GM Doesn't Need Uncle Sam's $2B

Updated from 11:52 a.m. EDT

General Motors ( GM) says it won't need a $2 billion loan from the federal government this month, despite requesting the money in February.

Like several banks, the automaker indicated that just because government loans are available, it is not necessarily an advantage to borrow, although GM stopped short of saying it will not need the money in the future.

GM "advised the Presidential Task Force on The Auto Industry that the $2 billion of funding previously requested for March would not be needed at this time, " CFO Ray Young said Thursday in a prepared statement. "This development reflects the acceleration of GM's company-wide cost reduction efforts as well as pro-active deferrals of spending previously anticipated in January and February."

Young went on to say that the company will maintain regular contact with the task force on issues including "its liquidity position (and) timing of future funding requests."

So far this year, GM has borrowed $13.4 billion from the government. It said last month it would need $16.6 billion more to keep operating, including $2 billion in March and $2.6 billion in April.

"It seems like our companywide cost-reduction efforts are moving well, as well as we've been able to defer spending that we previously anticipated in January and February," Young said Thursday, in an interview with The Associated Press. "I think that's a positive development."

He said that GM's cash burn rate has slowed since the company submitted a viability plan to the government on Feb. 17. But the company still spends more than its revenues, which have slumped along with vehicle sales. Most of the $13.4 billion has been spent to pay suppliers, employees and dealers, Young told the AP.

"We had very little receipts, but we still had a lot of payments related to prior production and prior sales," he said. "We used that liquidity in order to address basically a lot of expenses that we had."

GM shares closed Thursday at $2.18, up 32 cents. Shares in Ford ( F)closed at $2.10, up 14 cents.

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