Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Time to close down GM

Yeah, it's ironic to recall that we once believed what was good for GM was good for the country.

Now it's GM's turn to do something good for us. Dissolve and go out of business.

The financial and human resources that are locked up at GM, even after bankruptcy, are an unproductive use of capital and labor. Conservatives are correct to argue that government's sustaining a losing proposition like GM is an inappropriate and inefficient use of federal economic power. It's dis-economic and just plain dumb.

BobOnARoll has been in favor of a GM bankruptcy since my first posts on this topic months ago. But it was always in the context of an orderly bankruptcy leading to a disposition of assets to companies and management teams that know how to manufacture vehicles that consumers really want.

Most of the media coverage--and political decisions about this issue--have focused on labor givebacks and executive comp and closing plants and other cost reduction measures. Fine. All necessary and long overdue.

But the real story here is about sales. Today's graph in the WSJ is just another extrapolation of a trend we have been seeing for over 25 years---a continued drop in GM market share.

GM's corporate arrogance--a build 'em and they will come mentality--resulted in total failure to compete on a brand by brand basis with smarter and nimbler companies that have been eating their lunch for decades. Should we be rewarding failure? If so, I have about 50 or so media companies I'd like to discuss with Mr. Obama.

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