General Motors Chief Executive Officer Daniel Akerson will be in Washington this Thursday, March 21st, to help settle political tension surrounding GM’s 2009 bailout worth $49.5 billion, which became the topic of the 2012 presidential election last fall.
GM was targeted in Mitt Romney’s campaign ads during the run-up to the election, attacking the automaker for receiving bailout funds and supposedly cutting jobs in America while boosting production in China.
“Under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China,” the ad said. “And now comes word that Chrysler is starting to build cars in, you guessed it, China. Mitt Romney — he’ll stand up for the auto industry. In Ohio, not China.”
General Motors issued a response to the ad, saying: “We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days. No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”
This will be Akerson’s first visit to Capitol Hill in over a year. During his visit, the chief executive — who was not involved in the pre-bailout GM — will look to put political unrest behind the automaker while showing Congress that the company has made significant strides toward financial stability. To assist him in accomplishing this goal, Mr. Akerson will bring along the new 2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray for “its first appearance in Washington D.C.”
As for GM’s financial health, the automaker earned $23 billion in profits and reduced its U.S. pension obligations by $28 billion since emerging from bankruptcy in the summer of 2009. In addition, GM has invested $8.1 billion in U.S. manufacturing plants and has created or retained 23,000 jobs since the bailout, the most recent of which is the new Information Technology initiative that aims to hire 4,000 new employees across the United States.
The GM Authority Take
We wish Mr. Akerson the best of luck in Capitol Hill. As for Mr. Romney’s efforts to smear GM, we recommend he revisit the requirements of selling cars in China, and the repercussions of not competing in the country thanks to some politico-national agenda.