General Motors Chief Executive Fritz Henderson tooted his company’s horn plenty when he ushered in a new, post-bankruptcy era for the Detroit automaker — but he couldn’t promise that GM 2.0 would be able to pay back the billions of dollars his company got from taxpayers.

“Our performance over time will determine if the taxpayers are made whole,” he said.

The company hopes to beat a 2015 deadline for repaying about $6.7 billion in government loans, Henderson said.

But Treasury’s ability to recover most of the rest of the $50 billion will depend on the future market value of the government’s large equity stake. The company’s stock is not expected to trade publicly until 2010 at the earliest.

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