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General Motors Bailout Cost Taxpayers $11.2 Billion

Chevrolet Cruze Sedan

The $11.2-billion loss includes a $826-million write-off in March from government investments in the “Old GM” before the company’s 2009 bankruptcy, the report said. The U.S. government spent $49.5 billion to bail out GM, and after the company’s bankruptcy in 2009, the government’s investment was converted to a 61 percent equity stake in the company. The Treasury gradually sold off its stock in GM, selling its last shares in December 2013.

Time.com

The news is awash in General Motors today, as CEO Mary Barra (first woman to head a major car company) announced the closure of plants in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Ontario, Canada.

We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.

-- Mary Barra

The plant closures reflect a transition in the North American market from sedans to trucks and SUV's, which GM predominantly manufactures in Mexico. Cruze sedan production peaked in 2014 at 307,481 cars (U.S. and Canada), less than the Chevy Equinox / GMC Terrain / Buick Envision at 381,050 vehicles, last year. GM also cranked out 400,000 pickup trucks in Mexico, last year. By comparison, the EV Chevy Bolt sold 23,297 units, last year. 58% of those were sold in just one state - California.

What does the future hold, for GM? One thing's for sure, the 180,000 employees that they had last year, is going to get a lot smaller over the next five years - and the mix is going to be increasingly slanted towards electrical engineering and software design.

-- Scrib