DETROIT -- General Motors will sell a majority stake in its captive finance operation only if it finds a buyer that will preserve its support of GM dealers and retail customers, a top GMAC executive vows.
If GM sells a controlling interest in General Motors Acceptance Corp., the finance operation could improve its credit rating and reduce borrowing costs, GMAC President William Muir said in an interview with Automotive News last week.
"It could very well be that a deal doesn't get done if General Motors can't find the right kind of terms and conditions to make sure that we don't lose that seamless approach to the marketplace," Muir said.
GM CEO Rick Wagoner said last month that the automaker contemplates selling a controlling interest in GMAC to a "strategic partner." Such a sale could raise as much as $14 billion, industry analysts estimate.
A GMAC sale also would enable the captive to cut its cost of borrowing money. GMAC's credit rating is influenced by GM's. Both are below investment grade. As a result, GMAC must borrow at higher interest rates.
GMAC would not say how much more it is paying. But Muir said: "The goal is to get GMAC's credit rating back to investment grade in order for us to regain access to the low-cost funding that we need to remain competitive."
Muir said GM has no timetable for the sale, and he insisted that the company will do nothing to harm GMAC's relations with dealers.