Pile of money

General Motors and Chrysler LLC will lead automakers to "gushing profits" when annual U.S. sales reach 15 million vehicles, said Steven Rattner, the former head of the federal government's auto task force, on Bloomberg TV last Friday.

"This industry has been restructured to make money," Rattner said to Bloomberg. At 15 million vehicles a year, "they will be gushing profits." That 15 million level is expected to be reached at mid-decade, according to predictions by companies like Toyota and GM.

A pace of 15 million vehicles is needed "simply to accommodate new drivers and the aging of the fleet," Rattner said. "It will happen, it's only a question of when."

Rattner recently published a book about his experience titled: Overhaul: An Insider's Account of the Obama Administration's Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry.

Rattner also this month had to agreed to a ban from the securities industry as a result of a Federal investigation into charges he directed over $1 million in illegal kickbacks to New York State pension fund officials while he was a partner in Quadrangle Group, the post he had before being recruited by the White House.

Rattner, 58, led President Barack Obama's auto task force from February 2009 until July last year, after GM emerged from a bankruptcy backed by $50 billion in government aid.

General Motors is expected to launch its initial-public offering of stock as early as next month, while Chrysler is expected to to take itself public some time next year.

[Image: aresauburn™ | CC 2.0]