First off, I’d like to thank the main man Alex Luft for giving me my very first opportunity to “spill my guts” here on GM Authority as a writer! Thanks Alex!
For those of you who haven’t seen this video on YouTube by PeterCoffin, well here you go. At first, I cannot help but smile at the “executives’” reaction to the fact that 2.6 Billion dollars has just somehow “disappeared”. It has always amazed me how big business and even the U.S. Government have thrown these words around like they don’t mean a whole lot. I can’t tell you when the last time was that I actually used the word billion or trillion in a sentence. Nowadays, we hear about billion and trillion dollar bailouts like it is a normal occurrence. I appreciated how the creator of this clip brought a bit of reality back by having the executive put so much emphasis on the fact that “2.6 billion dollars does not just grow legs.” I could not agree more!
As far as the actual 2.6 Billion dollars is concerned though, I am not exactly sure where that figure came from. Last time I checked, GM lost a whole lot more than that. Hell, in the first quarter of 2009, GM lost more than 6 billion big ones, right? That amount would continue to rise as the second and third quarters approach. I thank the creator of this clip for going lightly on our friends at GM!
At 2:10 into the video, the actor, or in this case, one of the other executives at GM begins explaining where the money went and why. I listened to what he said and couldn’t agree more with many of the points he made. For example, when he said:
“Instead of concentrating on an oil-free, hassle-free vehicle, we’ve been using our reputation from the 70’s and misguided patriotism to sell fancy looking junk boxes”
I thought he was correct in every way. Even my Grandma and Grandpa said something along those lines last week as we sat around the table eating some pasta. “They’re sleeping at the wheel,” proclaimed my Grandpa. I could not agree with him more. Unfortunately for all of us hard core GM guys (and gals), The General was indeed caught sleeping at the wheel here. It is obvious, especially with the economic downturn and super-sized bailouts. Why didn’t this happen to other auto manufacturers? The answer is simple – they were prepared for future consumer demand.
Another line which I thought really hit the nail on the head was this beauty:
“We’ll get a bail out like all the other companies operating on failed business practices”
Again I have to agree here. I am sure someone on the top floor at GM had to have known that something bad was lurking around the corner. However, they all knew that the U.S. Government would never let GM “shut down.” So they sat around, got richer, and waited for that bail out to come their way, and guess what – it did!
The guy in the video then goes on to compare GM vehicles to that of the electric vehicles produced by Tesla which are already being sold throughout the United States and Europe. Sure they get 250 miles to the charge, but has anyone seen the price tag on one of those lately? The Tesla “S”, which debuted in Los Angeles in early 2009, is reported to have a starting base price of $50,000. Pocket change? Not hardly. Let’s compare apples to apples here shall we! The Chevy Volt, while it does use a gasoline powered generator to produce more electricity, is affordable compared to the Model S. It also has a reported range of well over 250 miles, and is costs much less than Tesla’s base price. I think we should compare the Volt to other vehicles that are currently being purchased by the average consumer (like the Prius). The Volt is a winner in my book!
All in all I thought this video was great! It made a lot of valid points about GM and its lack of ingenuity over the past few decades or so. However, I think we need to be fair here and acknowledge the fact that GM is doing much better than ever before with the vehicles it is currently producing, along with those which will be produced in the future. Now all they need to do is stay awake at the wheel!