The stock symbol GM has disappeared for now, but
CFO Ray Young said Tuesday that the automaker could again become a publicly traded company as early as next year.
The company would be have the right to reclaim its historic symbol when it seeks relisting.
On a conference call with reporters and analysts, Young said it would be impossible to seek relisting this year because: "There's going to be a lot of accounting issues that we're going to work through in order to get the books of new GM set up."
New York Stock Exchange
on Tuesday suspended trading of GM common shares and 10 traded GM debt instruments on Tuesday, following the automaker's bankruptcy filing Monday, citing the uncertain outcome of the process including the planned sale of GM assets to a new company. GM has also been removed from the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
For the time being, GM is traded on the Pink Sheets, under the symbol GMGMQ. However, the shares have no value and are expected to be wiped out in bankruptcy court so that the company can issue new shares.
Not to say that shareholders will be impatient, but President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the goal of the Treasury, which will hold 60% of the new GM, "is to get GM back on its feet, take a hands-off approach, and get out quickly."
Meanwhile, GM is moving to rid itself of unprofitable units, debt, excess dealers and excess capacity.
Young said that when GM emerges, its annual domestic debt service payments will be about $1 billion, down from about $3 billion today. Additionally, he noted that GM's remaining 3600 dealers will have to understand that "we expect their performance levels to be very, very high and we're going to measure that performance level." Failure to meet standards will lead to termination, he said.
On Tuesday, GM said it has a buyer for Hummer and 16 potential buyers for Saturn. The planned Saturn sale is complex, Young said, because GM must first determine "whether there is a viable business model for the Saturn network," and whether that model includes having another manufacturer make cars for the Saturn dealers.
Regarding Hummer, Young said the potential buyer asked not to be named.
The New York Times
, quoting a source, reported Tuesday that the buyer is "a machinery company in western China with ambitions to become a carmaker." That company is the Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., based in Chengdu, the newspaper said.
GM said the sale is expected to close by the end of the third quarter and to secure more than 3,000 associated jobs.
Regarding Saab, Young said GM is talking with the Swedish government regarding financing related to the sale. Saab is operating under creditor protection, a section of Swedish law that resembles bankruptcy protection.