Monday, November 17, 2008

GM Facts And Fiction

GM logo
GM has launched a website at that seeks to dispel the myth that a collapse of the U.S. auto industry would only affect Michigan and other mid-west states. The site is well-constructed and is a useful resource for both those looking for more information about the impact an auto industry collapse could have on the entire U.S. economy, as well as those looking to try to help in some way.

The site includes a video that is heavy on numbers, although most of them are so large that they may be difficult to absorb. The message is clear: a collapse of the U.S. auto industry would be a significant blow to the health of the economy as a whole, although as the site and video are clearly commissioned by GM it may be difficult to sell the data as unbiased and accurate.

Common opinions regarding the actual effect of the possible demise of the U.S. auto industry, as well as the popularity of the various bailout plans circulating Washington span a wide range, and accurate information is difficult to come by. This site represents an attempt by an auto manufacturer to speak directly to the general public in an attempt to inform us about the severity of the situation as seen by GM. It will be interesting to see if Ford or Chrysler follow with similar efforts, and even more interesting to see if they have any effect.


Bill Hirsch said...

I have owned, driven, and sold several thousand GM products in my auto industry career. I can list several reasons why GM and others can not go under. I however choose to back GM first. Government assistance should be given with out question considering the added expense the lawmakers have attached to the window sticker price in much needed safety and emmision items. I feel the auto insurance industry needs to step up or be asked for loans also. Look what they are profiting from. They make billions in premiums that never see a claim. Why should they not help. I have only touched on my views and would like to help.

Cope said...

Thanks for the comment, Bill. One factor to keep in mind is that the emissions and safety requirements apply to all of the automakers, not just the Big Three. However, recent negotiations with the UAW will allow the Big Three to be much more competitive with their foreign competition, and hopefully the recently-approved loans will give them enough flexibility and time to further improve their business processes and already-impressive vehicles.

Your comment was the first I had heard mentioning the insurance companies. While the auto insurance companies' existence depends on that of the auto industry, the chance is slim that they would contribute to the loans. Auto insurance customers are already very concious of how much they pay, and they may not appreciate seeing their insurance provider writing large checks for the benefit of the relatively-unpopular auto makers.