A Reuters' article earlier this week created quite a buzz when it suggested that General Motors was losing $49,000 on every Chevy Volt sold. While many continue to debate just how much money GM loses on the politically-motivated car, a more important story on the Volt was reported by Automotive.com last week which explained the increase in August sales numbers for the vehicle. The piece exposes how GM (along with taxpayers) is heavily subsidizing leases and even gets an embarrassing admission from GM on the struggling Volt that, "The whole idea is we're creating a market." And this blockbuster, "There is no plug-in market."
We have heard the claims over and over again from the Obama campaign; the President "saved" General Motors and Mitt Romney said "let Detroit go bankrupt." The clear implication is that GM never went through the bankruptcy process that Romney suggested. Here's news for voters who didn't pay attention to how, exactly, Obama "saved" GM; $50 billion dollars of taxpayer money was given to GM to get them through a manipulated bankruptcy process. Replacing the word bankrupted with saved does not change the facts. And the fact is, GM DID go bankrupt.
The Democratic National Convention continued to celebrate the General Motors' bankruptcy and auto bailouts last night. Guests at the party included union leaders Bob King, President of the UAW and AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka, both of whom gave speeches at the event. Union members cheered and waved their UAW signs at the affair as President Obama was repeatedly given credit for "saving" GM and the American auto industry. The fact that GM, along with Chrysler, went bankrupt was not mentioned. The only time the word "bankrupt" was used was to condemn Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, for wanting to let GM go bankrupt. Democrats seem to be in denial that GM actually did go bankrupt.
Tonight, the Democratic National Convention will reportedly highlight the "success" of the auto bailout. Michelle Malkin comments in a column today, and quotes NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica:
The claims that GM paid back its taxpayer-funded loans "in full" - a story peddled in campaign ads narrated by Hollywood actor Tom Hanks - were debunked by the Treasury Department's TARP watchdog this summer. GM still owes nearly $30 billion of the $50 billion it received, and its lending arm still owes nearly $15 billion of the more than $17 billion it received. Bailout watchdog Mark Modica of the National Legal and Policy Center adds: "In addition to U.S. taxpayers anteing up, Canada put in over $10 billion, and GM was relieved of about $28 billion of bondholder obligations as UAW claims were protected. That's an improvement of almost $90 billion to the balance sheet, and the company still lags the competition."
USA Today reports that General Motors will be, once again, temporarily halting production of the Chevy Volt. According to GM, the halt is not due to low sales of the Volt. The article quotes a Chevy spokesman as saying, "We are not idling the plant due to poor Volt sales. We're gearing up for production of the new Impala."
Some truths are so obvious that they cannot be denied. But that doesn't stop General Motors and politically-motivated cheerleaders for the Chevy Volt from trying. In the case of the Volt, the truth is that this car has been a dismal failure when considering the amount of hype and taxpayer money that has been spent to produce the supposed green wonder-car. Let's review just how wrong GM CEO, Dan Akerson, has been regarding sales projections for the Volt and how he refuses to take accountability for GM's blunders.
General Motors CEO & Chairman Dan Akerson has an op-ed in yesterday's Detroit Free Press in response to the growing chorus of criticism of the company in general, and his leadership in particular. It is rather typical corporate PR, complete with a Teddy Roosevelt quote.
One line is odd, though. Akerson (or his flak) writes:
I believe our culture is our "secret weapon" and is on the way to being a true difference maker for us.
Three years into their forced marriage with GM, the American taxpayers have seen the value of their investment in GM deteriorate by approximately $24 billion, largely due to continuing European losses. Exposure in Europe has contributed to crushing the value of GM's stock due to its chaotic and failing Opel unit in Germany. While government, journalists and Wall Street sympathizers have given the Obama Administration and GM leadership an almost incomprehensible pass on this value destruction and massive loss (presumably due to the macro-economic nature of the crisis), it's time to call for the accountability that this new Board was supposedly going to deliver.
This time it’s the second fire in a Fisker Karma, which received $193 million out of a $529 million award from a Department of Energy loan guarantee before the cabinet agency cut the company off for failure to meet still-undisclosed milestones. This blaze (video), according to a report on the automotive Web site Jalopnik, occurred in a Woodside, Calif. parking lot while its owner was inside a store shopping for groceries.