automotive Group (PAG) has decided to terminate discussions with General Motors to acquire Saturn. This is very disappointing news and comes after months of hard work by hundreds of dedicated employees and Saturn retailers who tried to make the new Saturn a reality. PAG’s announcement explained that their decision was not based on interactions with GM or Saturn retailers; rather it was because of the inability to source new products beyond what it had asked GM to build on contract.

As a result of PAG’s decision, we will be winding down the Saturn brand and dealership network, in accordance with the wind-down agreements that Saturn dealers recently signed with GM. Pursuant to the terms of those agreements, the wind down process will be determined and communicated shortly.

Saturn customers and owners will continue to be able to purchase and have their vehicles serviced at Saturn retailers during this process. Once the wind down is complete, Saturn owners will still be able to have their vehicles serviced at other GM dealerships. We will be communicating with our customers very soon to explain the next steps in this process.

Today’s disappointing news comes at a time when we’d hoped for a successful launch of the Saturn brand into a new chapter. We will be working closely with our dealers to ensure Saturn customers are cared for as we transition them to other GM dealers in the months ahead. I’d also like to thank every GM employee and Saturn retailer who worked so hard to try to make this new beginning happen for Saturn.

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New Government Motors Emerges From Bankruptcy Court

Posted on 10. Jul, 2009 by .

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The new Government Motors, 60% owned by the United States Treasury Department & 11.7% owned by Canada’s Government, emerges from bankruptcy court today, and surprise-surprise, even though Saab Automobile is part of this “new GM”, they aren’t mentioned in the press release below:

New GM to Focus on Customers, Cars and Culture

The New General Motors Company Launches Today

* GM gets back to the business of building great cars and trucks, serving customer needs
* New company created from GM’s strongest assets
* Four core brands backed by the nation’s largest and strongest dealer network
* Streamlined organization on a global basis for faster decisions, sharper focus on the customer
* Commitment to open communications

DETROIT – The new General Motors Company began operations today with a new corporate structure, a stronger balance sheet, and a renewed commitment to make the customer the center of everything the new GM does.

“Today marks a new beginning for General Motors, one that will allow every employee, including me, to get back to the business of designing, building and selling great cars and trucks and serving the needs of our customers,” said Fritz Henderson, president and CEO. “We are deeply appreciative for the support we have received during this historic transformation, and we will work hard to repay this trust by building a successful new General Motors.”

Created from the old GM’s strongest operations in an asset sale approved by the bankruptcy court on July 5, the new GM is built on:

* Four core brands in the U.S. and the largest, strongest dealer network in the country,
* A fresh lineup of Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC cars, trucks and crossovers, each with leading-edge designs and technologies that matter to both consumers and the environment,
* A competitive cost structure, a cleaner balance sheet, and a stronger liquidity position that will enable GM to invest in new products, key technologies, and its future,
* A winning culture focused on customers and products.
[…]

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General Motors Plans To Become Independent Of Itself

Posted on 07. Jul, 2009 by .

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General Motors, on the day of the news about their asset sale being approved by the New York City bankruptcy court, is one step closer to being independent of itself. It sounds like GM trying to mimic Saab Automobile once again, where Saab wanted to become independent of GM carving itself out of the brand portfolio. However, one can only be so independent with governments having a majority stake.

The “New GM” will be a 60.8%” majority ownership by the U.S. Treasury Department & 11.7% Canada & Ontario Governments, giving it an appropriate name of “Government Motors” for the time being with over 70 percent owned by North American governments.

On the other side of the spectrum, I find it almost comical that the remaining 10 percent of the “old GM” will be now given the name “Motors Liquidation Company”. It’s clear that this name for the “old GM” company has only one purpose and I guess that name was given to ensure that’s the case.

The part that I would like more details on is, how much of Saab Automobile is part of the “new GM”, all of it, or some of it?

Here’s hoping a breakdown chart comes out in the future describing in detail, what’s part of that “old GM”.

Here is their press release:

Approval marks another step toward the launch of an independent new GM

GM 363 Asset Sale Approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court

NEW YORK – General Motors achieved another milestone in its reinvention last night when Judge Robert E. Gerber of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved the sale of substantially all of General Motors Corporation’s assets to NGMCO, Inc., an entity funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In connection with the closing of the sale transaction, NGMCO, Inc. will change its name to General Motors Company and continue to operate under GM’s historic corporate and sub brands. The approval marks another step toward the launch of an independent new GM.

The new company will acquire GM’s strongest operations and will have a competitive operating cost structure, partly as a result of recent agreements with the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Canadian Auto Workers (CAW).

The new GM will have lower leverage and a stronger balance sheet, which when combined with a lower break-even point, will allow it to reduce its risk, operate profitably at much lower volume levels, and to reinvest in the business in the key areas of advanced technology and product development. GM’s subsidiaries outside the United States will be acquired by the new company and are expected to continue to operate without interruption.

The new GM will be headquartered in Detroit and will be led by Fritz Henderson as president and chief executive officer and Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. as chairman of the board of directors.

“A healthy domestic auto industry remains vital to the global economy and we deeply appreciate the support the U.S., Canadian and Ontario governments and taxpayers have given GM, and the sacrifices that have been made by so many. This has been an especially challenging period, and we’ve had to make very difficult decisions to address some of the issues that have plagued our business for decades. Now it’s our responsibility to fix this business and place the company on a clear path to success without delay,” said Henderson.

The new GM’s common stock will be owned by:

· U.S. Department of the Treasury: 60.8 percent

· UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust: 17.5 percent

· Canada and Ontario governments: 11.7 percent

· The old GM: 10 percent
[…]

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