The Treasury Department's decision to sell 200 million shares back to General Motors Co.

and outline a final exit plan by early 2014 marks the beginning of the end of the government's historic intervention in the U.S. auto industry.

The final exit plan, negotiated in just six days and approved by GM's board of directors on a conference call late Tuesday, comes after the automaker pushed since 2010 to get the government to exit.

GM executives have long believed the exit would help GM sell more cars to buyers who are turned off by the derisive "Government Motors" nickname — and boost the automaker's stock price.

But the plan isn't without steep costs: Taxpayers are on the hook for billions in losses — about $13 billion on paper. The final tally will rise or fall based on the stock price as the government sells its final 300 million shares by March 2014, likely in a series of small sales.


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GM Pressured Treasury Department To Take $14 Billion Loss In Share Buyback

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