“Is GM taking on more risk than is safe given our uncertain economy?” asks Edward Niedermeyer, TheTruthAboutCars.com editor-at-large. “They may be trying to goose short-term sales with subprime lending to boost its stock price, which is tied to the government getting out of its GM investment.”
GM still owes about $26.4 billion in direct aid to the federal government. The Treasury owns 26.5% of the automaker, or 500 million shares. The stock price would need to be 53 to recoup those taxpayer costs.
GM shares closed Friday at 19.67 after hitting a post-IPO low on Wednesday.
But don’t worry, it’s all good. It’s all good:
Subprime lending in cars is not as risky as in housing. Car loans are cheaper, so customers have an easier time making payments. When they do go into default, the cars can be repossessed and sold to recover some of the loss.