General Motors said that it plans to release its next earnings report on Oct. 31, setting up the company’s third-quarter performance to become a talking point in the last week of the presidential campaign. Election Day is Nov. 6.
A good financial report could be further ammunition for President Barack Obama, who has repeatedly said he “saved” GM with the 2009 bailout. The government financed GM’s 2009 bankruptcy, providing $49.5 billion in emergency aid to the Detroit automaker. President George W. Bush, a Republican, provided GM $17.4 billion before leaving office.
A poor financial performance could undercut the president and provide momentum for Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who has criticized the bailout as a “sweetheart deal” for the UAW.
GM last year revealed its third-quarter financials on Nov. 9. The date varies from year to year depending on executives’ schedules and other internal factors.
Analysts are projecting solid profits in North America and more losses in Europe, where a sovereign debt crisis is pummeling the economy.
During the Republican National Convention last week, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan slammed Obama for comments he made in 2008 about the future of GM’s plant in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, WI. Critics said Ryan unfairly blamed Obama because GM closed it before Obama took office.
Obama and running mate Joe Biden are expected to make the auto bailout a key piece of their message this week during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.