GM executives prefer to downplay the role of government assistance.

U.S. government officials and others in the financial industry seem almost reluctant to own up to the criticism that they’ve long promoted toward General Motors. In a fact sheet on GM’s five-year plan, the…

U.S. government officials and others in the financial industry seem almost reluctant to own up to the criticism that they’ve long promoted toward General Motors. In a fact sheet on GM’s five-year plan, the company touts a report published in 2013 by the Wall Street Journal that attributed $1.4 billion of GM’s $26.7 billion in North American profits to taxpayer incentives. And while GM’s own U.S. executive vice president Mary Barra concedes that her company’s CEO-level executives believe government subsidies played a role in their success, she’s quick to note that GM also deserves credit for manufacturing consumer-friendly cars at the lowest possible cost — citing particular benefits from the company’s ability to shift production in fast cycles, something which she says more automakers are doing now. “People view us as a great public company that makes great products,” Barra says. “And that’s not an opinion. There’s no doubt that that’s a fact.”

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