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President Obama proudly declared that “the American auto industry is back” on Monday, after the Treasury Department announced it had sold its outstanding shares of General Motors stock.

Defending the controversial auto bailout, Obama said in a statement that he “refused” to allow GM and Chrysler — “the heartbeat of American manufacturing” — to collapse after the recession in 2008.

“When things looked darkest for our most iconic industry, we bet on what was true: the ingenuity and resilience of the proud, hardworking men and women who make this country strong,” Obama said. “Today, that bet has paid off. The American auto industry is back.”

In total, the government invested some $49.5 billion into the leading auto manufacturer, and recovered $39 billion from selling 31.1 million shares of GM stock — for a loss of $10.5 billion.