GM gets new credit lines totaling $11B

Associated Press Modified: November 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm •  Published: November 5, 2012
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GM's new lines of credit include a three-year $5.5 billion facility and a five-year $5.5 billion line. They replace GM's existing $5 billion credit line, which was to expire in 2015. GM also has $31.6 billion in cash and securities.

Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said the lines are a vote of confidence in the company's financial strength.

The automaker, known derisively as "Government Motors" for taking bailout money to avoid going under in 2008 and 2009, has long wanted the government to sell its stake and exit the business. But the government, which still owns 500 million GM shares, is waiting for the stock price to rise before making a move. The government is $27 billion in the hole on its investment, and to break even, GM shares would have to sell for $53.

At this point, they're not even close. Shares fell 22 cents to close at $25.57 Monday.

It would cost GM nearly $12.8 billion to buy back all of the government's shares at the current price.

Last week, GM announced a $1.48 billion third-quarter profit on strong North American earnings, big improvements in South America and strong earnings in international areas outside of China.

But there are signs of weakness. Profit in North America, GM's most lucrative market, fell 17 percent from July through September. The company's market share in the U.S. dropped more than two percentage points to 17.6 percent, and its U.S. sales increase of 3.4 percent for the year lags overall market growth of 14.5 percent. In Europe, where it hasn't made money in a dozen years, GM lost $478 million before taxes.