The Truth About Cars » General Motors Zombie Watch http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 04 May 2016 20:39:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Was The Government’s Divestment of GM Stock Insider Trading? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/was-the-governments-divestment-of-gm-stock-insider-trading/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/was-the-governments-divestment-of-gm-stock-insider-trading/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 14:43:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=829450 Back in 2004, perfectionist homemaker and well known TV personality Martha Stewart was charged with insider trading. As presented, the facts in the case were simple. Martha owned stock in a medical research company called ImClone and, like a lot of people who invest in tech firms, she was hoping for a big payout when […]

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Back in 2004, perfectionist homemaker and well known TV personality Martha Stewart was charged with insider trading. As presented, the facts in the case were simple. Martha owned stock in a medical research company called ImClone and, like a lot of people who invest in tech firms, she was hoping for a big payout when […]

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Great Moments in GM Marketing: The XP-75 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/great-moments-in-gm-marketing-the-xp-75/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/great-moments-in-gm-marketing-the-xp-75/#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2013 20:07:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=482122 Facing tough German competition, the people at General Motors come up with a large-displacement supercharged contender that outpowers but also out-weighs the BMW-and-Benz-powered entries. The look of their new model is controversial, but we’re told that it has to be that way due to existing platform constraints. And, of course, they’ll need a massive cash […]

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Facing tough German competition, the people at General Motors come up with a large-displacement supercharged contender that outpowers but also out-weighs the BMW-and-Benz-powered entries. The look of their new model is controversial, but we’re told that it has to be that way due to existing platform constraints. And, of course, they’ll need a massive cash […]

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GM’s AmeriCredit Deal: Awaiting Approval http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/gms-americredit-deal-awaiting-approval/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/gms-americredit-deal-awaiting-approval/#comments Fri, 23 Jul 2010 17:59:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=361460 Now that GM’s acquisition of the subprime lender AmeriCredit has had 24 hours to sink in, howls of protest are starting to surface. The charge is being led by Senator Chuck Grassley, who has requested a review of the deal from the SIGTARP, saying If GM has $3.5 billion in cash to buy a financial […]

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Now that GM’s acquisition of the subprime lender AmeriCredit has had 24 hours to sink in, howls of protest are starting to surface. The charge is being led by Senator Chuck Grassley, who has requested a review of the deal from the SIGTARP, saying If GM has $3.5 billion in cash to buy a financial […]

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GM’s IPO: For King, Country, or Cadillac? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/gms-ipo-for-king-country-or-cadillac/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/gms-ipo-for-king-country-or-cadillac/#comments Thu, 15 Jul 2010 19:38:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=360935 After ending the first quarter of this year with $35.7b in cash and equivalents, GM was in the best position it’s enjoyed in decades. And yet, with an IPO prospectus looming, The General is seeking a $5b line of credit and trotting out EBITDAPRO as its in-house measure of financial success. Both of these tactics […]

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After ending the first quarter of this year with $35.7b in cash and equivalents, GM was in the best position it’s enjoyed in decades. And yet, with an IPO prospectus looming, The General is seeking a $5b line of credit and trotting out EBITDAPRO as its in-house measure of financial success. Both of these tactics […]

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GM’s IPO: Faster, Harder And Less Satisfying http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/gms-ipo-faster-harder-and-less-satisfying/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/07/gms-ipo-faster-harder-and-less-satisfying/#comments Mon, 05 Jul 2010 17:33:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=360265 Despite having more cash than debt for the first time in decades, GM is going back to Wall Street in search of fresh debt. Over the weekend, The General has been in talks with several banks to secure a $5b revolving line of credit to shore up its liquidity position ahead of an IPO that’s […]

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Despite having more cash than debt for the first time in decades, GM is going back to Wall Street in search of fresh debt. Over the weekend, The General has been in talks with several banks to secure a $5b revolving line of credit to shore up its liquidity position ahead of an IPO that’s […]

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It’s Buick Again! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/its-buick-again/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/its-buick-again/#comments Sat, 29 May 2010 21:01:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=357582 As yesterday’s sales graph proves, this is not the greatest time to be re-launching an entry-luxury brand. With Kias and Fords offering the kind of tech gadgets once found only in the upper echelons of true luxury brands, and with well-regarded import luxury marques moving into the front-drive, mass-market, the so-called “premium” brands are finding […]

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As yesterday’s sales graph proves, this is not the greatest time to be re-launching an entry-luxury brand. With Kias and Fords offering the kind of tech gadgets once found only in the upper echelons of true luxury brands, and with well-regarded import luxury marques moving into the front-drive, mass-market, the so-called “premium” brands are finding […]

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Editorial: Mr Whitacre Goes To Washington http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/04/editorial-mr-whitacre-goes-to-washington/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/04/editorial-mr-whitacre-goes-to-washington/#comments Mon, 19 Apr 2010 18:14:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=353214 GM’s government-installed Chairman/CEO Ed Whitacre hasn’t been wildly popular with Detroit insiders, earning dismissive raspberries from more than a few corners of the industry’s peanut gallery. But now that his reign of executive terror is over, Detroit seems to be learning how to stop worrying and love the former AT&T man. As Whitacre prepares for […]

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GM’s government-installed Chairman/CEO Ed Whitacre hasn’t been wildly popular with Detroit insiders, earning dismissive raspberries from more than a few corners of the industry’s peanut gallery. But now that his reign of executive terror is over, Detroit seems to be learning how to stop worrying and love the former AT&T man. As Whitacre prepares for […]

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GM Zombie Watch 22: International House Of Panic http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/gm-zombie-watch-22-international-house-of-panic/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/gm-zombie-watch-22-international-house-of-panic/#comments Sun, 06 Dec 2009 19:02:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=338142 News that GM is selling a control-shifting single share in GM Shanghai to its Chinese partner SAIC was the toads-from-heaven flourish at the end of an epic week for the RenCen. The day after the last of GM’s lifer CEOs left the building, Opel’s CFO followed suit. One management re-organization and a rough LA Auto […]

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News that GM is selling a control-shifting single share in GM Shanghai to its Chinese partner SAIC was the toads-from-heaven flourish at the end of an epic week for the RenCen. The day after the last of GM’s lifer CEOs left the building, Opel’s CFO followed suit. One management re-organization and a rough LA Auto […]

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GM Zombie Watch 21: Headshot! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/gm-zombie-watch-21-headshot/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/gm-zombie-watch-21-headshot/#comments Wed, 02 Dec 2009 03:40:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=337578 Recently, it’s become popular to believe that when a zombie loses its head, it dies. With today’s resignation of Fritz Henderson, the reanimated corpse of General Motors is testing that theory. Henderson was the latest in a line of GM lifers to hold the company’s reigns, hand-picked by ousted CEO Rick Wagoner and put in […]

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Recently, it’s become popular to believe that when a zombie loses its head, it dies. With today’s resignation of Fritz Henderson, the reanimated corpse of General Motors is testing that theory. Henderson was the latest in a line of GM lifers to hold the company’s reigns, hand-picked by ousted CEO Rick Wagoner and put in […]

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GM Zombie Watch 20: IPO Or Bust http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/gm-zombie-watch-20-ipo-or-bust/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/11/gm-zombie-watch-20-ipo-or-bust/#comments Mon, 16 Nov 2009 22:12:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=335724 GM’s first post-bankruptcy financial data has arrived, underscoring in red ink the folly of the government “investment” in the shambling zombie once known as General Motors. Bankruptcy-driven improvements in cost structure have not prevented GM from turning a non-GAAP-certified loss since emerging from Chapter 11, and GM is already warning that 4th quarter results will […]

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GM’s first post-bankruptcy financial data has arrived, underscoring in red ink the folly of the government “investment” in the shambling zombie once known as General Motors. Bankruptcy-driven improvements in cost structure have not prevented GM from turning a non-GAAP-certified loss since emerging from Chapter 11, and GM is already warning that 4th quarter results will […]

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General Motors Zombie Watch 19: You Get What You Don’t Pay For http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/10/general-motors-zombie-watch-19-you-get-what-you-dont-pay-for/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/10/general-motors-zombie-watch-19-you-get-what-you-dont-pay-for/#comments Thu, 22 Oct 2009 16:43:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=332822 Not so delightful, really. (courtesy 2.bp.blogspot.com)

OK, so, GM is a nationalized automaker. I know, I know: nationalization is for third world dictators. But there it is. Thanks to outgoing president George Bush, the feds used $50 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Fund to bail out General Motors, in exchange for majority ownership. So no matter what W's political successor says about his administration's "hands off" non-management of Government Motors, he who owns the gold makes the rules. And when it comes to running a federal-funded organization, Uncle Sam plays by different rules than, say, any private enterprise extent. The bottom line is that there is no bottom line. Amtrak, the U.S. Postal Service, Medicaid---they're all run at a tremendous, ongoing loss. Which means there's zero sense of accountability. Which means they will never, ever be able to fully and fairly compete with privately held corporations. Why should GM by any different? Answer: it isn't.

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Not so delightful, really. (courtesy 2.bp.blogspot.com) OK, so, GM is a nationalized automaker. I know, I know: nationalization is for third world dictators. But there it is. Thanks to outgoing president George Bush, the feds used $50 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Fund to bail out General Motors, in exchange for majority ownership. So no matter what W's political successor says about his administration's "hands off" non-management of Government Motors, he who owns the gold makes the rules. And when it comes to running a federal-funded organization, Uncle Sam plays by different rules than, say, any private enterprise extent. The bottom line is that there is no bottom line. Amtrak, the U.S. Postal Service, Medicaid---they're all run at a tremendous, ongoing loss. Which means there's zero sense of accountability. Which means they will never, ever be able to fully and fairly compete with privately held corporations. Why should GM by any different? Answer: it isn't.

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General Motors Zombie Watch 18: Hire Buickman http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/10/general-motors-zombie-watch-18-hire-buickman/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/10/general-motors-zombie-watch-18-hire-buickman/#comments Sun, 18 Oct 2009 15:59:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=332409 J'accuse!

Back in the day, GM really pissed me off. As the American automaker continued its inexorable slide into bankruptcy, executives, analysts, journalists, loyalists and camp followers scoffed at the prospect of disaster. Their scorn fueled my anger or, as Angus Mackenzie would have it, pompous indignation. When the feds bailed-out and then nationalized GM, the company's refusal to overhaul (keelhaul?) its executive "talent" kept my ire alive. A few months and $50b-plus dollars later and I'm rapidly approaching the point where I couldn't give a NSFW. How many times can you sing the chorus of "Where have all the flowers gone?" without saying FTS and cranking-up the MC5? Before I abandon this pursuit entirely, one last gasp . .

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J'accuse! Back in the day, GM really pissed me off. As the American automaker continued its inexorable slide into bankruptcy, executives, analysts, journalists, loyalists and camp followers scoffed at the prospect of disaster. Their scorn fueled my anger or, as Angus Mackenzie would have it, pompous indignation. When the feds bailed-out and then nationalized GM, the company's refusal to overhaul (keelhaul?) its executive "talent" kept my ire alive. A few months and $50b-plus dollars later and I'm rapidly approaching the point where I couldn't give a NSFW. How many times can you sing the chorus of "Where have all the flowers gone?" without saying FTS and cranking-up the MC5? Before I abandon this pursuit entirely, one last gasp . .

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General Motors Zombie Watch 17: May the Best Automaker Win http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/09/general-motors-zombie-watch-17-may-the-best-automaker-win/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/09/general-motors-zombie-watch-17-may-the-best-automaker-win/#comments Fri, 11 Sep 2009 17:46:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=329214

General Motors is a nationalized automaker. But it can't stay that way forever. Its federal taskmasters have decreed that GM must return to public ownership before the Congressional mid-term elections, in 2010. Makes sense. If GM is still on welfare at election time, GM will be an enormous political liability. A symbol of Big Government gone bad. But GM can't possibly achieve profitability within that time frame. Even if it had the brains, it doesn't have the time or money to build what needs building, to fix what needs fixing. The new car market sucks and GM's product planning, reputation and branding are in tatters. So New GM's doing the only thing they can do: putting lipstick on the product pig and sending it off to market. This "May The Best Car Win" advertising strategy will backfire. Badly.

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General Motors is a nationalized automaker. But it can't stay that way forever. Its federal taskmasters have decreed that GM must return to public ownership before the Congressional mid-term elections, in 2010. Makes sense. If GM is still on welfare at election time, GM will be an enormous political liability. A symbol of Big Government gone bad. But GM can't possibly achieve profitability within that time frame. Even if it had the brains, it doesn't have the time or money to build what needs building, to fix what needs fixing. The new car market sucks and GM's product planning, reputation and branding are in tatters. So New GM's doing the only thing they can do: putting lipstick on the product pig and sending it off to market. This "May The Best Car Win" advertising strategy will backfire. Badly.

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General Motors Zombie Watch 16: The Russians Are Coming! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/09/general-motors-zombie-watch-16-the-russians-are-coming/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/09/general-motors-zombie-watch-16-the-russians-are-coming/#comments Tue, 08 Sep 2009 14:01:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=328737

Ron Bloom is a Harvard MBA grad, investment banker and former advisor to the U.S. Steel Workers. He's also the head of the Presidential Task Force on Automobiles, now that Steve Rattner is busy defending his investment firm against bribery charges. Over the weekend, the Obama administration has added Manufacturing Czar to Car Czar in Ron Bloom's portfolio of power. "Bloom is to work with government departments including Commerce, Treasury, Energy and Labor to develop new initiatives affecting the manufacturing sector. The White House said Obama is committed to partnering with the private sector to spur innovation, invest in the skills of American workers, and help manufacturers prosper in global markets by promoting exports." In other words, after nationalizing GM, Obama's mob are now looking to screw-up all the other parts of America's manufacturing base. A quick joke . . .

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Ron Bloom is a Harvard MBA grad, investment banker and former advisor to the U.S. Steel Workers. He's also the head of the Presidential Task Force on Automobiles, now that Steve Rattner is busy defending his investment firm against bribery charges. Over the weekend, the Obama administration has added Manufacturing Czar to Car Czar in Ron Bloom's portfolio of power. "Bloom is to work with government departments including Commerce, Treasury, Energy and Labor to develop new initiatives affecting the manufacturing sector. The White House said Obama is committed to partnering with the private sector to spur innovation, invest in the skills of American workers, and help manufacturers prosper in global markets by promoting exports." In other words, after nationalizing GM, Obama's mob are now looking to screw-up all the other parts of America's manufacturing base. A quick joke . . .

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General Motors Zombie Watch 15: Volt Jolt for Dolts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/09/general-motors-zombie-watch-15/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/09/general-motors-zombie-watch-15/#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2009 20:47:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=328412

It's been a while since I've written a General Motors Zombie Watch. Time keeps on slipping, slipping . . . into the future. Only when you're dead, there is no future. You're dead. Oh, I know: New GM's got new plans for new cars with new advertising that will win new (old?) customers. And the new Board of Directors' Chairman Ed Whitacre is busy threatening to fire New GM's old (new?) execs if they don't get their shit together. But they haven't, as their farrago of product plans and the botched launch of the new Buick LaCrosse proves. In fact, the current crop of GM suits will be fired. And?

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It's been a while since I've written a General Motors Zombie Watch. Time keeps on slipping, slipping . . . into the future. Only when you're dead, there is no future. You're dead. Oh, I know: New GM's got new plans for new cars with new advertising that will win new (old?) customers. And the new Board of Directors' Chairman Ed Whitacre is busy threatening to fire New GM's old (new?) execs if they don't get their shit together. But they haven't, as their farrago of product plans and the botched launch of the new Buick LaCrosse proves. In fact, the current crop of GM suits will be fired. And?

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Editorial: General Motors Zombie Watch 14: 2012 Lineup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/08/editorial-gms-2012-lineup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/08/editorial-gms-2012-lineup/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2009 02:27:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=325970

General Motors has always been long on talk about the future. The company that invented concept cars and pioneered planned obsolescence has always kept consumers focused on the next big thing(s), and that tradition is ever more important now that GM is a publicly-owned entity. Future products are the justification for current investments and subsidies, and GM knows it. Though details are sparse and largely sifted out of the murk of PR leaks, teases and hearsay, a picture of post-IPO GM's 2012 lineup is beginning to form. The success of these vehicles depends on a number of difficult-to-predict factors, but assuming fairly conservative projections (steady increases in US economic growth, auto sales and gas prices), it's not too hard to tease out a few early conclusions on GM's strategy. So let's hop in the time machine and set the dial for the Fall of 2011.

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General Motors has always been long on talk about the future. The company that invented concept cars and pioneered planned obsolescence has always kept consumers focused on the next big thing(s), and that tradition is ever more important now that GM is a publicly-owned entity. Future products are the justification for current investments and subsidies, and GM knows it. Though details are sparse and largely sifted out of the murk of PR leaks, teases and hearsay, a picture of post-IPO GM's 2012 lineup is beginning to form. The success of these vehicles depends on a number of difficult-to-predict factors, but assuming fairly conservative projections (steady increases in US economic growth, auto sales and gas prices), it's not too hard to tease out a few early conclusions on GM's strategy. So let's hop in the time machine and set the dial for the Fall of 2011.

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Editorial: General Motors Zombie Watch 13: Manic Street Preachers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/08/general-motors-zombie-watch-13-manic-street-preachers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/08/general-motors-zombie-watch-13-manic-street-preachers/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2009 02:46:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=325837 While General Motors has downsized physically and financially, the nationalized American automaker still suffers from a monumental mental disorder. Today's F5 PR tornado made that point pellucid. In fact, it's hard to know where to begin the diagnosis. We might as well start with the "big news" on the vehicle destined to become GM's Edsel. The General would have you believe that the Chevrolet Volt will achieve 230 miles per gallon in city driving. Yes, well, the Volt is supposed to surmount the first forty-miles on battery power alone. So I make that . . . zero miles per gallon; you know; as it's not using any liquid fuel. Hey! Anyone remember [former] Car Czar Bob Lutz's hand-wringing re: the Volt's gas supply fouling because owners would never use the internal combustion engine? Like that. Quick question: what drugs are these guys on? More accurately, why aren't they taking their meds?

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While General Motors has downsized physically and financially, the nationalized American automaker still suffers from a monumental mental disorder. Today's F5 PR tornado made that point pellucid. In fact, it's hard to know where to begin the diagnosis. We might as well start with the "big news" on the vehicle destined to become GM's Edsel. The General would have you believe that the Chevrolet Volt will achieve 230 miles per gallon in city driving. Yes, well, the Volt is supposed to surmount the first forty-miles on battery power alone. So I make that . . . zero miles per gallon; you know; as it's not using any liquid fuel. Hey! Anyone remember [former] Car Czar Bob Lutz's hand-wringing re: the Volt's gas supply fouling because owners would never use the internal combustion engine? Like that. Quick question: what drugs are these guys on? More accurately, why aren't they taking their meds?

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General Motors Zombie Watch 12: Fear of Music http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/07/general-motors-zombie-watch-12-money-talks-but-its-not-saying-anything/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/07/general-motors-zombie-watch-12-money-talks-but-its-not-saying-anything/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2009 18:48:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=324028

When columnist Daniel Howes at the Detroit News gets pissed off enough at GM to write anything other than "we shall see what we shall see," you know the former bankrupt is doing something very, very wrong. The object of Danny's ire: the lack of fresh faces at The New GM. "To read the announcement of GM's new nine-person executive committee, the promotions and the retirements, as I did minutes after it was made public, is to hear the faint strains of Talking Heads singing 'same as it ever was, same as it ever was' and to hear more wailing about the chronically clueless GM." Mind you, Howes isn't calling GM chronically clueless (that's our job). He's angry that "the feds' pay-and-bonus restrictions essentially make it impossible for CEO Fritz Henderson to woo outside talent for inside jobs." Woo-hoo! Howes is on the money; out in the real world, $500K doesn't buy you a reasonable Human Resources manager. But hey, did someone forget the GM stands for Government Motors?

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When columnist Daniel Howes at the Detroit News gets pissed off enough at GM to write anything other than "we shall see what we shall see," you know the former bankrupt is doing something very, very wrong. The object of Danny's ire: the lack of fresh faces at The New GM. "To read the announcement of GM's new nine-person executive committee, the promotions and the retirements, as I did minutes after it was made public, is to hear the faint strains of Talking Heads singing 'same as it ever was, same as it ever was' and to hear more wailing about the chronically clueless GM." Mind you, Howes isn't calling GM chronically clueless (that's our job). He's angry that "the feds' pay-and-bonus restrictions essentially make it impossible for CEO Fritz Henderson to woo outside talent for inside jobs." Woo-hoo! Howes is on the money; out in the real world, $500K doesn't buy you a reasonable Human Resources manager. But hey, did someone forget the GM stands for Government Motors?

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General Motors Zombie Watch 11: Cadillac Must Die http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/07/general-motors-zombie-watch-11-cadillac-must-die/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/07/general-motors-zombie-watch-11-cadillac-must-die/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2009 13:50:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=322568

General Motors has left bankruptcy behind. The MSM is greeting GM's graduation with guarded not to say advertiser-sponsored optimism. Meanwhile, the populist backlash has begun. Yesterday, for the first time, I heard a "civilian" refer to GM as "Government Motors." And then, another. Even if you discount the protest as right wing rhetoric (I was listening to Fox Talk), it's clear that General Motors is becoming a lightning rod for anti-government sentiment. With tax hikes looming and the federal deficit ballooning, the public is starting to see the "new" General Motors as a symbol of federal impudence, intransigence and impotence. In fact, GM could be President Obama's Iraq: the Gordian knot that strangles his political fortunes. To fully understand the futility of this financial folly, consider Cadillac.

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General Motors has left bankruptcy behind. The MSM is greeting GM's graduation with guarded not to say advertiser-sponsored optimism. Meanwhile, the populist backlash has begun. Yesterday, for the first time, I heard a "civilian" refer to GM as "Government Motors." And then, another. Even if you discount the protest as right wing rhetoric (I was listening to Fox Talk), it's clear that General Motors is becoming a lightning rod for anti-government sentiment. With tax hikes looming and the federal deficit ballooning, the public is starting to see the "new" General Motors as a symbol of federal impudence, intransigence and impotence. In fact, GM could be President Obama's Iraq: the Gordian knot that strangles his political fortunes. To fully understand the futility of this financial folly, consider Cadillac.

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General Motors Zombie Watch 10: Fritz Henderson Must, Uh, Go http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/07/general-motors-zombie-watch-10-fritz-henderson-must-uh-go/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/07/general-motors-zombie-watch-10-fritz-henderson-must-uh-go/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2009 02:34:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=322287

So how long before New GM fires Uncle Fritz? In the most pragmatic of all possible worlds, where the Presidential Task Force on Automobiles (PTFOA) looked out for the taxpayers' $50 billion as if it were their own---Fritz wouldn't even BE GM's CEO. Henderson would have been defenestrated along with Rick Wagoner. You know: the ex-CEO who groomed Henderson as his replacement. (How hard is it to connect those dots?) Henderson has assured his place in The Peter Principle Hall of Fame, capping his career as the PTFOA's toady. And now, best case, he should follow Old GM onto the scrap heap of history. Not a chance.

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So how long before New GM fires Uncle Fritz? In the most pragmatic of all possible worlds, where the Presidential Task Force on Automobiles (PTFOA) looked out for the taxpayers' $50 billion as if it were their own---Fritz wouldn't even BE GM's CEO. Henderson would have been defenestrated along with Rick Wagoner. You know: the ex-CEO who groomed Henderson as his replacement. (How hard is it to connect those dots?) Henderson has assured his place in The Peter Principle Hall of Fame, capping his career as the PTFOA's toady. And now, best case, he should follow Old GM onto the scrap heap of history. Not a chance.

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Editorial: GM Zombie Watch 9: GM Announces “Buy and Say Goodbye” Sale http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/07/editorial-gm-zombie-watch-9-gm-announces-buy-and-say-goodbye-sale/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/07/editorial-gm-zombie-watch-9-gm-announces-buy-and-say-goodbye-sale/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2009 14:17:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=321610

General Motors is launching a fourth of July sale: "Buy and Say Goodbye." From July 1 to July 6, the bankrupt automaker's offering 0% financing for up to 72 months on "most" of its dead brand walking Pontiac models and "some other vehicles." More specifically, "select 2009 and 2010 vehicles in dealer stock including Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra regular, extended and crew cab light-duty pickups; Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL SUVs; Chevrolet Impala; and the Pontiac models: Vibe, G3, G5, G6 and G8." But wait! There's more! "Many other vehicles will have reduced rate financing of 0 percent for up to 60 months for well-qualified buyers. A full list of current offers, conditions, and eligible vehicles, is available at: http://www.gm.com/shop/currentoffers/." Not yet it isn't. So that's number six on our list of reasons why this sale is dumber than toast. Counting down . . .

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General Motors is launching a fourth of July sale: "Buy and Say Goodbye." From July 1 to July 6, the bankrupt automaker's offering 0% financing for up to 72 months on "most" of its dead brand walking Pontiac models and "some other vehicles." More specifically, "select 2009 and 2010 vehicles in dealer stock including Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra regular, extended and crew cab light-duty pickups; Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL SUVs; Chevrolet Impala; and the Pontiac models: Vibe, G3, G5, G6 and G8." But wait! There's more! "Many other vehicles will have reduced rate financing of 0 percent for up to 60 months for well-qualified buyers. A full list of current offers, conditions, and eligible vehicles, is available at: http://www.gm.com/shop/currentoffers/." Not yet it isn't. So that's number six on our list of reasons why this sale is dumber than toast. Counting down . . .

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Editorial: General Motors Zombie Watch 8: “7 Reasons Why The New GM Might File for Bankruptcy” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/editorial-general-motors-zombie-watch-8-7-reasons-why-the-new-gm-might-file-for-bankruptcy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/editorial-general-motors-zombie-watch-8-7-reasons-why-the-new-gm-might-file-for-bankruptcy/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2009 22:12:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=320763

Communist witch hunters called Americans who supported the battle against Francisco Franco before World War II "premature anti-fascists." In other words, they were right for the wrong reasons. There's a lot of that going around these days. For example, Chrysler and GM's claim that they need to cull dealers is spot on. But trimming overheads, as the automakers claim, ain't it. [see: number three after the jump]. By the same token, it's also true that New GM is doomed to failure. But not for the seven reasons that Seeking Alpha sets forth. Still, Jason Mathew's analysis is worth a closer look . . .

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Communist witch hunters called Americans who supported the battle against Francisco Franco before World War II "premature anti-fascists." In other words, they were right for the wrong reasons. There's a lot of that going around these days. For example, Chrysler and GM's claim that they need to cull dealers is spot on. But trimming overheads, as the automakers claim, ain't it. [see: number three after the jump]. By the same token, it's also true that New GM is doomed to failure. But not for the seven reasons that Seeking Alpha sets forth. Still, Jason Mathew's analysis is worth a closer look . . .

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General Motors Zombie Watch 7: One Way Out http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/general-motors-zombie-watch-7-one-way-out/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/general-motors-zombie-watch-7-one-way-out/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2009 01:43:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=320533

I can't decide whether GM's "reinvention" will fail through government action or inaction. On one hand, I share the commonly held belief that GM's product portfolio will be skewed towards small cars, to satisfy the Obama administration's love of all things green and beautiful. Even without express orders to do so, GM's craven executives will seek to please their elected overlords' politically-driven desires. On the other hand, paralysis. The last thing GM's cumbersome, dysfunctional management needs is another layer of command and control---especially one where accountability is measured in votes and patronage, rather than dollars and cents. The tendency to do nothing slowly, as is the way of all government, is great. If I had to guess which way this is going to go, I'd say both.

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I can't decide whether GM's "reinvention" will fail through government action or inaction. On one hand, I share the commonly held belief that GM's product portfolio will be skewed towards small cars, to satisfy the Obama administration's love of all things green and beautiful. Even without express orders to do so, GM's craven executives will seek to please their elected overlords' politically-driven desires. On the other hand, paralysis. The last thing GM's cumbersome, dysfunctional management needs is another layer of command and control---especially one where accountability is measured in votes and patronage, rather than dollars and cents. The tendency to do nothing slowly, as is the way of all government, is great. If I had to guess which way this is going to go, I'd say both.

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General Motors Zombie Watch 6: CEO Henderson: “I Hate Myself” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/general-motors-zombie-watch-6-fear-and-self-loathing-in-detroit/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/general-motors-zombie-watch-6-fear-and-self-loathing-in-detroit/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2009 13:02:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=320004

That's not exactly what GM CEO Fritz Henderson said to BusinessWeek, as part of the bankrupt automaker's charm offensive. The exact quote was "I know I have to re-prove myself." So, just as there's a "bad" GM (the one that latched onto the federal teat) and a "good" GM (the other one that latched onto the federal teat), there's now a "bad" Fritz Henderson (the one who weaseled his way to the top of GM's dysfunctional corporate culture) and a "good" Fritz Henderson (the one who wants to reform the stultified system that spawned him). As we say in these parts, good luck with that. Those of our Best and Brightest who've seen large companies try to reform their not-so-wikkid ways will recognize the resulting lip service . . .

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That's not exactly what GM CEO Fritz Henderson said to BusinessWeek, as part of the bankrupt automaker's charm offensive. The exact quote was "I know I have to re-prove myself." So, just as there's a "bad" GM (the one that latched onto the federal teat) and a "good" GM (the other one that latched onto the federal teat), there's now a "bad" Fritz Henderson (the one who weaseled his way to the top of GM's dysfunctional corporate culture) and a "good" Fritz Henderson (the one who wants to reform the stultified system that spawned him). As we say in these parts, good luck with that. Those of our Best and Brightest who've seen large companies try to reform their not-so-wikkid ways will recognize the resulting lip service . . .

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Editorial: General Motors Zombie Watch 5: Cross-Eyed and Painless http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/general-motors-zombie-watch-5-cross-eyed-and-painless/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/general-motors-zombie-watch-5-cross-eyed-and-painless/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2009 01:25:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=319108

I had an interesting conversation with PCH101 about New GM's governance. Like many observers, the TTAC commentator is not ready to dismiss The Presidential Task Force on Automobiles (PTFOA) out of hand. I, of course, am. Have done. Will do. But before I do (again), consider PCH101's logic. He credits the PTFOA for clearing out the deadwood: finally ridding the failed automaker of the troublesome man who guided the company on its final descent into bankruptcy. He also believes that the 25-member PTFOA is a better bet for GM than the original plan for federal oversight: a car czar. "I remember a study in B-School that concluded a committee of managers without any direct experience in an industry made more effective decisions than a single autocratic insider." With all due respect, crap. And completely irrelevant.

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I had an interesting conversation with PCH101 about New GM's governance. Like many observers, the TTAC commentator is not ready to dismiss The Presidential Task Force on Automobiles (PTFOA) out of hand. I, of course, am. Have done. Will do. But before I do (again), consider PCH101's logic. He credits the PTFOA for clearing out the deadwood: finally ridding the failed automaker of the troublesome man who guided the company on its final descent into bankruptcy. He also believes that the 25-member PTFOA is a better bet for GM than the original plan for federal oversight: a car czar. "I remember a study in B-School that concluded a committee of managers without any direct experience in an industry made more effective decisions than a single autocratic insider." With all due respect, crap. And completely irrelevant.

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