GM's Facts and Fiction, or Vice Versa

gms facts and fiction or vice versa

Frank’s preparing to tackle the new GM website, Meanwhile, I was amused to find a link in the right hand column sending me to an August 1 Wall Street Journal Marketwatch blog. Ostensibly, GM wanted me to read a remark by house spinmeister Tom Wilkinson’s defending The General’s honor. [Quoting yourself is like the joke about the falling American tourist trade in post-911 Paris: the waiters were reduced to insulting each other.] But I got caught up in the blog post itself, filled as it is with its own set of facts. Or perhaps we should call them inconvenient truths?

“Shares of General Motors are down 6.2% after the company reported a staggering $15 billion loss for the second quarter, as a result of declining sales, losses on leases, lots of debt, high energy prices, and just about anything else that could go wrong with a company.

Here’s a list of some numbers to put the earnings report in perspective:

  • $15.471 billion: GM’s loss for the entire quarter.
  • $11.68 billion: ExxonMobil’s profit for the quarter.
  • $6.267 billion: The market capitalization of General Motors as of this morning, according to
  • $7.512 billion: The market capitalization of Clorox, which reported net income of $158 million for its most recent quarter.
  • $3.6 billion. GM’s cash burn during the quarter, according to Citigroup, who said that “weak fundamentals, low visibility and inherently slow company turnarounds stress the importance of liquidity.”
  • $19.356 billion. GM’s cash on hand as of the end of the quarter.
  • $56.97 billion. The total stockholders’ deficit as of June 30. That’s up from $3.77 billion at the end of June 2007. And yet, people continue to try to rally the shares.
  • $4.55 million. The cost of insuring $10 million in GM bonds against default for five years (not including a $500,000 annual additional cost). That’s up from $4.2 million Thursday, according to Phoenix Partners Group.
  • $16.91. S&P 500 earnings per-share before including GM.
  • $15.29. S&P 500 earnings per-share for the second quarter, including GM’s GAAP results. GM’s earnings reduce S&P per-share earnings by 9.5%, according to Howard Silverblatt, equity index analyst at Standard & Poor’s.
  • 21.3%. GM’s U.S. auto sales market share, for the year-to-date.
  • 28.8%. GM’s U.S. auto sales market share, as of the end of 1999.”
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  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
  • Car65688392 thankyou for the information
  • Car65688392 Thankyou for your valuable information
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.
  • MaintenanceCosts Chevy used to sell almost this exact color on the Sonic, Bolt, and Camaro, as "Shock." And I have a story about that.I bought my Bolt in 2019. Unsurprisingly the best deal came from the highest-volume Bolt dealer in my very EV-friendly area. They had huge inventory; I bought right when Chevy started offering major incentives, and the car had been priced too high to sell well until that point.Half the inventory had a nice mix of trims and colors, and I was able to find the exact dark-gray-on-white Premier I wanted. But the real mystery was the other half of the inventory. It was something like 40 cars, all Shock on black, split between LT and Premier. You could get an additional $2000 or so off the already low selling price if you bought one of them. (Neither my wife nor I thought the deal worth it.) The cars were real and in the flesh; a couple were out front, but behind the showroom, there was an entire row of them.When I took delivery, I asked the salesman how on earth they had ended up with so many. He told me in a low voice that a previous sales manager had screwed up order forms for a huge batch of cars that were supposed to be white, and that no one noticed until a couple transporters loaded with chartreuse Bolts actually showed up at the dealer. Long story short, there was no way to change the order. They eventually sold all the cars and you still see them more often than you'd expect in the area.