Yesterday we asked whether the EPA (or some other regulatory agency) would have gone after GM like the EPA is going after VW, had GM done what VW is alleged to have done. We argued that it likely wouldn’t have. In the back of our minds was the recent GM ignition switch scandal which the US government didn’t seem very concerned about. Well, actually the government was concerned, but not for the public. The Obama administration didn’t want to make a big stink because GM, Government Motors, was a chosen “winner.” The administration had bailed out the Detroit based company for political reasons and it didn’t want to be embarrassed by a high profile example of incompetence. So what if over 150 people died?
Who knows though. Time to buy is when no one else wants something.
Still, it is gratifying to see GM, that beast of crony capitalism, struggling with its stock price. Given the option investors are choosing to put their money, even the funny money running through markets today, elsewhere.
That’s right. You may have paid $100,000 or more for that new tractor, but guess what? Since the software DNA, the alleged “intellectual property” of John Deere is embedded in the thing, you actually do not OWN the vehicle. It’s still John Deere’s even if the vehicle is paid off, at least the guts of the beast.
In other words if you want to mess with the code within the tractor, and GM is arguing the same thing for its cars, you – according to the John Deere and GM lawyers – are potentially violating copyright provisions. Violating the law. Even if you are only trying to repair the vehicle you own. (Or at least thought you owned.)
Government Motors is a big black hole of dysfunction. People forget that prior to the 2008 Crash people referred to GM as a healthcare company which just happened to make cars. A pension crisis loomed like nobody had seen too.
Then, poof. World goes into a depression and the union workers get their healthcare and pensions taken care of. Funny how that worked.
GM should be dead and the world would be better for it. Its bailout (along with the big banks) is a disgusting chapter in American history. And as we see in the article attached the bailout continues.
“This ruling padlocks the courthouse doors. Hundreds of victims and their families will go to bed tonight forever deprived of justice. GM, bathing in billions, may now turn its back on the dead and injured, worry free.”
No it was not. There are a few union members who made out like bandits and a few more senior managers who got to keep their very generous pensions. It was worth it for the president because he was able to sway Michigan and Ohio by convincing people the auto bailout was for them. But for the rest of us, the world would be better off if GM had died in 2009.
It never stopped being Government Motors. But the “partnership” seems to be strengthening again as the ignition switch scandal continues.
For the companies which make parts for car manufacturers Government Motors now ranks as the worst with which to do business. GM even beat out Chrysler which has traditionally occupied this particular basement.
No biggie. $11 billion here. $11 billion there. And because Treasury sold the shares back to GM, even though it was at a loss, the move took the restrictions off of executive pay. So that’s nice for the executives.
We’ve said multiple times that GM is a company which deserved and deserves to die. It is a shame that this company still treads the earth along with the rest of the herd of bailout dinosaurs.
We are just beginning to get the story on why vehicles were not recalled to GM when they should have been. That the vehicles involved might have shown the government sponsored car manufacturer in a bad light had nothing to do with the slow response of course.
GM at this point should be GMC, Corvette, and Cadillac. These make make sense. There are customers for them and the quality of the cars is nearly that of Japanese and German autos. Cadillac particularly has made tremendous strides. It’s no Mercedes Benz or even BMW, but it has gotten consistently better over the last 10 years. The bumpers don’t fall off anymore. (Remember the Coupe Deville?)
Earlier this year the Treasury decided to sell off the remaining position it (and the taxpayers) had in Government Motors at a $10 billion loss.
Hey it’s only the taxpayer’s money. Why any American who cares about the size of government, or simply just using money wisely, would ever buy a GM product is lost on me.
The GM bailout was really a bailout for the United Auto Workers and their pensioners. A solid pro-Obama constituency the unions were given a colossal gift courtesy of the American taxpayer. A company which made terrible products for decades and which paid its workers much too much, got to live another day because Obama knew he needed to win the northern Midwest in 2012.