• Nov 12th 2010 at 11:29AM
  • 72
Ralph Nader has written a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to delay General Motors' IPO. According to The Detroit News, his fear is that the automaker is still the "same old arrogant GM" and that the government stands to lose a bundle on the sale of its stock.

Nader is not alone in his criticism. His letter is signed by Public Citizen President Robert Weissman, Center for Auto Safety Executive Director Clarence Ditlow and former Public Citizen president Joan Claybrook. The group suggest that GM is taking steps that undermine the Obama administration's efforts after it was directly supported by the government and U.S. taxpayers. It feels that General Motors should not be lobbying congress while owners by the government. Per Nader, "They are lobbying against Obama's own policies on fuel efficiency, auto safety."
In his letter, Nader also states,
"The primary rationale of investing in GM had to be to preserve jobs and prop an economy in a severe downward spiral. As majority shareholder in GM, the United States has the ability to direct or influence the company's investment decisions. As the U.S. reduces its share, so its capacity to influence such decisions diminishes."
Ralph Nader knows that this letter is a Hail Mary attempt to delay General Motor's IPO, but he is hoping for some congressional support to build momentum. What do you think about Nader's move? Have your say in 'Comments.'

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Brendan Smialowski/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Crazed... BTW... the Silverado is built in Indiana.. not Mexico or Canada...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't get over my hatred for GM. I think I need therapy.

      Just hearing the letters... "Geee Ehmmm" makes me ill. I think part of their restructuring should have been a name change. I don't particularly like Nader, but I think his point of "Old arrogant GM" still applies. Badge engineering and low technology is still abound. I long for the day when GM is no more, and a company with real push and desire to be an American icon prevails. Ford is slowly crawling up my list of liked manufacturers. Too bad Gee Ehmm can't do the same thing.

      • 4 Years Ago
      It is the same old GM, at least when it comes to middle and upper management. Certainly they have a raft of new products that far exceed their previous offerings in quality and feature content, but it doesn't seem there has been any real corporate shake up in management that would send GM in a new direction. Sure they're leaner without so many brands and certainly they've had to up their game in the face of Ford's onslaught, but I don't think they have really changed that much as a company.

      That said, let the IPO go forward. It's time for the government to stop owning stock in a company it also regulates (this should have never been done in the first place) and let the market decide. If GM is really moving forward, then the market will reward it. But if there really are concerns about its future viability, its for the market to decide, NOT the government. Bailouts don't work, they just prolong the inevitable pain that comes with having to reorient or die. Ford is great proof of that, but GM needs a leader like Mulally...and he's got a job.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm making stuff up? All I am saying is that you haven't offered one bit of proof that my "long-winded attack" on GM is untrue. Maybe you're a huge GM fan, and if so, that's fine. I would love to see GM succeed, but the reality is that while their products have improved as a result of direct competition from the market, their corporate culture has remained largely unchanged. Look up articles about GM and Ford in major business magazines, the news, industry websites...they'll all say the same thing. Ford has totally changed corporate culture under Mulally...they're lean and focused for the first time in a long time. GM remains basically the same as it has been.

        As for Ecotec and Ecoboost, you're clearly not understanding what I mean. GM's improvement in product over the last few years has been more forced by the success of rivals (Ford, et. al.) rather than driven by innovative progress. Of course Ford isn't responsibly for GM's engines in a design and manufacturing sense...to suggest that is ridiculous. The F150's new engine lineup is one very recent example of what I am talking about. GM would have just continued to ride out their current truck engine lineup as long as possible, but now they'll have to improve to stay competitive (and if you think they are competitive, check out pickuptrucks.com's recent comparison of base pickups). Another example: the impetus for the (re)creation of the Camaro was the incredible success of the recent Mustangs. GM isn't leading the market, it's following and trying not to get left behind. All of these are management/leadership problems at the core.

        All that to say that while I don't really like Nader, he's right about GM. A lot more needs to change before things will be really different on a management and strategic vision level. That said...let the IPO go forward and we'll see what the market thinks. If I'm wrong, GM's stock will shoot up...we'll see.

        Ad Hominem: an attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise. The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy.

        Please engage the facts, not your perception of my bias.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You mean GM's revamped EcoTec engine lineup they debuted in 2007, long before Ford jumped in with EcoBoost?

        I don't know GM's corporate culture. I would suspect you don't know Ford's either. All we really know is their products, Ford has some good new ones. GM does too.

        But to give Ford credit for GM's new 4-bangers when Ford followed GM on this is strange. To give Ford credit for GM's new 6 cylinder engines is tough when GM debuted their high-feature V6 in 2004 (DI in 2007).

        Ad hominem? You're making this stuff up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your argument is just a long-winded attack on GM. You even go so far as to give Ford responsibility for GM improving their products. Bizarre.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Erik urges Ralph Nader to STFU.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Has any of the GM defenders ever driven a corvair?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Comrade Nader hates anything with a North American nameplate. Where was he when Toyota was knowingly selling cars with unintended acceleration and brake problems? Where was he?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am not sure where he was, but I have a pretty good idea of where his head was. I will give you a hint. It is the same place where he gets most of his ideas.
      • 4 Years Ago

      Ralph Nader is the Dr. Kevorkian of General Motors.....Ralph killed the Corvair singlehandly ...... And now he wants to kill the entire company.

      • 4 Years Ago
      "Nader is not alone in his criticism. His letter is signed by Public Citizen President Robert Weissman, Center for Auto Safety Executive Director Clarence Ditlow and former Public Citizen president Joan Claybrook."

      In other words, the usual suspects. Poster children for the nanny state.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My $4000 of GM stock went to zero when they declared bankruptcy. That was part of my retirement. They just take a new name, keep all their assets, give big money to top management and the Unions and I GET ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!
      OBAMA talks about the middle income people, he ought to be concerned with some of us who get -- 1057 pension and $985 social security and mus live on that.. WHO IS STEALING FROM WHOME????
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lots of companies do that so don't expect world to feel sorry for you. You should invest what you can lose, that's the name of the game. If you invested your savings into stock market hoping for it to be your retirement then you are a pretty stupid person to begin with.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If magic beans and fairy dust existed, then that would explain GM's "sudden" profitability and improved product portfolio.

      In the real world, you don't go from losing billions every quarter for 7 years or more, to borrowing billions, to "PROFIT" in 6 months' time. I know there's major b.s. going on here. Nader is right to be skeptical. Any rational person should be. Anyone who believes GM "good news" official line is an idiot.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you want to call bankruptcy magic fairy dust, so be it. But the fact remains that when you wipe a ton of debt and liabilities off of a company(as bankruptcy does), they "magically" can do much more with their money than funnel it into those previous obligations.

        They also renegotiated their agreements with the UAW which massively decreased their obligations to them as well and saves them money on eachand every vehicle they build compared to what they were paying out before.

        Sorry you don't understand how it all works, but that's exactly what happened.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If arrogance is grounds for revoking economic freedom, we need to regulate the government.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ralphi is a nosey do gooder. He doesn't even know how to drive a car. He just pays some poor slob to drive him around.
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