General Motors has paid off almost $9 billion in US and Canadian government loans just two weeks after it promised to clear them by June.
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GM paid back the remaining $US5.8 billion ($6.3 billion) of its loans, which totalled $US6.7 billion ($7.2 billion) from the US and $US1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) from Canada, and CEO Ed Whitaker said it was a sign that the new business structure was working.

“We are able to repay the taxpayers ahead of schedule because we are designing, building and selling the best cars and trucks GM has ever produced,” he said.

Mr Whitaker also announced $US257 million investment to update its Detroit-Hamtramck and Kansas City factories which will build the next generation Malibu, due in 2011.

GM still has a way to go to be debt free however, with the US Treasury currently holding a 60.8 percent equity stake in the company.

Much of the $US50 billion GM received from the US Government during its bailout last year was converted into stock, with the company now working towards a public offering to allow the government to reduce its stake.

(with ABC Online, Automotive News)