Is General Motors going bankrupt?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Ben W, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Things do not seem to be going to well for GM at present with many rumours as to their financial state. Honda, Toyota and Nissan seem to be circling for a kill. Will GM stave of bankrupcy?

    - Cracks begin to show at General Motors
    16th January 2006
    By ABR Staff Writer

    Speaking at the International Auto Show in Detroit, General Motors chairman Robert Lutz lambasted the analysts who dared to criticize his company and affirmed that the auto giant had entered 2006 in good condition. Yet for all the positive publicity GM has tried to generate, murmurs about a possible bankruptcy still persist, as Datamonitor Analyst Richard Carteau reports...

    General Motors' latest PR strategy, which aims to demonstrate that the group has no intention of filing for bankruptcy and to reassure both markets and consumers about the groups health, could be described, for the most part, as blindly optimistic.

    The launch of new models, such as the muscular Chevrolet Camaro concept, has been largely ineffective in staving off criticism regarding the company's lack of innovation. Moreover, the way GM chairman Robert Lutz lashed out at analysts at the Detroit Auto Show, when the eyes of the world's media were upon him, betrayed the seriousness and instability of the group's situation.

    Speaking at this key industry event, Mr Lutz compared GM's current situation to that of Daimler-Chrysler when it narrowly skirted bankruptcy in the early 1990s. Of course, this argument remains strongly unconvincing as the competitive landscapes of the two separate decades are irreconcilably different; this decade has seen the rise of non-US players such as Toyota and Honda.

    It was Goldman Sachs' recent upgrading of the auto giant that helped GM's battered shares see one of their best days since last year, and the move was also enough to lift the Dow Jones industrial average above the 11,000 threshold. However, the positive news was tempered by the auto analyst who upgraded GM, Robert Barry, likening the automaker's outlook to that of a sinking ship and describing his long term view of the company as "squarely negative".

    Nevertheless, the slight upturn brought by Goldman Sachss upgrade from 'underperform' to 'in-line' would have been more effective had it been supported by some reassuring words from Mr Barry - words that the outspoken auto industry veteran, who turns 74 next month, was obviously struggling to utter.

    The brief upturn experienced by GM does not seem to be enough to fuel a steady recovery, and has not fully justified Mr Lutz's vehement denial of a potential filing for Chapter 11. However, automotive analysts are almost unanimously predicting a collapse: Ron Tadross of Bank of America Securities, put the chance of a GM bankruptcy at 40% in the next two years, but described an eventual bankruptcy filing as "inevitable". Similarly, Standard & Poors recently downgraded GM debt further into junk bond status, leading one of the firm's analysts Scott Sprinzen to state that the chance that the automaker would file bankruptcy was "not far fetched".

    If GM is to persuade analysts that its future is secure, the company will need to start putting an even more positive, not to mention more convincing, gloss on its situation.

    http://snipurl.com/ln2q
     
  2. billwald

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    Will the mood of the country pemit a bail out like Chrysler had?
     
  3. fromtheright

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    I hope not. Let the unions sink 'em.
     
  4. Hope of Glory

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    Bankruptcy and the Corvette are the only two things that can save them. The unions have put them in the position in which they now find themselves. Reorganization would permit them to dump some of the excess baggage that was foisted upon them by the unions, and perhaps rebuild in a fashion that would permit them to operate.
     
  5. Terry_Herrington

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    Yea, let all those workers go on unemployment; let their families suffer, who cares! :rolleyes:

    How calloused!

    No wonder liberals like me often despise positions taken by conservatives.
     
  6. Ben W

    Ben W
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    What things are the excess baggage that they should get rid of?

    I have not see the Corvette, but the one they made in the 1970's was killer. Yet times have changed, and are they going to genuinley be able to go head to head with the 206KW V6 twin turbo Toyota Soarer?
     
  7. Bro. James

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    Is GM "going" bankrupt? GM is bankrupt--has been for some time. So is the U.S. of A--probably for the same reasons, one of which might be: Dialectic materialism with a capitalistic twist. Karl would be proud.

    The love of money is at the root of the problem. The labor unions are just trying to keep up with the rampant mismanagement at all levels--see the Katrina fiasco.

    If we could only figure out how to tax the traffic--in opium derivatives--we might get out of the "red". Would that mean more gold for China?

    Wake up and smell the tea--it is from Pekoe.

    Selah,

    Retired UAW (aerospace), yeah, we helped go to the moon and back too.

    Bro. James
     
  8. Baptist in Richmond

    Baptist in Richmond
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    Although I am VERY fond of you, and respect your opinion, I VEHEMENTLY disagree with you on this one.

    Did the unions make the investment decisions at General Motors?
    Did the unions come up with the idea to match a price war?
    Did the unions run the company financially?
    Did the unions design the product that is being produced?
    Were the unions the only side that ratified the collective bargaining agreement with General Motors?
    Are the rank and file in the unions making the substantial salaries paid to the top executives at General Motors?
    Are the rank and file in the unions guilty of greed for wanting to earn a good living and provide for their families?

    Remember: many of the jobs at General Motors are skilled labor positions. These are (or at least they used to be) good-paying jobs that provide people and their families with a good living. In many ways, these are some of the last industrial jobs left in the country. Should they be lost, a lot of people will be losing their livelihoods and their lifestyles.

    Bottom line: these unions represent people in positions that pay good wages, and that money is then spent in the communities in which those people live. As a Christian and as a LIBERAL, I will always be an advocate for the working men and women in this country. Actually, when I was a hard-core right winger, I was an advocate for working men and women. I was raised to respect the hard working people who were and are the backbone of this country. I have never crossed a picket line, nor do I ever intend to.

    Bankruptcy is a VERY SERIOUS issue, and it is a scary one for all involved, from the blue collar workforce represented by the unions to the investors who own the company.

    Regards to you,
    BiR
     
  9. Baptist in Richmond

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    I STRONGLY disagree with you on this. The Corvette is not a product that would appeal to the mass market, nor would it compete with the products that are taking the market share from them. The Corvette represents a very small percentage of the production at General Motors.
    Bankruptcy is only a short-term fix. Unless the issues that brought the company to this present condition, nothing will change.

    That is totally untrue. The management has put the company "in the position in which they now find themselves."

    You mean it will allow them to back out of the promises made to the people who spent their lives working for the company. Look at all the layoffs that have already taken place, and yet the company is still in trouble. But don't worry: General Motors will most likely shift the financial obligations made to these people to YOU, just like United Airlines has already done.

    Regards,
    BiR
     
  10. 4His_glory

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    As one who is from the State whose economy hinges on the auto industry, and as one who has family and friends who work for both GM and Ford, no they will not go bankrupt.

    I was talking with a friend of mine is a GM employee. He said that they will make some changes, but they have money stashed away in all sorts of places. Sure they will close some plants, and cut back on some lines, but they will not go bankrupt.
     
  11. fromtheright

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    BiR,

    I think the bottom line in answer to the questions is that the company was extorted by the threat of strike to pay the wages and give the benefits they did. I agree with you that executive salaries are probably outrageous (I don't have the specifics as to those for GM), but I would just about bet that in comparing what percentage of their outlay that goes to union employees vs. that that goes to the top layer of executives making such salaries the amount to the former is very high in favor of the former. I would also venture to guess (speculation only) that the amount of salary to GM execs vs. that paid to those to senior execs in other comparably-sized profitable industries is very close. I concede it is surely arguable whether those execs were worth their pay given that their company is about to go belly-up. Apparently, to the extent that high unionized pay/benefits contributed to this problem, the company should have locked out their employees the last time(s) their contract came up to avoid this, but we "wicked conservatives" (with a nod to TH's "argument") would likely have caught liberal bile then rather than now for such a view.

    Also, I don't know for sure, but aren't the other U.S. automakers also facing problematic balance sheets, too? This at least adds some weight to my argument.

    I would also concede that their financial position is because they obviously aren't competitive with their foreign competition. But this raises some other questions (questions, not arguments, because I don't know):
    --what does American labor make working for those foreign companies? If their pay/benefits are comparable to those made by GM employees and the American division of those foreign carmakers are profitable, it certainly adds support to your argument.
    --what do senior executives make for those foreign companies? Would also be curious what the American division execs make compared to their domestic company counterparts?

    As to decisions to match a price war, that seems to me to be the nature of the business in trying to outsell their competitors.

    No, the unions don't run the company financially but, as a cost of production, they certainly are a factor in how the company does financially.

    No, I certainly don't blame the employees for wanting to make good money but when their own greed (or is anyone asserting that only executives are capable/guilty of greed?) brings a business to financial ruin they bear at least a substantial part of the blame--and the risk of pressing their own demands.

    I too have great respect for working men and women. I are one. But men (including working men) are not angels and their actions--and demands--carry risks. They are now facing one of those risks.

    As always, with great respect, BiR,

    FTR
     
  12. gb93433

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    When a company advertises selling at employee prices you don't have to wonder what is going on.
     
  13. elijah_lives

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    Not too many workers are able to do nothing, yet get paid (for years). The Jobs bank is killing Ford and GM, and needs to go. This is the excess baggage that unions have pushed on management, among other things. Ther companies that are in serious trouble have one common denominator -- UNIONS!
     
  14. elijah_lives

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    Not too many workers are able to do nothing, yet get paid (for years). The Jobs bank is killing Ford and GM, and needs to go. This is the excess baggage that unions have pushed on management, among other things. The companies that are in serious trouble all have one common denominator -- UNIONS! (Autos, airlines, steel, etc.)
     
  15. Bro. James

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    There are many who could rightfully say: "The common denominator is poor management and unrealistic demands of the stockholders.'

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  16. hillclimber

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    What things are the excess baggage that they should get rid of?

    I have not see the Corvette, but the one they made in the 1970's was killer. Yet times have changed, and are they going to genuinley be able to go head to head with the 206KW V6 twin turbo Toyota Soarer?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Corvette will still have them by over 100 HP, and a better suspension. No contest. But the Corvette cannot save GM under any condition. 206 KW converts to about 280 HP.
     
  17. hillclimber

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    I believe it is the unions unsatiable appetite that is destroying the US automakers. I've heard some very disturbing stories on union employees activities while on the job, including drinking, smoking pot, and taking drugs, with absolute impunity.
     
  18. Scott J

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    Yea, let all those workers go on unemployment; let their families suffer, who cares! :rolleyes:

    How calloused!

    No wonder liberals like me often despise positions taken by conservatives.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Yes. The same unions who gave us high priced cars so that someone could sit all day and watch a robot place rivets. And yes, the same unions who have nearly chased heavy manufacturing out of the US by their unreasonable demands and extortion.

    How calloused? Indeed. How callous of union workers to selfishly inflate the price of the things we pay for. How callous of unions to chase good jobs out of our country before our children get to hold them for the sake of their own new boat or fancy car. How callous of unions who for the sake of class envy have robbed their neighbor.
     
  19. ShagNappy

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    They could just build cars that were worth owning rather than the rancid piles of gas guzzling scrap they build now.
     
  20. Scott J

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    Although I am VERY fond of you, and respect your opinion, I VEHEMENTLY disagree with you on this one.

    Did the unions make the investment decisions at General Motors?</font>[/QUOTE]
    No. They limited capital and often threatened to strike if investments were made that might result in labor reductions.
    No. They made it more difficult to compete in one... "price wars" btw aren't a bad thing since they yield better value to the consumer.
    No... they left those who did with a near impossible equation to balance.
    Maybe. Some engineers are unionized. At least part of Boeing's engineers are.
    No. Are you saying the company really had a choice? What choice? Liquidation?
    Composite yes. Comparative to responsibility, yes... and I would actually agree that those execs are overpaid... as are the "rank and file"... a very ugly term to call an American IMO.
    No... as long as a) they earn it and b) the job they do is commensurate with the value they add to the product.

    I don't personally think a floor sweep should be paid $20+ per hours. Sorry.

    Why? Because the jobs pay more than they are worth. People in other countries are willing to do them better for less. I am not revelling in this fact... I am lamenting it.

    If they force companies to pay more than they are worth... then it is extortion.
    I am an advocate for those people... and those people aren't so selfish as to make demands that drive a whole industry out of the country.
    I would in a skinny minute if I had to take a beating every day to do it.

    GM has been mismanaged by both the union and the management.

    I don't buy its cars because of poor customer service and poor workmanship. If they go down... they did it to themselves.
     

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