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Big changes afoot at GM

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Posted: 5 pm ET
The government says the $10.5 billion cost to bail out GM was necessary for the auto industry to recover.

The government says the $10.5 billion cost to bail out GM was necessary for the auto industry to recover.

With the government bailout in the rearview mirror and the U.S. Treasury fully out of the picture, General Motors seems to have fully turned itself around.

It cost the government $10.5 billion to bail out GM, spending $49.5 billion and recovering $39 billion. But the government says it was necessary if the auto industry was going to recover and prosper.

Since then, the company has been making major changes, including changes to top management, its product line and the number of new jobs it has created -- all of which were recently in the news.

Yesterday, GM announced the appointment of Mary Barra as CEO, following the retirement of current CEO Dan Akerson next month. It's the first time the company has had a female CEO. Barra has risen through the ranks at GM over her 33-year career there, starting as an intern and most recently as the head of global product development, purchasing and supply chain. In that role, she has overseen the group that has produced a wide range of cars that have received accolades from the press. A whopping six of the 24 cars and trucks being considered for the prestigious North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year are from GM.

GM also recently announced that it is moving its call center business in-house and back to the U.S. The new Customer Engagement Center, which will open on the grounds of the GM Technical Center in Warren, Mich., will create jobs for 300 advisers and 35 managers.

In addition, a study released earlier this week by the Center for Automotive Research found that the U.S. government bailout of the company saved 1.2 million industry jobs in 2009 and preserved $39.4 billion in personal and social insurance tax collections in 2009 and 2010.

Do you think the bailout of the U.S. auto industry was worth the money?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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