Wednesday, November 19, 2008

GM Adopts Nigerian Business Practices

A friend of mine forwarded to me a personalised e-mail he received from GM. Seems they are sending begging letters to their current customers pleading for access to cash that, truly-promise and hope to die, they really, really will pay back as soon as they sell off a couple of things and the world is all made better again. Promise.

"Dear XXXXX,

You made the right choice when you put your confidence in General Motors, and we appreciate your past support. I want to assure you that we are making our best vehicles ever, and we have exciting plans for the future. But we need your help now. Simply put, we need you to join us to let Congress know that a bridge loan to help U.S. automakers also helps strengthen the U.S. economy and preserve millions of American jobs.

Despite what you may be hearing, we are not asking Congress for a bailout but rather a loan that will be repaid.

The U.S. economy is at a crossroads due to the worldwide credit crisis, and all Americans are feeling the effects of the worst economic downturn in 75 years. Despite our successful efforts to restructure, reduce costs and enhance liquidity, U.S. auto sales rely on access to credit, which is all but frozen through traditional channels.

The consequences of the domestic auto industry collapsing would far exceed the $25 billion loan needed to bridge the current crisis. According to a recent study by the Center for Automotive Research:
• One in 10 American jobs depends on U.S. automakers
• Nearly 3 million jobs are at immediate risk• U.S. personal income could be reduced by $150 billion
• The tax revenue lost over 3 years would be more than $156 billion

Discussions are now underway in Washington, D.C., concerning loans to support U.S. carmakers. I am asking for your support in this vital effort by contacting your state representatives.

Please take a few minutes to go to, where we have made it easy for you to contact your U.S. senators and representatives. Just click on the "I'm a Concerned American" link under the "Mobilize Now" section, and enter your name and ZIP code to send a personalized e-mail stating your support for the U.S. automotive industry.

Let me assure you that General Motors has made dramatic improvements over the last 10 years. In fact, we are leading the industry with award-winning vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Buick Enclave, Pontiac G8, GMC Acadia, Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, Saturn AURA and more. We offer 18 models with an EPA estimated 30 MPG highway or better — more than Toyota or Honda. GM has 6 hybrids in market and 3 more by mid-2009. GM has closed the quality gap with the imports, and today we are putting our best quality vehicles on the road.

Please share this information with friends and family using the link on the site.

Thank you for helping keep our economy viable."

Love the last line. You just couldn't make this stuff up. (Oh and in case you were wondering, the Centre For Automotive Research cited above is indeed funded by the car companies and the unions. Probably about the only thing they can agree on is that the best propaganda is always disguised as an independent research report.)

Frankly, I wouldn't give GM a brass farthing without first seeing them go into Chapter 11. They were losing money 12 months ago before things turned south, and now it's bleeding away so fast that they are all but dead by year-end. Even as the economy does recover, there's no way GM will have done what they need to do to get costs under control without Chapter 11 protection, a fact even Congress must see.

GM is on a death march, and giving them a drink of water now won't change anything except that they will be able to shuffle forward a few more yards before dying further down the road.

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