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GM IPO a ‘Transformational Moment’: AutoNation CEO

General Motors will return to the public market this week in what is expected to be the largest IPO in US history, and Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation, told CNBC the automaker’s comeback will be a transformational moment for the industry.

“Dracula is in the grave with a stake through the heart,” Jackson said of the several factors that had weighed down on the automaker.

“The unions have agreed not to strike for the next five years, so you have an extended period of labor peace; all their financing has been pushed back to 2015, so they don’t have to do any refinancing for the next five years; and the domestics are taking share across the board for the first time in almost two decades,” Jackson explained.

GM’s IPO comes nearly 18 months after the company declared bankruptcy and more than two years after it received the first installment of its nearly $50 billion government bailout.

What about Ford?

Jackson said one of the heroes of the automotive industry transformation is Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

“Not only did he turn around Ford Motor Company , but…he went to Washington, even though he didn’t need a bailout and said it was the right thing to do for the industry and the right thing to do for the country,” Jackson added.

The New GM
The New GM

He called Mulally’s actions “courageous” and said Ford has been rewarded in the marketplace.

“The American people saw that and Ford has gained an incredible good will to their brand – probably picked up 100 or 200 basis points of good will and share from the American people for not having taken a government bailout, which is priceless.”

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