Tag Archives: GM

Another Way EVs Will Cost Us, by Eric Peters

Electric car production will probably cost a lot of auto workers their jobs. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Lost in the fatuous fake news juggernaut about the supposed misdeeds of the relentlessly besieged Orange Man has been real – and important news – about the longest nationwide strike by autoworkers in almost 50 years.

The target of the strike is General Motors. The United Auto Workers haven’t been working since September 16. Almost all GM plants have been idled since then, with the exception of the truck plant in Silao, Mexico. But a shortage of parts caused by the idling of the plants north of the border will almost certainly cause the truck plant to go silent soon, too.

The closures are costing GM about $25 million per day in lost profit, according to analysts.

But they could cost autoworkers – and us – much more.

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Soy Soup, by Eric Peters

Remember when car companies’ main job was to make cars for people who wanted to buy them and generate profits for their shareholders? From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

They must serve soy at GM’s corporate cafeteria. It could account for the strange statement released the other day by GM’s CEO Mary Barra. It says that the main purpose of GM is to make sure that “each person . . . lead(s) a life of meaning and dignity.”

Wasn’t it to make cars?

Emphasis on was. It isn’t anymore – apparently.

“The purpose of a corporation,” the statement continues “is to serve all of its constituents, including employees, customers, investors and society at large.”

Italics added

“Society at large”? This smacks of social(ist) studies rather than STEM.

But that’s what happens when a person with a background in human resourcesbecomes the head of a car company.

And it’s not just Barra.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett affixed his John Hancock to this opus – this thesis, in the Martin Luther sense – as well. Along with Borg Warner CEO Frederic Lissalde and Tom Linebarger of Cummins and 181 titans of American business. Many of these businesses have been losing market share for years. The whole of GM today has about 8 percent less market share than Chevrolet by itself had in 1970.

Which may explain the ennui of these businessmen about business.

It’s like a chapter from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged come to life.

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General Motors And General Electric Were Both Victimized By The Same Ponzi Scheme, And They Are Both Telling Us The U.S. Economy Is In HUGE Trouble, by Michael Snyder

Are GM’s and GE’s troubles unique to those companies, or are there indicating trouble for the US economy? From Michael Snyder at theeconomiccollapseblog.com:

America’s twin economic “generals” are both in very deep trouble.  General Electric was founded in 1892, and it was once one of the most powerful corporations on the entire planet.  But now it is drowning in so much debt that it may be forced into bankruptcy.  General Motors was founded in 1908, and at one time it was the largest automaker that the world had ever seen.  But now it is closing a bunch of factories and laying off approximately 14,000 workers as it anticipates disappointing sales and a slowing economy.  If the U.S. economy really was “booming”, both of these companies would probably be thriving.  But as you will see below, both of them have been victimized by the exact same Ponzi scheme, and both firms are sending us very clear signals that the U.S. economy is heading for troubled waters.

Whenever you hear the word “restructuring”, that is always a sign that things are not going well for a company.

And it turns out that GM’s “restructuring” is actually going to cost the firm 3.8 billion dollars

General Motors said Monday it plans to effectively halt production at a number of plants in the U.S. and Canada next year and cut more than 14,000 jobs in a massive restructuring that will cost up to $3.8 billion.

Of course GM doesn’t have 3.8 billion dollars just lying around, and so they are actually going to have to borrow money in order to close these plants and lay off these workers.

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As Sales Plunge, GM Might Cancel Six Car Models, by Wolf Richter

Car sales are dropping and GM is getting tattooed. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

Discussions with the UAW have started. Entire plants at risk.

GM is getting whacked harder than any of the major automakers by the industry-wide plunge in car sales, as Americans switch in ever larger numbers from cars to “trucks,” which include pickups, van, SUVs and crossovers. In the first half of 2017, GM’s car sales in the US plunged 19%, and in June 38%.

The rest of the industry (without GM) booked declines in car sales of “only” 10% in the first half and 9% in June.

GM is losing ground in the bitter industry-wide reality of dropping car sales. Inventory is piling up on GM dealer lots. At the end of June, some car models exceeded a catastrophic 180 days’ supply. GM has already cut production. There have been layoffs. Plants have been temporarily shut down, and entire shifts have been eliminated. But it hasn’t been enough.

Now comes the next step: Ending production entirely of some models, shuttering plants for good or converting them to making trucks, and fretting about jobs. And that’s already being discussed between the UAW and GM, according to UAW president Dennis Williams.

“We are talking to [GM] right now about the products that they currently have” at underutilized car plants, such as Hamtramck in Michigan and Lordstown in Ohio, and whether these models could be replaced with more popular vehicles such as crossovers, he told reporters today, including Reuters. “We are tracking it,” he said. “We are addressing it”

Six passenger cars are currently under review at GM and might be cancelled after the 2020 model year, Reuters “has learned from people familiar with the plans”: Chevrolet Volt (a hybrid, not to be confused with the Bolt, an EV), Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Impala, and Chevrolet Sonic.

To continue reading: As Sales Plunge, GM Might Cancel Six Car Models

Chevy Forced To Extend Shutdown Of Bolt Plant After Realizing That Literally No One Wants A Bolt, by Tyler Durden

Nobody wants Chevy’s $35,000 electric Volt, even with subsidies. You’ve got to wonder how Tesla’s $35,000 Model S will do. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

General Motors launched it’s much-hyped, all electric Chevy Bolt at the end of 2016.  The Bolt was expected to make a splash as it was the first electric car in the U.S. market to offer 200 miles of driving range at an affordable price starting around $35,000.  The only problem is that pretty much no one seems to want one.

Unfortunately, that lack of demand is about to earn a bunch of UAW workers at GM’s Orion, Michigan plant an extended summer vacation.

As AOL Finance points out today, GM has managed to sell just over 7,500 Chevy Bolts through the first six months of 2017.  Moreover, since dealers are sitting on about 111 days worth of inventory, we’re going to go out on a limb and say the Bolt launch slightly underperformed expectations.  All of which has resulted in GM’s decision to extend the shutdown currently in effect at it’s Orion plant for just a little while longer.

  General Motors Co has extended a shutdown at the Michigan factory that builds the new Chevrolet Bolt electric car as part of a broader effort to get control of bulging inventories of unsold vehicles in the United States.

“Shutdown periods vary by plant based on launch timing of new or refreshed models across the portfolio and our ongoing efforts to align production with market demand,” GM said in a statement.

Bolt

But it’s not just the Chevy Bolt that GM is having a hard time selling.  Overall, the company is battling a massive inventory glut, some 126 days of supplies, in passenger cars.  As such, the company has extended summer vacation shutdowns at three other North American assembly plants. The assembly plant at Lordstown, Ohio, that makes the Chevrolet Cruze and a plant near Kansas City, Missouri, that produces the Malibu sedan both have three additional weeks of downtime. An assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, will be idled for two extra weeks to reduce inventories of the Chevrolet Impala large sedan.

To continue reading: Chevy Forced To Extend Shutdown Of Bolt Plant After Realizing That Literally No One Wants A Bolt

Trump Tweets, Ford and GM Counter, their Shares Jump, the Peso Plunges, but the Jobs Won’t “Come Back” to the USA, by Wolf Richter

Trump’s crony socialism by tweet is still crony socialism. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

Whacked by slow demand, Ford cancels plant in Mexico, shifts car production to existing plant in Mexico.

President-Elect Trump has been hounding individual businesses with his drive-by tweets, to knock them around some, get their shares to sink, and cut some “deals.” Last year, he singled out Ford, Carrier, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Amazon, and others. Now companies have set up damage-control teams to prepare for and counter a hit of this type.

Today he singled out GM. It was automaker day. It started with a Trump drive-by tweet about threatening GM with a “big border tax” for importing its Chevy Cruze from Mexico:

General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!

But he got the facts wrong, and GM’s damage-control team instantly retorted:

General Motors manufactures the Chevrolet Cruze sedan in Lordstown, Ohio. All Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold in the U.S. are built in GM’s assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S.

Reality is this: Demand for GM cars has been swooning, and inventories on dealer lots have been ballooning. For example, at the end of November, dealers sat on 127 days’ supply of Cruze models, more than double a healthy level, after sales had plunged 18%. In November, GM had announced the first wave of layoffs. In December, it followed up by announcing 10,000 layoffs and five plant closings [read… “Car Recession” Bites GM: Inventory Glut, Layoffs, Plant Shutdowns].

To continue reading: Trump Tweets, Ford & GM Counter, their Shares Jump, the Peso Plunges, but the Jobs Won’t “Come Back” to the USA

Another Volt… Called The Bolt, by Eric Peters

Eric Peters is a libertarian and an analyst of the automobile industry, and he does a great job on both fronts. From Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Why does GM continue to throw money at electric cars?

Perhaps because it’s not their money.

It’s yours. And mine.

In the form of apparently endless taxpayer-extorted “help” (via federal taxation) to spur the design and manufacture of vehicles that have to be given away at a loss because – channeling Donald Trump – they are losers.

First the Volt – so few of which were offloaded (“sold” would be an affront to honest English) GM had to idle the plant devoted to their assembly. Then GM doubled-down and ginned up the ELR – a Volt dressed in Cadillac duds that was the ultimate dud. So few of them were offloaded (no surprise, given each one cost twice what a Volt listed for) it made the Volt seem like a bases-loaded homer.

Now comes the Bolt.

Another $30,000 (that’s after the $7,500 federal direct-to-the”buyer” bribe) automotive Turducken that’s inferior in every way function can be measured to a 1984 Yugo.

The Yugo had an eight gallon fuel tank and averaged 38 MPG – giving it a range of about 304 miles. Its cost when new was about $3,600 in 1984 dollars – the equivalent of about $8,200 today.

The government didn’t have to bribe anyone to buy a Yugo. Punchlines aside, people freely exchanged their money (not other people’s money) for them.

It could be refueled in less than five minutes. Using the heater or the headlights did not gimp the range.

It weighed 1,543 pounds.

Now (30 years later) behold the Bolt.

Its battery pack weighs 960 pounds – more than half what the entire Yugo weighed (with a full tank of gas). GM spokesmen beam that you can put 50 miles of range into those batteries after only 30 minutes of waiting.

A full charge is possible after a mere nine hours.

The car itself, a subcompact, weighs 3,580 pounds – twice (and then some) what a Yugo weighed and about as much as a current mid-sized IC car such as a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry weighs.

It probably goes faster than a Yugo – which had a top speed of about 84 MPH. But – like all electric cars – not for very long.

The faster you go in an electric car, the less far you’ll go. Range declines as velocity increases. Few car journalists – whether out of ignorance, laziness or fear – ever disclose this inconvenient truth.

To continue reading: Another Volt…Called The Bolt