Update: Kerkorian's prescription for GM

Jerry York's speech to the Society of Automotive Analysts is history, and Automotive News has posted the full text of the speech here.
So what does Kerkorian's advisor recommend for GM? The short answer: get into "crisis mode." Why is it time for crisis mode? Because York calculates that GM's total cash and potential cash will run out in about 1,000 days, if nothing changes. Roughly three years.

Concrete suggestions abound in his lengthy speech, including:

  • cut dividends
  • focus on four sales channels: Chevrolet, Pontiac-Buick-GMC, Cadillac and Saturn and unload everthing else. This means selling Saab and Hummer (which York terms non-core assets) and eliminating Isuzu vehicles from the lineup. Lets GM focus on core brands and raises cash.
  • salary reductions at all levels of the company
  • focus on short-term cost considerations to reduce cash burn rate

With respect to suppliers, York doubts that GM will find significant relief from that quarter - GM and everyone else have gone to that well too many times already, and the auto supplier segment of the industry is arguably in worse shape than the auto manufacturers themselves.

And York points out that these short term actions have long term implications, saying, "...every single day the [auto] companies are in the headlines regarding their financial stress, they are one day closer to the day when customers could begin deciding not to take the risk of buying a domestic product..."

Well worth reading.

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