The first rule of taking public money is that by doing so you invite
General Motors CEO Daniel Akerson should have acknowledged that when
Congress raked him over the coals because his government-designed flagship
car, the Chevy Volt, has the habit of bursting into flames after
But instead he chose to imitate his own boss, car-designer-in-chief Barack
Obama, and fire off angry, sulking whines that the public didn’t
appreciate how great the car is.
“Volt is among the safest cars on the road, earning 5 Stars for occupant
safety (with the NHTSA) and a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety,” he complained in a statement to Congress.
Had he left it at that, all would have been well.
Put then he had to go all incendiary.
“Unfortunately, there is one thing we did not engineer,” he continued.
“Although we loaded the Volt with state-of-the-art safety features, we did
not engineer the Volt to be a political punching bag.”
Sure he did. Or, more precisely, he should have.
The moment GM asked the US taxpayers to save their company and to save
their union, GM made the company a target, and rightly so. If they didn’t
design everything after that to be a political punching bag, especially
the car they let the president of the United States design, they get an
“F” in engineering.
If they’d like, the taxpayers- you know the rest of us that didn’t get a
bailout- we can put the company right back the way we found it.
Because right now, legally, General Motors operates as a subsidiary of the
US Department of the Treasury, not as a normal public company. US
taxpayers and their representatives in Congress have every right, and
every obligation to question every penny that GM spends.
As to being the safest car on the road: I suppose if you only measured car
safety by gross weight on the road, it might qualify.
To date, the company had sold only about 6,800 of the Chevy Volts. The
cars are so safe because they are so rare. They are even safer, in fact,
because GM has offered to replace or buy back each one of the cars because
of the fire hazard. Bloomberg reports “Nissan has said that it has had no
reports of fires in its Leaf electric car. Tesla also said it hasn’t had a
fire in its Roadster electric car.” Toyota Prius has had some fire
incidents, but there are also 3 million of them on the world’s roads- and
somehow, miraculously Toyota didn’t have to rely on taxpayer dollars to
pull that off.
As to the money: GM has now slid to a closing price of $24.74 as of
January 26, 2012, for an additional loss of $13 billion since the Initial
Public Offering price of $33. The company trades at 5.4 times its earnings
while non-bailout Ford Motor trades at 7.76 times its earnings. In other
words, Ford enjoys a 43 percent premium to GM in the market even though it
didn’t enjoy the preferential credit advantage that US government
guaranteed financing confers on GM.
Toyota? It trades at 45 times its earnings, even after a tsunami knocked
it about last year. Guess what? Toyota doesn’t operate as a subsidiary of
the US Department of the Treasury.
I wonder what the stock market understands that Ackerson, Obama and
Plenty, I am sure.
Because GM doesn’t define success the way the rest of us in the
marketplace do now.
They have a whole other ethos, inspired by Obama: “The Volt’s technology
and its recent accolade from Consumer Reports make the Volt a marketing
tool for Chevy,” said Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet U.S. sales,
according to Bloomberg “This vehicle is about more than how many we sell,”
Batey said. “This vehicle is a magnet around everything we are trying to
do to showcase our brand.”
Ah, the old magnet ploy.
Gosh. Sales have become so passé as a way of measuring success
It’s nice to know from the guy in charge of sales at GM that actual sales
really don’t matter, in the same way that Democrats want us to believe
that Obama’s actual job performance doesn’t really matter either.
It makes sense, though, when you think about it.
The Volt and Obama: two brands best known for crashing and burning
everything around them.
Akerson not included.
Obama's black racist USAG appointee.
Eric Holder, racist black United States Attorney General drops voter
Click to see the full signature.