By TOM KRISHER and KEN THOMAS, Associated Press
DETROIT – General Motors completed an unusually quick exit from bankruptcy protection on Friday with ambitions of making money and building cars people are eager to buy. Once the world’s largest and most powerful automaker, new GM is now leaner, cleansed of massive debt and burdensome contracts that would have sunk it without federal loans.
But GM, whose 40 days under court supervision was far shorter than anyone predicted, faces the worst auto sales slump in a quarter-century.
At a news conference, CEO Fritz Henderson said the revamped automaker will be faster and more responsive to customers than the old one. It will generate cash and repay billions in government loans ahead of a 2015 deadline.
The new company will build more cars and trucks that consumers want and launch them faster than in the past, the CEO said. GM also announced a partnership with eBay Inc. to test auctioning vehicles online.
“We recognize that we’ve been given a rare second chance at GM, and we are very grateful for that. And we appreciate the fact that we now have the tools to get the job done,” he said.