GM touts new look ahead of $20bn IPO

GENERAL Motors has revamped its operations to emerge stronger a year after bankruptcy, the carmaker’s chief executive Ed Whitacre told investors yesterday.

Speaking to Wall Street analysts and potential investors for the first time after GM’s emergence in 2009 and ahead of a planned stock offering later this year, Whitacre tried to draw a distinction between the new GM and the failing firm that was restructured in a $50bn (£33.2bn) US government-funded bankruptcy.

He said it now has sharply lower costs, stronger brands and gains in key emerging markets like China.

“We’re not reintroducing GM today. We’re introducing a new GM, because we are a new and much different company than we were 12 months ago,” Whitacre said at a GM-hosted event in Michigan.

About 200 members of the financial community and other stakeholders attended the presentation.
The first-of-its kind update on GM’s financial progress by its leadership team comes as the largest US automaker prepares for what is expected to be one of the largest American IPOs ever.

The event marks the de facto start of a roadshow for a stock sale that would allow the US Treasury to step aside as the majority shareholder in GM and that bankers said could raise up to $20bn.

During the event, GM also offered attendees a chance to ride and drive a new fleet of GM cars and trucks, including the heavily touted Chevrolet Volt electric car and the Cruze small car.

“Ask any employee of GM and they will tell you our vision is to design, build and sell the world’s best vehicle,” Whitacre said. “If we once did things that didn’t support the vision, and believe me, we did plenty of those, it’s dead now or it’s on its way out. It’s breathing its last breath,” he said.

GM said it has an overall market share of 11.2 per cent globally. The company plans to introduce 70 new products in developing countries through 2014, it said.