News Column

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson to Appear on CNBC Show

April 4, 2013

Nathan Bomey

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson will appear as a guest host on CNBC's "Squawk Box" segment this morning, a rare public appearance for the publicity-shy executive.

Akerson will join regular CNBC personalities Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin for an hour at 7 a.m., GM confirmed after CNBC transportation reporter Phil Lebeau broke the news on Twitter.

The CEO will "give a progress update on today's GM, all of the new products that are coming out" and the automaker's "continuing investment in America and creating jobs," GM spokesman Greg Martin said.

For the reserved Akerson, a U.S. Navy veteran and former private-equity executive who rarely gives interviews, the CNBC appearance offers an opportunity and a risk.

It's a chance for Akerson to convince investors that the automaker is back on track, show taxpayers GM has been a good steward of their money and convince consumers to give GM vehicles a try.

But it exposes the executive to a chatty, but management-friendly setting that has become a video water cooler for Wall Street's and corporate America's elite.

GM stock dropped 13 cents to $27.80 on Wednesday. That's down from the company's November 2010 initial public offering price of $33, but $9 above its July 2012 low. Akerson has showed his faith in the stock by buying 25,000 shares with his own money on two occasions -- at a price of $26.50 in February and $20.35 in August.

His CNBC appearance comes after GM reported a 6.4% U.S. sales increase for March and a 9.3% increase for the first quarter.

The company upped its first-quarter U.S. market share from 17.5% a year ago to 18% this year, following Akerson's January prediction that GM would modestly increase its market share this year.

GM also reported a record first quarter in China, the world's biggest vehicle market, with sales rising 9.6% to 816,373 vehicles.

Source: (c)2013 the Detroit Free Press. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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