In what is being hailed as a “new era” for General Motors, the US car giant has exited bankruptcy protection more quickly than many expected.After a whirlwind 40 days, the automaker has emerged as a leaner operation, transferring its main assets to a new government-backed company. What is left will remain in bankruptcy for a liquidation process. “From this point on, our efforts are dedicated to customers, cars, culture and paying back the taxpayers – both the loans and in creating real value for shareholders,” said GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson. Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC are the four key brands retained by the new GM, majority-owned by the US Treasury. General Motors Opel and Vauxhall units are being sold off.