When GM CEO Fritz Henderson promised Congress he would run the nationalized automaker with complete transparency, we knew he was full of shit. How could anyone expect New GM to do anything but lie, misdirect, prevaricate and obfuscate when the same Bozos that ran it into the ground were still large and in charge? Which GM dealers are canned? Which GM dealers have been resurrected? Why? Who is the GM executive (other than Fritz) who earns more than $500,000 per year—that the company refuses to name? What are the internal targets that GM says it’s meeting? Why did the company overestimate sales of some of its key models in its November press release? Why did Fritz and CFO Ray Young promise a 2010 GM IPO without the Chairman’s approval? And so on. To that list, add this from the AP: “But GM postponed the Cruze’s April build date about three months, said Mark Reuss, GM’s vice president of global vehicle engineering. The company, he said, wasn’t happy with the Cruze’s performance, especially with the six-automatic transmission. ‘No one was thrilled with where it shifted, how it shifted.’” Well that’s the first I’ve heard of that. And while it’s nice that GM is putting our money where it’s mouth is in its desire to ensure the Cruze’s “flawless launch,” what the hell happened? And why wasn’t anyone fired for it? Oh right, GM.
GM spokesfolks tell Automotive News [sub] The General is “in the process of re-establishing select points in certain markets around the country as part of our ongoing analysis of our dealer consolidation efforts.” Don’t hurt yourself thinking too hard about that though, because it’s one of those “we must destroy the village to save the village” things. GM is apparently contacting certain former dealers and inviting them to open new dealerships, having already forced them out of business once in bankruptcy court. According to the Committee To Restore Dealer Rights, former dealers in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Colorado and Massachusetts have been contacted to open new dealerships, in urban and rural markets. Some culled dealers located in areas GM has targeted for new dealerships were not invited by GM to submit proposals, and the CTRDR considers this a play by GM to drive a wedge within the ranks of the culled dealers. Negotiations between GM and its aggrieved former dealers resume tomorrow, and news that GM is re-opening dealers less than a year after it shut down 1,300 won’t be good for their political popularity. And yes, that matters. Meanwhile, details on how many dealerships are being opened are still forthcoming from General “Transparency” Motors.