The Truth About Cars » GM Death 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, 10 Feb 2016 17:42:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » GM Death Watch http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/editorials/gm-death-watch/ 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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The Feds Didn’t Kill Pontiac, I did. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/the-feds-didnt-kill-pontiac-i-did/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/the-feds-didnt-kill-pontiac-i-did/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 11:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=639569 So I read earlier this week that Bob Lutz is saying that the US Government killed Pontiac. He says that GM had big plans to rescue the struggling brand with innovative, rear-wheel designs that included small performance cars that would have set the Germans back on their heels. Had these plans come to fruition, he […]

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So I read earlier this week that Bob Lutz is saying that the US Government killed Pontiac. He says that GM had big plans to rescue the struggling brand with innovative, rear-wheel designs that included small performance cars that would have set the Germans back on their heels. Had these plans come to fruition, he […]

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Is Detroit’s “Perception Gap” Dead? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/is-detroits-perception-gap-dead/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/is-detroits-perception-gap-dead/#comments Wed, 13 Oct 2010 20:35:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=368544 According to our latest sales data, the Detroit Three have enjoyed something of a comeback relative to the “foreign” competition this year. And though it’s not clear how long that trend will last, the media is catching the Detroit-boosting bug again.  The NYT’s Bill Vlasic epitomizes the mood, focusing on improvements in GM and Ford’s […]

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According to our latest sales data, the Detroit Three have enjoyed something of a comeback relative to the “foreign” competition this year. And though it’s not clear how long that trend will last, the media is catching the Detroit-boosting bug again.  The NYT’s Bill Vlasic epitomizes the mood, focusing on improvements in GM and Ford’s […]

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 260: The End http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/general-motors-death-watch-260-the-end/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/general-motors-death-watch-260-the-end/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2009 02:36:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=317430

GM filed for bankruptcy today. From now on, TTAC will chronicle GM's fortunes under the series name bestowed upon post-C11 Chrysler: Zombie Watch. For there's no doubt in my mind that GM will not recover from its federal stewardship to emerge, as Dan Neil puts it, "smaller, leaner, smarter and hungrier." Sure, I'll spot Dan smaller (obviously). Leaner? An efficient government-funded company is an oxymoron to rival military intelligence. Speaking of which, smarter? GM is as far from smart as Steven Hawking is from professional wresting. In fact, listening to GM CEO Fritz Henderson bleat to the press today, it struck me that the automaker is pulling a Mark Mothersbaugh: it's de-evolving. Less obscurely, the company is actually getting stupider.

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GM filed for bankruptcy today. From now on, TTAC will chronicle GM's fortunes under the series name bestowed upon post-C11 Chrysler: Zombie Watch. For there's no doubt in my mind that GM will not recover from its federal stewardship to emerge, as Dan Neil puts it, "smaller, leaner, smarter and hungrier." Sure, I'll spot Dan smaller (obviously). Leaner? An efficient government-funded company is an oxymoron to rival military intelligence. Speaking of which, smarter? GM is as far from smart as Steven Hawking is from professional wresting. In fact, listening to GM CEO Fritz Henderson bleat to the press today, it struck me that the automaker is pulling a Mark Mothersbaugh: it's de-evolving. Less obscurely, the company is actually getting stupider.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 258: Stein X. Leikanger’s “GM Politburo” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-258-stein-x-leikangers-gm-politburo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-258-stein-x-leikangers-gm-politburo/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2009 15:28:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=317308

GM was a politburo building cars. GM died for the same reasons that the Soviet Union died: because it killed initiative and proved unable to manage its resources at a pace that matched competing economies. Just as the Soviet politburo promoted the party faithful, demanding adherence to the party line, GM management brooked no discontent, and would get rid of any dissenting voices, banishing them to the corporate equivalent of Siberia: away from RenCen. The Soviet Union destroyed itself because of its unwillingness to accept reality. Spending untold billions on a show military force, it starved all other facets of its economic life. The Soviet leadership also accepted incredible inefficiencies in its production apparatus, and failed to exploit its vast reservoir of natural resources. Ditto GM.

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GM was a politburo building cars. GM died for the same reasons that the Soviet Union died: because it killed initiative and proved unable to manage its resources at a pace that matched competing economies. Just as the Soviet politburo promoted the party faithful, demanding adherence to the party line, GM management brooked no discontent, and would get rid of any dissenting voices, banishing them to the corporate equivalent of Siberia: away from RenCen. The Soviet Union destroyed itself because of its unwillingness to accept reality. Spending untold billions on a show military force, it starved all other facets of its economic life. The Soviet leadership also accepted incredible inefficiencies in its production apparatus, and failed to exploit its vast reservoir of natural resources. Ditto GM.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 257: Paul Niedermeyer’s GM Obit http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-257-paul-niedermeyers-gm-obit/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-257-paul-niedermeyers-gm-obit/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2009 13:28:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=317275

How do you write an obituary for an entity that’s been dead for seventeen years? Like that high-school biology frog-leg experiment, GM’s twitching since 1992 was due to externally administered stimuli. Yes, I would have much preferred to write GM’s obit in ‘92. Back then, the guilty party was merely GM’s brain-dead management. It would have been easy just to rag on about all the lame cars they built. But it’s become a lot more complicated and uglier. Now we all have blood (and red ink) on our hands. And it’s not going to wash out easily.

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How do you write an obituary for an entity that’s been dead for seventeen years? Like that high-school biology frog-leg experiment, GM’s twitching since 1992 was due to externally administered stimuli. Yes, I would have much preferred to write GM’s obit in ‘92. Back then, the guilty party was merely GM’s brain-dead management. It would have been easy just to rag on about all the lame cars they built. But it’s become a lot more complicated and uglier. Now we all have blood (and red ink) on our hands. And it’s not going to wash out easily.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 254: All That You Dream http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/general-motors-death-watch-254-all-that-you-dream/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/general-motors-death-watch-254-all-that-you-dream/#comments Thu, 28 May 2009 02:59:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=316700

The Associated Press called it: GM is set to enter popular parlance as "Government Motors." When the automaker files for Chapter 11, the nickname will stick, as the debate over GM's future centers on whether or not the United States government should own a commercial enterprise. To which the only possible answer is no. It was no back when President Bush over-ruled Congress and authorized the first multi-billion dollar "loan." It's no now, as the feds prepare to stump-up another $20 billion dollars to keep GM in business. There are lots of reasons why "new" GM is a bad idea. But here's the most important impediment: Government Motors doesn't have the vehicles it needs to survive.

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The Associated Press called it: GM is set to enter popular parlance as "Government Motors." When the automaker files for Chapter 11, the nickname will stick, as the debate over GM's future centers on whether or not the United States government should own a commercial enterprise. To which the only possible answer is no. It was no back when President Bush over-ruled Congress and authorized the first multi-billion dollar "loan." It's no now, as the feds prepare to stump-up another $20 billion dollars to keep GM in business. There are lots of reasons why "new" GM is a bad idea. But here's the most important impediment: Government Motors doesn't have the vehicles it needs to survive.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 253: Life During Wartime http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/general-motors-death-watch-253-life-during-wartime/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/general-motors-death-watch-253-life-during-wartime/#comments Sat, 23 May 2009 15:27:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=316103

The Detroit News headline: "Obama Auto Bailout Draws Fire." Suddenly, without warning, Motown's hometown newspaper has changed sides. What was "their" bailout has become "Obama's." The altered allegiance comes hot on the heels Chrysler and GM's decision to terminate around a thousand dealers apiece. This is not music to the domestic supporters' ears; the dealer cull represents the complete, final and unavoidable end of Motor City's domination of the American car industry. The fact that the domestics' supporters are suddenly behind the franchisee push back---which could scupper both automakers' future---shows the depth of Detroit's denial. While the bailout boosters gave The Presidential Task Force on Automobiles (PTFOA) props for shit-canning GM CEO Rick Wagoner, you can file this one under no good deed goes unpunished.

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The Detroit News headline: "Obama Auto Bailout Draws Fire." Suddenly, without warning, Motown's hometown newspaper has changed sides. What was "their" bailout has become "Obama's." The altered allegiance comes hot on the heels Chrysler and GM's decision to terminate around a thousand dealers apiece. This is not music to the domestic supporters' ears; the dealer cull represents the complete, final and unavoidable end of Motor City's domination of the American car industry. The fact that the domestics' supporters are suddenly behind the franchisee push back---which could scupper both automakers' future---shows the depth of Detroit's denial. While the bailout boosters gave The Presidential Task Force on Automobiles (PTFOA) props for shit-canning GM CEO Rick Wagoner, you can file this one under no good deed goes unpunished.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 252: The Truth About the Pontiac G8 GT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-252-the-truth-about-the-pontiac-g8-gt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-252-the-truth-about-the-pontiac-g8-gt/#comments Wed, 20 May 2009 13:06:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=315589

I've just purchased a Pontiac G8 GT. Sport red metallic with every option. I paid too much (even though it was a below-invoice deal). The car just begged me to buy it. Yep, car guys make the dumbest deals when it comes to their own personal transportation. And I love it. I will drive the wheels off this car, and enjoy every torque-rich moment. But enough about me. Now about Pontiac, and GM. With less than 11 days to go before what was once the largest corporation in the world files for bankruptcy, with the Pontiac brand disappearing (what exactly is a “niche” brand anyways?), the G8 GT is a reminder of what could have and should have been. But is it also an indication of what will be? And is that a good thing or a bad thing?

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I've just purchased a Pontiac G8 GT. Sport red metallic with every option. I paid too much (even though it was a below-invoice deal). The car just begged me to buy it. Yep, car guys make the dumbest deals when it comes to their own personal transportation. And I love it. I will drive the wheels off this car, and enjoy every torque-rich moment. But enough about me. Now about Pontiac, and GM. With less than 11 days to go before what was once the largest corporation in the world files for bankruptcy, with the Pontiac brand disappearing (what exactly is a “niche” brand anyways?), the G8 GT is a reminder of what could have and should have been. But is it also an indication of what will be? And is that a good thing or a bad thing?

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General Motors Death Watch 251: Putsch Your Money Where Your Mouth Is http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/general-motors-death-watch-251-putsch-your-money-where-your-mouth-i/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/general-motors-death-watch-251-putsch-your-money-where-your-mouth-i/#comments Mon, 04 May 2009 04:08:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=313385

“G.M. is very different than Chrysler,” said Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff. “But I suppose the one lesson for G.M., and all the other players, is that this is a moment when a Democratic president said, ‘I am really willing to let a company dissolve, and there’s not going to be an open checkbook.’ There’s got to be real viability.” Huh? I was under the impression that this was the moment when a Democratic president said "I am NOT really willing to let a failed automaker dissolve. Uncle Sam's checkbook is as open as a hooker's gams. For the sake of political expediency, there's got to be pretend viability." Of course, it's much worse than that. The White House has caught Detroit disease, where stupid decisions vie with no decisions for supremacy, leaving the status quo bruised and battered, but triumphant.

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“G.M. is very different than Chrysler,” said Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff. “But I suppose the one lesson for G.M., and all the other players, is that this is a moment when a Democratic president said, ‘I am really willing to let a company dissolve, and there’s not going to be an open checkbook.’ There’s got to be real viability.” Huh? I was under the impression that this was the moment when a Democratic president said "I am NOT really willing to let a failed automaker dissolve. Uncle Sam's checkbook is as open as a hooker's gams. For the sake of political expediency, there's got to be pretend viability." Of course, it's much worse than that. The White House has caught Detroit disease, where stupid decisions vie with no decisions for supremacy, leaving the status quo bruised and battered, but triumphant.

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General Motors Death Watch 250: Interview with a GM Bondholder http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/general-motors-death-watch-250-interview-with-a-gm-bondholder/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/general-motors-death-watch-250-interview-with-a-gm-bondholder/#comments Fri, 01 May 2009 19:43:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=313261

GM's investors and bondholders have taken their lumps. The value of their investments have plummeted and they've been blamed for enabling GM's mismanagement. Hedge fund managers and institutional investors are not the most popular people in the wake of the financial meltdown so it's easy to forget that many investors are not Wall Street wheeler dealers, but regular folks with investments.

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GM's investors and bondholders have taken their lumps. The value of their investments have plummeted and they've been blamed for enabling GM's mismanagement. Hedge fund managers and institutional investors are not the most popular people in the wake of the financial meltdown so it's easy to forget that many investors are not Wall Street wheeler dealers, but regular folks with investments.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 249: Cadillac Descending http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/general-motors-death-watch-249-cadillac-descendin/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/general-motors-death-watch-249-cadillac-descendin/#comments Fri, 01 May 2009 16:40:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=312943

It doesn't seem that long ago that General Motors was pouring billions of dollars into Cadillac in a bid to create a line of world-class luxury cars. American enthusiasts rejoiced. Now, with GM on the verge of bankruptcy, all signs point to a full-scale retreat. Assuming GM pulls through, within the next five years it will kill Buick outside China--or at least kill its Lexian aspirations--and shift Cadillac downmarket into a "near luxury" position.

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It doesn't seem that long ago that General Motors was pouring billions of dollars into Cadillac in a bid to create a line of world-class luxury cars. American enthusiasts rejoiced. Now, with GM on the verge of bankruptcy, all signs point to a full-scale retreat. Assuming GM pulls through, within the next five years it will kill Buick outside China--or at least kill its Lexian aspirations--and shift Cadillac downmarket into a "near luxury" position.

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General Motors Death Watch 248: The Chevy Volt Must Die http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/general-motors-death-watch-248-the-chevy-volt-must-die/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/general-motors-death-watch-248-the-chevy-volt-must-die/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2009 03:58:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=312789 This is not what I expected. Sure, I got the bankruptcy bit right. Big deal. Better analysts than I were making that call back when I was playing with Corgi toys (another car company destined for the scrap heap). But I never thought Uncle Sam would nationalize GM. Ace commentator PCH101 will tell you it's all in good fun: a temporary government intervention that gives taxpayers a shot at recovering some of the tens of billions [we shouldn't have] spent keeping the zombie automaker alive. Or at least postpones GM's inevitable dissolution for a less financially fraught finale. But I reckon politics will rear its ugly head, create a distortion field around GM's carmaking business and kill any hope of GM surviving in any way, shape or form. The acid test: the Chevy Volt.

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This is not what I expected. Sure, I got the bankruptcy bit right. Big deal. Better analysts than I were making that call back when I was playing with Corgi toys (another car company destined for the scrap heap). But I never thought Uncle Sam would nationalize GM. Ace commentator PCH101 will tell you it's all in good fun: a temporary government intervention that gives taxpayers a shot at recovering some of the tens of billions [we shouldn't have] spent keeping the zombie automaker alive. Or at least postpones GM's inevitable dissolution for a less financially fraught finale. But I reckon politics will rear its ugly head, create a distortion field around GM's carmaking business and kill any hope of GM surviving in any way, shape or form. The acid test: the Chevy Volt.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 247: Brandicide Won’t Save GM http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-247-brandicide-wont-save-gm/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-247-brandicide-wont-save-gm/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2009 16:08:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=312507

Time's up! GM has announced that 2010 will be Pontiac’s final year. No surprise to anyone who's been reading the writing on the wall. But nevertheless a sign that those in charge of GM's destiny are more interested in appearing to be doing something than in actually addressing the core weaknesses of the car manufacturer. Why is so much attention focused on GM's brands? Because, like the CEO, they're what outsiders can see and at least superficially understand. The real problems are both less visible and less easily comprehensible.

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Time's up! GM has announced that 2010 will be Pontiac’s final year. No surprise to anyone who's been reading the writing on the wall. But nevertheless a sign that those in charge of GM's destiny are more interested in appearing to be doing something than in actually addressing the core weaknesses of the car manufacturer. Why is so much attention focused on GM's brands? Because, like the CEO, they're what outsiders can see and at least superficially understand. The real problems are both less visible and less easily comprehensible.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 246: Pontiac R.I.P. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/general-motors-death-watch-246-pontiac-rip/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/general-motors-death-watch-246-pontiac-rip/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2009 15:43:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=312448

Excitement is an ephemeral phenomenon. As was Pontiac. It had its glorious day in the sunshine of the exciting sixties. Pontiac was like the polite, quiet middle child who ran away to California in the early sixties, became a huge star, crashed in 1970, and played the county fair nostalgia circuit ever since. In between repeated bouts in rehab. And now we’re here to pay our last respects.

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Excitement is an ephemeral phenomenon. As was Pontiac. It had its glorious day in the sunshine of the exciting sixties. Pontiac was like the polite, quiet middle child who ran away to California in the early sixties, became a huge star, crashed in 1970, and played the county fair nostalgia circuit ever since. In between repeated bouts in rehab. And now we’re here to pay our last respects.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 245: Core Competency http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-245-core-competencies/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/editorial-general-motors-death-watch-245-core-competencies/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2009 13:30:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=312018

As GM's journey to bankruptcy nears its conclusion, the punditocracy is busy contemplating the company's afterlife. The current line of thinking: the feds will cleave General Motors in two. Bad GM gets Buick, GMC, HUMMER, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn. Good GM "buys" Chevrolet and Cadillac. It emerges from Chapter 11 unencumbered by outdated production facilities, warring management, befuddled marketing, over-priced labor, restrictive union work rules, astronomical pensions and onerous health care obligations. Chevillac rises from the ashes to steal share from both mainstream and luxury brands, repay its debts and thumb its nose at Bailout Nation's critics. But here's the thing: good GM is "saving" the wrong brands.

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As GM's journey to bankruptcy nears its conclusion, the punditocracy is busy contemplating the company's afterlife. The current line of thinking: the feds will cleave General Motors in two. Bad GM gets Buick, GMC, HUMMER, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn. Good GM "buys" Chevrolet and Cadillac. It emerges from Chapter 11 unencumbered by outdated production facilities, warring management, befuddled marketing, over-priced labor, restrictive union work rules, astronomical pensions and onerous health care obligations. Chevillac rises from the ashes to steal share from both mainstream and luxury brands, repay its debts and thumb its nose at Bailout Nation's critics. But here's the thing: good GM is "saving" the wrong brands.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 244: Let There Be Light http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/bailout-watch-500-autonotsoextremistanymore-gm-nsfws-canada-motowns-last-man-standing-shivs-gm-chrysler/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/bailout-watch-500-autonotsoextremistanymore-gm-nsfws-canada-motowns-last-man-standing-shivs-gm-chrysler/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2009 14:26:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=311418

As TTAC's Bailout Watch series heads for the initially improbable half century mark, it looks like the GM C11 nay-sayers are just about all nayed out. In his column, Detroit News Auto Editor Manny Lopez finally admits that a Chrysler/GM bankruptcy is. . . an option. Meanwhile, the self-styled AutoExtremist has thrown in the towel. In fact, Peter DeLorenzo now reckons GM is damaged beyond repair. A PR/marketing guy to the end, DeLorenzo has a solution: change GM's name. "One hundred years of accomplishment and historic value to the American industrial fabric has been decimated in a matter of months. Once one of America’s corporate icons, GM has now been reduced to being a punchline for a running national joke, and this new car company will have to be unburdened of the GM name, pronto." A matter of months? Clearly, DeLorenzo hasn't been paying attention for the last decade or three.

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As TTAC's Bailout Watch series heads for the initially improbable half century mark, it looks like the GM C11 nay-sayers are just about all nayed out. In his column, Detroit News Auto Editor Manny Lopez finally admits that a Chrysler/GM bankruptcy is. . . an option. Meanwhile, the self-styled AutoExtremist has thrown in the towel. In fact, Peter DeLorenzo now reckons GM is damaged beyond repair. A PR/marketing guy to the end, DeLorenzo has a solution: change GM's name. "One hundred years of accomplishment and historic value to the American industrial fabric has been decimated in a matter of months. Once one of America’s corporate icons, GM has now been reduced to being a punchline for a running national joke, and this new car company will have to be unburdened of the GM name, pronto." A matter of months? Clearly, DeLorenzo hasn't been paying attention for the last decade or three.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 243: What’s Old is New http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/general-motors-death-watch-243-whats-old-is-new/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/general-motors-death-watch-243-whats-old-is-new/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2009 17:27:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=310672

The New York Times reports that hecklers are verbally assaulting GM's booth babes at the New York Auto Show. Worse, the glamor girls are wearing last year's dresses. Literally. This is not what you'd call death with dignity. This is GM on federal life support, drooling and soiling itself uncontrollably as it waits and waits and waits for someone somewhere to pull the damn plug, already. As I've asserted in the past few episodes of this series, I no longer believe GM can be revived. The company is brain dead. No matter what cancerous parts of The General's terminally ill body Uncle Sam's surgeons separate from the corporate body, GM can't function as an independent entity. Chevrolet and Cadillac? Building what? For whom? At what profit? Both of those brands are money losers losing market share right now. They may have volume, but they ain't got game. Of course, that's not going to stop the feds from trying to revive GM. And boy, are they---I mean "we" going to piss away a LOT of money.

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The New York Times reports that hecklers are verbally assaulting GM's booth babes at the New York Auto Show. Worse, the glamor girls are wearing last year's dresses. Literally. This is not what you'd call death with dignity. This is GM on federal life support, drooling and soiling itself uncontrollably as it waits and waits and waits for someone somewhere to pull the damn plug, already. As I've asserted in the past few episodes of this series, I no longer believe GM can be revived. The company is brain dead. No matter what cancerous parts of The General's terminally ill body Uncle Sam's surgeons separate from the corporate body, GM can't function as an independent entity. Chevrolet and Cadillac? Building what? For whom? At what profit? Both of those brands are money losers losing market share right now. They may have volume, but they ain't got game. Of course, that's not going to stop the feds from trying to revive GM. And boy, are they---I mean "we" going to piss away a LOT of money.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 242: The Straw Man Speaks http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/editorial-242-general-motors-death-watch-the-straw-man-speaks/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/editorial-242-general-motors-death-watch-the-straw-man-speaks/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2009 19:41:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=303931

GM's new CEO took to the airwaves on Sunday. If industry watchers had any doubts that Fritz Henderson is cut from the same cloth as his discredited, defenestrated predecessor, Henderson's appearance on Meet The Press removed them. Like Rick Wagoner before him, Henderson's facile, vague and evasive responses---re: the epic train wreck known as General Motors---revealed the full genius of the Talking Heads' lyricists. "You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything," David Gregory forgot to interject. Alternatively, we could make this Churchillian: Never have so few said so little about so much. Even so, OMG.

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GM's new CEO took to the airwaves on Sunday. If industry watchers had any doubts that Fritz Henderson is cut from the same cloth as his discredited, defenestrated predecessor, Henderson's appearance on Meet The Press removed them. Like Rick Wagoner before him, Henderson's facile, vague and evasive responses---re: the epic train wreck known as General Motors---revealed the full genius of the Talking Heads' lyricists. "You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything," David Gregory forgot to interject. Alternatively, we could make this Churchillian: Never have so few said so little about so much. Even so, OMG.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 241: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/general-motors-death-watch-241-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/04/general-motors-death-watch-241-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2009 03:33:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=301972

I view the government's intervention in GM's business (or lack thereof) as automotive ebola. But we can all agree on one thing: the president's decision to fire GM CEO Rick Wagoner was a no-brainer. Giving the Harvard MBA and GM lifer millions of dollars to guide GM to viability was like letting Al Qaeda run a liberal arts university. Now that Wagoner's gone, his supporters are notable by their absence. That's because deep-sixing Red Ink Rick was the right thing to do. It was also the easy thing to do. While the MSM is lionizing Steve Rattner, the head of the presidential quango that defenestrated the GM CEO, the Obama administration's wallow in the GM quagmire is just beginning.

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I view the government's intervention in GM's business (or lack thereof) as automotive ebola. But we can all agree on one thing: the president's decision to fire GM CEO Rick Wagoner was a no-brainer. Giving the Harvard MBA and GM lifer millions of dollars to guide GM to viability was like letting Al Qaeda run a liberal arts university. Now that Wagoner's gone, his supporters are notable by their absence. That's because deep-sixing Red Ink Rick was the right thing to do. It was also the easy thing to do. While the MSM is lionizing Steve Rattner, the head of the presidential quango that defenestrated the GM CEO, the Obama administration's wallow in the GM quagmire is just beginning.

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General Motors Death Watch 240: 59 Days to C11 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/general-motors-death-watch-240-59-days-to-c11/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/general-motors-death-watch-240-59-days-to-c11/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2009 02:43:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=299052

Most auto industry observers have lauded President Obama's decision to defenestrate GM CEO Rick Wagoner and his Board of Bystanders. Their logic is as simple as one, two, three. One: U.S. taxpayers have "loaned" The General billions of dollars. Two: GM's management failed to provide a viable viability plan to return the money. Three: the presidential putsch protects America's "investment" in General Motors. Yes, well, protect THIS. When GM files for bankruptcy 59 days hence, $17.4b to $19.5b worth of taxpayer money will disappear down a rathole, never to return. That's a conservative estimate of the total amount of federal "loans" and grants and God knows what that will be wiped out the moment the judge signs GM's C11 papers. Oh, and after we kiss that cash goodbye, U.S. taxpayers will provide the cratered carmaker with debtor-in-possession financing. In other words, more money. And who's to say that money will ever be repaid? What's the end game? Is there one?

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Most auto industry observers have lauded President Obama's decision to defenestrate GM CEO Rick Wagoner and his Board of Bystanders. Their logic is as simple as one, two, three. One: U.S. taxpayers have "loaned" The General billions of dollars. Two: GM's management failed to provide a viable viability plan to return the money. Three: the presidential putsch protects America's "investment" in General Motors. Yes, well, protect THIS. When GM files for bankruptcy 59 days hence, $17.4b to $19.5b worth of taxpayer money will disappear down a rathole, never to return. That's a conservative estimate of the total amount of federal "loans" and grants and God knows what that will be wiped out the moment the judge signs GM's C11 papers. Oh, and after we kiss that cash goodbye, U.S. taxpayers will provide the cratered carmaker with debtor-in-possession financing. In other words, more money. And who's to say that money will ever be repaid? What's the end game? Is there one?

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 239: Rick Wagoner’s Resignation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/general-motors-death-watch-239-rick-wagoners-resignation/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/general-motors-death-watch-239-rick-wagoners-resignation/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2009 22:30:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=295941

General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner is set to resign his position tomorrow. The timing of Wagoner's departure is clearly symbolic. It's meant to signal the nation that it's OK throw bailout billions GM's way because it's a new day. Well, there's a new guy at the top, anyway. Which may or may not be true, depending on whether or not Wagoner's hand-picked successor and virtual clone Fritz Henderson inherits the job. If Henderson gets the nod, the symbolism of Wagoner's defenestration will be far richer than its architects intended. For it will confirm the growing suspicion that the president's mantra of hope and change is heavy on the hope and light on the change. And while that plays out, Wagoner's resignation will eventually be seen as a way point on a journey of self-destruction, rather than a turning point on a bridge to... nowhere.

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General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner is set to resign his position tomorrow. The timing of Wagoner's departure is clearly symbolic. It's meant to signal the nation that it's OK throw bailout billions GM's way because it's a new day. Well, there's a new guy at the top, anyway. Which may or may not be true, depending on whether or not Wagoner's hand-picked successor and virtual clone Fritz Henderson inherits the job. If Henderson gets the nod, the symbolism of Wagoner's defenestration will be far richer than its architects intended. For it will confirm the growing suspicion that the president's mantra of hope and change is heavy on the hope and light on the change. And while that plays out, Wagoner's resignation will eventually be seen as a way point on a journey of self-destruction, rather than a turning point on a bridge to... nowhere.

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General Motors Death Watch 238: No, No, Nadir http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/general-motors-death-watch-238-no-no-nadir/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/general-motors-death-watch-238-no-no-nadir/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2009 11:53:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=293302

You knew this would happen. Whenever things go wrong or come to an end we can't help but look back and try to figure out why. To look for that one pivotal event that changed the course of events forever. So what did it for GM? When did it happen? After careful analysis I pinpoint their demise to the 3.8L V6 (a.k.a the 231) of the 1970s.

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You knew this would happen. Whenever things go wrong or come to an end we can't help but look back and try to figure out why. To look for that one pivotal event that changed the course of events forever. So what did it for GM? When did it happen? After careful analysis I pinpoint their demise to the 3.8L V6 (a.k.a the 231) of the 1970s.

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 237: The Dog Ate It http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/general-motors-death-watch-237-the-dog-ate-it/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/general-motors-death-watch-237-the-dog-ate-it/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2009 17:08:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=283312

I've been been having a "difference of opinion" with my step-daughter's fifth-grade teachers. For some reason, they decided to give Sasha homework deadlines and let her sort out her own schedule. Unfortunately, no one taught her self-directed, off-site time management. Not surprisingly, except for the deadline itself, Sasha's "planner" was empty. She had no idea how long each assignments would take. She couldn't prioritize her work, or organize her home life. Mind you, she had goals: finish her homework, get good grades, make it to middle school. But she didn't have a workable plan. Remind you of anyone?

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I've been been having a "difference of opinion" with my step-daughter's fifth-grade teachers. For some reason, they decided to give Sasha homework deadlines and let her sort out her own schedule. Unfortunately, no one taught her self-directed, off-site time management. Not surprisingly, except for the deadline itself, Sasha's "planner" was empty. She had no idea how long each assignments would take. She couldn't prioritize her work, or organize her home life. Mind you, she had goals: finish her homework, get good grades, make it to middle school. But she didn't have a workable plan. Remind you of anyone?

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Editorial: General Motors Death Watch 236: The MSM Wakes Up to GM C11. Then Goes Back to Sleep. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/general-motors-death-watch-236-msm-wakes-up-to-gm-c11-then-goes-back-to-sleep/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/general-motors-death-watch-236-msm-wakes-up-to-gm-c11-then-goes-back-to-sleep/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2009 16:18:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=274072

Despite General Motors' epic slide into Chapter 11, or perhaps because of it, its defenders are busy re-writing history. It's the Poseidon Adventure redux: a huge, well-run ship overwhelmed by a sudden, terrible force of nature. Except this ship will eventually right itself. In truth, GM really is the Titanic: a badly built vessel helmed by men blinded by short-term greed and long-term hubris headed for Davey Jones' locker. Make no mistake: GM CEO Rick Wagoner had the chance to return GM to dry dock, repair the company's flaws, and make it across turbulent seas. But then Wagoner is a GM lifer---his cowardice is both genetic and institutional. What's the mainstream media's excuse?

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Despite General Motors' epic slide into Chapter 11, or perhaps because of it, its defenders are busy re-writing history. It's the Poseidon Adventure redux: a huge, well-run ship overwhelmed by a sudden, terrible force of nature. Except this ship will eventually right itself. In truth, GM really is the Titanic: a badly built vessel helmed by men blinded by short-term greed and long-term hubris headed for Davey Jones' locker. Make no mistake: GM CEO Rick Wagoner had the chance to return GM to dry dock, repair the company's flaws, and make it across turbulent seas. But then Wagoner is a GM lifer---his cowardice is both genetic and institutional. What's the mainstream media's excuse?

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