President Obama praised the U.S. car industry after his Treasury Department sold the last of its shares in General Motors this week, well ahead of schedule.
If we go back just a few years, to 2007 – 2009, the financial crisis ensued in the US, collapsing the auto industry among other major businesses, and in order to save jobs and potential millions of dollars in tax payer fees, the Obama administration decided to make a purse.
Although held for many other companies, major beneficiaries of the rescue plan were General Motors and Chrysler – each went into bankruptcy and reorganized. Chrysler was quick to exit the government control when Fiat SpA decided to buy a controlling stake in the company, while GM slowly regained control on its own.
“When things looked darkest for our most iconic industry, we bet on what was true: the ingenuity and resilience of the proud, hardworking men and women who make this country strong,” Obama said in a written statement.
“When I took office, the American auto industry – the heartbeat of American manufacturing – was on the verge of collapse. Two of the Big Three – GM and Chrysler – were on the brink of failure, threatening to take suppliers, distributors and entire communities down with them. In the midst of what was already the worst recession since the Great Depression, another one million Americans were in danger of losing their jobs.”
“As President, I refused to let that happen. I refused to walk away from American workers and an iconic American industry. But in exchange for rescuing and retooling GM and Chrysler with taxpayer dollars, we demanded responsibility and results. Less than five years later, each of the Big Three automakers is now strong enough to stand on its own. They’re profitable for the first time in nearly a decade,” he added.