It’s the policy of many automakers that you can’t get through the factory gate unless you drive something made by that company. If recent trends continue, GM’s largest stockholder will have to park outside and walk.
The U.S. government, now owning 33 percent after a pre-IPO 61 percent of GM, bought most of its cars from the competition. Bloomberg had to file a Freedom of Information request with the GSA until they handed over the data. This is what they received:
More Fords than GMs!
There had been concerns that the government would buy GM and Chrysler to help itself. There are two theories why it did not:
“There was a paranoia that the government was going to buy GM and Chrysler models to help them out because they had a foot in the door,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at IHS Automotive. Counter-psychology, aha. At TTAC, we don’t have much faith in IHS analyses. Another rationale makes more sense:
As mentioned by Ed a few days ago, the GSA has gone on a hybrid binge, snapping up almost a quarter of Detroit’s hybrids. The trouble is, GM doesn’t have too many hybrids. Ford sold at least 11,066 hybrids to the U.S. government in the past two years, compared with 3,316 for GM, which discontinued sales of its highest volume hybrid, the Chevrolet Malibu, last year.
Even if there would have been a conspiracy to buy mostly from Government Motors, the disjointed government bureaucracy would not have been able to pull it off, says government contract law specialist Jeff Green: “The government is so disaggregated that it would be hard to favor one company over another. I would have been really surprised if someone were able to game the system.”