GM: Turning the Corner

14 months after filing for bankruptcy and taking $50 billion in government loans, General Motors reported its strongest quarter in six years, reports CBS News business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis.

The person brought in to manage a turnaround - CEO Ed Whitacre - told a media conference call his work here is done.

"We've restored profitability," said Whitacre. "We've positioned the company for success and things look good."

On Sept. 1, Whitacre turns the reins over to GM board member Dan Akerson, a Wall Street veteran with no auto industry experience.

Akerson has been preparing GM for a stock sale called an Initial Public Offering (IPO) which will help pay back taxpayers for their investment in the company.

Even so, today's management shuffle took many by surprise.

"It's just a little disconcerting at this particular moment," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at IHS Automotive. "Because you would have expected for Whitacre to stay through the end of the IPO process."

On the road ahead, GM needs to convince investors that its weakest days are in the rear view mirror.

The automaker lost $88 billion in the five years before it filed for bankruptcy last summer.

Even with its $1.3 billion quarter, GM still trails rival Ford, which earned $2.6 billion last quarter.

In its restructuring, GM cut four of its eight core brands -- Saab, Pontiac, Saturn and HUMMER -- and shed 13,000 jobs - but eliminated all its debt.

"Some painful cuts were made," said Lindland. "But some necessary ones."

Now the mood in the showroom is upbeat.

"Business is much better," said John LaSorsa, president of LaSorsa Chevrolet, Buick in New York. "Rough year last year. 2010 is responding better. We're doing really well."

"As soon as I got my new job at MTA, I thought, 'oh I'm definitely going to need a car,'" said a customer who just bought a Chevy Cobalt.