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June 2nd, 2009
09:55 AM ET

GM CFO: We admit errors in the past

GM CFO Ray Young tells CNN's Kiran Chetry that General Motors will learn from their mistakes.

GM CFO Ray Young tells CNN's Kiran Chetry that General Motors will learn from their mistakes.

GM’s bankruptcy is viewed by many as a failure of historic proportions. GM’s chief financial officer says he views it as a once in a lifetime opportunity. GM CFO Ray Young spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Tuesday.

Kiran Chetry: Under the restructuring plan, the government will give the company $30 billion additional in taxpayer money, amounting to $50 billion so far. It's the largest amount, besides AIG, dolled out by the government. In a nutshell, can you explain what went so wrong for General Motors?

Ray Young: Kiran, we admit there have been errors in the past that we’ve made at General Motors. We’ve had a lot of extra excess costs, excess capacity over the years. We’ve got…defined benefit obligations that have really hurt us in the balance sheet. But going forward, Kiran, we're going to learn from our mistakes. And we’ve been given a once in a lifetime opportunity to restructure the balance sheet, to shed a lot of our extra capacity, extra costs, and move forward with a profitable new General Motors that’s going to be smaller but more focused with four core brands and with a cost structure that is very, very efficient.

Chetry: Can you explain to the American public how you're going to do that? How you're going to get back on track. Do you plan on being able to eventually return the billions in taxpayer money?

Young: Well clearly, with four core brands, we’re going to be very focused in terms of our product development and our marketing dollars. We're going to shed our extra capacity or our excess capacity in order to bring down the break-even level of our cost structure. But we're going to be very much focused as a product and customer oriented company…a lot of investments in this area, in terms of advanced technologies. Our intent is to return this investment by the American taxpayers both in terms of the loan they’re providing to us as well as the shares that the American public will initially own in the new General Motors.

Chetry: How do you convince people who doubt GM’s ability to compete and to get people to buy your cars in the future?

Young: Well, if you take a look at the last 60 days after President Obama gave us the June 1st deadline, it’s an example of how fast the new General Motors could move. In the last 60 days, we negotiated a historic UAW labor contract. It gets the labor costs in the United States close to the transplant levels here in the United States. We did the same thing up in Canada with the Canadian autoworkers. We basically negotiated with the bondholders and worked with them on an arrangement that we could emerge from bankruptcy…with their support. We negotiated an arrangement over in Europe, an MOU with Magna, in order to restructure the European business. We were able to accomplish a lot in the last 60 days, which is indicative of what the new General Motor is all about. We’re going to move quickly, we’re going to fast, and we’re going to take a lot of risks.

Chetry: Speaking of risks, one of them could possibly be the Chevy Volt. This is the plug-in hybrid you guys are touting. Reportedly, the retail price is $40,000. If you contrast that with the Toyota Prius, that’s selling for $25,000. One "Washington Post" columnist said it's a lot to pay for altruism. How do you stay competitive with a car like the Prius if your Volt is going to be several thousand dollars more?

Young: Well Kiran, we haven't talked about the selling price of the Volt yet. What we're working on is the battery technology, bringing down the cost of the vehicle, going through the learning cycles. We think the Volt is going to be a revolutionary vehicle. It's not a hybrid vehicle. It's an extended-range electric vehicle. We have a lot of confidence in this product, a lot of confidence in this technology. We actually think it’s going to be revolutionary in both the U.S. and global markets.

Chetry: When you start firing up these new cars, the new models, are you going to use these shuttered U.S. plants or are you going to continue to make a lot of the models overseas?

Young: Well right now, 2/3 of the vehicles that we sell in the United States are built in the United States. We made a commitment in the last UAW negotiations that we would reopen one of these stand-by or idle facilities in the United States to build a new small car for the United States. We have a commitment here to build in the United States. Going forward, we'll see a new small car here. This is an example of our commitment to the United States, a commitment to America.

Chetry: Do you have details about the sale of Hummer?

Young: We've been negotiating with three potential buyers of Hummer. The Hummer brand and some of the Hummer assets. We've reached an MOU. We're actually very, very pleased with this arrangement because we will be able to continue the Hummer brand with this purchaser and also maintain production here in the United States.

Chetry: Will you tell us who?

Young: We're not disclosing the name of the purchaser at this point in time.

Related: GM deals Hummer to Chinese buyer


Filed under: Business
soundoff (332 Responses)
  1. luke

    Gm's problems are very simple
    they produced crap cars that had style so somehow they sold for a while during the good years ( Think early 2000s) and now they have no vision

    And they pay their workers to much; their to greedy. And we are all shareholders; this is stupid; why should i support dumb workers?

    The United Socialist Automobile States of America!

    This is the equivalent of NBA players not training, not trying, being given more money and then trying to compete against european players who are doing the opposite; eventually the money you give the NBA players would be worthless!

    Of course NBA players do train, do try, and are paid well, but why should GM keep workers and stay in business when they suck, they freaking suck! I'll never buy a GM made car cause its

    GARBAGE MOTORS!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  2. Mitch

    I think the failure of GM comes from the severe lack of consideration for anything but profit. Like several others have said, GM operates on ledgers and not on what people want. Bring manufacturing back to US soil and fire the people making rediculous salaries and get back to true American values. They could learn a lot from the foreign manufacturers as well as Ford who seems to be doing well still.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  3. TOnyS

    Timothy wrote: "They killed their own electric car, the EV1, in the 90’s and STILL keep it hushhush."

    Actualy, it wasn't hush hush, and they killed it because
    a. There wasn't a big demand for it
    b. It was only required in CA and then CA legislature changed the rquirments and the EV1 was no longer needed.

    GM built millions of SUV's because just like Cadillacs, the American people wanted big vehicles. People only started complaining when gas prices went out of controll. Everyone wanted SUVs, that's why ALL auto makers came out with several, incl Honda and Toyota and Porsche.

    Please get your facts straight before trying to flame thx

    June 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  4. Alan

    They are only agreeing to build in the US, 2/3 of the cars "sold" in the US. Now if they continue to make cars we don't want , they won't sell them here. The result will be less american jobs and more factories over seas.
    They are only helping wall street, not main street. Good bye Detroit, hello China!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  5. Rono

    Ian June 2nd, 2009 12:38 pm ET

    "So much for moderating the comments CNN. Most of these have the grammar of a five-year-old."

    Speaking of grammar....most of these what? Subject, anyone?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  6. Chris

    I have allways bought US based vehicles but it seems that the prices are not as competitive as they need to be. If the Big three are going to make it they will need to bring the cost of the product down to be competitive to sell not build less product and keep prices up to keep the company running.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  7. Rono

    Mike Behun June 2nd, 2009 12:35 pm ET

    "I have never read such uneducated comments from such uneducated people. Way to live in the past folks. Get a clue."

    And yet somehow your comment offered so much more to the discussion. Thank you.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  8. Aaron

    I've owned GM cars my entire life. Never had an issue! And people need to stop comparing today's imports to yesterday's domestics. Not only does this company build great cars they also pick up the bill for the government not providing a level playing field (healthcare, tariffs, pensions, etc). It's a shame many Americans have turned there back on such a loyal American company. A company who provided support in WWII, a company who helped build the middle class, and a company who is making money overseas and could easily scrap it's North American business to be successful. Americans demanded big cars, and now many whine about GM not providing small cars the instant oil prices were driven to insane levels. Again the government turns its back on the real problem of a monopolistic oil cartel, focusing instead on making the automakers adapt. Oil companies spend more money buying politicians afterall. Coruption in governement and the inability of the American people to stop it will be the end of this country. Stop routing against corporate America, you're just routing for corporate Japan. What's good for GM is good for America!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  9. ev1

    GM, In my pocket I have already the money for the downpayment of an ev1, put me that on the dealer close to my house and you get my money, ahhh, by the way, I want it with the NiMH batteries that you hid from the market, for sure, the main shareholders in the past were the oil cartel.

    My money is waiting for you, not Volt, just EV111111111111111111

    June 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  10. ewl

    I'm throwing most of this mess at the feet of the unions. I don't have much sympathy for the unions that forced the auto companies into accepting job banks and other ridiculous benefits. If the free market principles hold then the labor force should make less money and benefits if their market contracts and profit margins shrink (which they have). But the auto unions kept preserving their pay and benefits and the numbers of retirees kept on increasing all with health benefits for decades for the detroit manufacturers. The shortsightedness of the US auto unions didn't see that they were strangling their own companies.
    The US plants that make Japanese cars are nonunion and frankly should stay that way as long as the companies treat their employees well and maintain safety. The unions' original purpose was to fight dangerous working conditions but it become a monster that killed its own auto industry. I can't name another industry where the unions held so much power and had so many strikes crippling its own production. Which of us (that do have insurance) will get health insurance after we retire like unionized auto workers? Few people with only high school diplomas in other sectors could make what the union auto workers did. Only at the brink of annihilation is the UAW taking real concessions. The US automakers were guilty of poor judgement and understanding of the market but especially caving to the unions while making products that were erratic in quality. Yes, the US cars are better now but reliability remains spotty. Certain US models are reliable but others in the same division aren't. And the us automakers have given up the upscale market except cadillac. If GM survives and stabilizes I will consider cadillac rather than lexus, infiniti, audi, bmw, MB but I don't want to settle for a product that is less than its competitors.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  11. RayS

    NO PITY FOR GM. The senior management are just a bunch of grumpy old men who doesn't know how to adapt to world market changes. There should be changes in their senior management, notably in their engineering and design. Opel and Saturn are better off than their GM counterparts. It's a shame that these 2 divisions are being drag down by their bigger under performing brothers. GM do need to declare bankruptcy with the government looking at their backs....otherwise if no gov. interference, they'll be squandering the tax payers money like there is no tomorrow. They already flush 16Billion 6 months ago. With all these being said, I still have hope that they will be able to recover and come out lean and far more better in design and engineering that their previous old self.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  12. HW

    As part of GM's tradition, the top managements still drive cars provided by company and use fuel that also provided by company for free. That may be the reason why they had never felt the urgency of making or even just research & developing a true feul-efficient cars even when the gas price was $4 per gallon. It was interesting to learned in this interview that he used the "extended-range electric vehicle" to describe the Chevy Volt, which may cost up to $ 40,000. The underlying meaning of this description is the fact that GM does not have the technology (energy regeneration technology) to build a hybrid car like prius, which makes more sense as far as the energy efficiency is concern. as a tax payer who will own 60% of the company, I do not have much hope for a "bright" future of the new company that will be continue operated by the top managements who were and continue are unable to face the real problems but try to use a terminology "extended-range electric vehicle" to fool people and themselves.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  13. Alex

    I dont understand these people blaming Obama, and screaming about fascism, but I suppose they probably blame Obama for hurricane Katrina, the space shuttle disasters, and the Great Depression too. Barrack and the Dems didnt cause the crisis, it was just part of the bundle they inherited.

    GM made a lot of poor decisions, as a corporation, they were fat, bloated, run by the bean counters, and not the engineers and designers. GM made some fantastic products throughout history, when the US auto industry was the best in the world. Complacency, and greed have knocked them down to nothing more than an afterthought, and not a fresh idea to be had.

    We can also thank GM and the oil companies back in the 40s and 50s for helping so many cities dismantle their urban rail and streetcar systems, in order to sell them shiny new GM buses and lots and lots of fuel. But hey, as part of these new "socialist" times, the cities can employ lots of people by rebuilding light rail systems. It's win-win!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  14. Mike P.

    I've read that the bean counters are back in charge at GM now that Lutz has left. Lutz had to fight hard to convince Chevy to spend an extra $100 in the interior of the Malibu, and it worked – the Malibu was a complete success. But I noticed that the production version of the next Buick LaCrosse will not have the nicely finished interior the Invicta concept had. They replaced the nickle-like trim with cheap grey plastic and interior colored plastic. The Cadillac SRX has the nickle-like finished pieces. I guess Buick doesn't rate the added 50 cents it would cost to retain the better interior pieces. GM hasn't changed at all.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  15. RealityCheck

    Let's look at the whole picture. GM fails, so does hundreds of thousands of jobs from fast food to factory. How about reciprocal taxes on Japanese imports, etc. They tax our cars so high few can buy American in Japan. Next, quality is based on workers skills or willingness. American unions did not take pride in anything but give me more $$ and benefits. In the last few years GM is building GREAT cars and Trucks. Check all the awards. Buick is better than Lexus, Cadillac is better than BMW, and Chevy Malibu is tops in all areas. New GM will do well without legacy costs that made it impossible to compete and build quality. Maybe the news media and Washington DC people can now buy American cars and forget the imports. And read about the quality of American cars.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  16. James

    No kidding! Detroit made record profits off the SUV fad in the nineties. Then instead of investing in advanced designs and hybrid technology, they gave big bonuses and bought Saab, Volvo, Hummer, Jaguar, and Range Rover – companies that produce expensive gas-guzzling vehicles. Now fuel costs are volatile and cheap credit is drying up, and they're going broke and crying the blues.

    GM has produced decent compact cars before that could compete with imports. The original Saturn S-series cars were very reliable and created a cult-like following of loyal customers. But they let the design and technology become dated and the quality slipped. The Prizm, a Corolla clone built jointly by Chevy and Toyota, was very reliable and inexpensive to operate and maintain. GM lost interest and ceased production.

    Today, the Ford Focus is the only American car that is competitive in initial quality with the compacts from Toyota and Honda. Yet, it still lags in long-term reliability. There is no American vehicle of any type that can compare to the hybrid Prius or Insight. Even the much hyped Ford Escape hybrid was built by Volvo engineers. The American companies are a decade behind in hybrid technology. The Chevy Volt looks promising on paper, but there are several serious technical problems with the batteries and recharging system that GM has yet to solve and the expected selling price is soaring to Cadillac levels.

    I hope for the sake of the workers, dealers, suppliers, and the taxpayers that GM can be saved. But frankly, I'm skeptical. The prevailing car culture in Detroit still promotes big, menacing, over-powered trucks with high profit margins. With $5/gallon gas and global warming looming in the near future, it's a recipe for failure.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  17. Mike

    Now if we can only get the tobacco Companies to go bankrupt....how much could that save in Healt Care Costs?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  18. Rono

    "Clearly at least the reporter, if not the broader public, are confused about the Volt — You can’t compare the Volt to the Prius. One is an electric vehicle (extended range electric vehicle). The other is a hybrid which is absolutely dependent on gasoline to run. Toyota has yet to introduce a plug-hybrid that can be charged at home, and even when they do, the driving range will be much lower."

    Its a matter of semantics. The Prius has a gasoline engine as its primary power source with hybrid technology augmenting it. The Volt has batteries as its primary power augmented by a gasoline engine.

    A pure battery car is a panacea, they don't work well in the cold, which is one of the reasons the EV1 went away (and battery cost/reliability being the other). That 30'ish minute range in the EV1 turned into a 10 minute range in weather around freezing.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  19. Andrew

    inadequate customer service +mis-management = free billions
    Did I wake up on another planet? We need Rod Serling to narrate this!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  20. Dale McCartney

    I wouldn't have minded a one time bailout for the U.S. auto industry, being that so many jobs would be lost if any of the Big 3 collapsed. At this point, though, I say let GM go. Chrysler filed for bankruptcy and is emerging as a new company. I think it's quite strange also, that Gm wants to move so much production overseas, while Chrysler and Ford have not made that announcement. I say support Chrysler and Ford at this time. Let's help keep those two companies in the U.S. so more jobs will remain in the U.S. In my opinion, as someone who has owned Chrysler, Ford, and GM vehicles, Chrysler and Ford build better quality vehicles than their soon to be overseas counterpart. Good riddance General Motors.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  21. B Driscoll

    The day the Pontiac Aztek appeared was the day GM was doomed. Everybody should have been fired the moment the curtain was drawn back and that lame excuse for whatever it is was exposed.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  22. Ron Edde

    I'm not going to assert that union labor is the only reason for the demise of GM, but it is at least AS culpable as the inept management that has run that company for so long.

    That said, if you look at all GM plants, there is a UAW logo that is just as large and just as prominently displayed as the GM corporate logo. This was done to strongly suggest that the union is a full partner in the enterprise. At what point did the UAW invest money to build or sustain that enterprise? They insist on being looked at as EQUAL PARTNERS, and they have only come to take on that self-image because management has allowed them to do so.

    Unions represent labor, ie. the EMPLOYEES. They AREN'T owners, they AREN'T management, and unlike what they like to tell the world, they AREN'T owed anything other than their paychecks, their benefits and safe working conditions while they have their jobs. Unions like to behave like that employees are equal to management, which is delustional. Union mployess are NOT owed a job for life, any more than any of the rest of us are. If one good thing comes out of this catastrophe, I hope it is that unions are slapped down, and hard. They need to learn their place, and it is not as "equal partners" in the capitalistic equation.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  23. drbenk

    GM has been a disaster in waiting for decades. It took them years to become flexible enough to admit that the Japanese car manufacturers actually provided features and ergonomics that consumers really wanted. They were dinosaurs that took 5 years to go from concept to floor rooms where the Japanese could do the same in 18 months. When GM bought Hughes Aircraft Co in the mid-80s they truly thought that they could "teach" Hughes how to manufacturer because they had oodles of experience making millions of radios or millions of consoles, etc. They had zero experience in making multi-million dollars sophisticated radars or AIM-120 missiles that had production runs of less than 500. Their upper management spent much time and money in wanting to use wafer thin clear adhesives that could use current to light up and act as the center high mounted brake lights on their Corvettes. Typically, nothing ever went to fruition. But, Roger Smith had money to burn, which was hard to believe because of the awful union contracts GM was burdened with for years.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  24. Wanda

    I worked at a gm call center for 4 1/2 yrs and gm problems are arrogance,greed and poor quality vehicles.I handed out goodwill repairs averaging 2 millions a year to angry gm customers. if gm had focused on quality instead pushing out vehicles off the assembly line knowing there were defects, gm would not be in this problem today.gm was focus on maintaining the #1 automobile maker status while toyota built a quality vehicle and rose thru the ranks to be the #1 automobile seller in the US..i worked in the cadillac hummer division and customers frustrations were very real.the assembly workers are not the problem it was the gm executives and engineers who designed poor quality vehicles. I purchased 3 gm vehicles b4 i got wise and have since purchsed 3 toyota vehicle in the past 20 yrs and they NEVER went back to the dealership for repairs. GM has a long way to go to rebuilt consumer confidence but, GM needs to admit to real problem..POOR QUALITY and ARROGANCE

    June 2, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  25. Bigdeal

    The government should not have given my tax money for this. GM was a american icon that failed and should fail. They have not introduced anything but things of the past. They should have invested more in their R&D depatments and they would have been innovative. They needed to recruit new talent and let go of people that do not and cannot think ahead of the curve. All I can say is there goes my tax dollars. Down the drain.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  26. Justin

    Nobody can explain to me why we're bothering to try to save GM. Negligent, incompetent management and uncompetitive products are the reasons why GM is in the position it is. Why not let this company burn to the ground? What are we trying to protect/salvage? GM owes $172 billion dollars. Does anyone think they can recover with continued inept management and uncompetitive products? So you restructure the balance sheet of the company, so what? You still have product that nobody wants to drive. When was the last time anybody got excited about a GM vehicle? 1957? Seems to me the restructuring should start with the product lineup. Build something people want to own. Unless you start there and plan an entire lineup overhaul, none of this will work.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  27. axtion jaxun

    I have a 2000 GMC Sonoma. I've had to have the transmission rebuilt twice, replaced the engine, 3 fuel pumps, the ECM, the seat handles on both seats, and the catalytic converter, what a POS. I would like to drive this truck to GM if it would make there and burn it on their front lawn. I would never buy a new GM product.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  28. Tara

    As the owner of the Brand New 2009 Chevy Traverse (which was an amazing deal and an absolutely fabulous car) I hope GM makes it thru this and that Americans realize we need to buy American to keep America strong!!!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  29. Arnold (Woodland Hills)

    I used to trust American cars before. In fact 3 of my lat 4 cars were Amercan cars and were brand new cars when I bought them. After only 2 years of ownership, each one of them I have to bring to dealership for repairs every 3 months. One car had transmission change 3 times in 7 years. Another has engine overhaul and another had also a transmission change and air conditioning repairs. American car manufacturers are very prone to repairs that why people don't trust them anymore. Why would you buy something that will only break down guaranteed in only after 2 years of ownership. I bought a Toyota and have owned it for 4 years and the only thing i have to bring it in for is change oil and regular maintenance and still running like brand new. I think American cars have tiers in their engines that after the warranties are out, all the defects will start coming out and have no choice but to pay thousands of dollars for major repairs because the warranties have expired. ASK FORD ABOUT THAT. I even tried to file lawsuit against the dealership that they actually damaged my car but to no avail. I ASK FORD TO COVER FOR MY EXPENSES BUT THEY TOTALLY FLAT OUT DENIED MY REQUEST. Since then in no way I will support buying another American car and I will continue to influence other people of my experience so they will not fall to the same situatiions. GIVE ME CAR THAT WILL LAST AND NO MAJOR REPAIRS IN THE FIRST 5 OR 6 YEARS.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  30. bob

    If you have been "ripped off for 40 years by GM" then who is the bigger fool? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. What an idiot!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  31. Chuck

    Someone PLEASE explain to me how this is not outright socialism, foisted upon us by our own government? Isn't this completely against the constitution of the United States? Seriously, I wasn't a Bush fan but everyone jumped all over that administration for offenses against the constitution - why isn't the media jumping all over the current administration for this? GM, a huge company, for years is run poorly and when the tide goes out is left gasping. So what do we do? Tell all the current shareholders "too bad", you are now holding dust in your hands - but at the same time we are going to send GM another $30B of YOUR tax dollars on the chance they can stay in business. Makes NO sense.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  32. fail

    Does anyone remember the Pontiac Aztec? Case and point..........GM is out of touch.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  33. Michael

    Wow. It's good to know that $50 billion of our money has been put to such good use. Not.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  34. Junk

    The big three deserve to be out of business. American made junk.
    Greed and more greed. Just flat out junk.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  35. Ross

    For Dave...My Chevy has a 5 year/100,000 mile warranty. I'm not quite sure where you get the 3 yr/3000 from. It has been several years since the typical 3yr/36k mile warranty.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  36. Richard A

    To sum up for all who didn't want to read the whole interview: "We are going to keep doing business the same way, Americans need to buy our stuff". This guy tried to use double talk and corporate lingo to hide the fact that they're not doing anything different. They convinced the labor unions to take less money and laid people off and closed some plants. That is the extent of what they will be doing. He didn't mention one single thing they would be doing different as far as the cars go to make us want to buy their cars.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  37. Chris, Chicago

    It isn't just a few bad management decisions; GM’s failure is systemic and deeply rooted in their corporate culture; GM values finance and accounting over innovation and creativity; it is a culture of complacency and entitlement; it is so fundamentally flawed that it would be better to put GM out of business and use the 50-60 billion as venture capital to start a whole new company.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  38. Kevin

    FYI, Cadillac's CTS and SRX brands are made in Lansing Michigan

    June 2, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  39. Richard

    I have read so many incorrect, inaccurate and purely emotional arguments here it boggles the imagination and it is impossible respond to all of them. I will set the facts straight on one issue. Only the Cadillac Escalade and the new SRX are built in Mexico. The CTS, STS, and DTS are manufactured solely in the United States. Sorry Ralph Petagna, but you are wrong.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  40. Kenny

    America is too selfish and greedy, that's why they can't compete with japanese auto, japanese car cost less and more reliable because they are smart and intelligence, that's why they are so aggressive and success, all americans do is eat too much burger and watching themselves going to hell...if you don't know how to run your business then don't run, u screw up every american life and dreams, As for technologies wise, i don't think american will ever have those kind of technology of running a great business, they always fail period, because they are too much selfish and greedy!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  41. Tara

    To all of you that have so many negative comments to make why haven't any of you stopped to realize that this means many people will lose their jobs! All your comments about how much the cars cost and that you will go out and buy another FOREIGN vehicle will definitely help our economy. I'm sure most of you that made these comments are also the ones who hang an American Flag outside your home as well as preach that you are proud to be an American. Think of that when you are talking to your neighbor, brother, sister or long lost cousin that is standing on unemployment because YOU are driving a Toyota!!!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  42. Rob

    "Continue the Hummer brand.... Continue to built it in the U.S." What? How is that an example of "Learning from past mistakes"? GM is doomed no matter how much taxpayer money is thrown at it.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  43. Yooper

    Simple answer to the US consumer market.........................

    BUY A TOYOTA- IGNORE THE AMERICAN MAKERS.

    WHO CARES ABOUT THOSE JUNKERS

    SPEND YOUR MONEY THE RIGHT WAY

    June 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  44. Joel Walfish

    GM is a joke played on the American public. Just a sampling of the comments would lead one to believe that there is nothing that GM could possibly do to win over the public. Their cars are cheap and it shows, poor quality, bad mileage, and poor warranties. A total waste of the public's money in the name of supporting a failing company who just doesn't get it and never will!!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  45. Fred Nyulassy

    The more influence the union has over the company 's financial future, compounded even further by the govt as part owner, the more negative the impact on product quality. Unfortunately, quality is compromised while production costs continue to rise. No doubt union members would not agree to this dynamic but I'll bet GM executives see it clearly. Face it, the UAW is largely responsible for the collapse of the US auto industry and now that the govt is involved, recovery is almost certain to fail.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  46. Brad

    I own a 93 honda accord. I replaced the driver's side window motor last year. That is the only problem this car has ever had. The same cannot be said for the GM trucks I have owned. The car has 190k miles on it and is still running fine. Can Detroit build a car like that?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  47. Blayard

    I love my 2009 Malibu LTZ. A car that's better than the Accord or Camry. Those of you who are biased against American cars because of what happened in the 1990's should take a second look at the new products. They are world-class.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  48. Al Mellen

    America will be far better off spending big bucks on the automobile industry rather than throwing money down the drain fighting a couple of wars that we will never win. Consider the money that the taxpayers have handed over to Halliburton, {Cheney and company},, if this same money had been spent on the automobile industry to reinvent itself,,,,,,we would already been ahead of the game. No doubts the automobile companies have made mistakes,,,,,,,compare their mistakes to the mistakes of the Bush administration,,,the administration that slept while New Orleans was drowning.
    The auto industry made the middle class in America,,,,,without the middle class, America would never been the great country it has become.....I worked building Oldsmobiles at one time,,,,,our country will be much better if the auto industry survives,,,,,,i am sure it will.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  49. Batman

    I was watching CNN analysts yesterday saying that in order for GM to survive they need to build sexier, stylish small cars. I don't know any statistics about units sold per class, but I am guessing that larger SUVs and trucks made up the highest percentage growth per class up to the recent gasoline crunch. So, although I agree they need to build more stylich smaller cars, I think they need to put more investments into the larger cars to make them more fuel efficient, whether it's hybrid, EV, or alternative fuels. It seems most Americans prefer the larger cars. I would bet a GMC Yukon that got 35 – 40 MPG would fly off the floor at a reasonable price. So, instead of giving $5K cash back incentives, etc., sacrifice some of those margins to sell what people want. I am one that fully believes the technology is available and has been for many years but was not good for the bottom lines, especially the oil companies and politicians who own their stock.

    Also, when are we going to address the trade practices of other countries, such as Japan, who are very willing to sell cars here but unwilling to import to their country?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  50. d-lew

    I have been in numerous auto plants and was married into a family of auto workers. They are by far the embarrassment of the United States of America. The work ethic that I have personally seen and listened to autoworkers joke about, is ridiculous. Laughing at how they get away with not doing a single thing all day long and getting paid for it. I've walked through multiple automotive plants where the employees are literally sleeping by the machines or reading the newspaper and getting paid for it. At Ford Sharonville, Ohio the workers clock in and then go to Al's Bar down the street and wait for a page from someone at the plant if they are actually needed during working hours. This is not right that we have to bail out this type of work force from bankruptcy, when they've been getting paid better and had better benefits than most of the people in the USA.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  51. L.T.

    GM, like the other American car makers, really produces only a handful of cars that people would line up and buy , were they fairly priced (Hummer is one, the Pontiac Grand Prix was another, Chevy pickup trucks as well). The balance are niche, vanity, and me-too cars to try and take a little market share for another company.

    GM should shed all the me-too SUV's, McCars and anything else that can't be sold in quantity at a profit, as well as all the niche cars (Volt) and start making a profit.

    Already the cart is before the horse with the union. GM should have filed bankruptcy first, not a negotiated Chapter 11, and THEN seen about a new union contract.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  52. Rob C

    I think Ray could have saved a lot of time, and verbiage by stating – "Moving forward GM will focus on, and build quality cars".

    Until GM delivers quality vehicles that last, nothing will ever change, and US consumers will continue to buy foreign cars.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  53. Mike Allen

    GM is a long way from turning its business around, and Mr Young's comments about being more efficient are laughable.

    I previously worked for a Detroit engineering firm that built production facilities for GM, among others. Firstly, their project accounting structure ensures that the total cost of ownership for any new facility is not taken into account. That is, they buy cheap, poor quality facilities that cost them billions in increased operating costs year-on-year. Secondly, the designs of their plants are about as far removed from lean manufacturing as you can get. Each part of the plant is treated as a separate kingdom, rather than being managed as a whole. The result is that the production schedule is messed around with so much, as cars pass through the body shop, paint and general assembly, that the entire supply chain is thrown into chaos. To get around this, GM have to maintain huge buffers of cars between each process to re-shuffle the production sequence, while suppliers need to maintain huge buffers of parts to ensure that they can keep the lines moving. GM have completely failed to learn from Japanese lean manufacturing techniques, and that's the primary reason that they're uncompetitive.

    Until they accept that, and completely re-design their production facilities and processes, they will never match the efficiency of Toyota, Nissan or Honda.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  54. mgf

    GM employees in production make half what they used to make. GM's dealer netowrk is now reduced to a competitive level. They have shed job banks and liftime medical for retirees. Their development efforts are now focused on only four brands. Keep in mind that a short time ago GM was competitive even with all these disadvantages. They have shed so many liabilites and lowered their cost structure so much they cannot help but be successful.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  55. NM

    Matt: – to answer your questions, the Canadian government is giving GM over $10 billion. The reason you "dont see or hear of any countries giving GM money" is because American news rarely reports what happens outside of this country. Read papers from outside the USA if you want a global perspective.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  56. Rono

    from BigJohn: "Sure GM put out some bad cars in the past but the Asians forced them to change their ways. I have always had good luck with GM cars and would not hesitate to buy another one. What pisses me off is that Congress lets the Japs close their market to us while we bend over backward to open our markets and give them tax breaks to build plants here. There is no reciprocity . Clinton called their bluff in ‘93 and it will always work. They absolutely n eed our market. And I think it is a giant misconception that Asian cars are better. GM offers a 100K mile warranty!"

    Uhm, if you were actually paying attention, you would have noticed the Asia is basically the only place where GM has had growth and turned a profit in recent years. I've owned "foreign" cars and "American" cars and in my mind their is no comparison between the quality, relaibility and fit/finish. "Foreign" cars win hands down. Companies tend to offer longer warranties (see Hyundai and GM) to try and get consumers over the fact that they build less reliable vehicles (either in the past or currently) so they will come in and buy them. If their cars were reliable, there would be no need to offer longer warranties as the consumer would know that they could depend on the average car to last 4 or 5 years.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  57. Ruben Quezada

    Plain and simply............why would we trust these people once again with $50 billion of our dollars to fix the problem they were incompetent to avoid? Is there no sense of logic anymore? What has happened to the integrity of our fellow Americans?

    In my agenda, we're the ones to blame for allowing this to happen once again.

    If you read clearly.........he never answered the question asked, "Are you eventually going to return our money? He didn't even come close to a yes.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  58. Julie

    I just love that everyone on these boards can do better jobs then the people doing them. Always...I always read on here how you all have it figured out and you all know what all American's want. It's amazing and should be a crime that you can here on these boards can fix the problems, and yet aren't....

    June 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  59. Dianne

    I agree with the comment that GM lacks vision. They are still stuck in the thought process that Americans love muscle cars, and the bigger the better – regardless of maintenace costs, mileage or gas prices. Many Americans don't work on their own cars any more – they have become too complex. There is a much larger population that wants a minimal maintenance, fuel efficient, affordable car that looks good and run well.

    Lift your eyes, GM. The past is gone!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  60. Judi

    At Tom Peter's Skunk Camp in ~1987, I listened to him rail that Roger Smth was the worst CEO ever (in all of history) and that he had laid the ground for GM's eventual demise – it was not an 'if' but a 'when.' It is a credit to GM's size that it took so long – elephants die very slowly.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  61. J.P.

    $50 billion in loans from taxpayers, 307 million people in the U.S.. If you divide $50B. by 307M. you get 162.87 for each living and breathing person in the U.S. Convert that to GM stocks, which are below $1.00. Everyone in the U.S stands to make a killing on their forced investment. But will we ever see it in our bank account?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  62. Lumberjack

    Please GM, listen to the consumer! Truck buyers DO NOT WANT A TORSION SUSPENSION in a truck. Bring back the solid axle Heavy Duty's. Ford & Dodge have it right, why cant you? We want Dana Spicer axles built in AMERICA in our Trucks. Bring us some compact diesel cars that will get 50+mpg and have loads of power that will live up to the GM/Chevy name. Change your paradigm GM. Listen to the consumers, not the shareholders.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  63. Chad

    Funny, I keep hearing about how the car dealerships are struggling to sell cars, both foreign and domestic brands. Yet I have yet to see a drastic change in over all cost of cars. Sure you hear about the dealership that is selling two for one and other gimmics. We all know we pay close to a 200+% markup from what they actually cost, and then lose close to half its value as soon as you buy it and drive off the lot. If I can't get rid of a product, I try to sell my product at a much cheaper price to try and recoup some of my losses. Sure cars prices have gone down maybe a few grand, but if there not selling at all then why not make a dramatic price dip to see what happens. Maybe they could get rid of some of these cars that are just sitting on lots and then focus on replacing those cars with a better, more reliable models. Hey what do I know I am just a share holder.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  64. disturbing

    What happened to being transparent to the owners. We are the owners... show us the books.

    My next car is going to be another Toyota or maybe a Honda. They are both built here in the US... unlike the so-called American brands.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  65. Eric O.

    All I ever see is negative commentary. The statement by Ms. Chetry that the Volt is a hybrid shows how ignorant most Americans are. So instead of joining in with all of you whiners about the billions we're putting into GM, I'm going to look at the bright side. First of all, if President Obama would have done nothing to save hundreds of thousands of jobs by letting GM fail, you whiners would've complained about that. Then when your beloved foreign car companies jacked prices up because half of their competition was gone, you would've been whining about that. The money going to GM is a LOAN. A LOAN. As long as GM sells cars, we GET A RETURN. So stop buying foreign cars and then whining on these sites on how terrible things are. And don't give me that B.S. that they're quality sucks. Get out of the 90's and read Consumers Reports and J.D. Powers. Go out and test drive one. I know more horror stories of blown Toyota engines and bad Honda transmissions than anything. On the Volt, it isn't a hybrid. It is completely electric. If you drive less than 40 miles to work, theoretically, you would hardly EVER need to buy gasolene. The savings on gas alone will make up for the added cost of the car. And with the investment in renewable energy, the added use of electricity shouldn't increase the use of coal for power plants. LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE. FORM YOUR OWN OPPINION. STOP REPEATING WHAT OTHER IGNORANT PEOPLE SAY. JEEZ!!!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  66. Rick

    I was wondering if anyone would be able to answer a fwe questions. First: Since we (as a country with OUR money as tax dollars) dumped this huge sum of money into GM, why are they allowed to with-hold such information as who bought Hummer and for how much? I mean, theoretically as Americans, we are owners of GM and this information should be shared with the owners. Second: I think whoever is asking this Ray Young character questions should have drilled in the openness of his answers. When asked how GM will compete with the Prius he answered with something about we will have a LEARNING CYCLE...Why are they still allowed to have a learning cycle? I mean all that will do is suck up more money, they should worry about building things they are good at profitably FIRST and THEN go on to jumping onto the next-gen hybrid systems. They should not be allowed to use OUR money for testing products that could possibly be just another money pit, just like many other products from GM in the past. Third: Why doesnt GM just have GMC for their trucks, Chevy for their base level cars, and Caddy for their luxury vehicles and also get rid of the moneypit that is Buick?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  67. Mike

    GM's position is just political pay back. BO has stacked the board with union people as repayment for campaign help. And made them major owners.

    Why did he give them money to begin with if bankruptcy was still an option? He diverted TARP money to them all the while knowing it wouldn't keep them from it. Bush was no better.

    I like the bold-faced lies he spews about not wanting to run GM while he describes how he will run it on national TV. Fired the CEO, stacked the board with union boys, says they need to produce cars that people don't want, on and on. What a liar. Insults my intelligence to think I can't see through that.

    Ford should reap untold benefits. They were smart and the new GM will be run in the ground by the union (as was the old GM) and BO. The free market system will triumph as always.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  68. Mike

    GM will never survive bankruptcy. They're as clueless now as they have been for the past 30 or more years.

    Four core brands? Exactly what *is* the difference between a GMC and a Chevy? Sounds like 3.5 core brands to me. Why not make all the trucks either Chevy *or* GMC? What's the point?

    And this Volt basket that they're dumping all their eggs into...I'd be very surprised if it was anything but a complete disappointment and a flop.

    Why waste more taxpayer monies on this giant albatross? Die, GM, Die.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  69. Jeff

    I think one of the biggest mistakes GM ever made was attempting to sell the Chevy Corvair as a safe car...Ralph Nader, much as I disagree with him at times, was on target when he demanded the company stop making the rear-mounted engine car(and chronicled its dangers in the book "Unsafe at Any Speed").

    June 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  70. Ian

    So much for moderating the comments CNN. Most of these have the grammar of a five-year-old.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  71. Kelly

    The UAW was created for making the work place safe it is not needed anymore people don't die making cars like they did when Ford began the assembly line long ago. I wonder what a union president makes and why he even has a job? It is about time they took on the responsibility of health care. They should have been taking care of Pensions and Health care for the workers long ago if they were actually there for the workers, or are they there just for an easy job and could not get past the background check to be a Politician.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  72. Burt Charlotte NC

    I have worked for GM selling cars for 10 yrs now. Chevy has made the premier trucks and suv's in the market. Now our cars have been less then desirable. Until the release of the new Malibu. That is the best midsize car in it class hands down! The new Volt will give you a 100 mile to the gallon and you can travel 40 miles round without burning a drop of gas. Who else has that? Our tahoe get 25 miles to the gallon. What other suv's get that? See the perception that American cars are not as good is just that PERCEPTION! Get up and go drive one then drive a honda or toyota and you will see the difference. Stop bashing and start giving constructive ideas and buy American and help us all get out of this!!

    June 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  73. Mike

    These bean counters are a big part of the problem at GM. They need to listen more to engineering and marketing to make better products with features people want.
    But, GM also never dealt with UAW until now. Their cost structure was way too high for years, paying laid off workers 90% of salary, plus health and pension benefits. Good that they finally came around.

    Several other posts here say GM didn't build the small cars people want and killed the electric car. Actually, GM built the big SUVs precisely because that's what people wanted when there was cheap gas. Look at all the SUVs on the road! These also had more profit for GM because they couldn't compete on small cars due to high labor costs.

    Regarding the EV, it was a huge money-loser. Toyota still loses money on every Prius they sell, that's why they limit production of them and try to talk people in to Camry's instead. I find it funny how everyone posting brags about the Prius. How many actually drive one? They are a tiny fraction of a percent of vehicles on the road. So, don't boast about the Prius if you yourself are driving an SUV.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  74. Angela

    Even though I don't agree with the bailout. I have to disagree with GM cars being crappy. You can get a crappy car no matter where it comes from, and crappy services regardless in this day and age. It is luck of the draw. I have owned both. I had a Yukon and Tahoe over the years and just sold my brand new Tahoe, due to this mess because I did not know what to expect, etc. I loved it, I will buy it again when they get everything worked out. It was a fabulous vehicle. I will agree that service at one dealership stunk, but at another it was great. So it depends on the dealership not the manufacturer. I now own a used Acura MDX. There are things that are not as good on the MDX that was better on the Tahoe. Heated seats and comfort of the seats and ride mainly. Does not even come close to the Tahoe.
    As far as price I guess, my 2 year old MDX cost me $3000 less than my brand new Tahoe. Both the same year 2007. By the time I got incentives, rebates, etc. And they both were the same price brand new – $53,000. Now how can you tell me that Honda/Acura is cheaper. No way. I guess when you want to Pilot or Civic, economy with nothing on it. But when you want nav, entertainment, heated, back up camera. Imports charge you for everything, whereas GM does not. And believe me that all adds. Those foreign companies are taking advantage of us and no one seems to get it. Because you are just unhappy because GM made some bad business decision, tell me who hasn't. They made what many of us wanted and bought and continue to buy. Once gas dropped people started once again buying up SUVs. When I sold my SUV I made money off of it. And I was upside down just a year ago when gas was at $4. The value of those SUVs (book value) jumped and people were wanting them again. Now tell me that is not what people wanted. And they wanted Yukons and Tahoes. They could not keep them in the dealership.
    So can we fault them completely because the built what people bought. My husband has sold the heck out of them. And it is only recently that they have begun to sit and he works for in the import business on the used side. Go figure..... People want what people want. And I have never had a lick of trouble with any of my GM cars and I will stand behind the cars, even though I don't agree with what the company has done. And I will continue to buy American made cars, as long as I can have faith that they will hold their value. And that is my only concern now, and that is the only reason I have an MDX.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  75. Chrisb

    Everybody talks about the big shots getting all the money.
    The real money and financial issues have been the retirees.
    As a finance guy I can tell you the real money hasn't been flowing out the door in bonus pay its been flowing out the door in the ever growing unfunded pension benefits and health care costs.

    How much did bonuses add to the cost of each vehicle- not anywhere near what the health care and pension costs have.

    Greed is responsible for GM's failure. Greed from the big shots, Wall street demanding higher earnings every year, and the union trying to get the best deal while not caring that they were helping GM become less competitive.

    There is plenty of blame to spread on this story.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  76. Kevin

    I've owned GM cars and trucks for about 30 years and they do put out more fuel efficent cars than any other auto maker in the world. I worked there for a short time in the 80's as a skilled tradesman and left because of the huge wage consessions the union gave up then. I made almost twice as much on the outside. I still buy there product because it's very good quality and at a competitive cost. I would never let this company file bankrupcy. It's been accounting changes that allowed this and other major corporations get away with defrauding their stock holders and the AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  77. Mark

    GM was allowed to become the worthless monster it is by a spineless government unwilling to apply pressure to anything so large. This country had no viable leadership for nearly two decades, probably longer, and this is what happened. Ginormous corporations doing whatever they please, currency manipulation, the invention of pretend wealth to cover a rotting infrastructure, a whining cry-baby public unwilling to accept any responsibility for anything, ever, and a government that couldn't make a decision if it's life depended on it. I've been reading about how "future generations" will have to pay our bills for a long time and it looks like the bill came due early. So what's it going to be, America, are you going to put up or shut up? It's a big bill, too, you old fogies can forget about any cost of living increases, free scooters and all the rest of that crap you've been spoon fed on the idiot box for the past 10 years. The party is OVER.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  78. Steve

    No matter how much shiny plastic and chrome you put on it, a turd is still a turd. GM has tried to sell automotive turds, and, strangely, they can't seem to understand why their crappy cars aren't selling and they had to go into bankruptcy.

    Not once did the Mr. Young discuss the quality of their product. If GM was really interested in survival, then the dependability of their vehicles would be primary. Instead, we get a retired football player telling us that Chevys are just as good as Hondas. What does a football player know about cars?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  79. John

    The bean counters are the big problem at GM. Look at the Corvette even though it does have short comings the engineering is solid but costs were cut on fit and finish. I bought a 2009 Malibu with a DOHC V6 and six speed auto. A very good driving sedan and seems to be well built, but it is based on the SAAB platform they are selling. So how will they replace it. Engineers will be laid off before bean counters at GM, got to take care of our own you know

    June 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  80. Walt

    I like the CFO's comment about reopening a closed or idle plant, as per their agreement to do so with the UAW. I guess it doesn't matter if it is required, or if the small vehicles it will produce will yield a good profit for the new GM.

    Sorry, but that sounds a lot like the old GM, and one of the ways it ended up taking $50,000,000,000.00 out of our pockets (taxes dollars).

    The more the CEO and the CFO talk, the more uncomfortable they make we feel, and the more they sound like "business as usual" will be their direction.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  81. Mike Behun

    I have never read such uneducated comments from such uneducated people. Way to live in the past folks. Get a clue.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  82. Rono

    for Steve who said: "I read the comment here, many very critical of GM, but yet 1 of evey 5 cars sold in America is a GM product. So much for “out of touch with consumers”. That argument just isn’t based in facts."

    30 years ago GM held nearly 50% of US market share in new cars. Now they are less than 20. What you see here is the result of all the people that when the compared cars discovered that GM was not an option for quality, reliability or feature for cost. Hence they have lost 50% of their share and generated substantial angst against them. Their continued hubris, as demonstrated by this talking head continues.

    And then their is the whole UAW sponsored "Buy American" for a company that makes 1/3 of its cars outside the US. Wow. More lies. And you wonder why that outside of Detroit and other GM/Chrysler cities no one cares about this stuff?

    June 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  83. Darren

    Last year GM sold as many cars as Toyota. Toyota made money, GM lost money. GMs problem hasn't been an inability to sell cars. They do make cars people want; I see more GM vehicles on the road then any other. How is it a company can make and sell more products then any of its competitors in the market and still lose money? The problem has been poor management/poor decisions plain and simple. If there was any greed here it was on the part of the UAW which really crippled GM. Of course the Union wasn’t the only problem, but it was the biggest. The labor and legacy labor costs were completely out of line with Industry standards.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  84. Rick Bishop

    Hey Fritz, Barak, Tim, and Ray – are you listening?

    Didn't think so.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  85. keith

    the fall of gm is just another stone in the pond of our indulgence.We wanted these big suvs and gas guzzling cars and they fullfilled that wish.But when we finally opened our eyes they couldnt change overnight.And we wonder why they failed we all failed as a society and they were just along for the ride.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  86. paul

    I wish all of the conspiracy maniacs and fear mongers would just shut up for a while and let some change happen. In the least wait until things move down the road a bit. This is an adventure that has been brewing for 34-40 years, can't be fixed overnight. So shut up with the Fascist crap and give it a rest.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  87. Jessica

    as gas prices creep back up to $3/gallon...i'm losing what little "extra money" i had to spend frivolously.

    we cant keep driving suv's and expect gas prices to stay low.

    we can't remain reliant on foreign oil and not expect the prices to send us to the poor house.

    whether americans like it or not, we HAVE to build smaller, cheaper, more fuel efficient cars...because im tired of spending TOO MUCH of my paycheck on my car. I can't keep the economy going when I have to spend the only money I have to fill my tank.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  88. Donna

    Since the taxpayers are footing out billions I wonder why they should even be allowed to build any of the cars in another country. That should have been part of the deal- that they are built by Americans. Also, another example why they are in the shape they are $25,000 foriegn car or $40,000 ++ for a GM–go figure. They need to concentrate on affordability and quality...

    June 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  89. Bob

    Clearly at least the reporter, if not the broader public, are confused about the Volt - You can't compare the Volt to the Prius. One is an electric vehicle (extended range electric vehicle). The other is a hybrid which is absolutely dependent on gasoline to run. Toyota has yet to introduce a plug-hybrid that can be charged at home, and even when they do, the driving range will be much lower.

    Perceptions like this will kill the new GM.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  90. John

    They've been operating on a business model that's been outdated for years. They can try to blame UAW for some of their excess costs, but that's not telling the whole story. At the same time they were dealing with the unions, they were steadily increasing their manufacturing capacity, depsite the fact that their sales didn't warrant it, as we now all realize. All the while, they refused to bring GOOD ideas to the marketplace. Deep in their collective back pocket, GM's undoubtedly got a few good ideas stashed away for a "rainy day" just like this.

    GM, as well as the other large U.S. companies knew full well that this economic apocalypse was a possibility, they were just keeping their fingers crossed that it wouldn't happen while they were of working age. That way, they could amass their fortunes and leave others to clean up the mess they made for generations to come.

    As much as many environmentally, socially, and fiscally responsible politicains would love nothing more than to see the gluttonous, irresponsible large corporations fold, they know that it simply can't happen. The collateral damage will be greater than we realize. As much as I hate to see my tax money going to waste (read: "GM"), I understand the reasons why. I only hope I get my money back and, eventually, some semblance of a decent lineup of autos from GM.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  91. Bill

    Someone ask this guy if they intend to pay the 50 billion back? Chrysler paid back their bailout in the 1980s

    June 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  92. sharon kitchen

    I know in the past .....the Big 3/now 2 wanted everyone to drive the big gas vehicles.......I could not afford them then and not now.
    Why has this country fallen so far behind other countries in the "new" greener vehicles? They have had electric/battery vehicles for over 10 years in other countries. Also the electric vehicle was the first one made.....1800's before the first gas/diesel vehicle...........so what is all the upset over? We should have been leading this all the time......before other countries.We should have made them here first.
    More jobs/ More choices.
    the more vehicles made the "green" way....the more choice,the more choice the prices start to drop, so the average person can afford them.
    Battery stations need people. people are needed to build batteries.More jobs. Sun/solar panels to be built by people. More jobs.
    panels for homes/vehicles/electric grid/electric trains.....cleaner world.
    Cleaner water.Cleaner air to breath. Pride.
    Yep....this will work.
    P.S. I already ride an electric bike to work........less noise.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  93. Peter (CA)

    Ray Young does not sound like he "gets it". I'm not sure GM gets it either. Yes, there is lots of blame to spread around but the bulk of the blame must go to the executives.

    They did not learn from the 70's. The oil embargo caught them flat-footed and instead of learning, they put out bad car after bad car. My first car was a GM. That was the last GM I bought.

    With the relative "peace" since the 70's and the relative stability of gas prices, I suppose you can cut GM some slack for putting out products that use too much gas since it was what Americans wanted. But, 9/11 should have been the ultimate wake-up call. Anyone paying attention knew that was the time to make changes. GM instead had an executive touting more and more Hummers. Idiots.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  94. Bob Dickerson

    What's coming off the G.M. assembly line is
    the same as what's coming out of Ray Young's
    mouth. CRAP! I'm buying neither.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  95. Jay in Texas

    It is interesting to see the transformation in the auto industry. My father who is 83, will only buy a GM car. I think his disdain for Japanese cars, even though they have better reliability, is connected to the war we were in with Japan during his generation. I own 1 chevy, a Geo(toyota/chevy joint venture), 2 volvos, a SAAB and a Nissan. I will buy any brand that fits my need. I have several teenagers, thats why I have so many cars. Only one did I buy new, it was the Chevy Van. I bought the Chevy because we needed a large van to carry 4 teenage boys. We are not mini people, a minivan would not do. Fast forward to present, my oldest two sons are college age. One is out and one is a Jr. They are looking at VW GTI and Nissan 350Z, they want sporty cars. My brother has young kids. He bought a Honda mini-van based on reviews, reliability etc. Bottom line there are so many good alternatives, our father's brand loyalty disintegrated with his kids. I wonder if we are a microcosm of the rest of the country? We need big cars, safe cars, reliable cars and fuel efficient cars. We will shop anywhere to fill this need. I hope somebody still makes big cars or we will need to take two sometimes.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  96. TX

    Byt the way "who" builds that crappy car that GM puts out? Your overpaid auto worker banging out $60/hr or $150/hr if on OT. If that kind of money can't buy better peformance then by all means I don't blame them for going somewhere else where trained monkeys can do it better for less.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  97. JF

    There is no doubt that GM made a lot of mistakes such as building substandard quality vehicles, misreading the market place and building far too many models, but one of the main reasons for their demise is the excessive labor costs including benefits. The UAW will respond, as they did, by saying they put the middle class on the map. Well, in the process, they bankrupted GM. I hope they are pleased with their accomplishments.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  98. josh

    Since US taxpayers now have a 60% stake in GM, does that mean that we can buy new cars at 40% of the sticker price? If not, how about the government just send me a check... seems fair, considering how I'll never buy one of these clunkers otherwise.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  99. Chris

    Victims of their own greed and short sightedness – Plunging all of their resources into high profit SUVs and trucks, but doing very little planning for the future, with higher MPG and alternative fueled vehicles that the planet desperately needs. Only a fool would think that the supply of fossil fuels is indefinite.

    Were there not so many jobs on the line, from the assembly line workers, to the component suppliers, I'd say, let GM and Chrysler fail. But that would do irreparable harm to the fragile economy.

    June 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  100. jge

    1 mistake they made–1992 Chevy Lumina. What a peice of junk

    June 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
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