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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. Chris

    Yes quality standards have improved. But if the cost of labor remains as inflated as it currently does under the UAW, there will never be the same cost value parity as exists with foriegn automobiles.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  2. Martin

    Why not kill two policy goals with one stone? Support environmentally friendly, home grown technology by providing financing/capital to a company like Tesla in California that is making great strides in producing commercially viable electric cars.

    GM, and the city of Detroit for that matter, have been declining for years. If history has taught us anything (and by history I mean look just north of Detroit to a little city named Flint's history) is that the decision making capabilities of both management and labor at GM are defunct. As mentioned hundreds of times in this thread, GM has not been able to make a car that is attractive to the majority of Americans, hence the rise of imports. The average development time of a car is somewhere around 3 years. As GM does not have much in the pipeline, where will their new products come from...?

    Let GM and the UAW cannibalize themselves in some bloody orgy that can only take place in the city that epitomes Devil's Night. They're what economists call dead-weight-loss. Frankly, we would be stronger and better off without them.

    Reinvigorate the country by investing in companies like Tesla.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  3. Capj

    For what it's worth. I've owned both domestic and import cars for 25 years. The Chevy Suburban is far and above the best family vehicle money can buy. I wish GM good luck !

    June 2, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  4. mike

    What I think the auto companies should address and it would probably boost sales somewhat would to set standards for dealers and the different ways they try to confuse you, just to get more money from buyer's. I don't know anyone who enjoy's the experience of buying a new car. And these lame games they play (the ole let me go ask my manager line), these extended warranties, the how much do you want your payment to be and the list goes on. Most of the purchasers know exactly what all that crap is but you have no choice. Another thing is the vultures at the car lot that swarm you as soon as you pull up!! Wake up GM, Chrysler and Ford. Make it a pleasureable experience. Set a price and give options, not hard sales games.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  5. Miss J

    What a load of crap. What about the $9 billion they spent on a Hummer factory in Russia, while simultaneously they most definitely realized they were in a hole they could not dig themselves out of? Big cars, gas guzzlers, greeeeed...it's sickening.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  6. Janak Doshi

    Still has NOT been posted my E-mail yet, let me know. thks

    June 2, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Marv The Optimistic guy

    Well I really hope that GM is looking at the complaints that I see now and conform to them. I don't like what they did over the decades, but I do hope they turn it around by building reliable carS and better customer serviceS. I think that sums it all up.Personally, I hope the volt succeed since it's the only futuristic car that looks cool to me.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  8. Tom from NC

    This is just great, If the Gvt. runs GM like congress then the UAW should be shouting for joy. Hey, now they will get full retirement after only six years at 50% of their pay and full medical for life. Fire them all and start from scratch like we should do with congress.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  9. Rich in CT

    The work ethic sucks here in America because Liberals teach their kids that they are ENTITLED. You are entitled to NOTHING!!! You must EARN everything! You are not entitled to: a house, a car. insurance, retirement!!! this is a Democracy, not a communist country! look at the communist countries, are they successful? do the poeple live well? NO!!!! Wake up to these communist lies!!! The money given to GM should NEVER have gone there. Its Obama the commie's payback to the UAW. The UAW should be outlawed like all labor unions should be outlawed!!! They are destroying this country by demanding ridiculous compensation to do monkey work! Its totally evident here in CT where 48% of the budget is out of the peoples control because of binding arbitration for the communist teachers union, who provide a crappy education anyway!!!!

    June 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  10. Tim Spriggs

    That guy looks like he might be related to Kim Jung Ill (N. Korea). sorry, all the intelligent posts have been made. good job guys.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  11. AlexV

    Do not blame GM too harsh – it is perfect example on state of whole America economy:
    - Loosing of intellectual and technological superiority
    - Degradation of finance regulations, living and spending and borrowing like no tomorrow
    - Failing in geo-political and geo-economical battles
    - Loosing in cultural / moral / religious areas
    GM management – they are smart! They get money! They are 100 times smarter then administration that gives such money and does not change fundamentals. And they are smarter then you, who approve administration giving money to GM. Obama can print money as much as he wants or borrow even more. It does not change fundamentals:
    - America does not produce products that another world would purchase
    - America is getting a lot of products from outside.
    Since GM (read America) can not start working effectively overnight, the only option left is serious decrease of living standards – till the point when workers work for 12$/h making so-so cars and 30$/h for good cars.
    Note, that printing money will not work: inflation will eat salary gains anyway but uncontrollable spending will benefit distributors more then targets.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  12. Buz Jones

    I think the government should have let GM go bankrupt like any other mismanaged business would have done. Then divided the $50 billion equally between the American people and everyone could have went out and bought a new Toyota. That would have helped the economy and we wouldn't have to worry about getting screwed by GM again.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  13. Robert W.

    I can not speak for everyone else but I am ready for the Chevy volt! I am on the tail end of the baby boomers and I have heard "electric cars" all of my life. I think the extended range will make it practical for most people. We are already used to recharging small devices and I am sick of being pushed around by the oil industry. The cost might be a problem until they can get it down but heck, people never stopped buying other expensive cars. I do not consider SUVs cheap. If I can not afford the volt or if they do not build it I will look at converting a small pickup to electric. I have been complaining for at least 10 years that there is no "real" electric car from GM and Ford. Come on GM and Ford, the Japanese are great but let’s try to get ahead of them for a change. Make what we want now but keep researching what we will want in the future. I think this is the only way to win in the market.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  14. daver

    America has turned from a once vibrant country into a globalized nightmare. How is this possible that our government chips in to save GM 's butt, and now leadership now agrees to sell hummer to a Chinese company?
    If I were a hummer employee I would think it must be concerning to have someone other than a true red white and blue american decide your employment future.
    As an american Taxpayer I had enough of America being sold off to other nations? It is my understanding that congress almost sold our security down the river by contracting with a UAA company for our new passports.
    Put in laymans terms, Business Globalization ( get it done for the cheapest possible cost, and Labor dont work hand in hand.
    I mean who wants the former shell of Gass guzzling Hummer owned by a chineese firm.
    If this happens I wont buy a hummer, unless it gets 50 miles to the gallon? With any luck a chineese firm may solve that for humanity,

    Geeesh? what the heck is going on anymore.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  15. John Cicchine

    As a former mechanic in a GM dual dealership,cadillac and oldsmobile I saw this day coming twenty years ago. This day is all because starting in the seventies engineers stopped designing cars and accountants began to design cars out of corporate greed. Also the public is under the impression that when they bring their car into a dealership that the mechanic can focus on fixing the car one car at a time. WRONG! Mechanics work on a piece work system that does not in most cases allow for diagnostic time and not enough time to do the actual repair under warranty. And any lucrative cash work goes to the service managers favorites wether or not they are any good or if he has a drug problem and that mechanic can get him his pot or cocaine. NO I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. And if you are a person who has certain principles and tries to do the job properly which means taking the needed amount of time like I tried to do I was accused of being unproductive. Some people call it the american way. Also in all the years I was there I did not see not even once anything I would consider poor quality or deliberate sabotage to a vehicle built by members of the UAW. Detroit's problem was that the accountants that thought they could design cars and cut corner's ended up building in some cases cars that would last maybe three years. The UAW is not Detroit's ultimate problem because the problem has been a design problem of which the UAW has no say in. We are now seeing the legacy of people like Rodger Smith and his type. I hope you find my comment's informative. Thank You,John

    June 2, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  16. Ryan

    He mentions they are going to take risks? I would assume taking risks helped put them in this situation and they were very bad risks. Shouldnt they be talking about taking less risks? I dont want them to gamble away $50 billion. As an executive of such a large corporation, Mr. Young does not speak very well and is not very polished. If he is a reflection of the financial minds behind this company, I am a little nervous. Employing him, and keeping him employed, may be one of the bigger risks!

    June 2, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  17. Dmiller

    I find it laughable how behind the times so many of you seem to be. Ignorance truly does seem to be bliss.

    Domestic vehicles have caught up and in many cases surpassed their Japanese counterparts in quality and pricing...yet so many of you are too blind to see it. The stigma is oddly comparable to the what the Japanese manufacturers once had to overcome in the late 70's/early 80's. Unlike then, the domestic manufacturers have something now the Japanese didn't....a sense of freaking pride in the U.S.A.

    For all of you that refuse to buy American at all costs...yet live in this great country, do us all a favor. Move to a different freaking country!

    June 2, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  18. CW

    I forgot to say in my earlier post that my current vehicle, a Toyota, was built in VIRGINIA! So I feel like I'm still supporting the American worker by owning my Toyota.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  19. Brian A.

    I fed up with 97' Pontiac Sunfire and trade to used 02' Honda Accord. I had a problem with Sunfire's engines. I took it to GM service and check it. They already fixed my engines, I spent 3,000 dollars. 1 month later, engine came on. I was so disappointed with Sunfire. I came back to GM service again and explained the situation. GM service said, there is nothing to do with that. I had to pay other 1,000 dollars for repairs, wtf. I won't offered to fix a damn repairs and left the service. One week later, I came to Honda dealer and I fed up with Sunfire, mileages 90,000 and trade to used 02 Honda Accord from 19k to 90k now. There is nothing with any problem and loved it so much. Just replaced my fan motor under warranty, that is all. I like Honda's service's honest about next schedule for maintenance ready and be prepare for next service. I loved HONDA Service and waiting room. Excellent and better than GM's service, not excited place.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  20. Saturn Guy

    GM had it right with Saturn back in the 90's. They let Saturn do there thing and built a reliable, economical car to compete with the Japanese, but for some reason GM could't leave it alone and toward the late 90's made Saturn more GMised and screwed up the brand adding a bunch of other Saturn lines that were junk. Case in point I still drive my 95 Saturn and it has 216,000 miles on it, gets 37 MPG and I paid around $13,500 for it. In fact it still has the same back breaks and clutch. I have done the very minimal maintenance to this car. On the other hand I have a 2000 Saturn L series with 80,000 miles on it and it has had a rash of problems-what a lemon! GM missed the boat!

    June 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  21. Machiavelli

    The bankruptcy of GM is a failure of massive proportions. I cannot begin to emphasize how the America feels right now. Our corporations are becoming financial laughstocks throughout the world and America is becoming the junkyard of once iconic, powerful institutions-a bunch of have-beens.

    This failure began decades ago when Toyota and other Japanese automakers began to make inroads into the automotive market share; the Big Three's CEO's failed to heed the signs of the times and the impending dangers. They just went about their business like, "We are an American institution." "There is no way we can fail.' " This was a pure case of hubris, and forty years later, the chickens have come home to roost.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  22. mike

    Let's at least be clear that the bankruptcy of GM depended on a lot of factors, including the demands of union workers through the years of GM's profitability. I would caution against pointing fingers and calling GM "them", when, in fact, everyone employed there contributed to their downfall. Who hasn't heard the stories of lemon GM vehicles?

    June 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  23. Mark

    GM is broke in large part because the business model will never generate profit. You cant promise factory workers lifetime medical and all the other excess retirement benefits beyond the norm all based off the profit of a car you sell today. No US company can ever afford that, period. The govt are the only ones who have survived those (kind of )of promises, even social sec and medicare is broke. GM needs to make cars only in the right to work states and drop this lifetime benefit fantasy, it is not going to work no matter how good you build future cars, the bus model is broken, kind of ironic, its like their cars!!

    June 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  24. Bob

    I saw a news story on tv with some autoworkers sitting around a table, and one of them said. I can wrap it up in one word – "bad management." Despite being two words, I can sum it up in one word as well: "Unions absolutely sick – they have been, are, and will again be the downfall of this industry."

    June 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  25. David

    ARROGANCE,GREED,INFERIOR products; created the problems we're having with the Auto Industry,I saw this failure coming in the mid eighties. I said the UNIONS would price them selves out the door. We have the means to make a better product but not the will. Getting paid not to work,give me a break.I'm not against any one making all that they can,be realistic about it,how long can you sustain it.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  26. GB

    GM CFO: "We admit errors in the past"

    How big of him! Too late. Waaaaaaaay too late!

    GM and Chrysler were not making mistakes...mistakes are choices made that you do not know they are wrong when you make them. But these companies, along with AIG and all the other bailout recipients knew YEARS ago that they were wrong in continuing the path they were on. You apologize as soon as you realize the error, you fix it and you move on without repeating the same thing. These companies did not do that. They kept pushing their own agenda. Now they've robbed Americans creating this you -know-what-kind-of-mess.

    I don't feel sad for the CFO of any of the other high up management staff of any of these companies. They are greedy and selfish.

    I do feel sad for Americans, especially those who gave years of service to these companies...and for the rest of us who trusted them.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  27. Phil UAW RETIRED

    tps,

    Stop lying son I knew your granddad. Stop it.... TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THE UAW.

    Phil,

    June 2, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  28. mg

    THE UAW and missmagment killed GM. Its impossible to have labor as a fixed cost in a free market system. All the uaw did for decades was take,take,take. When they realized it was time to help the hand that fed them it was too late. GM spent more on healthcare than steel. Jobs bank? What Company offers that with pay? Its sickening that for years Toyota spent over 5X what GM did on research and develpment. What is really sickening is that the Obama Admistration gave GM 10's of billions before they filed for bankruptcy knowing that they would file
    I bought my first For in 2005 the fit and finish was the same as my Dads 1970 Ford ltd wagoon. 35 years later and they still cant get it right. We make plenty of vehicles in this country Toyota,Mercedes,Honda, Nissan, all made right here by americans for americans. Lots of GM products are and were made in Canada and Mexico

    June 2, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  29. vernah

    Excuse my words, of "hummers" it should not designed at the first place and wasting dollars in manufactured cars that is not drivable but (eats) gas like a thirsty horse was never feed with water in one day, everything went 'kaput' and now the goverment is trying to saved their errors....

    June 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  30. Phil UAW RETIRED

    OK GM management says they have done mistakes. Now if we can get those UAW greedy @#$%^ admit it and give the tax payers of this country the concessions they should of given. Lets get those wages reduced and trim the fat, Oh yea UAW get the hell out of those palnts. For you have no one to blame.

    However now that they sold Hummer, with the "NEW OWNERS", they won't stand for some lazy union dip stick on the line making over $15.00 per hr. No my UAW Brothers you got what you deserve and I hope you finally wake up to knowing what the rest of America means by going to work. Hey its nice to be retired, espicially from the UAW.LOL

    June 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  31. Le Docteur

    The car manufacturers in US like GM, Chrysler, Ford, have been too greedy and ignoring the impact of the foreign cars invading our market. Not only the foreign cars give better mileage, they are more reliable, better built and etc. I used to support them by buying American cars, but it cost me too much financially. American cars don’t allow you to go over 100, 000 miles without problems.
    My first foreign car was a Volvo 960. I put 198,000 miles on the car; never changed the exhaust system, did the required maintenance, and passed it to my daughter in Chicago. The car now has almost 240,000 miles.
    GM, Chrysler, Ford have not produced a quality car for long time. Instead, they focused on producing those big, non efficient cars, like the Hummers, the Cadillac Escalade and etc.
    Not only they have created their own problems, but also have contributed to the collapse of our economy because of their greed. It’s time for them to wake up, listen to us and compete against those foreign cars by returning to quality instead of mass production without quality.

    June 2, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  32. Trav

    Why did GM fail?? Because it didnt build cars people want! Hondas and Toyotas were being bought up not only because of their reliability, but because of their styling. TWO WORDS: AZTEC and PT Cruiser...WTF? I just recently read that OPEL is building a really nice car and it will be built in the U.S. under the "Buick" name...again WTF?? "Buick" is a name that caters to the elderly (no offense), but c'mon use a name that appeals to all age groups! "Neon"–another name that killed sales. Why do we (Americans) spend so much time trying to develop a whole new vehicle, when there are many HOT cars in production in Japan/Europe. Just bring the design to the U.S. and build them here.!! OH..one last note: I just looked at the new Challenger and yes it looks good from a distance, but when you get close you see early signs of corrosion, shoddy sheet metal, and get this, Plastic wheel covers!!!! All for just $30,000! GM is not the only one that needs a wakeup call, it is all American car manufactures...

    June 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  33. Andy Foreman

    Well, once again, CNN the network of the bleeding obvious news reports to us that GM admits some mistakes... Wow, great update guys... Hey, here's a hot news tip for you too – Franklin Roosevelt is dead!!! Yeah, I know, a real shocker...

    Yeah, GM made some mistakes... Thanks for update – that must be why they are bankrupt huh???

    WE ARE NOT IDIOTS OUT HERE FOLKS!!! We can piece some of this stuff together!!!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  34. RN

    I looked for a reliable American built car. I bought a Toyota.
    We also drive a Sienna, designed and built in the US. 72% domestic content.
    I looked at a GM car – 82% domestic content. Reliability was poor, mileage was poor, bad repair record. Why would I want that GM car?
    My wife had a Saturn – which was supposed to be a better car – and we had to spend $75 for new windshield wipers installed by the dealer!
    The car had a variety of problems and we got rid of it after 6 years. We have a Camry that has been trouble free for 10 years.
    We have been looking for an American car each time we need a car – but it seems pointless – the car is either not reliable, has terrible crash ratings, has poor mileage.... I have no reason to keep someone employed who obviously does not care about my safety or my needs as a potential buyer.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  35. Terry Donahue

    I have one more comment. GM is generous. They provide employees with benefits that are comparable to other companies and which AMERICANS SHOULD WANT EMPLOYERS TO DO. I would not want to sponsor a greedy company like the Japanese who treat their workers wrong and provide no benefits. I do not think our president should try to sponsor using foreign countries as an example. They are used to their health being take care of by the government, not employers. That has given Toyota the edge, they do not provide benefits. Now, I say they are greedy, not a great American company who takes care of their employees. WAKE UP!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  36. Mike

    GM has been making poor products for some time now. It is no wonder that they are in the situation they are in. It does not matter if they are making a better product they have a bad reputation and it will take some time to turn that around. Add to it the unions who have way to much power and are now obsolete. It seems like is a common thread in our countries companies, living in the past and not caring about the future. When the going gets tough declare bankruptcy and sell the American businesses to other countries. It is time for the government to make some strict laws that actually hold people responsible for their actions so this kind of thing does not happen int he future. If we keep going this way there will be nothing left of the US, everything will be owned by other countries. In the past there was a push to buy American but now it is almost impossible, most of the American companies are no longer American. It is sad that the greatest country ever to exist on the earth will be destroyed because of greed and ignorance.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  37. Hibsh

    To everyone bashing GM for their focus on SUVs, how many of you chuckle heads bought one? Fact is, Americans only like small fuel efficient cars during hard times and high gas prices. The US big three did just fine selling all of you idiots your super-sized SUvs when times were good, now when times are tough you want to bash them. Yeah, GM produced too many SUvs, I saw the parking lot by the New Castle County, DE airport overly full of "extra" SUVs years ago, probably still there, but it was this country's citizens who decided they wanted more than a 4-cyclinder sedan topping out at 100 mph. You can bet when times are good again, you'll want your damn SUV back, the bigger the better, and I am sure GM will be here to sell it to you. Americans and their need for bigger faster cars is just as much to blame.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  38. Terry Donahue

    Brian Sorcic, you are so full of it. My husband has a Chevrolet Avalance - 7 years old. No problems. I have a 13-year-old Buick Regal. It is still comfortable to ride in, until Honda and Toyota, which hurt my back. GM had a recall on my Buick for one item and they fixed it free of charge. Toyota does not even let people know when their products are defected. Like the Tundra, which has a history - since 1990 - of rusting out underneath and parts coming off. They are other products in Toyota that do this, but thanks to Consumer Reports being prejudiced to Japanese automakers, because they are in Japan, you will never find out from them and Toyota. Some AMERICAS NEED TO WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE, which probably has happened and now everyone will suffer.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  39. Wanda

    Excuse the grammatical mistakes but, GM is still CRAP, the union workers only follow the orders from management on the assembly line but, the union workers are workers not investors or shareholders and there demands from GM were not only outrages but GM management was stupid enough to fall for it. I'm a new GM investor at .75 a share it's a good time to buy some GM stock and sit on for a few years. When the stock is back to it's 2005 level $66.00 a share i'll sell my 1000 shares and retire. 🙂

    June 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  40. modaddy

    We should have NOT given GM a cent of taxpayer money. They would not have failed, rather, GM would be on its way out of this mess (that GM created) by now.

    DAMN! We have lent the company more than they have made on their own in years!!

    I'm for Obama and generally like the energy that he is putting into the presidency, however, I REALLY don't see how bailing out this company benefits anyone long term.

    In fact, I like and respect how Ford handled this!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  41. pj

    "We were able to accomplish a lot in the last 60 days, which is indicative of what the new General Motor is all about. "

    Nothing at all would have been accomplished without $50 billion in taxpayer money.

    "We’re going to move quickly, we’re going to fast, and WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF RISKS "

    Great!!! They just wasted $50 billion of our money and they're "going to take a lot of risks". This is what free handouts from the government has taught them.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  42. Bob

    Rono - Not to argue, but there is a night and day difference between the Volt and Prius, not just semantics. Despite the fact that the Prius gets great gas mileage, that has more to do with aerodynamics and being a sub-compact. Its use of a traditional mechanical transmission and drive train takes the worst parts of traditional ICE vehicles and mates it with the worst parts of an electric vehicle. About all the electrical part does is help recover some lost power from breaking, allows the use of a smaller gas engine because the electric motor is used to augment total power to the wheels (for short periods of time), and allow the engine to turn off when stopped. The lack of plug-in charging means we have no chance in breaking away from oil imports, and continue to be tied to liquid fuels..

    Cars like the Volt are part of a broader energy solution. The battery technology on the EV1 was decades old. The Volt uses more modern battery technology which does not suffer as much power loss in the cold weather, plus has a run time that is more like 30 to 40 miles (more like 60 minutes). But unlike the EV1, which died if the battery was too cold, or ran out of power, the gas driven generator, running at a fixed speed with no lossy transmission, gets around that issue entirely.

    And people, please quit complaining about Hummer. It sale is pending and is NOT part of GM.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  43. vernah

    The problem that GM are facing in time of recession are the following issue: 1st GM manufactured cars that are not standard in term to gas usage in this country like building the "hammers" for example who could be in the world has that a mind would go into extravagance lifestyle maybe "you" can count a few are waste of money, time and marketing to the dealers are toughed choice, 2nd they should overcome the other car makers such Toyota, Mazda, Nizzan etc, about how the design of each cars, will make a good gas mileages on the road, 3rd, the GM are over producing or more glut of cars that are not qualify for standard mileages or go with what the demand or supply, over production of cars in the country are too, much. Hey, apply your economics strategy in prducing cars, remember there were so many cars, are on in each car lots in the country that are not moving so the next move is to check what are better cars to design for gasoline purposes.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  44. Jim

    GM is gone. The Volt will not be built. The company just needs a little time to work out the golden parachutes for its execs.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  45. Paul

    It's always funny to hear GM and the other American car companies say they're now making cars as good as the imports, so we should all start buying them. Congratulations, guys, but you don't win a race by catching up to the guy in front – you've actually got to pass him, and pass him with such a margin that people notice.

    Consumers don't have as short a memory as the American car companies would like.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  46. Anonymous

    I feel that GM should just close their doors instead of taking more taxpyers money. They have not been in the past or present been a reputable company, so what makes them think the average American would trust a company who knew they were in financial difficulties in the past decades?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  47. Kate

    Bought a used Citation to get back and forth to college. The car didn't last 6 months, had every problem in the book! Not only was i sold a car with a cracked engine head, they continued to service it! From their product to their service GM sucks. I have been waiting for this day for a long time, because knew it would come. No one deserves what GM has done to the American consumer.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  48. @joe

    "Maybe the Big Three does not have a Prius type car but so what!! Is that the kind of car the majority wants?? I think not!!"

    Uh, think again. That's *exactly* what people want these days. Prius' have a WAITING LIST. What's the last American made car that had a waiting list?

    You and your thinking are why GM is dead in the water.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  49. Larry

    When do I get my "Once In A Lifetime" chance to get something for my GM stock? It is part of my retirement. I worked as hard for it as the GM retirees who are still getting their pensions and the GM big shots who are still getting their fat paychecks. What about the Board of Directors? Any of them going to jail for what they let management do?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  50. ranch111

    I pity anyone who buys a GM car or truck. It took the government to force them to change. That's never good when one is forced to do something. On the other hand, Toyota and Honda set out to do something great, and they have achieved greatness because of commitment to quality and partly because of the culture in Japan. GM will never get there without real vision, and I don't see it from this used car salesman they've got fronting the company. GM will be gone in 10 years.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  51. max

    Ok nows it time for the CONEHEADS who ran GM into this position to step aside.......Laneve, Young, Henderson et al.....Go......Please...Go

    June 2, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  52. nugun

    How was GM greedy?

    The unions, now they were GREEDY!!!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  53. Janak Doshi

    To CNN COMMENTS READER: This is forth time i am participating in sending my comment E-mail which would benefit to country. Just Now i send a E-mail with my comment and please post it with correction if any and also forward to President Obama too. Thanks for your kind support.
    Loyal American

    June 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  54. Geoff

    GM: An American Company...NOT. Give me a break, the majority of my Chevy Silverado 1500 43% to be exact was actually manufactured in Mexico, 22% in Canada and the rest in the united States. Canada doesn't bother me, but what kind of standards do they have for manufacturing in Mexico? There is a reson why GM went into bankruptcy 1) the union is greedy and they make WAY too much money for assembling vehicles 2) GM has for decades ignored that people wanted more fuel efficient vehicles 3) By outsourcing manufacturing of key componenets to countries like Mexico, they have insured that they build an inferior product. I have a Chevy Silverado, but will never buy an "American" vehicle again. I will be buying a Toyota Tundra, of which 90% is manufactured in the US for those sold in the US, seems more American than buying GM because they're employing more Americans to build their better made and longer lasting vehicles. Sorry GM, but go away you're finished.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  55. Bongo

    I worked at GM as a contract employee. They were staffed by MBA holders from top schools that were handed positions on silver platters. These were privileged folks who didn't give a heck about the company at all. They weren't working hard, getting paid 80 to 100 grand to regurgitating the same stupid pie charts from the fifties. There were a lot of them standing around looking pretty trying to kiss butt at best. In the real world you could pay someone with a BA and 45 grand to do the same. People from regular schools who came in early, stayed late and worked very hard to make a name for themselves were screwed over and passed over by connected spoilt brats. It didn’t matter if you worked hard at all. It was about who’s butt you kissed or who’s father got who in the door. Hard workers were leaving because of this and guess what? They are all probably at companies with good balance sheets, a proper ‘hard work’ corporate culture and are doing fine. When I interviewed at Hyundai you could tell there was a sense of urgency in everything they did. That’s why they’re winning market share. It’s like the Red Wings. Determination and sense of the upside of hard work will win in the end. It was obvious when I left that GM was going down the toilet. Shame on them. Simple fix! Hire the hungry not the obese! They should sponsor hard workers to go get an MBA at night! Most of America's companies that are in trouble suffer from this kinda ‘Lazy Faire’ economics whereby the privileged are sinking companies and still get golden parachutes. Go China go!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  56. Abby

    I agree – no talk of improvement in quality or GM taking responsibility for engineering errors and the like. No discussion of building a vehicle to last, no more planned obsolescence.

    We need reliable, compact, fuel efficient cars in America. We need them to be affordable and easily reparable. This is where GM failed.

    They never learned anything from the leaders in the market – the Japanese. They were 'too good for that'. Now look who's standing – Nissan, Toyota, Honda...and who has fallen...

    A little less hubris and a little more humility would be a start.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  57. Joe

    Not all cadillacs are made in Mexico. The majority are made in Lansing, MI.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  58. Brian

    Ralph Petagna June 2nd, 2009 11:47 am ET

    All Cadillacs are made in Mexico. No one was laid off there. The bailout should of stipulated that that plant be closed and that the Cadillac brand be made in the USA.

    Actually most Cadillacs are made in Lansing, Detroit, Bowling Green, KY, or Arlington, TX. SOME are made in Silao, MX – only the Escalade.

    TX June 2nd, 2009 11:52 am ET

    One of the biggest acts of greed participated in by ALL auto companies is the practice of “job banks” whereby duplicate positions for an entire line (150 to 200 workers) were kept on standby with full pay/benefits to replace someone if they called in sick or left early etc. Knowing this now I can’t help but think that this significantly over inflated the cost of the product. Thank corporate greed, union greed. I feel sorry for none of them.

    That's not how a job bank works – There's no duplicate worker onsite just like there's no-one waiting to cover for you either.

    GM sold about 3 million vehicles last year – still almost 20% of the market. Alot of us talk alot about how we want small, fuel efficient cars, but that is NOT what is in our garage. Every manufacturer has some large SUV – for Toyota it's called a Land Cruser !

    Ugly cars – GM doesn't have a monopoly on that either. Anyone seen a Scion xB, Honda Element, or Nissan Cube?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  59. Lin

    GM should go back to basic, build staple cars that meet the needs of most American. Invest in hybrid and reusable power technology, don't go all out with electric (like Volt – another bust) when there is NO clear solution to recharging and battery related problems.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  60. Al

    Now that GM has filed for bankruptcy protection, will the decision makers at this company be going for cognitive therapy so that they can change their way of thinking and turn this company around? Or do they just continue as if their decision had nothing to do with the downfall of this once great company?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  61. Hawkeye

    In 1980, Chrysler got a tax-payer funded government bailout to the tune of (what now seems like a tiny) 2 billion dollars.

    40 years later, the "smarter, leaner, more in touch" Chrysler is bankrupt again. Way to go.

    GM won't even make it 20 years with this infusion of cash.

    Nobody wants their crappy products, nobody trusts their scummy management, nobody likes their slimy dealers. A $40,000 hybrid? I've flushed smarter things than this company.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  62. Sam

    Have U ever looked at an interior of GM car.. I mean the odometer and lights, THEY LOOK LIKE AN ALARM CLOCK.... you know the green digital numbers kind of an alarm clock. GM, Wake up and put osme quality and thought in what you guys make.

    I think GM will not be profitable ever, because their designers and people who approve of those cars are arrogant american muscle, dumb people who do not know what classy cars should look like. Screw'em..

    June 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  63. Corey Gabriel

    I worked for GM for 17 years, 1971 to 1988 in information technology. While working to computerize the financial and personnel systems, after our analysis, we warned management of the ever growing costs associated with people, retirees, pensions and health care. They told us that they had been successful for years and would be in the future. The upper management of GM was blind and arrogrant for years, particularly Roger B. Smith who really started the company on its road to ruin. Now, the best they can do is to say "gee, we made mistakes." Yeah, right you did, and cause very significant economic problems for your workers, their neighbors, communities and the country. Apology, thanks a lot, but its not enough.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  64. vp

    I still see NO good reason to buy a GM car.

    and I don't see them working to change that.

    I think this is just a jobs program.

    How much will the CEO make?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  65. Dave

    Yesterday I read a story on the internet about a teacher that invested $70,000 in GM bonds. Now she has nothing. How is this right that thousands of average people are being told GM is more important than you are. GM should not be allowed to wipe away this debt. Even if it takes them years to pay it back they should be forced to. Once again the middle class person is being told to bend over and smile while Corporate America walks away with a new smile on their faces and money in their pockets. Every GM executive should have a cap placed on their salary till these investors have been paid back every dime. I was hoping things would be different with this administration but once again it looks like Middle Class Americans are going to suffer like never before.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  66. Kangaroo

    Greed, Greed, Greed and more Greed.... Is it just GM that is out of touch or the whole of America..Good luck Mr. Obama... it's about time a president was elected that cares for the good of humanity and not the hip pocket...

    A Friend from Australia...imagine if I am a friend what your enemies think...

    June 2, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  67. Janak Doshi

    Why president Obama is NOT assigning a special Investigation TEAM to GM Executive and count them accountable or arrest them for this kind of BIG losses years after year and still they got paid BIG BIG bonuses for running company in loss. Defination of BONUS is for DOING EXCELENT / TOP PROFITABLE WORK TO COMPANY NOT for LOSES. I think they are the first one to pay back their bonuses to GM AND THEN government can help. Why a company should pay Bonus when they have BIG LOSSES and BAD JOB–BOARD OF DIRECTORS also equally accountable for keeping executive with negative result of company. Why American public and their tax dollers have to suffer from GM EXECUTIVES AND BOARD MEMBERS POOR PERFORMANCE YEAR AFTER YEAR. These correpted management have to accountable and punished if government wants to teach a lesson to all big Auto industries about the value of ETHICAL HONEST & TRUTH. Why Toyota, Honda, Kia, Haundai are very successful then USA AUTO INDUSTRIES???? WHY GOVERNMENT is NOT imposing 40 to 55 MPG FOR MOST (90%) US MAKE CAR and eliminate auto lobbing people which are correpted too. Time is NOW OR NEVER. Just wake-up and do it right.so we do NOT have to heavily depend on foreign OIL.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  68. greedruins

    as a taxpayer, GM should have been allowed to fail. this country stands for free profit, socialized risk. nothing that i stand for.

    as a consumer, they haven't had my patronage since 2000 and never will again.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  69. Stu

    I also noticed no questions about cuts to the salaries of the executives. Why is it when the consumer drives two thirds of the economy, the consumer is the LAST person to get taken care of by government bail outs. Why not make the leadership responsible for the failures.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  70. kjcub

    For starters, I haven't had a GM vehicle in years. Not because of shoddy mechanics or horrible sales people... but because the vehicles have lacked any spark to get my attention.

    I admit it, I drive a Jeep Liberty – and it kicks butt! Problems have been almost non existent for the now 7y/o model I have.

    Let GM continue to build the Hummer – and stop bitching about fuel efficiency. You think it's any worse than half the cars they make? Do a little research and you'll find that at least one company has actually found a way to make a VIABLE electric/hybrid/extended range H3.

    Tell the GM Board of Directors to cut their salaries – rest assured any other company would have dropped these losers after years of non-performance, not given them bonus packages. Where's the logic in that? It's like giving the slow fat kid at camp a trophy for being the loser on a consistent basis.

    And don't give me more altruistic "I'm an American – I bleed red/white/blue" crap. Your shoes are from Korea, your fruit from South America, even your killer Apple iPhone is made in China! I don't give a damn if you're an Army Vet or a Veterinarian – it's 2009, and we're operating on a Global scale now people! Of course GM is going to keep it's plants in other countries open – because those plants and distribution points are mostly PROFITABLE – unlike the American base of operations.

    Yes – I agree whole-heartedly that GM needs WAY more transparency in it's operations. If I'm to foot the bill and watch my hard earned money possibly be squandered on a GM that's being restructured by the dolts who screwed it up in the first place, then I want to be able to get together with my fellow Americans/shareholders and say "NO!" to the redundant crap all over again.

    Maybe now GM will stop and take stock of it's production lines – why build the same vehicle with three different bodies and think you're making something new? GMC Yukon/Chevy Silverado/Cadillac Escalade... was anyone really fooled?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  71. juan dominguez

    For many years GM was the symbol of america, the reason they are facing this situation now is this. Bad product development,bad executives desition,bad management in all levels of GM, bad advertising of product to the media.They never wanted to change they never wanted to compete in a NEW ERA. They continue in the same direction, manufacturing GAS-GUZZLER vehicles when gasoline go to $4:00 dollars at the pump.They refuse to produce small well desing fuel efficient vehicles here in UNITES-ESTATES they continue their way and to hard-headed to change.They wasted resources, millions of dollars, time, high salaries to union chiefs,out-of mind working union rules, refusing to lower production cost. We see former GM CEO RICK WAGONER go to washintong to request federal help for GM. But he never refuse to tight his belt, and continue fliying in private-ject and enjoying all the luxuries amenities when GM was moving forward to a financial collapse.I think they failed to the AMERICAN-PEOPLE and is a complete SHAME, GM,FORD,CRYSLER helped americans with equipment to win the WORLD WAR II, WE defeated the german and japanese. But they are defeating us againg in car quality,engineering,desing,fuel efficiency, japanese learned from us all the manufacturing process and quality control, they learned from us after the WAR. American invented the four cilynder engine, but never perfected, the japanese they perfected all the way. this fact is in a book i have.Japanese have more ethic,pride,disciplined in their car factories than the AMERICAN. I hope the new GM/ CEO tigth his belt and learn the lesson very well, they luxury party days are over they irresponsability and reckless days are over. They irresponsability are HURTING many WORKERS many FAMILIES and millions of AMERICANS TAX-PAYERS who's money is been used to save AIG insurance,GM,CRYSLER and many U.S banks and they dont have JOBS and their homes Still on FORECLOSURE because BANKS are refusing to help them, after the goverment give them $700 BILLIONS in AID. OBAMA is helping the RICH and forgeting the poor midle-class individual that today still facing FORECLOSURE of their homes because banks are not helping homeowners in any satisfactory way to help them keep their HOMES.GM,CRYSLER have failed to the AMERICAN-PEOPLE and they are going to continue FAILING. The problem we face know is corporative CORUPTION in all levels of americans companies,CEO'S bringing their companies down to financial catastrophe and walking away with millions in their pokets.It started with MCI WORLD COM, EMRON,AIG insurance and many others intitutions to these days. When EXECUTIVES learn this steps/ integrity,honesty,ethic,proffessionalism,respect,decitions,directions,humans relations and be a responsible CORPORATE CEOS, all american companies economy and the AMERICAN-PEOPLE will be on the rigth place. You can wear a nice suit and tie and your shoes can be shining like a glass, have many college and university degrees, but education and morals you dont buy it at WALSGREENS or CVS. That what GM and others executives in many U.S CORPORATION dont have today. !! MORALS!!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  72. Chris

    I agree Senior management needs to go at these companies. I mean everyone SVP and above. They have drunk too much KOOL-AID. I see it in the company I work for ( also a goverment takeover). Attitudes have only changed slightly. Time to get new thinking. Bring in a few new good young minds and search the lower ranks of the companies for the talent that has been suppressed because they didn't drink the KOOL-AID. Companies like Apple and Microsoft survived because they had new ideas and continue to move forward. The ipod and XBOX are great examples.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  73. Dave Chicag

    Imagine all the education those billions could have contributed to!!!Then we could actually afford to educate upcoming engineers and designers to avoid being behind the global technology curve. But I guess we are always going to be too short sighted and reactionary to solve tommorrows problems.

    GM will never pay this money back. Even in their "good" years thier profit was 1/50th of what they owe!! Who will even want to work for a company that will always be indebted to the government?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  74. Gads

    Just ask the following questions:
    1) Where did the money go?
    2) Did the debt occur overnight
    3) What happened to profits reported till this fiscal year?
    4) How can you make revenues now? showing faulty accounts?

    the list goes on.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  75. Wanda

    GM does not build all of it's vehicles in the US and toyota does built some models in the US check your VIN#. if the vin# starts with 1 it was built in the USA,#2 is built in canada,#3 is built in mexico,this VIN system applies to both gm & toyota. If your vin# starts with a letter it built in Europe...so the issue of being loyal to gm is CRAP,gm was not loyal to there customer when they loss site of building a quality vehicle.GM TURNED IT BACK ON US THE AMERICAN CITIZEN AND OPTED TO FOCUS ON GREED.....

    June 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  76. Gary B

    I believe the corporate heads had a lot to to with the demise of GM...BUT...giving the Union Working almost everything they wanted was a hugh mistake. Full health insurance after you retire! Getting 80% of your pay is you are laid off...what the heck were they thinking. Talk about greed the Union are just as much to blame for the demise of GM as the the big boys in the corporate offices.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  77. John

    I blame the union laborers for most of what is wrong with American made vehicles. When you go to the job only thinking "how much money can I stick the company for today", you show that you have no concern for pride in your workmanship. Their attitude is, "Why should I bust my butt, no one else does. It all pays the same!" I think that the bankrupcy court should nullify all of the defined benefits programs of those retirees. I think that they should be forced to live on just their savings and social security like most of the rest of us will at retirement. I have to pay for my own health insurance until medicare kicks in; why shouldn't the UAW retirees have to do the same? In summary: Bad work ethic and too much pay and benefits caused the demise of the American automobile industry.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  78. Bob Anderson

    The American consumer has given GM feedback for 30+ years by purchasing Japanese cars in ever increasing numbers. Park GM with Pan Am. Their life cycle has ended.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  79. DA

    When GM asked USA for money, I said "No! No!" I didn't have much choice and GM got our money anyway. See? GM didn't get any better. GM will definitely not pay us back ever.

    To Obama...STOP!!!! Don't throw away our money anymore! Maybe you personally love GM so much (evidently your stupid "President" car) but the money you're throwing away is ours, not yours!

    No, I don't care about these folks who work for GM. They should have know better to find other jobs long time ago. Bad economy doesn't last forever so just wait patiently and we will recovery quickly even without GM anyway.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  80. Steve

    The above reminds me of an argument I had with Boeing personnel, 25 years ago, regarding the restrictions on imports. They said they didn't care if Japan shuts down all the American car companies, as long as trade policy didn't hurt them. Guess what, gang, Boeing, like all the companies in the US, is about to suffer the same fate.

    Money is the life blood of any political system. When Reagan started the outflow of jobs (and money) from the USA, it was the beginning of the end of the middle class. If you're not in the top 2% of the population, hope you enjoyed the last 30 years!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  81. duVitt

    that's what happens, when Marketing-N-Finance is more important then engineering. Hey GM, can you match Mercedens-Benz with so many variaties like engines, models, customer spectrum and innovation? That is a key to sucess not a signle Volt, which may become a nail to your coffin.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  82. Chris

    Gm fails to see it must reinvent itself, not simply re-emerge from Bankruptcy. It is like a carriage maker in the early 1900's trying to make a better carriage. Those days are past. They need completely new products. If they were smart they would partner with a company like Tesla, and use their facilities to mass produce an electric vehicle with long range and performance. They must also keep the vision and stay lean and agile.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  83. Mike

    Now is the time for GM to take the bull by the horns and START creating cars for the future (hybrids, alternate fuels, etc.) The time for total dependency on gasoline has got to come to end and GM has got to start thinking in this direction in order to overcome their losses and emerge a stronger competitor in this economy. Stop creating gas gusslers and give us what we need. GM has also got to stop designing cars that LOOK like every other car out there. Give us the alternate fuel with style of european class cars.

    I personally doubt they will change their mentality after this but time will tell. I hope for their sake and for the sake for one of America's greatest iconic company's, that they can LEAD and not FOLLOW. If not, we will see this transpire again in the future.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  84. Lin

    In the past, GM has never paid attention what other car manufacturers are doing, and why others are so successful. I rent lots of GM cars, and I can tell the quality has gotten better over the years, the problem is GM competitors keep raising the bar. Over are the days where GM can keep selling ugly unreliable cars to American just because they are US brand. People who pay attention to quality and detail will never choose GM.

    Like our president said, they have been designing car with their heads burried in the sand. Most of these ol designers should have been let go.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  85. pserrano

    I put over 300,000 miles on my Saturn – NEVER GAVE ME A SINGLE PROBLEM!! Best car I've ever owned, and I've owned the all – so, of course, GM is going to discontinue the brand.. Brilliant... Management of GM is the main culprit, for years fought to avoid inproved emissions and milage standards, while the japanese were perfecting small, effeciant cars – this while so many keep claiming, 'well, americans will never buy smaller cars." Look on the roads! Count the hyundais, toyotas, hondas, suburus out there!! the simple reason GM is a mess is because MOST of their cars and suv's Stink! But there ARE some good models, if people boher to look...

    June 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  86. Mike Wiggins

    Father (Obama): "Son (Ray Young), did you cut down that cherry tree?"

    Son: "Gee, Dad, I 'admit there have been errors in the past', but going forward I'm going to learn from my mistakes." (blah, blah, etc, etc)

    What utter horse-hockey!! If the US is going to TRULY revamp GM, then it should NOT be done with the current management. They've already proven that they don't know how to run (much less fix) the company. So, because of this, they have proven that they are incompetent managers, CEO's , CFO's, etc.

    As each American taxpayer is now a shareholder/stakeholder in GM, they should DEMAND the ouster of these idiots and find fresh, talented blood to replace the well-worn chairs in the GM board room and the hundreds of inept managers further down the line who allowed this to happen.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  87. oliver

    Great. So now we are selling the most important arm of GM that makes the vehicles our troops drive around in in the middle east to China. Brilliant. Next why don't we have the Taliban build our tanks.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  88. Mark

    Why American companies build such a huge car? Why they waste gas so much? I see a lot of a single person drives a huge car on the way to work. Save gas, Save planet, save GM (if they can build small and efficient cars)

    a guy from Europe.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  89. Unwilling GM Stock Owner

    The last thing I ever wanted was to own stock in GM. Now it's being forced on all of us, without our consent!

    I'd really like to hear from the union workers (not the union leaders) on this. They, willingly or not, contributed great sums to the Obama campaign and now their jobs are evaporating by his hand. They also gave their votes to Obama, essentially slicing their own throats (or the throats of their brethren in those 14 closed plants). Why? So the union leaders could get a seat on GM's board? Power? You're losing your jobs and your houses and eventually your families so your union bosses could have more power? Was it worth it?

    Meanwhile, over at Ford, they aren't talking about, "sacrifice," or, "cutting back production," or, "focusing on fewer brands." Nope. They're saying, "we need to INCREASE production," and, "make products the consumer is demanding." How'd that happen??? It happened because they didn't take the handout. They noticed the whips and chains Obama was hiding behind his back with the other hand! What are you going to say when Obama starts attacking Ford for not taking the handout, like he attacked the banks and states who didn't want it? Are you going to believe his lies when that happens, too?

    You stupid, stupid fools - all of you who put this Obama trash into office deserve this hell you've created for yourselves. I'll buy Ford or foreign, but I will never, ever, pay one red cent for General Motors garbage. And I'll make sure my children and their children never buy GM, too (if there is a GM, that is).

    June 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  90. GenerallyMorons

    I love that their business model revolves around the thinking that buying a GM is the american way and patriotic. Please. I will never buy a GM car or any other american lemon car until they disolve these outdated unions and their cozy, overpaid jobs.

    You know this country is going to the crapper when a guy without a high school diploma can work at a union job and make more than someone that actually has a brain with a college degree...what a joke. The rest of the world must be loving how stupid we are.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  91. Sherman Daniels

    Sounds familiar.
    Little or no mention of the decades of UAW gluttonous greed and tyranny ending up at a reported $75.00/hr . Add in the enormous UAW retirement benefits plus whatever else the UAW uses to drain the big three. (If it sounds like collective extortion then there may be something wrong with your ears. It's collective bargaining, huh?)

    Somehow this adds up to bad CEO's, bad American presidents and bad, bad management all the way around. We've heard it before and we'll hear it again.
    honestly,
    S. Daniels

    June 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  92. jwmotai

    I heard a lot of words on how GM plans to be competitive, but no real substance. This in a nutshell has what has gotten GM into the toilet they are in. A lot of executive speak and very poor implementation. Too many level of management that know how to frame up the issues, too many level of customized solutions, too many so called user experts.

    So GM is going to start making small cars in the U.S. Didn't they make the Vega and Chevette in the U.S. Both were junk, not to mention the other junk cars made right here in the U.S. Its time GM steps up and admits their short term thinking management problems. Quit blaming the unions, quit blaming the transplants, quit blaming the health care costs.

    Quit giving us big headline stuff like Saturn, the new car company, the new way of doing stuff!!!!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  93. JOHN

    IT'S AN "OBAMANATION" THE ADMINISTRATION SHOULD NOT HAVE GIVEN A FAILING COMPANY 80 BILLION OF OUR MONEY, WE DON'T NEED 3 MAJOR AUTO MANUFACTURERS IN THIS COUNTRY. WE ARE GONNA PAY FOR THIS FOR YEARS TO COME!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  94. es58

    So, help me out here. If *we're* the country, and therefore, the owners, and I could be wrong, there *might* have been a positive post somewhere on here, but I only read the 1st 10 or 20,
    Why are we supporting this? And *how* could we stop it?

    June 2, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  95. TPS

    Was GM greedy? I doubt that very much, I came from a family where my gandfather retired as a foreman in 1965 and a father as a blue collar worker after 35 years, he was able to raise a family of six on a GM hourly salary and saw three of his kids go to college. My mother today after my father has passed on still lives on her own, in her own home under a GM pension and medical coverage. I tell her today she has better coverage then I do, thus is the underlining problem facing GM, and all company's from the past must face to be competitive. Compare this to Toyota or Honda you can't!! I have driven GM cars all my life yes some were not good but most were, even if I receved a Toyota free today I would never drive it. I recommend everyone take the time to read an article on CNNMoney.com titled "Autoworkers Swallow a bitter pill", it sums things up well. Will GM survive I hope it does or I will be purchasing the last of its cars on the lot.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  96. Joe

    All of you need to get over yourselves!! I have had GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda,Jeep and Subaru. I have found the quality about the same on all of them, with Subaru maybe a bit better. The big three DID produce the vehicles that people wanted. Who do you think bought all of the pick-up trucks and SUV's. Why did all the imports bring to markets the same types of vehicles if no one wanted them? And as far as price, if you take comparably styled and equiped cars, SUV's or trucks GM /Ford/Chrsyler will be less expensive that Toyota, Honda and VW. Paricularly with all the rebates that the Big Three have been offering for years. Maybe the Big Three does not have a Prius type car but so what!! Is that the kind of car the majority wants?? I think not!! Did GM and Chrysler make mistakes? Were they greedy? Were the workers and unions the same? Do we all make mistake and look out for ourselves? The answer is yes to all. But now should we trust the "gov't" to decide what is the best way to manage and operate the auto industry? That will be the biggest mistake of all !! What has the "gov't" ever run that works? There are plenty of reasons for the failure of the auto industry and plenty of blame to go around. But the effect of a complete collapse will be more harmfull for this country and all of us than you could imagine. Hope for the best and buy American!!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  97. standish

    Just bought an 09 american made car. Seats 5 adults with plenty of room. Build quality is awesome. The v6 gets me 30 mpg on the highway. I love my Kentuky built Avalon.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  98. Kevin

    I've worked for technology companies for 20 years. I work 50-60 hours a week, but never been paid overtime. Never had any pension plan. Only money I get for retirement is what I save myself or in a 401K with no company matching. I pay a considerable amount for my family's high-deductable health insurance, with no guaranteed coverage after retirement. I can be fired at a moments notice with no cause, no probation or mediation hearing, no severance.

    That's the way the vast majority of us work. When union labor does the same, maybe our automakers can have a shot at being competitive.

    Oh, and fire all the GM & Chrysler management and start over. I'll be buying a Ford.

    June 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  99. pserrano

    The only cars I bought off the Showroom floor were Saturns – two 1997's and a new Aura this year. They are the best domestic cars I've ever owned, I've driven them hundreds of thousands of miles and they've been as reliable as any Japanese car I owned, and I've owned several Toyota's and mitsubishis. So what happened? GM, addicted to SUV's, which were cheap to build and profitable since, as everyone knows, bigger is better, despite the crappy milage, ruined Saturn, converting factories to build trucks and letting the brand become stale – The best cars they made, and they ran the brand into the ground. The problem with GM is shortsightedness and Greed – they fought tooth and nail to keep from improving the milage on their cars, committed themselves to building low quality SUV's while the Japanese taking over the market with reliable, economical high milage cars, and lo and behold, they are bankrupt. The people responsible? THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, which continued to buy big gas guzling cars, encouraging the company to crank them out – typical stupid American public.. GM at fault for hitching their future to SUV's, which btw, Toyota encouraged them to do! by lobbying along with them to prevent democrats from forcing milage regulations, which GM didn't want, while Toyota, Honda etc. kept increasing the milage of their Cars!! So sad it's almost funny...

    June 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  100. Bill

    Gm is doing what is needed to done and will come out of this more sucessfull than ever in a few years. Most of these people on here commenting are either maive or just dont get it. GM is America! The reason the government is bailing them out is because of the importantance to millions of jobs throughout the country and that GM is one of the biggest AMERICAN corporations in the country. This isn't just about saving GM workers, this about saving the AMERICAN auto industry jobs as a whole and keeping people working in the future.There are plants,dealerships,parts manufacturers,distributors,aftermarket producers and distributors as well as autoracing,paint manufacturers,etc all involved in the auto industry. Those are millions of jobs depending on the success of the auto industry.Some people on here just dont have a clue. Yes Gm has made some mistakes but the blame is just not on them. The truth of the matter is that the economy has been the major reason why ALL car manufacturers are down on sales. Not just GM and Chrysler. Most AMERICANS want horsepower and size and style over efficiency and bland looks.That is why we buy pick up trucks,suvs and muscle cars.There needs to be a balance between the models they make,fuel efficency and uniqueness. I dont see uniqueness at all in Japanese automobiles at all. Gm will be just fine. They will have a full line of choices for everyone which will include small cars,bigger sedans,trucks and suvs as well as sport muscle/cars that AMERICANS WANT!

    June 2, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
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