Have you seen this Reuters article on how GM is suffering record losses? It’s amazing that they attribute GM’s slump to “suffering from stalling U.S. auto sales, a slumping housing market and rising oil prices.”
Gee, last time I checked, for the last twenty-frickin-seven years, American cars (and GM’s in particular) lag foreign imports in terms of quality, gas mileage, and style. Detroit just got done fighting legislation that would require them to meet, by 2020, the mileage standards Toyota currently gets.
Yet the news article persists in blaming external forces. Here’s my version:
GM has suffered record losses. After more than a generation of unimaginative, incompetent management, the company still ignores the importance consumers place on style, durability, quality, or gas mileage. As a natural consequence of producing an inferior product that doesn’t respond to market needs, people aren’t buying as many GM cars. The company calls this a “slump in sales,” though it could easily be framed as a consequence of GM’s own decisions. Rising oil prices (anticipated for over 20 years and a reality for the last six) motivate consumers to buy non-GM cars. Slumping housing prices further encourage people to drive existing cars longer, and buy higher-quality, longer-lasting, greater-mileage imports.
It was once said, “What’s good for GM is good for America.” Times change. Now, the best thing for America may be for GM to go under, freeing up its substantial resources to be redeployed more productively.