Chevrolet’s Volt selling, but not at sticker price

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General Motors rolled out the Chevrolet Volt two years ago with lofty sales goals and the promise of a new technology that someday would help end America’s dependence on oil.

So it seemed like a good thing in August when sales of the $40,000 car set a monthly record of 2,800. But a closer look shows that things aren’t what they seem for the cutting-edge car.

Sales rose mostly because of discounts of almost $10,000, or 25 percent of the Volt’s sticker price, according to figures from, an auto-pricing website. Other pricing services gave similar numbers, and dealers confirmed that steeply discounted Volts are selling better than a few months ago.

GM’s discounts on the Volt are more than four times the industry’s per-vehicle average, according to TrueCar estimates. and J.D. Power and Associates say they’re about three times the average. Discounts include low-interest financing, cash discounts to buyers, sales bonuses to dealers, and subsidized leases.

Americans have been slow to embrace electric cars. But the Volt’s August sales show they are willing to buy if prices are low enough. Even so, electric cars have a long way to go before they enter the mainstream and make money for car companies. Electrics and gas-electric hybrids account for just 3.5 percent of U.S. auto sales this year. GM is losing thousands of dollars on every Volt, raising the question of how long it can keep absorbing the steep losses.

GM executives have conceded from the start that they were losing money on the Volt, and that was before the big discounts.

Now the losses could be even higher. It costs $60,000 to $75,000 to build a Volt, including development, manufacturing and raw materials, estimates Sandy Munro, president of Munro & Associates, a Troy, Mich., a company that analyzes vehicle production expenses for automakers. Much of the cost comes from an expensive combination of two power systems — electric and gasoline. With a sticker price of $40,000, minus the $10,000 the company pays in incentives, GM gets roughly $30,000 for every Volt. So it could be losing at least $30,000 per car.


General Motors Is Headed For Bankruptcy — Again

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Oh, say it isn’t so.

President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors.  That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again.  The company is once again losing market share, and it seems unable to develop products that are truly competitive in the U.S. market.

Right now, the federal government owns 500,000,000 shares of GM, or about 26% of the company. It would need to get about $53.00/share for these to break even on the bailout, but the stock closed at only $20.21/share on Tuesday. This left the government holding $10.1 billion worth of stock, and sitting on an unrealized loss of $16.4 billion.

Right now, the government’s GM stock is worth about 39% less than it was on November 17, 2010, when the company went public at $33.00/share. However, during the intervening time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen by almost 20%, so GM shares have lost 49% of their value relative to the Dow.

It’s doubtful that the Obama administration would attempt to sell off the government’s massive position in GM while the stock price is falling.  It would be too embarrassing politically.  Accordingly, if GM shares continue to decline, it is likely that Obama would ride the stock down to zero.

GM is unlikely to hit the wall before the election, but, given current trends, the company could easily do so again before the end of a second Obama term.

Continue reading at Forbes

GM goes from bad to worse despite Obama bailout

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Readers with long memories may recall that Charles E. Wilson, president of General Motors and nominee for secretary of defense, got into trouble when he told a Senate committee, “What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and what’s good for General Motors is good for the country.”

That was in 1953, and Wilson was trying to make the point that General Motors was such a big company — it sold about half the cars in the United States back then — that its interests were inevitably aligned with those of the country as a whole.

Things are different now. General Motors’ market share in the U.S. is below 20 percent. It has gone through bankruptcy and exists now thanks to a federal bailout. But Barack Obama seems to think that it’s as closely aligned with the national interest as Charles E. Wilson did.

Obama talks about the auto bailout frequently, since it’s one of the few things in his record that gets positive responses in the polls. But he’s probably wise to avoid probing questions, since the GM bailout is not at all the success he claims.

GM has been selling cars in the U.S. at deep discount and, while it’s making money in China — and is outsourcing operations there and elsewhere — it’s bleeding losses in Europe. It’s spending billions to ditch its Opel brand there in favor of Chevrolet, including $559 million to put the Chevy logo on Manchester United soccer team uniforms — and just fired the marketing exec who cut that deal.

It botched the launch of its new Chevrolet Malibu by starting with the green-friendly Eco version, which pleased its government shareholders but which got lousy reviews. And it’s selling only about 10,000 electric-powered Chevy Volts a year, a puny contribution toward Obama’s goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

“GM is going from bad to worse,” reads the headline on Automotive News Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain’s analysis. That’s certainly true of its stock price.

The government still owns 500 million shares of GM, 26 percent of the total. It needs to sell them for $53 a share to recover its $49.5 billion bailout. But the stock price is about $20 a share, and the Treasury now estimates that the government will lose more than $25 billion if and when it sells.

That’s in addition to the revenue lost when the Obama administration permitted GM to continue to deduct previous losses from current profits, even though such deductions are ordinarily wiped out in bankruptcy proceedings.

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that GM is bleeding money because of decisions made by a management eager to please its political masters — and by the terms of the bankruptcy arranged by Obama car czars Ron Bloom and Steven Rattner.

Rattner himself admitted late last year, in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club, that “We should have asked the [United Auto Workers] to do a bit more. We did not ask any UAW member to take a cut in their pay.” Nonunion employees of GM spin-off Delphi lost their pensions. UAW members didn’t.

The UAW got its political payoff. And GM, according to Forbes writer Louis Woodhill, is headed to bankruptcy again.

Read entire article

Bailed-Out GM Gives $10 Million for MLK Monument

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As you read this you might also be interested in: General Motors Refuses To Honor Pre-Bankruptcy Warranties In Court Case: Argues Old GM Versus New GM Precludes Responsibility


General Motors has been very benevolent since receiving $50 billion of taxpayer funds less than two years ago. GM, the GM Foundation and Chevrolet are donating more than $10 million towards the building of a Martin Luther King, Jr. monument in Washington, DC. Following is a list of just some of GM and GM Foundation recent giveaways.


money flow

  • $40 million for “clean energy projects.”
  • $4.5 million for college scholarship programs to benefit students; criteria list includes being female, being a minority or being a military member.
  • $27.1 million to United Way for restructuring of Detroit schools.
  • $1 million to Haiti earthquake relief.
  • $70,000 to the United Negro College Fund
  • $2 million to Detroit for community recreation centers near Chevy Volt manufacturing plant.
  • $41,000 to groups associated with lawmakers with a $36,000 majority going to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

The GM Foundation is legally separate from the company, but is fully funded by GM. If the GM Foundation has to make philanthropic distributions, there may be better causes, such as assistance to GM bondholders suffering hardship after having their rights sacrificed for the benefit of the United Auto Workers.

Perhaps most controversial is GM’s return to political contributions. There has been much debate on whether or not a corporation that is partly owned by the US Government should be allowed to contribute to political campaigns. In GM’s case, money was donated to both Republicans and Democrats with the majority going to Democratic candidates in last year’s elections.

National Legal and Political Center

General Motors Refuses To Honor Pre-Bankruptcy Warranties In Court Case: Argues Old GM Versus New GM Precludes Responsibility

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Unbelievable !!!

General Motors Co (GM.N) is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit over a suspension problem on more than 400,000 Chevrolet Impalas from the 2007 and 2008 model years, saying it should not be responsible for repairs because the flaw predated its bankruptcy.

The lawsuit, filed on June 29 by Donna Trusky of Blakely, Pennsylvania, contended that her Impala suffered from faulty rear spindle rods, causing her

rear tires to wear out after just 6,000 miles. [ID:nN1E7650CT]

Seeking class-action status and alleging breach of warranty, the lawsuit demands that GM fix the rods, saying that it had done so on Impala police vehicles.

But in a recent filing with the U.S. District Court in Detroit, GM noted that the cars were made by its predecessor General Motors Corp, now called Motors Liquidation Co or “Old GM,” before its 2009 bankruptcy and federal bailout.

The current company, called “New GM,” said it did not assume responsibility under the reorganization to fix the Impala problem, but only to make repairs “subject to conditions and limitations” in express written warranties. In essence, the automaker said, Trusky sued the wrong entity.

“New GM’s warranty obligations for vehicles sold by Old GM are limited to the express terms and conditions in the Old GM written warranties on a going-forward basis,” wrote Benjamin Jeffers, a lawyer for GM. “New GM did not assume responsibility for Old GM’s design choices, conduct, or alleged breaches of liability under the warranty.”

David Fink, Trusky’s lawyer, declined to comment.

John Penn, a former president of the American Bankruptcy Institute who is not involved in the case, said the question of “successor liability” is common for manufacturing companies that go through bankruptcy.

International Business Times

Private emails detail Obama admin involvement in cutting non-union worker pensions post-GM bailout

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What was that Obama said about NOT being involved in the everyday decisions at General Motors?

New emails obtained by The Daily Caller contradict claims by the Obama administration that the Treasury Department would avoid “intervening in the day-to-day management” of General Motors post-auto bailout.

These messages reveal that Treasury officials were involved in decision-making that led to more than 20,000 non-union workers losing their pensions. (General Motors not eager to be political talking point in 2012)

Republican Reps. Dan Burton and Mike Turner say that during the GM bailout, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner decided to cut pensions for salaried non-union employees at Delphi, a GM spinoff, to expedite GM’s emergence from bankruptcy.

At a Wednesday hearing, the House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending started pushing the Treasury Department for answers on the effects of the bailout and on how much of a role the department played in picking winners and losers.

The key point of the Wednesday hearing was to show that the Obama administration advised GM on how to eliminate the Delphi workers’ pensions. The evidence suggests Geithner’s team played a significant role in that process, despite claims to the contrary.

In 2009 congressional testimony, senior Obama administration official Ron Bloom said the president told the Treasury Department to stay out of the management of these companies and downplayed any administration intervention.

“From the beginning of this process, the President gave the Auto Task Force two clear directions regarding its approach to the auto restructurings,” Bloom said then. “The first was to behave in a commercial manner by ensuring that all stakeholders were treated fairly and received neither more nor less than they would have simply because the government was involved. The second was to refrain from intervening in the day-to-day management of these companies.”

But the emails TheDC obtained show high-ranking Treasury Department officials, including Matthew Feldman of Treasury’s Auto Task Force, corresponding with senior GM officials on how to make certain decisions regarding who was going to win and who was going to lose.

Read entire article @ Daily Caller


Thanks For The Bailout Suckers; GM to invest extra $540 million in Mexico to build motors

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Well here’s the thanks for US taxpayer’s bailout:

US giant General Motors will invest $540 million to produce two low-emission motors in central Mexico, the company announced here Thursday, accompanied by President Felipe Calderon.

The latest project for GM in Mexico would create 500 direct and another 500 indirect jobs in its plant in Toluca, Calderon said.

GM has four plants in Mexico, and has invested some $5 billion here since 2006, Calderon said.

GM was left reeling by an industry slump when the global economic crisis hit. It received 49.5 billion dollars from the US Treasury and emerged from a bankruptcy restructuring in 2009.

It successfully returned to public trading last November by raising 23.1 billion dollars in an initial stock offering — the largest in history. (Actually GM did not repay the loans with money it earned from selling cars. Instead, GM repaid the TARP loans with money it withdrew from another TARP fund at the Treasury Department.The day before the GM story broke, Neil Barofsky, the government TARP watchdog, testified before the Senate Finance Committee. He explained that GM did not use earnings to repay its TARP debt. The April quarterly report to Congress from his office stated: “The source of funds for these quarterly [debt] payments will be other TARP funds currently held in an escrow account.”)


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