DETROIT (BY, SHARON SILKE CARTY) -- General Motors executives are playing up three bright spots in the company's future as they try to persuade investors to buy GM stock: a better lineup of cars and trucks, potential for global growth and a new cost structure that enables the company to make money even when the economy dips.
But the world's most charming used car salesman couldn't cover up major concerns hanging over GM's initial public offering on Thursday.
GM emerged from a government-organized bankruptcy just 16 months ago, a process the company says has made it stronger and healthier. The reorganization erased debt and lowered labor costs. It also removed $27 billion from the wallets of bondholders and left stockholders with nothing. Taxpayers spent more than $50 billion to save GM from ruin between December 2008 and July 2009 and are not expected to get all their money back.
Critics say GM is speeding into its IPO before it has proved that its structural problems are fixed. Other IPOs often leave the investing public a little slap-happy: Each newly minted stock certificate could turn into the next Walmart or Apple, but it's rare that one does.
Here are some reasons investors may want to sit this one out: