Barra Gets Half: Appeals Court Nixes Make-Nice Meeting Between GM, Fiat Chrysler

barra gets half appeals court nixes make nice meeting between gm fiat chrysler

General Motors saw half of its wishes granted this week, after an appeals court overturned an order by U.S. District Judge Paul Borman for the CEOs of GM and Fiat Chrysler to meet and settle their differences in person.

GM is suing FCA, accusing its crosstown rival of racketeering and claiming it lost billions of dollars via FCA’s bribing of UAW officials in return for a series of favorable, low-cost labor agreements. The General wants to go all the way with its case, but Borman stepped in, calling the suit a “nuclear” option. The in-person meeting is now off the table, but Borman’s still on the case.

Part of GM’s appeal sought Borman’s removal from the case; alas, this was not to be.

As reported by The Associated Press (via The Detroit News), the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals kiboshed the request for GM CEO Mary Barra and FCA CEO Mike Manley to meet in person and work out their differences. Had GM not appealed, that meeting would have occurred sometime last week.

Stating that Borman abused his power by calling for the meeting, the appeals court nonetheless said the judge could still order “a pretrial settlement conference and/or mediation in the normal course.”

The cozy relationship that existed between UAW officials and FCA officials tasked with bargaining with them has been well established by the ongoing federal probe into corruption among the union’s upper ranks. The fact that FCA’s former labor chief is currently cooling his heels in prison is testament to that fact. Still, FCA reiterated its earlier claim that GM’s lawsuit is baseless, vowing to fight its rival in any way necessary.

Just as unbowed, GM pledged to continue the battle.

“This is an important case because former FCA executives have already admitted they conspired to use bribes to gain labor benefits, concessions and advantages,” the automaker said in a statement. “As the facts will show, their corruption caused direct harm to GM and we have a responsibility to our stakeholders seek justice and hold FCA accountable.”

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Conslaw Conslaw on Jul 07, 2020

    Barra should have gone along with the meeting. It might have given GM the chance to cut a sweet deal with FCA.

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    • Akear Akear on Jul 08, 2020

      @Lorenzo She is more concerned about PSA taking over FCA and making this new company larger than GM. She created this situation by selling Opel to PSA, which in turn emboldened them to take over FCA. GM will drop to fifth place because of Barra's poor strategic planning.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jul 08, 2020

    I don't think GM cares about being in the top anymore. Barra's goal is to cost cut GM into profitability regardless of what happens to GM. Get the earnings per share and market value up enough and maybe another corporation will buy them like Geeley or Tata and she and the board will get a big payout. Agree that Barra is concerned about PSA taking over FCA but she cannot stop it and she needs to negotiate because I doubt GM will win this case. A desperate act of a desperate CEO who has no other plans except to shed more corporate assets and more cost cuts till there is nothing left of GM except a carcass for the vultures to pick clean.

  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2022&year2=2022&make=Jeep&baseModel=Wrangler&srchtyp=ymm&pageno=1&rowLimit=50Annual fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.
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