• May 1st 2008 at 4:33PM
  • 12
GM President Frtiz Henderson came squeaky clean about the state of GM's brand portfolio, hurdles and losses. On the issue of too many brands, he admitted that the reason GM still has so many is that it is simply too expensive to kill any one of them. GM spent almost a billion large putting Oldsmobile to sleep, and with The General coming off a $3.25 billion Q1 loss, every half penny counts. In the mean time, GM will have to make do with its four new brand czars.

Henderson and CFO Rick Young also admitted that sales projections could be described as "rosy," the word "Delphi" is beginning to rhyme with "albatross," and that the intergalactic rise in gas prices has changed consumer buying habits "faster than we thought."

Fritz summarized the situation with: "We have to adjust. We have to learn how to make more money in cars and crossovers and tighten our belts with regard to cost expenditures." That's not the writing on the wall, that is the wall itself. Thanks for the tip, throwback!

[Source: CNN Money]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      'And as I've said before, we all as Americans have a vested interest in this company surviving. '

      No we don't. The country was here before GM and we'll do fine after they're gone. And don't give me labor stats either. They'd build all their cars in Mexico or Canada if they could. Supporting GM supports GM's stockholders. It's not a patriotic duty to help sustain a small groups ability to make loads of cash. Let GM strangle themselves and watch a smaller more efficient company take their place. That's the American way.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You sound like one of the last folks to realize that the housing foreclosure crisis would affect them. Hope you don't have a relative working in Sears, Kmart, or Linens 'N Things...

        No, the U.S. won't fall into collapse through one big corporation going out of business. It happens. But if GM were the corporation shutting down, it's going to have an affect on you and your neighbors somehow. Guaranteed. Even if you drive a Honda.

        I'm not saying that for some "buy American" spiel, I'm just trying to bring some logic to your version of reality.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yea cuz GM did/does nothing for this country like shifted production from cars to military equipment for WWII or the fact that they employ over 1 million people directly and indirectly (suppliers). You talk about factories which only hire avg. 2,000 but lets not FORGET suppliers!!! I am an engineer in the automotoive industry and even though I don't work for GM I do work for a GM suppiler and yes we supply Toyota, Nissan, Suburu. But they don’t give us the money GM/Ford/Chrysler does. We have 11 US factories in MI (7), KY (2), TN (1), IL (1) So ya keep thinking the country wouldn't miss them. Hey do you think BMW gives a sh*t if us Americans have a good qualty of life? Didn't think so.....
        • 7 Years Ago
        we GM stockholders help pay the bills of the country thru our taxes. just wait till all the industry is gone along with their taxes and see what you will have to pay in taxes to keep all those people on welfare.
      • 7 Years Ago
      re; disgruntled Goat--actually if you listen to Bob Lutz's comments from Volt Nation during the NYAS in Feb., he stated that GM could've built a Prius-like hybrid years before Toyota did, but the prospect then of losing money on every vehicle in addition to the inital pricetag to build them wasn't something they wanted to go to the board with and propose. I mean who would? In hindsight, they realize, had they gone to the board with that proposal, but added that it would vault them into the leadership position in the hybrid marketplace allowing them marketplace advantage, it might be a different story today. All in all, I think Henderson and Young's transparency and authenticy is what should be commended here. This company is moving ahead to restructure through it
      s new labor contract, and taming its legacy costs to be much more competitive. There will still be some bumps in the road until then--I'm looking to 2010 when its legacy costs will drop from about $7 billion a year to $1 billion and the release of the Volt. It will be a whole new ballgame then.
        • 7 Years Ago
        No excuse... if they could have built it years before Toyota then why aren't they building it now and giving Toyota a run for its money

        I am not even a Toyota fan, I am more of a GM fan than Toyota but even I find that a stupid remark on Lutz part. I also believe that Hybrids are not the answer, but still thats a market they are missing out on, and something to RAISE the average fuel economy
      • 7 Years Ago
      "All in all, I think Henderson and Young's transparency and authenticy is what should be commended here. This company is moving ahead to restructure through it
      s new labor contract, and taming its legacy costs to be much more competitive. There will still be some bumps in the road until then--I'm looking to 2010 when its legacy costs will drop from about $7 billion a year to $1 billion and the release of the Volt. It will be a whole new ballgame then."

      Leave that GM Kool-aid alone will ya, it's bad for your stomach. GM is doomed plain and simple. The new ballgame will be endless courtroom appearances by GM lawyers as they try to figure out who's to blame for the mess known as Clueless Motors. If they are lucky it will be a chapter 11 court and not a chapter 7. As for that Volt, if it ever sees the light of day, it will be the biggest anticlimax in automotive history.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ahhh, that explains it, the GM divisions are cats and GM is trying to herd them.

      GM, now that you have Buick, GMC and Pontiac in on distribution channel, it's time to kill Pontiac. You wouldn't have to close or even buy out dealerships because they would still be selling GMC and Buick, in fact you could move Saturn into those dealerships and close down the old Saturn stand alone dearlership. Close Pontiac down before it's to late! TICK-TOCK!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Someone better get those cats before they run into traffic!

      P.S. best of luck to GM.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Joke has been what? "GM is a retirement company which also happens to make cars". I think that is a fair assessment. Back then (even still now) wages for UAW workers were much too high, there was huge emphasis on volume models markets as budget brands (much like Ford NA is these days), so to make up for it they went into lucrative SUV market. Is it any surprise they all, but abandoned small car and C/D segment? It was short-term thinking, putting eggs in one basket, no hedging risks whatsoever!

      Well who would have thought that fed would start destroying the value of the dollar and driving up the price of oil (has nothing to do with speculation of it btw). They created the tech bubble, paid for Iraq war with low interest rate/lax lending standards housing bubble, and printing of more money out of thin air, and now it's too late; economy is going into a severe long-lasting recession which according to Mohammed El-Erian Co-CEO of Pimco, will keep on experiencing inflationary pressures for 3-4 more years.

      This leaves domestic in a position where they have to pull an WRC car like 180, problem is they are all in Queen Mary 2 cruise-liner.

      Yes Mercury and GMC need to go. Ford needs to up its image and get away from budget brand philosophy. Saturn and Vauxhall need to be renamed Opel and sold as such worldwide to build brand recognition to take on likes of Mazda and VW. Chevy needs to be in between somewhere, kind of like SEAT or perhaps Skoda, or Fiat? Pontiac is fine if it keeps on offering performance products with a premium feel to them without stepping on Cadillac too much.

      Chrysler needs to dump half its SUV offerings and keep those which won't confuse the customer. I think they have the most difficult job ahead of them in regard to redoing their car line-up, their mainstream cars are not up to par at all.

      Ford needs to implement its Euro line-up here while have NA specific products and move on! It sounds easy, but they and I both know what challenges are faced with that, but it has to be done.

      Technology wise they must use everything available, I'd especially take notice of BMW's approach. Fight for every inch or more appropriate, every MPG - obviously with a common sense cost approach.

      US car market is about to get a lot smaller, people are going to keep their cars longer, more and more will default on car payments, inventory will surely build up, price of raw materials will keep on skyrocketing until inflation is brought back under control.

      Do car manufacturers actually think that Republicans are going to be friendlier towards automotive industry? I think not, just a random thought.

      Is it going to come to a situation that Americans are going to be hopelessly trying to compete with the Chinese. As in everything that will be produced here will be exported under high demand, thus leaving Americans waiting in long lines and paying hyper-inflated prices for goods? What's to become of service sector? If it collapses (and it will if airline industry is anything to go by, oh and blockbuster/circuit city deal), then will we have manufacturing and other real industries to support the economy? I doubt we'll be able to change in the infrastructure in time. Eeeeick...ugly times are a-coming. Goodnight!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Amazing. And to think that a year ago, everyone was crowing that GM was 3-4 years ahead of Ford in it's turnaround plans and wondering what if anything Ford had in the product pipeline. Now, Ford has sold money losing brands, reorganized it product development process, is making a profit and will replace its entire NA lineup in the next 3 years, while GM still struggles with Delphi, the UAW, gas prices etc..
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