GM pays back first of government loans

General Motors Co. made the first repayment on its loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments on Friday.

General Motors Co. made the first repayment on its loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments on Friday.

The automaker sent $1 billion US to the U.S. Treasury and $192 million to Canada. The company plans to repay both governments in full by the end of June.

GM says full repayment depends on there being no further downturns in the economy. ((Dave Chidley/Canadian Press))

However, Ed Whitacre Jr., the chairman and acting CEO, said in a statement that this would depend on there being no further downturns in the economy.

GM owes the U.S. government $52 billion, with $6.7 billion of that in loans. The company owes $1.4 billion to the Canadian and Ontario governments. The U.S. government took about 61 per cent of GM shares when it bailed out the automaker.

Whitacre on Tuesday committed to repaying the loans by the end of June. His predecessor as CEO, Fritz Henderson, announced plans in November to start making eight quarterly payments in December.

GM posted a $1.2-billion loss for the third quarter but said it was generating cash and it felt comfortable committing to the repayment.

With files from The Associated Press