(GM story updated with comments from the Treasury)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- During a visit to General Motors' Fairfax, Kansas, assembly plant on Wednesday, GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre announced that the company is years ahead of schedule is repaying bailout loans received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
"I can't think of a better place to make the announcement that in the heartland of America" here at Fairfax, Whitacre said.
The Treasury said Wednesday that GM has paid the remaining $4.7 billion of the total $6.7 billion in debt owed to Treasury and that total TARP repayments now stand at $186 billion, well ahead of last fall's repayment projections for 2010.
|Ed Whitacre, CEO of GM|
Whitacre added that he was "pleased to announce GM has repaid in full," and with interest, the loans made last July by the U.S. Treasury and Export Development in Canada to help launch the new GM.
Whitacre said the company is about five years ahead of its original loan schedule, given that the automaker is selling the "best" cars and trucks GM has ever produced. Whitacre cited examples such as the soon-to-come Chevy Volt electric car and award-winning 2010 Chevy Malibu.He added that when GM accepted taxpayer loans, the company promised to restructure the company, reinvest in people and plants and bring "outstanding" vehicles to the market. "We are going to work to make GM a company that we can be proud of again and we are well on our way," Whitacre said. The Treasury said that after this repayment, the remaining Treasury stake in GM will consist of $2.1 billion in preferred stock and 60.8% of the common equity. -- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York