Bailout Watch 249: They're Reviewing. The Situation.

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 249 theyre reviewing the situation

GM’s Board of Bystanders spent a good part of their Sunday reviewing their Chairman (and CEO’s) DC-bound turnaround plan. According to Bloomberg, Rick Wagoner’s new new new new new new new turnaround plan takes two forms: a 10- to 12-page public document and a “private, more detailed plan of about 80 pages with background material.” If the existence of a “private plan” to spend an estimated $12b of your tax money isn’t enough of an outrage– and I’m thinking it is– then ask yourself this: why is this plan different from all other plans? “The largest U.S. automaker also may ask to delay a $7 billion payment to a union retiree health fund, drop more brands and rework an accord with GMAC LLC to prove it can survive and repay the government, said the people, who asked not to be named because details haven’t been presented to Congress.” Don’t you just love fictional anonymous sources who always seem to state what common sense and pundits have already proclaimed? Neither do we. Anyway, as we’ve discussed umpteen times, the UAW’s Mother of All Health Care Plans was a non-starter before it started. GM can’t close brands willy-nilly; the lawsuits would make Oldsmobile’s termination look like a bris. And reworking an Accord is something GM should have done in 1976, not an escape clause fashioned by a terminally ill GMAC. Other than that, they’re good to go. C11. But shhh. Don’t tell that to GM’s Board. They’re thinking they’d better think it out again tomorrow.

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4 of 13 comments
  • Maniceightball Maniceightball on Dec 01, 2008
    You gotta have a little passion in your lineup, you know… What I think Stephan meant was that those cars are more for puffing up your brand and satiating the relatively small percentage of pistonhead consumers, not for keeping a company alive. Basic Bimbo-boxes keep them afloat, trucks, sedans, minivans -- that sort of thing. In that respect, GM and Chrysler have no tangible plans or concept of how to be successful.

  • Alex Nigro Alex Nigro on Dec 01, 2008

    maniceightball, I don't know the Challenger's sales numbers, or if GM is still targeting 100K Camaros per year, but I do know that the Mustang has always sold at least 100K units per year for the past decade or so. The MY2009 Stang is probably going to be a slow seller- I hear that production is being capped at 50K units or something like that- but I'm assuming that Ford wants to start producing MY2010 Mustangs ASAP. So, they sell well enough for Ford to warrant continued production...

  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Dec 01, 2008

    Yes, I'm sure the Mustang sells well, but it just strikes me as odd that in this day and age, most of what we seem to be hearing about are these three latter-day pony/muscle cars, and it seems to be symptomatic of Detroit's lack of vision. All they can see is The Past. And we do need to be aware that the gearhead market is indeed tiny.

  • Geeber Geeber on Dec 01, 2008

    From Ford I'm hearing about a revamped Fusion with better performance AND fuel economy, and an upgraded interior. I'm also hearing about the upcoming Fiesta, an all-new Focus based on the next-generation European model and a completely restyled Taurus. That sounds like a plan to me...