Saturday, June 6, 2009

Iowahawk takes over the GM marketing department

This is a continuation of the previous post.
I've been having these recurring dreams about going to the final G.M. bankruptcy auction in the year 2014. These dreams have been curiously episodic, with each one beginning where the previous dream ended.....

As I wonder how I'm going to explain spending two grand on a "Hillary" doormat, I begin to wonder what it was that finally put G.M. out of business in 2014. Was it the fact that design changes had to go through the Deparment Of Commerce? Was it the Imperial Decree from President (of the U.S.) Obama to the President (of G.M.) Obama that all vehicles must get 83 miles per gallon? Was it the lawsuit over red cars not being "green" enough?

One of the many, many reasons for the G.M. bankruptcy: They didn't have a decent marketing department. The ads were curiously unappealing, despite being produced by my online friend Iowahawk. Check out this one, about the Pelosi GTxi SS/RT Sport Edition:

I woke up at 4:14 this morning, screaming about the horror of late 1970's dance moves.
I've got to stop obsessing over this. Yes, the president of the United States has fired the President of General Motors.

Yes, he knows nothing about running a car company.
And no, it can't possibly end well.
Their problems are not my problems. Deep down inside, I know this. Its just the principle of the thing. Presidents shouldn't install themselves as CEO of corporations whose donors are in trouble.
Am going to try Vicodin, just to see if the dreams stop.


Dr Ralph said...

Take a look at the history of General Motors over the last 20 years, and the performance of some of its CEOs.

- Roger Smith: oversaw market share from 46% to 35%
- Robert Stempel: forced out by the GM board for overall mediocre performance
- Rick Wagoner: $85 billion in losses and decline in share price of over 90%

Not that I'm necessarily in favor of the government taking over GM, but I'd say Obama's not the first person in charge of GM who knows nothing about running a car company. He'd be hard pressed to match the performance of some of these jacklegs.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Here's the biggest part of the problem, and I hope I don't dream about it tonight:
GM has 95,000 employees but pays out health benefits to a million people.
I repeat....GM has 95,000 employees and pays out health benefits to a million people.

I don't know if you could find another organization ANYWHERE with such a lopsided worker/entitlement ratio. (Well, Social Security is getting there.)
Therefore, GM is doomed.

The vital connection is this: Detroit, the automakers, the UAW, all of them contributed a lot to the Obama campaign. The campaign is now giving back to the community. Your money. My money. Pumped into an organization that is as doomed. Deader than vaudeville.

The next step will be increased tariffs on Honda and Toyota components, and increased burdens on Ford, relative to GM and Chrysler. Gotta protect the investment.

Dr Ralph said...

Not that I don't trust you, but I'd love to see a little attribution so I know where you get your numbers. A link or something.

Be that as it may, thank the Roger Smiths, Robert Stempels and Rick Wagoners of this world for the lop-sided worker/entitlement ratio.

And when you say the auto industry gave a lot to Obama, I'd like a citation or two as well. That statement's so broad as to be meaningless. A lot of people gave money to him. Not to relive the election, but given the alternatives, who can blame them? has a particularly broad set of statistics about the finances around the 2008 presidential election. Of the top 20 identified groups contributing directly to the Obama campaign, none of them were connected with the automotive industry. The United Auto Workers did provide considerable underwriting for independent expenditures, but were far outspent by the Service Employees International Union, half of whom are in the health care industry.

By contrast, of the top 20 identified groups contributing directly to the McCain/Palin campaign, over half were from the financial industries. Of the groups providing independent expenditures, the largest number were anti-abortion groups or the Religious Right.

Finally, if that million people with (negotiated) health care benefits suddenly lost their care, we'd have an even more enormous problem on our hands.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

To Dr. Ralph... I agree with you that there's been horrific management and miscues and misfires by GM's management. Notoriously 10 years behind every curve and THEY allowed the UAW to slowly destroy it's host being.

And to you point about Obama's top 20 supporters not having automotive ties. It will be interesting to see if, say, Sidley Austin, WilmerHale, DLA Piper or Latham & Watkins(all in his top 20) will be one of the top bankruptcy attornies in the GM deal. Interesting, all of them recently have been beefing up their corporate bankruptcy teams. Hmmmm.

Not that there has to be quid pro quo in everything, but I noticed on that Auto dealers largely (by 80%) supported the GOP. The group hurt worst by GM Bankruptcy? Auto dealers. Again, maybe not a quid pro quo... but I'm just sayin'.

HOWEVER, this could be a case of "opportunistic quid pro quo". I goes a little sumpin like this: Government bails out banks ---> Auto industry likes what they sees and asks for same ---> Obama takes them up on it and uses that 'investment' as reason to fire old CEO/COB ---> Installs lackey as CEO ---> Bankruptcy is declared ---> Yachts in St. Tropez for top attorney donors!!! Woo hoo!!

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Aw - geez! I looked at it again and Skadden Arps is also on the list! They're already count GM as a client!! Wheels are in motion and money is greasing the gears...

Dr Ralph said...

I've noticed money tends to function as the universal lubricant. was a fascinating find, even if it didn't always help my argument.

In this economy you'd be an idiot if you were a law firm specializing in bankruptcy and didn't beef up.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Mark Steyn.
The OC Register.
GM is not an automaker, but a benefits provider.

I'm just grateful that we could all do our part, and pick up the tab for this.