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?