General Motors restarts its engine

July 10, 2009 2:19:20 PM PDT
We're about to see whether all those billions we taxpayers have invested into what was once the biggest corporation in the world have paid off.

General Motors, once the gold standard of business, today emerging from bankruptcy after just 40 days.

And like someone coming out of rehab, G.M. is emerging as a different entity.

The numbers are, to quote one ABC News business producer, "breathtaking."

The once-giant auto maker went into bankruptcy with $176 billion in debt, 91,000 workers, and able to make a profit after selling at least 16 million vehicles.

It comes out of Chapter 11 dramatically slimmed down: $48 billion in debt, 69,000 employees and able to be profitable by selling 10 million vehicles a year.

I suppose that many Americans will be tempted to go out and by a Chevy just to help G.M. out.

If Americans had any money and were in a car-buying mood.

But they don't.

And they're not.

The real test for G.M. will be whether, after years as a lumbering and inefficient manufacturer of cars people clearly no longer wanted, it can start making cars that make sense in these tough economic and globally warming times.

We'll have the latest on General Motors as it tries to make a u-turn (sorry), tonight at 11.

We'll also have the latest on the Throgs Neck Bridge problems - after a fire shut down the span that connects Queens and the Bronx for much of the day. Part of the bridge is now open, but it's going to be a while before things are back to normal, especially for Bronx-bound traffic.

And Tappy Phillips has the story of a local karate student who was literally knocked off her feet by some painful nerve damage, and she wasn't able to continue her training in martial arts.

So she tried to get a refund from her school.

She got knocked off her feet again.

So she called for some extra muscle from Tappy and 7 On Your Side.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Jessica Taff (in for Scott Clark) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa (in for Liz Cho) and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

BILL RITTER


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