PTFOA: "Faster, Harder, Etc."

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

“A rapid emergence from bankruptcy creates the highest probability of avoiding the catastrophic and expensive meltdown in GM auto sales that virtually all industry observers predicted,” Harry Wilson of the Presidential Task Force on Autos tells Automotive News [sub]. Note the use of “auto sales.” Because bankrupt automakers don’t sell cars, right?

Let’s see . . . GM’s sales rate in May (the last month before its June 1 filing) was down 30 percent. In April it was down 34 percent. March sales were down 45 percent . . . February down 52.9 percent . . . are we seeing a pattern here? By golly, GM sales have been improving in the final months of its 30-year (exact dates vary) slouch towards bankruptcy. Chrysler’s sales improved during its May bankruptcy and were softening in the preceding months. Fritz Henderson himself “saw signs of recovery” in the market nearly two weeks ago. But by all means, rush the bankruptcy. Meanwhile, June results will shed further light. Can you tell we can’t wait?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • George B George B on Jun 30, 2009
    charly : June 29th, 2009 at 10:39 pm Bankruptcy is deathly to a carmaker except when everybody knows that the state is making sure it is just a Ch11 and not a Ch7. Not quite. I believe that most GM consumers in April and May knew that GM was headed for bankruptcy reorganization vs. uncertainty on GM's plans earlier in the year. Less uncertainty plus enough money on the hood and a new GM vehicle compares favorably to used vehicles.
  • Shogun Shogun on Jun 30, 2009

    PTFOA: “Faster, Harder, Etc.” That's what she said! Sorry. Anyways, the question is, will this bankruptcy really make GM competitive again? Because as far as the new lineup is concerned, I have a bad feeling that they are making the same mistakes again with the Theta platform rebadging.

  • MikeyDee MikeyDee on Jun 30, 2009

    I don't want to sound like a broken record around here, BUT...IMHO the biggest problem is the Michigan UAW. To be competitive going forward, GM can't build one more car in the Wolverine State. The labor costs are still way too high.

  • GS650G GS650G on Jun 30, 2009

    While the American names lost market share the foreign names gained share. This is not a model GM or Chrysler can rely on to be successful. In fact, it's why investors and consumers abandoned them. How many drivers of foreign cars were burned by an American car? Plenty, including me. The feeling of helplessness as you face a huge repair bill coupled with "your kidding me" trade in value leaves a nasty impression. Never again. So we are left with the government forcing taxpayers to invest in something other taxpaying investors would not. Next will come a stick to get us to buy these cars by making the other cars way too expensive. But even at higher prices I think people will buy the foreign brands and thumb their noses at the efforts to save these companies, or GSEs as the case may be. As we get closer to market share of zero the optimism from the rah rah cheerleaders will continue to grow.