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Wilson to GM: 'Investors are frustrated'

The front of the General Motors world headquarters complex sports a new banner to proclaim its return to the NYSE November 18, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan.
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The front of the General Motors world headquarters complex sports a new banner to proclaim its return to the NYSE November 18, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan.

Harry Wilson, a man who helped save and reshape General Motors, says the automaker has not done a good job delivering for investors.

"By any metric, GM is undervalued," Wilson told CNBC. "The company has not done a good job in a number of areas."

One area in particular bothers Wilson: The lack of return for GM investors.

It's the reason Wilson, who served on President Obama's Auto Task Force, plans to nominate himself for the GM board of directors with a specific goal in mind, pushing the automaker to buy back $8 billion dollars in company stock.

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"There has been insufficient speed and clarity of milestones it will hit to repay investors," he said. "There are no clear metrics so investors say, 'I'm not sure what to expect.'"

General Motors disagrees.

In response to Wilson's proposal the company points out it has plans to raise its dividend by 20% to $0.36/share. It's a move the GM board still needs to approve.

General Motors has $25.2 billion in cash and securities and has total liquidity of $37.2 billion.

After raising its dividend, the automakers dividend yield will be 4.3 percent.

Wilson says raising the dividend is a start, but he says he automaker needs to do more.

"This board needs a diversity of perspectives. Right now there is nobody on the board representing shareholders"

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Last week Wilson told GM CEO Mary Barra of his plan to pursue a seat on the company's board of directors and to push for a large stock buyback.

Her reaction?

"I think she was surprised," he said. "I don't think she or the company were aware of the level of shareholder frustration."