Here’s something interesting that hasn’t been much talked about – if at all:
The massive layoffs GM announced this fall – about 15,000 people – is more massive and more people than GM pink-slipped back in 2008, when it just barely avoided going bankrupt by stuffing both of its hands into taxpayers’ pockets, while Uncle held a gun to their head.
At that time, it announced it would be getting rid of 10,000 workers.
Cadillac certainly is. GM’s marque brand has had three bad years in a row. Chevy isn’t so healthy, either – else it wouldn’t have been necessary to pink slip most of its passenger car lineup, including the Cruze, Impala and the luckless Volt – which was the one electric car that didn’t suffer from range/recharge time problems because it carried around a small IC engine to generate power as-you-go.
Even Chevy trucks are looking a little green around the gills – as the Dodge Ram makes unprecedented headway against what had been – very securely – the second-best selling 1500 series pick-up on the market, after the Ford F-150.
GMC makes as much sense as having a McDowell’s restaurant right next to the McDonald’s restaurant. Its models are all rebadged Chevys – or slightly less gaudy Cadillacs, depending on your perspective. But mechanically almost identical, or close enough to make the duplication of effort . . . dubious.
Buick? It remains a going thing only because Buicks sell well in . . . China. The Chinese being nostalgic for American culture of the postwar era (before we slipped into the postmodern era).
But Buick here are – like GMCs – caught in a branding Twilight Zone in between the basically-the-same-thing Chevys and the slightly nicer Caddys.
GM arguably has 50 percent too many divisions – marketing arms, really. No other car company sells its cars four different ways.
But the potentially fatal wound will likely prove to be GM’s lunatic embrace of electric cars.
It couldn’t sell the Volt – an EV that could be driven just as far and just as easily as any other car and refueled just as fast, too. But – like all EVs – it cost too much. GM couldn’t offload them even by discounting them heavily – at one time, offering $200/month leases – and notwithstanding the subsidies and tax breaks.
So what does GM do? It commits billions to “electrifying” most of its model lineup, especially Cadillacs. Because if you can’t sell a $35,000 Volt that isn’t crippled by short range and long recharge time, you just know the market is dying for a $50,000 electric Cadillac beset by the very same problems.
You know, like the ELR. Remember that one? GM would like you to forget.
Meanwhile Mary Barra – GM’s $20 million per annum CEO – drives on.
One wonders how those 15,000 pink-slipped employees feel about that.
Also the American taxpayers who were forced to resuscitate GM – they were told they were saving American jobs – now witnessing many of those jobs going away. All the while, GM uses the money it saved – which it would never have had, were it not for the bailout – to quietly build its business in China.
This is not unlike loaning your broke brother a sum of money – in order to avoid the power company turning off his electricity – and finding out later that he used the money to throw a party for some friends of his, or buy himself something (cue Eddie from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) “real nice.”
The difference, being, of course, that Eddie didn’t shove a gun in Clarke’s back to get the payday.
Where’s the outrage – especially on the Left, the “party of the working man”?
Where is Michael Moore?
Apparently, it is ok to mulct the taxpayer to finance the offshoring of American business to China.
Barra gets a pass.
. . .
Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos.
We depend on you to keep the wheels turning!
Our donate button is here.
If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:
721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079
PS: Get an EPautos magnet (pictured below) in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $5 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)
My latest eBook is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here.
That’s the reason I didn’t look at the Silverodrigues or the Gay Man’s Cruiser when I was looking for a truck, and while Ford’s not bad, gives me that king of the hill country vibe
Can’t wait for them to go under again, maybe whoever buys them up will make them OP, but until then, let’s start the countdown
The only GM car i’m going to miss if they go under is the corvette. I really like the c7 but am a little worried about the c8 and future models. Maybe if GM goes under someone will buy the license to the corvette and it’ll be sold as its own brand.
Mary Barra gives new meaning to “pink”-slip!
AMEN. Management failure at GM causes more job losses & plant closures, yet top dogs keep the big money. As a GM shareholder & former GM employee I’m outraged.
Since everything is illegal, maybe moral politicians are afraid to speak out against wars, debt, and the police state because they fear being prosecuted.
Anyone who supports wars, debt, and tyranny gets a free pass.
A “moral politician”? Isn’t that like an peaceful mugging?
here’s a really dumbsh t idea, and a total waste of time.
every time i read an article now, about the virtues of an EV, making this argument and that. i can’t help but imagine what the articles would look like today, had edison beat henry ford to making an automobile. and elon musk has developed a new and improved supercharger that will increase horsepower 100%. and you can power your vehicle directly from fossil fuels and leave out the middle man.
Frankly we would have more jobs had GM been liquidated. We probably would have gotten 4-5 startups out the the assets of it.
We will bail it out again soon it seems.
I wonder though, if they have any performing assets that are worth keeping. Nokia and Motorola were valuable because of their patent portfolio, not their manufacturing prowess. Small drug companies exist to be acquired once they get a drug through the regulatory system so they can be bought out by a big manufacturer. Actually making stuff isn’t something worth doing in the US unless you’re selling to the military or other businesses.
Really think this is the only hope to save some of the great American car names if GM goes under and they sell off the brands individually to people who understand cars…… there are a lot of mega conglomerates forming in Asia where society today appreciate cars the way Americans did about 40 years ago…. if one of them buy these American names, make the simple but enjoyable cars mostly for the Asian markets (where people dont do PC or care about CO2)…. would be great…
What is the deal with auto manufacturing? Why aren’t these companies allowed to die? I’m nostalgic for Digital Equipment Corporation, Bethlehem Steel, Sears, Ampex and Kodak, but they’re gone now. Time to move on. I’m sure my employer will be gone someday too. But the automobile companies never go away. They’re continuously propped up, reorganized, incentivized, and always placed right up there with mom, apple pie and the flag. And it’s not about jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs either, although that’s usually the reason given to justify all the government intervention.
And I don’t think it has anything to do with ramping up factories for war either. We have overbuilt the economy with a permanent military industry, one that can crank out as much product as needed for as long as it takes. And all those companies I listed were once considered essential to the war effort(s).
The next war will largely be fought in CYBERSPACE anyway. There’s little point in amassing large armies, or sending nuke-tipped missiles to just blow shit up if it’s any good to you, and kill off masses of folks you either want to enslave, tax, or sell stuff to. Once you have a country’s IT under control, you’ve got it by the “Noggies!”
I’m waiting with bated breath for Michael Moore to make a movie about how bad of a time the laid-off GM workers will have… oh, WAIT — that was thirty years ago. Today they’re “deplorables,” unworthy of left-wing pity. (Especially if they’re white).
Surely, the laid-off GM workers can take advantage of “government retraining programs” and get equivalent jobs in the new “service” economy… right? Starbucks must be dying to hire thousands of unionized baristas for $35 an hour with full benefits and paid vacations…
I’m just about to the age where I’ll be “unretrainable.” Most of my hobbies are such that they include some sort of marketable skill, but for certain I’d have to take a pay cut if I have to start over. And in today’s bizarro HR world I doubt I’d get past the first interview without mascara and a dress. And I look terrible in drag…
Me too, same boat. Us middle-aged straight white guys are unemployable unless we submit to a regime that is for many of us intolerable. I would rather drag my bad-shoulder’d old self back on a roof and nail shingles than attend a single “diversity” seminar at Corporate McCube Farm.
I guess nobody reads my comments on this subject.
If you want a comprehensive assessment of GM you can find a long video on YouTube describing their plants in China and their affiliation with the Chinese military machine. They also outline how GM is helping same buy real estate and other parts of the U.S.
When the farm next to you is sold, quite possibly through eminent domain, and something is built there you might not be able to identify, you probably won’t be happy to find the name is just a front that represents some Chinese entity, very likely the military machine.
All those jobs axed late last year are simply the result of NAFTA. The plants are going to Mexico.
GM made over $4B the 1st quarter of last year. Not only is it not in financial straights, it’s making a killing with cheap foreign labor.
Makes no difference to me what they sell or the price, I won’t be buying it. Oh, if they sell some 5.56X45mm ammo for a penny a round, I’d probably buy a few thousand dollars worth since it looks like I’ll be needing it.
Can’t find a reference article, but I heard on the No Agenda podcast that the currency du jour in Venezuela is bullets, maybe a prudent move on your part…
We know that a lot of Chinese nationals are buying up Pacific coastal property, and much of the real estate boom in Australia is because of nouveau riche and well connected Chinese pulling money out of state control. Only makes sense to me that they’d be doing the same thing inland as well. I’m certain there are Chinese buying up Aspen properties hiding their tracks with “123 Main Street, LLC” as the buyer -although that’s a time honored tradition amongst tax avoiders everywhere.
Yep RK the chinks are buying us out with the great help of our ex-politicians who turn quisling and make more money than in politics. There is some opposition to Huawei selling us the 5G network because all chink devices have spying chips built onto their circuit boards. We are just one election away from a total soviet government, aided by our national broadcaster the ABC.
They’re even buying property in my no-name flyover town. They’re probably tired of buying US treasuries and think Real Estate will be a better investment. Can’t blame ’em.
Agreed: I used to think that *we* were the smart ones, getting real goods from China while giving them worthless pieces of paper. And we would, should they not come back and buy up real estate here. Now, maybe the joke is on us, since we will have nothing left.