Wednesday, July 16, 2008

General Motors' Death Spiral Continues

It is beyond obvious that General Motors needs a colonic and not a manicure as its sales and share price accelerate southward toward a possible rendezvous with bankruptcy, but that is not what Rick Waggoner, GM's beleaguered chief surgeon, has prescribed.

Instead, Waggoner yesterday rolled out a suite of pitifully inadequate steps such as reducing the salaried work force, eliminating discretionary bonuses, delaying paying certain bills . . . well, you get the idea.

Rick Newman of U.S. News & World Report and I are of a like mind about what Waggoner has to do forthwith:
* Dump the Hummer brand and consider axing one or more of its "redundant badge jobs" -- Buick, Pontiac and Saturn.

* Concede that market share will continue to shrink -- all the way down to 20 percent or so from 35 percent when Waggoner took over in 1992 -- and adapt to that reality.

* Build the kind of competitive small cars that Toyota and Honda are selling in droves while further ratcheting up the much improved quality of its offerings.

* Be patient. The huge savings from the deal it reached last year with its unions won't kick in until 2010.
More here.

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