By on May 1, 2010

The Detroit News, by some regarded as the in-house organ of GM, has issues with GM. The DetN doesn’t like GM’s latest TV ad (“some future models shown”) in which Ed Whitacre proclaims that GM paid back its “loan, in full, with interest, years ahead of schedule.”

The “GM ad glosses over the reality” complains the headline of the article in which the former unofficial organ of GM rips Whitacre a new one. Says the DetN: “He’s technically correct because he clearly uses the word “loan.” Otherwise vague? Yes. Misleading? Depends on your perspective.”

Then, the sky is falling once again. The DetN gives a lot of column inches to Darell Issa, despite the fact that Issa “represents GM rival Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. in Congress.” At least as far as the DetN is concerned. Nonetheless, he is quoted suchly:

“We are concerned that GM, under your leadership, has come dangerously close to committing fraud, and that you might have colluded with the United States Treasury to deceive the American public,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote Whitacre on Thursday. “If someone relies on your statements in the future … your false statements may expose GM to millions of dollars in damages, further reducing the value of the taxpayer-owned company.”

Since when is the DetN quoting a Toyota representative to prove their point? In closing, the DetN remarks:

“The ads, coming before first-quarter numbers are due to be released in mid-May, signal a readiness to risk riling politicians or tweaking competitors. Whether that’s gutsy or dumb will depend on how difficult competitors and politicians choose to make things for GM, especially if Whitacre & Co. give them more material. Bottom line: American taxpayers still own 61 percent of GM, worth about $43 billion. When — if — that all ever gets paid back, you’ll know about it. “

Come on guys, Treasury has signed off on the ad. What did Whitacre do to make the DetN mad? Did he forget to put an ad in the DetN?

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53 Comments on “The Sky Is Falling: DetN Disses GM...”


  • avatar
    Robbie

    If these ads cannot be called misleading, then there exists no such thing as misleading.

    The problem with this marketing strategy may well be that it imprints “GM=misleading, not to be trusted, cheap liars” in the minds of those customers who understand that they are being misled. That then further helps solidify the existing lack of customer trust in the brand.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    So they admit that the rest of the money we “gave” them is lost and can be written off since they act like they already paid back the loan? Wasn’t the whole bailout justified by that we get ALL money back (the whole 100+ billion including GMAC subsidies etc.) and it isn’t a bailout but a loan?

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Given that GM is a bunch of clowns, no, the “justification” for the bailout isn’t that we get all our money back. The justification is that the bailout, coming at a precarious moment in the larger American economy, saved literally millions of jobs in and out of the auto industry, and helped stave off the second Great Depression.

      Now, GM itself is far less worth of defense. But saving GM was the price of saving everything and everybody that were ready to go down the chute with it.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    GM gets a “little” loan and pays it back with a small part of the bailout handout. Perhaps this add isn’t a lie, but it’s still just as bad. My last GM car I bought was my Corvair, I don’t see myself buying a GM car anytime soon.

  • avatar

    since there is no substance to the leadership at GM, they have to rely on style. too bad they fashion a flair for foolish.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    GM is infested by Obamaloon cronies. Note that none have any accomplishments of any kind anywhere.

    They’re now in charge of a company that long ago lost any innovative capabilities.

    I pity the talented engineers – trying to work for idiots.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s possible, but everybody at GM that I’ve spoken with want the government out of their business and can’t wait for an IPO.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      On the contrary, Whitacre was the same guy who, as caption of SBC/ATT’s “suits in boots” Texas crew, worked with George W. Bush to secretly and illegally eavesdrop on the phone calls and emails of every single one of its customers in America.

  • avatar

    The Detroit News, by some regarded as the in-house organ of GM,

    Only by those who don’t actually read the paper regularly. Daniel Howes, the News’ business columnist, has, at least in my opinion, some of the most commonsense views on the domestic auto industry and he calls a spade a spade.

    Do you think everybody who lives in Michigan is a mindless cheerleader for the domestic auto industry? Familiarity breeds contempt. Some of the sharpest critics of the Big 3 live in the Detroit area.

    If anything, the other Detroit newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, is actually more of a cheerleader for the car companies than the News. The Detroit News has always been center-right, just as the Free Press is left wing. As a liberal newspaper, the Free Press thinks anything organized labor does is just fine with them (well, as long as we’re not talking about newspaper unions). The Free Press’ support for the UAW translates into support for the Big 3, and now that the UAW owns equity stakes in GM and Chrysler, that support isn’t going to go away. The News is pro-business, so right away because of the UAW’s major role in the auto industry, there’s a point of contention between the News’ editorial stance and the industry.

    • 0 avatar
      4runner

      Exactly. If Bertel Schmitt would actually read the Detroit News on a regular basis he would have discovered that the Detroit News, and Daniel Howes in particular, have been very critical of GM for a very long time. In fact, long before TTAC ever existed – the original “truth.” Then again, Bertel Schmitt hides behind the hollow statement of “by some regarded as the in-house organ of GM” – perhaps he can explain further.

  • avatar

    In January of 2009, after the Bush administration gave GM & Chrysler a bridge loan to make it past Obama’s inauguration, I asked then GM North America President Troy Clarke if the company had done any market research as to consumer response to taking government money. Though this was months before the final bailout package was prepared, there already were a lot of people talking about not buying a car from Government Motors.

    Clarke said to me, “Well we are now”.

    Clarke is now long gone from GM. GM’s current NA Prez is Mark Reuss, another GM lifer. Reuss supposedly is hip to online social networking sites and has used Facebook to help out GM customers. Reuss has to know that the Whitacre commercial is a public relations gaffe.

    Speaking of Whitacre, this ad was obviously an idea he championed. Did he really think he could pull a fast one like that on the American public, that people wouldn’t look into the mechanics of the loan and the TARP funds?

    Whitacre figured he could get some positive buzz for GM by publicizing the fact that they “repaid” a loan “in full”. They would have been better off, just making the payment, let the Treasury Dept. issue a press release, and then when journalists ask about it, make a low key statement like:

    “Thanks to the generosity of the American people, General Motors now has a healthy balance sheet. Some of the funds that were made available by the Treasury Dept. for GM and placed in escrow accounts are no longer needed so we have used them to repay loans that were part of the bailout package. Of course those loans represent only a fraction of the total package. The government’s investment in GM will be repaid once we are successful enough to have a public offering of shares.”

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Ronnie,

      While this may be much clearer than 1960 Lake Tahoe to the B&B, I’m afraid the left 90% of the bell curve seems to be swallowing it, from hook to sinker.

      Sadly, even though the MSM has a few stories in which the ridiculousness of this is illuminated, for the most part, this fairy tale ‘plays in Peoria’.

      While we can kick around the failings of the American education system to teach critical thought, and the psychology of believing what you wish to hear, facts on the ground seem to indicate that this boatload of crap is steaming merrily out of port.

    • 0 avatar

      Regardless of how the MSM treats it, I think the story has legs. So far at least three senators and congress members have called for investigations.

      I just think the ad was a huge blunder on the part of Whitacre that has resulted in another black eye for GM. I wonder whether the concept for this ad started within GM or was the idea of the majority owner of the company.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      Autoline Detroit head John McElroy is highly critical of G.M.’s TV ad. Autoextremist Peter De Lorenzo writes the ad is “misguided at best and flat-out misleading in reality” and concludes his assessment with “Pathetic”.

      This blog does not give Detroit auto journalists nearly enough credit for their journalistic integrity. Now, if TTAC were ever to collectively ungrit its seething teeth–RS and MK excluded–and to somehow praise G.M. for anything, then the sky really would be falling.

      Note: the commenter’s views do not necessarily represent those of his Dearborn OEM employer.

  • avatar
    kurkosdr

    This piece of GM double talk can be translated into the following two:

    1) GM is done paying back the government and has no intention to buy back the 65% share the government owns. This means that the government will stay as the majority owner of GM, making GM a pet project like Amtrack.

    2) We at GM want people to to think we paid the government back, because it’s the only way to get people in the showrooms, make some money, and have a chance of actually paying the government back sometime in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      Owning shares in a company is not a loan. It is ownership. The company is not under any obligation to buy the shares back. The owner of the shares can get their money back by selling their shares.
      The payoff is that your ownership can rise in value if the company does well. And the rise in value could be large and is not constrained by a promissory note.
      A loan is limited to the principal and interest – the value of the loan will never go up with the value of the company. It is fixed in the terms of the note.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      golden2husky: Actually, the Japanese themselves indicated that the US bailout was not large enough, IIRC.

      Asking the Japanese about economic policy at this point is like asking the Italians how to build a reliable car.

      The stimulus packages employed during the 1930s in this country were a greater percentage of GDP than the recent one. Yet they still failed to lift the country out of the Great Depression. A stimulus package can help alleviate the pain of recession (which are inevitable), but it is no substitute for sound economic policy.

      golden2husky: One big mistake the Japanese made was spending on infrastructure in places that were not needed. As a result, those expenditures did nothing to stimulate the economy once the project was completed.

      Which inevitably happens when a stimulus package is crafted by numerous elected representatives under pressure to bring home as much bacon as possible, all the while officially deploring “wasteful spending” and “government pork.”

      What you have described is a feature, not a bug, of government stimulus packages. It was this way back in the 1930s, and remains so today. Government dollars inevitably flow to the regions or states where the party in power needs votes, not to the poorest or most depressed areas.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      A stimulus package can help alleviate the pain of recession (which are inevitable), but it is no substitute for sound economic policy.

      Just as war is part of international policy, stimulus is part of, not a substitute for, economic policy.

      It took me a while to accept the former and I still don’t like it; the right-wing could do to come to terms with the latter.

      What should be happening is that government ought to be using “good years” to bank surpluses, reduce debt and manage the economy so that in bad years, when private industry is too cowardly and consumers too shell-shocked, government can step in and float an economy through a recession.

      I have seen exactly one government in the G8 do this over the past decade, and that’s the Chretien/Martin Liberals in Canada, who were probably the textbook demonstration of centrism.

      Most governments use the surplus they should be banking to buy votes and engage in a little ideological self-gratification with tax cuts and perhaps a war or two (on the right) or scatterbrained interventionism (on the left). There’s nothing wrong with either, save for the timing: the further along the ideological curve you get, the more likely government is going to suffer premature allocation.

      There was nothing really wrong with floating GM, Chrysler and more than a few of the banks (and maybe a country or two) through economic bad times. It’s easy to armchair-quarterback and say things like “it’ll hurt anyway”; it’s much harder to predict with any certainty what will happen if you don’t manage the hurt.

      Take Greece, for example: they could be allowed to collapse, and who knows who might get elected next? It could be a populist communist that stokes the “the rich had it in for the common man” sentiment. It could be someone equally nasty on the other end of the populist spectrum. It could signal a rise in populist irrationality elsewhere in Europe (remember the last time that happened?) Who knows? It’s better, when you take stock of the odds, to keep things on an even keel.

      GM, if it had had real leadership in stead of Rick Wagoner, ought to have pulled the bankruptcy trigger in 2005/2006 when then had the money and the worth to make it through. Instead, they ran it right to the wall and, in a way, were lucky that the recession happened and weren’t left to twist in the wind. That sucks, but when you have, on one hand, some of it’s toughest competitors advising the government not to let them fail, while on the other hand the opposition is mostly ideologues with no skin in the game (they think), it’s not a hard decision to make.

      People chalk this up to the UAW, or the Democrat’s strength in Detroit, but that’s just partisan sour grapes. Ford and Toyota going to bat for GM and Chrysler, as well as general economic conservatism** had more to do with than partisanship.

      ** no, really, these guys wanted, more than anything else, for tomorrow to be like today. That’s what conservatism is.

  • avatar
    Darrencardinal1

    Why, oh why, did we not just let GM die a quick and painful death?

    They deserved it. And our society as a whole would now be better off. Ford could have picked up some market share and gotten financially stronger.

    Now government owned, it can serve as a source of pork and patronage. And the car enthusiasts out here have to listen to these kind of stupid lies about “paying back the loan.”

    I don’t know about you guys, but I will never buy a car from government motors.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      From an idealist standpoint I’m with you 100%.

      However, as a person who lives in American society, the knock-on effects of GM collapse would have been monumental.

      GM is doomed, that much is sure. But, were we to have let it implode, much of society would not have been able to survive the blow-back.

      We’re going to pay for GM’s failures somehow, and there is a part of me that wishes we could have sucked it up and let the whole system fail when it was ready to. I’m just afraid that anarchy and government collapse would not have been far behind. I’m ready, but I know I’m the minority.

    • 0 avatar
      Daanii2

      I too think we should have let GM die. No company is too big to fail. Instead of the foolish bridge loan, the government should have let GM go bankrupt in December 2008. Then help others take it over.

      But no. We had to bail out GM and Chrysler. Now $100 billion later, we have two wards of the state that will never be able to stand on their own.

      Obama is continuing Bush’s policy of spend, spend, spend. And Geithner has the mindset of spending even more. That brilliant thinker believes that Japan is in trouble because they did not spend enough!

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Daanii2,

      $100B is only a few months of misadventure in the Afghan/Iraq money pits. Sadly, there are no Conservatives, so we will be stuck there for decades.

      The more I contemplate, the more I think it would have been better to get the pain out of the way now, rather than later. But, it would have been harsh.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      “…That brilliant thinker believes that Japan is in trouble because they did not spend enough!…”

      Actually, the Japanese themselves indicated that the US bailout was not large enough, IIRC. One big mistake the Japanese made was spending on infrastructure in places that were not needed. As a result, those expenditures did nothing to stimulate the economy once the project was completed. Japan’s “lost decade” could have been shortened with better fiscal policy, or so the thinking goes. I, too would have let GM die, but that’s history now. I can’t imagine anyone buying that stupid ad; that smells like GM as usual. I do hope they succeed though, and I am being totally selfish. I might even buy enough stock if the have an IPO and try to make back what I lost on an intake gasket and rotted brake lines that could have killed a family member or somebody else…

      “…$100B is only a few months of misadventure in the Afghan/Iraq money pits. Sadly, there are no Conservatives, so we will be stuck there for decades…”

      Uh, it was the “conservatives” that put us there…

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      golden@husky,

      While the Neocons may claim ‘conservative’ nomenclature, compared to classic conservative values, they are anything but conservative.

      Republicans who not only grow government, but don’t raise taxes to pay for it, got a boot in the stirrup with Reagan. What currently passes for Republicanism and/or conservatism is the most shallow form of populist jingoism, designed to distract the masses while corporations take over the government and transfer wealth to the very few.

      The Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      I agree. I think that Republicans use the conservative label and purport to be conservatives themselves so they can more easily further their own agenda.

    • 0 avatar
      vento97

      porschespeed:
      The Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves.

      No engine made on this earth can redline THAT high…

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      “Why, oh why, did we not just let GM die a quick and painful death?
      ..Ford could have picked up some market share and gotten financially stronger.”

      Ford’s biggest fear a year ago was that archrival G.M. would liquidate and bring down the domestic supplier base and Ford Motor Company with it. Bill Ford Jr. personally visited the White House to thank the President for his good judgment.

      Note: the commenter’s views do not necessarily reflect those of his Dearborn OEM employer.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      porschespeed,

      I’ve struggled with this issue for two years now, but have come to the conclusion that *nobody* is too big to fail if the bankruptcy/liquidation is handled properly. Much like the financial bailout, the industry did its best to convince your congresscritters that failure was not an option – that armageddon was upon us, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria.

      It was and will continue to be complete and total bullcrap and little more than economic hostage taking. Were General Motors to fail the economy would not implode, in fact, it may become even more efficient. Factories would continue to be built in North America, but by Toyota, Honda, Daimler, Hyundai, Kia, just as they are now. So instead of working for GM, you’d work for one of them.

      Same goes for the financial services industry. There was absolutely NO excuse for the government not to take control of these major institutions, wipeout shareholders, force bondholders to take a haircut, fire management and wind them down. We’ve essentially ended up backstopping these people anyhow, only without the shared sacrifice that otherwise would have occurred.

      If we continue to allow corporations to hold our country hostage, we’re goign to wake up one day in a completely feudal state.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      golden2husky: Actually, the Japanese themselves indicated that the US bailout was not large enough, IIRC.

      Asking the Japanese about economic policy at this point is like asking the Italians how to build a reliable car.

      The stimulus packages employed during the 1930s in this country were a greater percentage of GDP than the recent one. Yet they still failed to lift the country out of the Great Depression. A stimulus package can help alleviate the pain of recession (which are inevitable), but it is no substitute for sound economic policy.

      golden2husky: One big mistake the Japanese made was spending on infrastructure in places that were not needed. As a result, those expenditures did nothing to stimulate the economy once the project was completed.

      Which inevitably happens when a stimulus package is crafted by numerous elected representatives under pressure to bring home as much bacon as possible, all the while officially deploring “wasteful spending” and “government pork.”

      What you have described is a feature, not a bug, of government stimulus packages. It was this way back in the 1930s, and remains so today. Government dollars inevitably flow to the regions or states where the party in power needs votes, not to the poorest or most depressed areas.

  • avatar

    I’m more than curious to see what evidence there is to claim that Issa represents Toyota in Congress. Since he has basically self-financed his political career, something like 70% of the money raised, from the monry he earned from his electronics company in San Diego. According to Opensecrets the next largest amount of money he raised was from the pharmaceutical industry and no car companies or car parts companies show up on his donor list.

  • avatar
    Rday

    GM has not changed. They will not change. They are still the con men that are out to fleece the american consumer. So what else has changed? Still corrupt management and unions. Maybe some real ethical businessmen can take over, but the real GM needs to go away and be reborn with completely new management and employees. With all the greed in detroit and Washington, this will never happen.

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    Seems like a lot of people here wear tin foil hats (you should go make some YouTube videos).

    GM was given $56B total in cash, $16.4B of which was put in escrow by the US govt.

    The US govt. got a 61% equity stake and a $7B loan agreement from GM.

    GM paid off the $7B loan by using funds from the escrow account (they did not use different govt. money to pay off the loan, it was still part of the original amount under the original agreement).

    This means that the US govt. is still ‘owed’ roughly $49B and still owns a 61% equity stake that will be converted to cash once an IPO happens.

    Rough estimates suggest that 61% is probably worth $35B to $40B (we will find out the real number within a year or so).

    You can disagree whether or not the US govt. investing $10B – $15B (the likely amount they won’t get paid back) was a good idea or not, but I guarantee that the US economy would be in much worse shape than it already is if the car industry collapsed.

    • 0 avatar
      thebeelzebubtrigger

      You’re right. But the tightie-righties who go tea partying don’t want the simple, plain facts such as you’ve stated them. They want Rush and Beck style histrionics.
      God, I get so *sick* of these [CENSORED]-wits spewing their BS on every site…

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      By your description, the $49B is equity (another name for that is stock). When you own company stock, you are not “owed” anything. “Owed” is a term used for the amount to pay back a loan. The government allowed/encouraged/dictated the $49B to be converted into equity. None of us folks out on the ground were there when the financial deals were settled.
      Of course, the way you get money for your equity is to sell it. Right now there is no wide/public market for the equity in GM – the equity is not traded on a stock exchange. Hence the wait for the IPO. Or it could be sold to another off-market party.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      No! The US government made a losing investment in General Motors and Chrysler to keep them alive through the recession and to prop up the UAW. Would have been cheaper to directly pay GM and Chrysler employees to not build cars customers didn’t want. The bailout just delayed the painful but inevitable production capacity readjustment where last place cars like the Chrysler Sebring go away. When the liquidation/consolidation finally occurs, I predict relatively good US trucks and Asian brand cars will get to be sold under the same roof.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      SkiD666: Seems like a lot of people here wear tin foil hats (you should go make some YouTube videos).

      Except that nothing you have posted proves that the criticism of GM’s ads is false or misguided.

      The simple fact is that the ad is misleading. By saying that GM has “paid off its loans,” the ad is implying that:

      1. GM has paid back ALL of the money it has received from the U.S. government. GM is counting on most people not knowing the financial intricacies of the bailout (i.e., how much money GM received as an outright loan, and how much money was converted to an equity stake in the company).

      2. GM generated sufficient revenues and profits from the sale of new vehicles to pay back this money.

      Neither of these are true.

      SkiD666: You can disagree whether or not the US govt. investing $10B – $15B (the likely amount they won’t get paid back) was a good idea or not, but I guarantee that the US economy would be in much worse shape than it already is if the car industry collapsed.

      Short term, yes, but in the long term, it would have been better if the government had let GM and Chrysler collapse. The bailouts have done nothing to address the real problem plaguing the U.S. car market – overcapacity. There are too many manufacturers chasing too many customers.

      If Dodge and Chrysler disappear (with Jeep being picked up by someone else) and GM goes through a real restructuring, the overcapacity problem is greatly diminished.

      And please note that GM, Ford and Chrysler no longer constitute the “car industry” in this country. Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai all design, engineer and manufacture vehicles in this country. If GM and Chrysler go away in their present form, we will still have a strong domestic car industry in this country.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “GM has not changed.”

    Of course, what did you expect?, It’s still roughly the same people at the executive level running it. Anyone that has spent time in the US business world knows what a daunting task it is to change corporate culture. In any business. Imagine trying to change at it GM! And trust me that GM’s problems are not in any way unique. That’s why it would have been best to let them fall on their face and let someone buy them up. Those who think they would have disappeared altogether are living in a dream world. But as already stated, if the government hadn’t helped them out the results would have been disasterous for the US economy.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    This morning the New York Times has momentarily pried its lips from Obama’s tautly muscled buttocks to report that GM and Timmy Geithner are spewing outright lies to the public about the “repayment” of GM’s government loans. When the lapdogs in the Archaic Media are forced to comment on a story that reflects negatively on Comrade Zero’s regime, its a story that’s not going to disappear soon.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Cicero –

      Good point. This whole story is just another glaring example of how out of touch the mainstream press has become. Or better put, a glaring example of just how lazy reporting has become, where a press release serves as “news” without any critical eye placed upon it.

      The blogosphere has been all over this since day one (and I hate that term: blogosphere), and yet it is just now that the MSM picks up on it. Yikes.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    +1, Cicero.

  • avatar
    mythicalprogrammer

    Too big to fail? Hardly.

    So we’re in a recession with double digit unemployment. Let’s just not bailout GM and Chrysler. I mean it’s just those two companies. It’s not like they have tier supply companies or dealerships. What could go wrong? They all can reap the amazing social unemployment benefits. I’m sure that won’t put any burden on our government system. All those unemployed people can reeducate themselves and get another working skills. I mean there will be some benevolent company that will buy these failed companies. I’m sure those credit crunched banks are willing to loan companies money to buy these two failed company. It’s not like this is chump change compare to Iraq when Bush decides to attacked it. Beside with those people unemployed I’m sure it won’t kill consumers confident which would force them to save money and not circulate the money into market. It won’t put us further into the recession, in fact, it’ll help accelerate it so we can get out of the recession much faster. So all you losers out there are wrong! The only real solution is to let them fail, unemployed, and get those unemployment benefits and then we’ll wait for some benevolent company to buy these failed companies. There will be rainbows, unicorns, and skittles. Everybody will be happy all the time and we’ll always drill baby drill. My pant just got moist thinking about it.

    • 0 avatar

      TL:DR

      Gov’t Motors is still doomed to fail. Had we allowed it to happen in December 2008, when it should have, we’d be on the road to recovery today. Instead, we still have that failure looming on the horizon, and we’re all some $100 billion poorer as a nation besides.

  • avatar
    Darrencardinal1

    And how much of a burden did we take on to rescue these turds?

    And how much more is yet to come?
    Britain tried to prop up Leyland until they finally figured out it was a bottomless black hole and pulled the plug.

    A commenter mentioned the money spent on Iraq and Afghanistan, but this is irrelevant. Apples and oranges.

    This will lead to more and more corruption.
    If you are thinking about a car, look at Ford. They deserve your business more.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      A commenter mentioned the money spent on Iraq and Afghanistan, but this is irrelevant. Apples and oranges.

      Not necessarily. Since the government spends loads of money in regards to Iraq/Afghanistan, They of course are not going to have any qualms spending loads of money on GM. Or Chrysler. Or Wall Street.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Darrencardinal1,

      ‘Twas I that brought up those little soirees we’re into.

      While you are correct, they are apples and oranges, when you get to the cash register, they both have a price tag.

      Had we not spent over $2T since the mid-70s on the useless “war on drugs” and over $2T in Afghanistan/Iraq (direct and indirect), we’d be $4T less in the hole.

      Guess what we could do with that kinda dough? Infrastructure, unemployment, green energy, not beholden to the ChiComs….

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The federal government has been willing to spend “loads of money” long before the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      Yes, which shows a pattern.

  • avatar

    By gawd Darren these turds you speak of are good Americans, just like yourself, who need a good, highpay, low skill job that’s not too damn demanding of their time. What’s so hard about this?

    It’s all about…. here we go, here we go, here we go, here we go

    jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    I thought we were discussing the ad, not politics!

    The ad is deliberately misleading because it gives viewers the impression that GM doesn’t owe them or the US government money. That is a lie.

  • avatar
    love2drive

    The New York Times covered this over the weekend too, which was surprising, saying basically that they “paid off” a loan with a different form of gov’t money, so it’s essentially not paid off. But if the NYT is covering it, that can’t be good for GM.
    Here’s the article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/business/02gret.html?ref=business

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    Another beef I have with these GM ads is the same I have with Sprint: I don’t care about some ugly old CEO walking around talking about the company; in Ed’s case, willfully ignoring how much of a stake Americans still have in his company and trying to mislead the more simple-minded among us who believe whatever TV says.

    I understand that as the heads of their companies, if they want to appear in ads, marketing can hardly say no, but with both Whitacre and Dan Hesse, I get the feeling I’m being talked down to by some aristocrat. You’re the CEO, good for you. Is it really necessary to advertise that fact? (ADR to Hesse, but you’d think someone that wealthy could afford a more flattering haircut.)

    When CEOs appear in their own company’s ads, it’s hard to see it as anything other than an ego trip. Why are they appearing in ads in the first place, when that isn’t their job? In Lutz’s farewell letter he mentioned that GM had to focus on product. In this ads, GM’s product literally and figuratively takes a backseat to creaky ol’ Ed’s desire for attention and his not-so-sly, misleading “message”. Meanwhile, nearly all “world-beating” Chevys were handily beaten in sales by Ford, Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai. When the Sonata starts outselling the Malibu, you know it’s time to take the cameras off Mr. CEO and start making real improvements to your products.

    If Ed honestly believed such a ridiculous ploy would fly with the public without angering people who actually know WTF is going on with GM, he’s more out of touch than I thought. But how can you blame him for being obtuse? He’s a CEO, sitting on top of Mt. Olympus, where no one dare utter “no” lest they get canned.

    “I have an idea, guys! I’ll do the ads! I know just what to say!”

    To me, Whitacre in this ad serves as the embodiment of GM right now: arrogant, obtuse, and unapologetic. All I really got from this ad is that Whitacre is a self-indulgent blowhard who thinks we’re complete morons.

  • avatar
    TomH

    Think of it as a form of corporate Ponzi scheming. Ed is hoping that the Americans forget about Motors Liquidation Company and their pending application for ATVM 5% Loans.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    Think of the effects on the drug companies if GM went under

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/04/gm_viagra.html


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