GM: A loose nut behind the wheel

Ralph Alter
There is no more appropriate metaphor to describe the flailing hybrid corporation known as Government Motors than that provided by the report of a Chevy Cruze owner hurtling down the freeway when the steering wheel came off in his hands. At least as much as a 1.4 liter 4 cylinder power plant can be said to hurtle.

The once formidable giant corporation still sadly reflects the popular sentiment, "As GM goes, so goes the nation." America, from all the available reports, rattles down the world's economic, political and cultural freeways like an underpowered compact car, rudderless and apparently incapable of changing direction. It should really be a joke, but when one asks the question: What do you get when you cross the inefficiency of a labor union with the sclerosis of a federal bureaucracy? The answer could be a.) Government Motors or b.) the Obama administration or c.) both of the above.

Now comes the report from Channel 3 Eyewitness News in Connecticut, of a residential garage destroyed in a fire that may be attributed to the owner's Chevy Volt that was charging inside. The quality control problems that have plagued American automakers since the onset of ridiculous labor union work rules continue to hamper the efforts of U.S. car makers. Despite the giant hand of Big Brother placed firmly on the scale to level the playing filed with the much more efficient Japanese automakers, Government Motors can't get its priorities right.

Or had you forgotten the media circus surrounding the reports of braking problems with Toyota's products? After millions of Toyotas were recalled to study the so-called "unintended acceleration" problem reported by a few drivers, it was found that the problem was caused by driver error. Just like the hysteria in 1986 surrounding the Audi. Only this time, Uncle Sam had some serious skin in the game and turned up the regulatory heat, costing its Japanese competition serious billions and weeks of negative publicity.

Government Motors stock continues to struggle. After what the company called a successful IPO at $33.00 after emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in November, the stock has dropped to about $30.00 per share as of Friday. After the company teamed with the Obama White House to lie about repaying its TARP loans and then paid out an average of $4,000 in bonuses to each of the hourly workers responsible for securing steering wheels and fireproofing Chevy Volt charging systems, that the stock is selling at all is remarkable.

Even in the face of rocketing gasoline costs, General Motors was only able to sell  1,210 Chevy Volts in the first quarter or 2011. A business model dependent upon securing a sufficient number of crack-pots searching for their green badge of courage seems likely to continue to plummet.


Ralph Alter is a regular contributor to American Thinker. He blogs at www.rightot.blogspot.com

There is no more appropriate metaphor to describe the flailing hybrid corporation known as Government Motors than that provided by the report of a Chevy Cruze owner hurtling down the freeway when the steering wheel came off in his hands. At least as much as a 1.4 liter 4 cylinder power plant can be said to hurtle.

The once formidable giant corporation still sadly reflects the popular sentiment, "As GM goes, so goes the nation." America, from all the available reports, rattles down the world's economic, political and cultural freeways like an underpowered compact car, rudderless and apparently incapable of changing direction. It should really be a joke, but when one asks the question: What do you get when you cross the inefficiency of a labor union with the sclerosis of a federal bureaucracy? The answer could be a.) Government Motors or b.) the Obama administration or c.) both of the above.

Now comes the report from Channel 3 Eyewitness News in Connecticut, of a residential garage destroyed in a fire that may be attributed to the owner's Chevy Volt that was charging inside. The quality control problems that have plagued American automakers since the onset of ridiculous labor union work rules continue to hamper the efforts of U.S. car makers. Despite the giant hand of Big Brother placed firmly on the scale to level the playing filed with the much more efficient Japanese automakers, Government Motors can't get its priorities right.

Or had you forgotten the media circus surrounding the reports of braking problems with Toyota's products? After millions of Toyotas were recalled to study the so-called "unintended acceleration" problem reported by a few drivers, it was found that the problem was caused by driver error. Just like the hysteria in 1986 surrounding the Audi. Only this time, Uncle Sam had some serious skin in the game and turned up the regulatory heat, costing its Japanese competition serious billions and weeks of negative publicity.

Government Motors stock continues to struggle. After what the company called a successful IPO at $33.00 after emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in November, the stock has dropped to about $30.00 per share as of Friday. After the company teamed with the Obama White House to lie about repaying its TARP loans and then paid out an average of $4,000 in bonuses to each of the hourly workers responsible for securing steering wheels and fireproofing Chevy Volt charging systems, that the stock is selling at all is remarkable.

Even in the face of rocketing gasoline costs, General Motors was only able to sell  1,210 Chevy Volts in the first quarter or 2011. A business model dependent upon securing a sufficient number of crack-pots searching for their green badge of courage seems likely to continue to plummet.


Ralph Alter is a regular contributor to American Thinker. He blogs at www.rightot.blogspot.com