Last Updated: April 21. 2010 8:28AM .GM CEO Whitacre to pay for D.C. flight David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau Washington -- General Motors Co. chairman and CEO Edward Whitacre Jr. will pay for a charter flight from Kansas City to Washington this afternoon out of his own pocket.
Whitacre is announcing this morning at the automaker's Fairfax Assembly plant near Kansas City, Kansas, that the automaker repaid U.S. and Canadian taxpayers for $5.8 billion in outstanding government loans -- plus $700 million in interest to the U.S. Treasury and an unspecified amount of interest to the Canadian government. He is also announcing $257 million in new investments in plants in Kansas City and the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant.
In order to get to meetings in Washington, the tight schedule required Whitacre to charter a flight, a GM official familiar with the matter said. Late this afternoon, Whitacre will hold meetings with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and the Michigan congressional delegation. GM emphasized the difference between today's action -- paying taxpayers back -- and the company's PR nightmare in 2008 over planes.