Henderson to WSJ: GM's Too Big To Fail

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
henderson to wsj gms too big to fail

GM's Chief Operating Officer has fired off a missive to The Wall Street Journal, taking the paper to task for its Op Ed " Can America's Auto Makers Survive?" Fritz is feisty– and full of it. "Contrary to Mr. Ingrassia's notion that U.S. auto makers did not anticipate the risk of rising fuel prices, GM has been preparing for the shift for several years toward more fuel-efficient models and developing diverse alternative fuel solutions that will redefine the industry." Hang on; isn't this the same company that said "no one" could have anticipated the recent gas price surge? "In fact, 11 of our last 13 U.S. launches have been cars or crossovers, as will 18 of the next 19. We have 17 models that get 30 mpg or better, and offer six hybrid models" All of GM's eight brands are losing sales and share. The hybrids are a drug on the market. But Fritz' last 'graph is far, far more worrying. It is nothing more or less than a pitch for a federal bailout. "The future of the auto business is important to America, and we are dedicated to seeing that GM continues to be a significant part of the American landscape for decades to come." Taxpayers, grab you wallets and ready those emails! Your money is at hand!

[ Read Fritz' letter here]

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4 of 21 comments
  • Dr. D Dr. D on Aug 21, 2008

    And to think these guys get paid so handsomely for publicly airing their total incompetence. GM isn't big: it's irrelevant. Fail it will; disappear it won't. The leadership at GM is totally failed, they have long since failed. One look at GM's lack of effort validates that. At least Mulally has tried, though he has/will fail he still has tried. GM hasn't even tried to succeed-therefore they have failed from the starting blocks. Standing back and looking at the US automotive landscape from a birds eye view: The US auto industry has been operating in a failed mode for many years. Failure does not say when it will surface, but it will surface. Failure generally is something that must be worked at/created. GM has worked hard at it and are now rewarded for their great efforts. Well at least the clowns At GM give us a laugh now and then.

  • 97escort 97escort on Aug 21, 2008

    Too big to fail is now a well established principle of American capitalism. It fits nicely into the socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor idea popular with the powers that be. Amazingly a majority of the citizenry like it too and keep voting them back into office. The main reason a bail out will happen is that it is cheaper from the government's point of view than the consequences of bankruptcy with the lost jobs and tax revenue. After Chrysler in the early 80's and Bear Stearns recently along with Fannie and Freddie does anyone doubt that there will be a GM bailout? Hopefully part of the bailout will be a replacement of management or at least some kind of supervision of how the money is spent. Don't bet on it though.

  • Mud Mud on Aug 21, 2008

    How ironic that this latest news is followed directly by the Lehman Brothers missive.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Aug 21, 2008

    I just don't understand this. This line about being too big to fail. Fuck you! Maybe if your company had better leaders you wouldn't be in this tailspin you're in. The temerity to expect a bailout is absolutely sickening to me. GM is the old stereotypical welfare recipient who sits on their ass and pops out kids, expecting those working to pay for their laziness. How 'bout this: Let's take the BILLIONS we would spend on keeping the rotting corpse of GM from rotting further and spend it on SBA loans and/or retraining programs for those most hurt by this - the employees of GM and employees of GM suppliers. This would be a much better investment as there would actually be an ROI for the taxpayer!! What an idea!