What's going on at GM?

Rick Moran
Mickey Kaus is piecing together some media stories and discovers that GM is in a virtual meltdown, personnel wise:

This wasn't supposed to happen until Nov. 7: It's like the last act of Titus Andronicus over at GM corporate headquarters.

Two weeks ago, Opel chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke presented numbers to Dan Akerson. Akerson fires him. Opel gets two interim chiefs in a week. Last Thursday, Opel's new design chief Dave Lyon doesn't even start his job. Today, media in the U.S. and Germany report that Lyon had been escorted from the building and to a waiting car by GM's head of personnel. A day later, global marketing chief Joel Ewanick suddenly leaves. Instead of wishing him all the best for his future endeavors, GM spokesman Greg Martin puts a knife in Ewanick's back: "He failed to meet the expectations the company has of an employee."

I'm having trouble understanding all this. I've been told that after its Rattnerized bailout GM is "back," a dramatic "success story." The president himself has boasted "General Motors is back on top." Yet now a few weeks later Bloomberg says the company is in a "slump"-it's right there, in the headline: "slump." How can the bailed out, comebacked, turned around success story GM be in a slump when the U.S. auto market as a whole is growing rapidly? It's almost as if an easily spun media wildly underestimated the problems at GM (and the inadequacy of the administration's fixes) in a way that helped President Obama's favored narrative (and pleased a major advertiser at the same time!) ...

P.S.: Why is all this executive turmoil happening now? It's very hard for an outsider to know exactly what is going on, but there are three theories. 1) GM CEO Akerson is panicking (Truth About Cars' theory); 2) Akerson is kind of incompetent and hires people he then chases away or has to fire; 3) ... I'm thinking of a third. ... What's the third? I know there's a third. ...


The marketing chief was apparently fired for incompetence. He negotiated a horrible deal to put the Chevy logo on the iconic English soccer club Manchester United's jerseys. GM apparently paid 25% more than other companies, and the marketing head did not disclose key parts of the deal to GM management.

But the rest is a mystery. Suffice it to say that taxpayers still own 26% of GM stock and the government can't sell it while the stock price hovers under $20 a share. As it stands now, taxpayers would take a $17 billion hit if the stock was sold which probably means we'll still be part owners of GM on election day.

Mickey Kaus is piecing together some media stories and discovers that GM is in a virtual meltdown, personnel wise:

This wasn't supposed to happen until Nov. 7: It's like the last act of Titus Andronicus over at GM corporate headquarters.

Two weeks ago, Opel chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke presented numbers to Dan Akerson. Akerson fires him. Opel gets two interim chiefs in a week. Last Thursday, Opel's new design chief Dave Lyon doesn't even start his job. Today, media in the U.S. and Germany report that Lyon had been escorted from the building and to a waiting car by GM's head of personnel. A day later, global marketing chief Joel Ewanick suddenly leaves. Instead of wishing him all the best for his future endeavors, GM spokesman Greg Martin puts a knife in Ewanick's back: "He failed to meet the expectations the company has of an employee."

I'm having trouble understanding all this. I've been told that after its Rattnerized bailout GM is "back," a dramatic "success story." The president himself has boasted "General Motors is back on top." Yet now a few weeks later Bloomberg says the company is in a "slump"-it's right there, in the headline: "slump." How can the bailed out, comebacked, turned around success story GM be in a slump when the U.S. auto market as a whole is growing rapidly? It's almost as if an easily spun media wildly underestimated the problems at GM (and the inadequacy of the administration's fixes) in a way that helped President Obama's favored narrative (and pleased a major advertiser at the same time!) ...

P.S.: Why is all this executive turmoil happening now? It's very hard for an outsider to know exactly what is going on, but there are three theories. 1) GM CEO Akerson is panicking (Truth About Cars' theory); 2) Akerson is kind of incompetent and hires people he then chases away or has to fire; 3) ... I'm thinking of a third. ... What's the third? I know there's a third. ...


The marketing chief was apparently fired for incompetence. He negotiated a horrible deal to put the Chevy logo on the iconic English soccer club Manchester United's jerseys. GM apparently paid 25% more than other companies, and the marketing head did not disclose key parts of the deal to GM management.

But the rest is a mystery. Suffice it to say that taxpayers still own 26% of GM stock and the government can't sell it while the stock price hovers under $20 a share. As it stands now, taxpayers would take a $17 billion hit if the stock was sold which probably means we'll still be part owners of GM on election day.