TTAC Called It: GM Restructuring Plan PR Ploy

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ttac called it gm restructuring plan pr ploy

If you're one of those people who believes GM has a coherent turnaround plan, or in fact believe in this unspecified, entirely elastic strategy for a return to profitability, you might want to take note of the fact that General Motors is locked in the PR version of Groundhog Day. As we've pointed-out many times, GM PR always saves its bad news for a Friday and/or makes major announcement on the same day it gets hit with disastrous numbers. This coming Tuesday (June 3) will be no exception. Automotive News [AN, sub] reports that GM CEO Rick Wagoner will reveal his new new turnaround plan (cut!) on the same day the company's May sales figures hit the wires. Amidst a predicted 10 percent overal U.S. new car sales drop, "analysts expect sales to drop 22 to 25 percent at GM and as much as 22 percent at Ford. Sales at Chrysler are also expected to be down by more than a fifth, according to analyst forecasts." As bad as those numbers will be, they won't be so bad for the transplants. Honda will post a gain, and "Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to reach a record market share… expected to reach 18.1 percent, up from 17.3 percent in the same month last year and 17.5 percent from last month." In other words, GM– and the rest of The Big 2.8– are losing sales and share. Gas prices, market shift, down economy, great sales in Russia; yada yada yada. As some point, the spin will stop.

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  • Kman Kman on May 31, 2008

    God I'm annoyed by the mainstream and business arguments around why the Big 2.whatever are doing poorly. Red herrings like "pensions", "the unions", "gas prices", "high labor costs", "shifting markets/economy/consumer spending"... All that is academic bullsh*t for the talking heads to fill hours and hours of airtime with. There is an absolute bottom line as to why GM, Ford and Chrysler and losing everything: sh*t product that's about one-two decades behind the times. ... Stemming from an arrogant attitude where business "leaders" took over everything from actual car folks. Let's stop with all the hand-wringing, excuse-making, pseudo-intellectualism on "why the Big 3..." and change the fundamentals that created this situation: ironically, "pure" business thinking is not good for... business.

  • Kman Kman on May 31, 2008

    Wanted to also give an example. The Chevy Cavalier had a production run of -- what was it -- 12 years I think? And it was uncompetitive to start with. Then came the heralded Cobalt to replace it, already 1-2 generations behind its competitors. And don't get me started on Ford's Focus. (Though TTACers' heavy voting for it in the last TWAT is indicative that y'all understand already)

  • Rtz Rtz on Jun 01, 2008

    I was at some parking lot and saw a Cobalt and thought "that could be a good car..." It has potential. If they offered compelling, specific models that each excelled at something. Performance, fuel economy, value, perhaps even a luxury/touring model. That average thing they have now just doesn't cut it. The car looks decent enough. It just doesn't offer anything compelling. It's just not exciting and has no potential in it's existing form. They'd better get their electric version of it ready. Offer several versions each with different amounts of range at different prices. I just paid over $4/gal tonight. An electric Cobalt for $20k? My commute is 50 miles round trip. Surely they can do that... Who else has an electric on the market?

  • Hltguy Hltguy on Jun 02, 2008

    Buickman: You get the Grammy! LOL. Dr.Hook would be proud.