• Jun 1, 2009
At 6:00 AM EST this morning, it was official: General Motors filed for bankruptcy. The pundits, editorialists, arm-chair quarterbacks and newly-minted auto analysts began having their say late last night. Over the coming days, weeks and months, GM's Chapter 11 filing will provide endless editorial fodder for scribes of all stripes and creeds, and the last 12 hours is a good indication of what's to come.

The opening, news-tinged salvos began with the New York Times, including one piece espousing GM's "New Start" and another taking a rose-tinted look back on the General's 100-year history. Joe Sherlock from The View Through the Windshield took a similar tack, while P.J. O'Rourke chimed in at the Wall Street Journal with a poignant, if scattered, assessment of why the American automobile industry has failed and why "America's romantic foolishness with cars is finished." Documentary filmmaker and activist Michael Moore chimed in with his thoughts over on Daily Kos. Last but not least, The Truth About Cars' Robert Farago penned his 256th installment of the site's General Motors Death Watch, using O'Rourke's WSJ tome as a springboard to rehash the sins of GM's past and to excoriate the executives that sealed the automaker's fate.

However, what we haven't heard yet – what both enthusiasts and average consumers need to hear – is a clarion call that outlines GM's future. How will the automaker restructure? What will roll off the production lines post-bankruptcy? And how will the choices made over the coming months affect the car-buying public both in the U.S. and abroad?

Here's hoping President Obama's noontime press conference and the follow-up by GM's CEO Fritz Henderson offers some answers, and the editorial world responds with a clear, focused and fair assessment of what's to come.


[Image Source: Bill Pugliano/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sea Urine,

      You are bad product.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "In 90's GM bet on Big SUVs and made a ton on money but completely abandoned sedans,"

        You must have a very short memory because the big three never "abandoned" car sales. They didn't make B segment cars in large volumes because people in the US could care less about them until gas was at $4 a gallon.

        I get sick and tired of these old arguments - especially people like you with your big 3 hatred. The big three built vehicle people wanted in the 90's and the Japanese made just as much profit of each one of their SUV's.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Uh, the Taurus wasn't killed, it was known as one of the best sedan's ever built, being very reliable, and cheap to fix when needed; also having good mileage for what it was as well.

        Ford killed the Taurus name when they wanted to be "The New Ford". They quickly changed names back from Five Hundred to Taurus when no one would buy the new car because they weren't familiar with the name.

        And the Camry and Accord are good, yeah, but so is/was the Grand Prix, Impala, Monte Carlo, and previous gen Malibus.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think that anyone denies that in 70's and 80's GM had some of the worst cars in USA, 2 decades of BS madesure that a % of population swore never to buy a domestic again.

        In 90's GM bet on Big SUVs and made a ton on money but completely abandoned sedans, market changed in 2000's..............the rest is history.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sea Urchin is correct. But I would ad that the product had improved significantly over the last several years. Not too little, but certainly too late.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ....and so you stay at #1 by building the worse cars in the US.... Interesting!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        John, in 90’s Japanese sold many SUVs and made a ton of money, but they also made a killing in sedans. D3’s sedans were also runs to put it mildly, Taurus and Cavalier were such poor name they had to be killed. Sure today’s Malibu is a good car, but why buy Malibu if you can buy CamCord, which were great in 70’s 80’s 90’s and 00’s.

        Japanese and Americans both sold SUVs but Japanese were smart enough to divercify.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM has a lot to be proud of, from being an technological innovator (beginning with Kettering's self-starter), to being a big part of the arsenal of democracy in WWII. They'll survive in some fashion, even if it's only as Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't wanna see anyone "analyzing" anything. None of these so called experts could see clear through Wagoner's bullst*t when he was spewing that the US would lose 3 million jobs if GM filed for bankruptcy.

      50 BILLION DOLLARS LATER, and a bankruptcy filing today, I better see 3 million jobs disappear to justify keeping this company alive.

      LET GM DIE! File Chapter 7 and sell everything.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Arguably, they shoud have done it years ago. They could have done it when American Axle was on strike - and would have had political cover for it, access to outside lines of credit, and a business-friendly GWB in office.

      Now, under Obama, they'll have a more significant issue with meeting "environmental goals", rather than just profitability; and the government has a stake in what your product manufacturing planning will be (e.g. don't close unprofitable plants).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Too big to fail!
      .....Until we make sure the UAW can live on to screw the American people another day....

      • 5 Years Ago
      Lets face it, GM does not make good cars period. Look at the people whos making them, they have no style or innovation. they just wanna get paid. Bad product. compare their cars to Toyota, and Nissan then you will know. I know that the truth hurts for all you support GM. Dont get me wrong, I do want GM to get better but with old ideas they have they have no chance. And If anyone says that their new cars are much better now, well you need to wake up and smell the coffee. They need to start hiring young american kids or young asian kids to make better cars. Someone with ideas not just to get a paycheck. Its the truth...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Preach on
        • 5 Years Ago
        Holy crap!! Did you just indicate they need to hire young Asian kids to build better cars?!?!? So Asians have better ideas, and Americans just want to get paid?!?!? I can see why this country is going to h*ll............
        • 5 Years Ago
        YEs I said it, but I also said young American kids. dont twist it around. I know it hurts to read it. there there, everythings gonna be ok
      • 5 Years Ago
      They myriad of diverse claims by outsiders as to why GM failed is a case study in mass projection of personal philosophies. It also tells me the real reasons haven't been discussed much publicly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wanted a G8 with a v8+6 speed manual. None available. Then they cut production,then drop Pontiac,the file for bankruptcy. That means I HAVE to buy an Audi S5. At least I can get a manual trans.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 6speed auto in the G8 is a great transmission, it's the same transmission used in the Corvette and the CTS-V (6L80 in G8/Vette, 6L90 in CTS-V)

        Also, look at the G8 GXP. A TR6060 6speed stick is offered.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Isn't the S5 something like 2 times as much as the most expensive G8?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Corvettes have transmissions?
      • 5 Years Ago
      BAILOUT ROCK
      (Jailhouse Rock, Elvis)
      WilliamBanzai7

      Sing along link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRu3tw9fYxE

      Timmy Geithner threw a party for the dumb that failed.
      Benny Bernanke's band was there and they began to wail.
      The band was jumpin and the joint began to swing.
      You shouldve heard those feckless CEO turds sing.
      Lets rock, everybody, lets rock.
      Everybody on the whole was hocked
      and dancin to the bailout rock.

      Hanky Paulsen played the corporate welfare saxophone,
      Barack Obammy was blowin on the bailout trombone.
      The drummer boy from Detroit went crash, boom, bang,
      The whole rhythm section was the red ink gang.
      Lets rock, everybody's in hock.
      Everybody in the whole capitalist block
      Was dancin to the bailout rock.

      Number 1 Trillion went to number three:
      Youre the cutest welfare bird I ever did see.
      I sure would be delighted with your insolvent company,
      Come on and do the bailout rock with me.
      Lets rock, everybody's in hock.
      Everybody in the whole capitalist block
      Was dancin to the bailout rock.

      Motown sad sack was a sittin on a block of stone
      Way over in the corner weepin all alone.
      Uncle Sammy said, hey, buddy, dont you be no square.
      If you cant find a way out use the taxpayer's chair.
      Lets rock, everybody's in hock.
      Everybody in the wholecapitalist block
      Was dancin to the bailout rock.

      Shifty Blankfein said to Liddy, for heavens sake,
      No ones lookin, nows our chance to make a break.
      Liddy turned to shifty and he said, nix nix,
      I wanna stick around a while and get my bailout kicks.
      Lets rock, everybody's in hock.
      Everybody in the whole capitalist block
      Was dancin to the bailout rock.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Political humor is an oxymoron.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder what Clarkson's analysis will be like.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I feel sorry about the workers of GM, but I'm rejoicing with the news.
      GM was a sinking ship, and everyone knew that.
      In Europe they tried to sell daewoos with Chevy badges... That was one of many mistakes, badge engineering.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can sum it all up, bad product.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Then why were they doing fine before the credit implosion?"-----in 2006 GM was able to squizz concessions from UAW by proving that the company was in imminent danger, this goes way beyond 2007 and 2009, the company has been losing market % fore decades now.
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