• Dec 2, 2008
General Motors has an early New Years Resolution: to be more fiscally responsible when it comes to corporate travel. With six short, direct sentences (see official press release after the jump), GM has declared that its Corporate Aviation Operations are to be shuttered. It might not seem like a big deal on the surface, but there are apparently numerous contractual agreements that need to be reworked to make this a reality. First, the jets themselves need to be returned, sold or transferred to another operator. Next, after January 1st when The General pulls out, the leased facility and grounds at Detroit Metro Airport will be emptied and GM will work with airport officials to find another tenant.

Although GM suggests that the termination of its Aviation Operations is because its travel volume no longer requires its own dedicated corporate service, we're pretty sure that the ribbing Wagoner and his peers took at the hands of Congress over private jet flight had plenty to do with the decision. Expect the announcement to be part of GM's Congress-bound business plan when it's officially announced this week.

[Source: GM]

PRESS RELEASE:

GM Ceasing Corporate Aviation Operations

DETROIT -- GM today announced that it is ceasing operations at General Motors Air Transportation Services (GMATS) at Detroit Metro Airport.

Due to significant cutbacks over the past months, GM travel volume no longer justifies a dedicated corporate aircraft operation.

GM is currently exploring options for transferring its aircraft to another operator. The company is pursuing sale of four of the aircraft so it can terminate the leases.

GM will shutter the facility at Metro Airport effective January 1, 2009. GM will work with the airport to seek a tenant for the balance of the lease, which expires in 2009.


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  • 22 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's obvious this post is nothing more than a reason to campaign for Texas to be higher ranked than OU in the BCS. Clearly. Just look at that visor. ;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Gee, these CEOs work all the time. Wouldn't it be better that they were working while flying? You know, thinking their way out of the situation. They do that. Open the briefcase and get out the computer and start to work when flying...
      • 6 Years Ago
      These morons screwed themselves with the brainless jet flights to DC. They should all resign immediately and return every bonus they've ever gotten in losing years. Only the most drastic surgery for the three companies, none of which are in the top ten in sales anymore should be acceptable. This includes dropping divisions and overlapping badge-engineered bodies, and to reorganize with fewer levels of management. Of course it'll hurt, including possibly my son's design job. I hope he's not too proud to ask if you want super-size fries with that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Goodbeye GM!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is Autoblog on junk or something? They get aroused talking about everything that GM does.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This proves the greed and insanity of Gm and the like. Stock: in the tank/worthless. Quality perception: bottom of the barrel. Record quarterly losses for some time now. GM: "we better start cutting back on the luxuries".
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's a nice gesture that they're going to look into and correct problems with their corporate travel....after the media brought the problem to their attention.

      I just have a hard time believing that corporate travel is the only area they're being fiscally irresponsible. Do we have to rely on the media to find out about these other areas and bring them to light before they'll be willing to review and change accordingly?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Been looking over the latest sales figures and it looks like GM can no longer afford such luxuries as corporate jets. It's cheaper to contact Hertz rent-a-jet.

      TABLE-GM Nov U.S. vehicle sales off 41.3 percent

      Dec 2 (Reuters) - Following are General Motors Corp (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
      U.S. sales of cars and light trucks in November 2008 versus the
      same year-earlier month and for the year to date.

      Nov 2008 Nov 2007 % Change
      All Vehicles 153,404 261,273 -41.3%
      Domestic Car 53,642 98,199 -45.4%
      Domestic Truck 94,483 155,886 -39.4%
      Import Car 5,144 6,878 -25.2%
      Import Truck 135 310 -56.5%
      Dom+Imp Cars 58,786 105,077 -44.1%
      Dom+Imp Trucks 94,618 156,196 -39.4%
      Domestic Vehicles 148,125 254,085 -41.7%
      Imported Vehicles 5,279 7,188 -26.6%

      Yr-to-Date Prev Year % Change
      All Vehicles 2,734,789 3,502,774 -22.2%
      Domestic Car 1,089,155 1,286,827 -15.7%
      Domestic Truck 1,561,529 2,125,279 -26.8%
      Import Car 80,820 86,003 -6.4%
      Import Truck 3,285 4,665 -29.8%
      Dom+Imp Cars 1,169,975 1,372,830 -15.1%
      Dom+Imp Trucks 1,564,814 2,129,944 -26.8%
      Domestic Vehicles 2,650,684 3,412,106 -22.6%
      Imported Vehicles 84,105 90,668 -7.6%
      -------------------------------------------------------------

      Percent changes are based on the daily sales rate, and
      reflect 25 selling days this month vs. 25 in the month last
      year, and 282 this year to date vs. 281 last year to date

      Excludes Saab sales.





        • 6 Years Ago
        So it took them a couple of years of losing billions of dollars every semester to figure this out, and the "help" of the press ? how much more crap would there be thats bleeding their capital ? i remember one of the first things that Ghosn did at Nissan was sell some space program they had
      • 6 Years Ago
      You guys do realize that they are still going to be flying in million dollar Gulfstreams. But instead of calling them GM owned they will refered to a borrowed jets from a friend.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Out of curiosity, couldn't they have set these up as charters? The airlines are so screwed up right now, I can't believe they wouldn't have wanted to take advantage of it. I would've been advertising these to attempt to make a bit of profit. They had their own staff, etc.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How much, if you think about Wagoner or Mullaly's salary (and that of their entourage) in terms of dollars per day, will this cost versus one or more jets? If I recall, it's about fifty grand a day for Wagoner and a little more for Mulally. You can bet that a) they aren't travelling alone and b) they aren't going to do the entire eight to ten hours in one day. So, what, a hundred grand or more in salaries, plus expenses (Motel Six? Sure...)

      This is showboating on the part of both government and the automakers. I had a lot of respect for Mulally's "I'm fine where I am" comment: it spoke volumes versus Nardelli's token dollar-a-day and Wagoner's spineless prevarication. I'd have respected him even more if he'd flown in again, rather than bow to populist theatre.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anyone have any figures on what exactly this might save the company in expenses per year? Or if they just plan to fly commercially or something?
        • 6 Years Ago
        You can buy a corporate jet for about $2 million and up, but then you have to hire a pilot, maintenance crew, and airport parking facilities to pay for also (not to mention the price of fuel).

        In fractional ownership you have to make the financial commitment of a certain amount of hours and you have to put up an acquisition fee, which can be anywhere from $400,000 to several million dollars. Then you pay a monthly management fee and an operator cost, which you have to pay whether you fly or not.

        Normally a trip from Boston to New York for the day would cost between $4,000 and $5,000 in a light jet, which holds four passengers.

        It would cost $8,500 to $9,000 for a trip to Miami from Boston. But it wouldn’t be cost effective to have the jet wait for five days on a layover though.

        Midsize jets hold a party of up to seven and a cross country trip would cost roughly $20,000. Heavy jets, which hold 10 people, would cost about $30,000 for a cross country trip.
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