Volt Birth Watch 61: WSJ Disses GM's Hail Mary
The Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins joins the growing media chorus asking "WTF's up with GM?" [paraphrasing]. With GM's stock prices in the $11 per share range for the first time since the 1950s, Jenkins wonders if banking the entire company's future on one model– the plug-in electric gas hybrid Volt– is "nuts." In the grand TTAC style, the scribe observes "to pour hundreds of millions into a race to launch an electric car, the Chevy Volt, guaranteed to lose money on every unit sold, begins to seem a peculiar strategy for a company in dire liquidity straits." Jenkins covers all bases in his Volt diss. "For those who think the Volt's justification is greenhouse emissions, notice that electric cars play Three Card Monte with energy inputs: It all depends on where the electricity is coming from." To drive home his point, he reminds us "Rick Wagoner last week laid out the case to Barack Obama personally for turning GM into a ward of the state," and "that a big part of the company's turnaround gamble consists also of eliciting favor once again from Washington after a period in which the domestic auto makers were nothing but whipping boys on Capitol Hill." In fact, Jenkins only misses the target once: his repeated insistence that "GM executives are not nuts." In that sense, neither are pistachios.