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We've decided to stop trying to guess what General Motors will do before its IPO – which might come next month or later this year or early next year. What we do know is that GM has wanted to secure a captive finance arm before an IPO, a process that looked unlikely, then fell off the radar entirely, and then, BAM!, GM whips out $3.5 billion to buy AmeriCredit. That has made at least one senator do a double-take, asking whether spending that much money and loaning to the subprime market is

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A little more than a year ago, General Motors had in excess of 6,000 dealerships across the country. In the viability plan GM submitted to Congress the automaker stated it would shut down 400 dealerships every year, shedding 1,600 of them by 2012. The General said it eventually wanted to get down to 4,000 showrooms at some point in the future. According the the latest reports, GM is well ahead of its own schedule: it will have just 4,500 dealership by the end of this year, a 1,650-site drop from

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One year ago, the U.S. auto industry was at the weakest point in its history. To make matters worse for the both the industry and the Obama Administration, the majority of Americans wanted nothing to do with a bailout, having just undertaken an even pricier propping up of the country's lending institutions. But President Obama and the Auto Task Force made the difficult decision to push General Motors and Chrysler through bankruptcy while providing $50 billion in loans to keep the doors open at t

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According to The Detroit News, General Motors will announce that it is fully repaying the federal loans it received last summer from both the United States and Canadian governments. In total, General Motors will have paid back about $6.7 billion ($2 billion of which has already been returned) of the $50 billion it received from the U.S., the majority of which was recovered by acquiring a 61-percent share of the automaker.

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When U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood opened the Detroit Auto Show last week and said that the Chevrolet Volt was, "obviously the kind of green car Americans are looking for," it was a slightly self-serving statement. After all, the government that LaHood works for owns a large share of General Motors (and Chrysler). Even though Ford didn't take a bailout from the government, Newsweek wanted to know just who's in charge of the Big Three these days. Their assessment? It's not anyone in

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Planning for the future is perhaps an alien concept to big business – even automakers, with their protracted product development cycles. Take a cue of what not to do from them, then, and start planning now for next Christmas. May we suggest that your 2010 wishlist starts with what's destined to be a hotly-anticipated tome: Steven Rattner's memoir of his spearheading the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. Tentatively titled "Overhaul," the cloyingly-named book will tell the story of th

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Many of us ABers being in our early- to mid-30s, we're less amazed that another of our ilk has risen to a decisive government position. We are, after all, a generation on the rise. The surprising part about Brian Deese's story is that he's been instrumental in shaping the Obama administration's moves to save General Motors, and this is his first official tour of duty in Washington. What qualifies a guy who hasn't even finished his Yale Law degree to steer President's automotive task force around

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After two weeks of intense negotiations, General Motors Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union have reached a deal that will help the automaker cut costs, allowing it to meet the terms for additional government loans. Ken Lewenza, head of the CAW, said it was "a struggle" to reach a deal with GM, but he added that the union had done the best it could under the circumstances, saying: "we have protected most of our core benefits."

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The familiar expression goes "Better the devil you know," meaning it's preferable to deal with the nasty things you don't like but are at least familiar with. General Motors, however, doesn't seem to think so. The troubled automaker appears more ready to take its chances with bankruptcy than continue to fight the weight of monumental debt and the demands of restructuring it.

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Is that 'B' as in bankruptcy or 'B' as in bailout? Probably 'B' as in both. Regardless of the buzzword you choose to slap on the respective situations General Motors and Chrysler find themselves in, it's not good, and Ford realizes this fact just as clearly as the rest of us. In response, the Blue Oval has embarked on a new plan to pick up as much market share as possible.

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When the president tells you to sharpen your pencil and improve your last-ditch survival effort, it's time to grab the big eraser. According to reports, General Motors may ditch its GMC and Pontiac brands to demonstrate just how serious it is. If the auto lines go, GM would be pared back to Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac, a mere shadow of its former self, but the nameplates might become more clearly defined with the added breathing room. Ford's got its trifecta of Ford, Mercury and Lincoln, so GM

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Before we begin, let us state clearly that this is speculation by Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker. Examining the various stakeholders' interests in General Motors, Denninger has come up with a scenario that supposes GM's bondholders might actually want the automaker to file for bankruptcy.

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Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2011 Chevy Volt

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According to The Detroit Free Press, Rasmussen Reports called 1,000 people and asked them if they believed "the economy could recover without General Motors in business." The results were clear: 76% of respondents said "Yes, it can." The sentiment against any more taxpayer money being used to assist automakers was clear as well: 62% said neither GM nor Chrysler should receive any more loans.

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President Obama has just finished his press conference on the government's determination of the viability of General Motors and Chrysler, and the gist is that both automakers have failed to convince the feds that their business plans deserve further investment. Obama and his task force will give GM enough working capital to survive another 60 days and prove its viability, though no dollar amount was given. Chrysler, meanwhile, is being given another 30 days and working capital up to $6 billion t

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GM and Chrysler have until Tuesday to complete the financial restructuring demanded by the government under the terms of the bridge loans. It is unlikely that they will make that target. The sticking point for GM is unwillingness on the part of bondholders to agree to what's being asked: GM needs to transform $27 billion of debt into liquidity, and that means a serious dilution of bondholder equity.

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It's the General Motors and Chrysler merger saga, take three. A few months ago, GM said "No can do" to the union, taking off its ring and walking out of church. Now GM's bondholders may be contemplating a shotgun wedding, forcing The General back to the altar over the debt-equity swap the automaker needs to conclude to have a chance at more government financing.

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General Motors has just revealed its Viability Plan that was due today to the U.S. Treasury Department under the loan agreement signed back on December 31, 2008. Just like Chrysler, GM is requesting more money than it was initially loaned due to domestic and global industry sales that were historically low in December and January. Today the company received the remainder of $13.4 billion in loans it was granted earlier, but is requesting an additional $16.6 billion to bring the total amount of m

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