The House Appropriations Committee has passed a provision in the 2010 financial services spending bill that would require GM and Chrysler to work through state courts—instead of the federal bankruptcy court—to terminate dealerships. Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, sponsored the amendment. Ignoring the fact that federal bankruptcy law trumps state bankruptcy law, LaTourette explained, “Car companies have used bankruptcy to run roughshod over state bankruptcy laws.” In reporting this, Automotive News made what has to be the understatement of the month, if not of the year: “GM opposes the House bill.” Ya think???
GM mouthpiece Greg Martin claims the legislation would “put our long-term viability at risk.” To back up this assertion, he stated “We’ve taken extraordinary efforts, from product planning to manufacturing to labor agreements, to reinvent the company, and we need a dealer network to match.”
Whoa! Did he say they’ve “taken extraordinary efforts” in “product planning?” Let’s see . . . they’re planning Cadillacs that overlap Buicks, Chevys that overlap Buicks, a redundant line of badge-engineered trucks and killing the brand with two cars unique to their lineup (G8 and Vibe). I could go on. Suffice it to say, GM has some legit reasons for killing dealerships; but “product planning” isn’t one of them.