×

GM CEO: Pleased With Progress, Frustrated on Stock

General Motor's stock price has been stuck in neutral a year after it reemerged as a public company, and its chief executive is not happy.

car_key_hands_200.jpg
Anne Rippy | Riser | Getty Images

"We’re pleased with our progress," CEO Daniel Akerson told CNBC Thursday. "That being said, we’re not pleased with the stock prices. I’m sure a lot of companies have the same issues we have."

He spoke the day the Detroit car manufacturer announced it would bring back its Chevrolet Colorado pickup, and with it another production shift and 1,200 jobs. At the time of its IPO last November, GM shares were at around $33.

He said there has been "a lot of uncertainty" affecting automakers since the IPO, including the Japanese earthquake and tsunami—which disrupted the supply chain—and the increasing price of oil.

"Fundamentally, I think the industry posted pretty good numbers post-financial crisis of 2008," he said.

Akerson would not comment on whether the involvement of the U.S. government, which owned about one-quarter of the company at the time of the IPO, is keeping potential stock buyers away and depressing the price.

"They’re a shareholder," he said. "I’m frustrated with the stock price and there are many dynamics that go beyond the government’s ownership, I believe. So we’re just going to keep our nose to the grindstone and do the best that we can over the next couple of years and things will sort themselves out."

He said the government, like other big shareholders including Fidelity, has "stayed out of the boardroom. They don’t try to influence the operation of the business at all."

He said GM has been seeing slight improvement in European sales. "Last year when we were on the IPO we were losing more than a billion dollars in Europe," according to Akerson. "So far through the first half [of 2011] we made a couple hundred million. So [Europe is] a pretty good story but there are warning clouds on the horizon."