Akerson Wants $5 Gas; CEO Unfit to Lead Bailed-Out GM

gas price signGeneral Motor’s CEO, Dan Akerson, wants higher gas taxes and the price of a gallon of gas to increase closer to $5 a gallon. Are you kidding me?! The comments were made in an interview with the Detroit News. Regarding government imposed fuel efficiency increases Akerson stated, “You know what I’d rather have them do, this will make my Republican friends puke, as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas. People will start buying more Cruzes and they will start buying less Suburbans.” With comments like these, Akerson might make average Americans and GM investors “puke” along with those Republicans.

I have questioned the management at GM in the past, but these comments prove that Dan Akerson is not the right guy to get GM headed in the right direction. My main recent … Read More ➡

Walmart Embraces ‘Green’ Politics; Loses Sales

Walmart/green photoRecently a guy who is trying to sell a book about Wal-Mart’s supposed “Green” heroism, Edward Humes, has written in various places about the giant retailer’s eco-friendly innovations and efficiencies. The tone has been, “Hey, believe it or not, this mass merchant practices sustainability!”

For example, in an op-ed last week for the Los Angeles Times, he wrote:

This isn’t Al Gore saying green is good for the economy; it’s Wal-Mart, which puts the discussion in a very different place. Yet progressives so revile the retailer, and the idea of a greener Wal-Mart generates so much skepticism among environmentalist organizations and their donors, that they have failed to capitalize on this golden opportunity to push through a green agenda for America. They’d rather lose the battle, it seems, than say something positive about their traditional enemy, even though Wal-Mart is using its vast scale and power to

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GM China Sales Fall as CEO Cites ‘Cultural Revolution’

Akerson photo“Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, Mao Zedong and Chevrolet.” That could be GM’s new slogan if recent comments by CEO Dan Akerson are taken to heart. Akerson shared a somewhat bizarre vision for GM in an interview with the Detroit News when he stated, “Whoever comes after me; it’s going to be a more important appointment than mine because he or she will have to carry on a cultural revolution here. It’s just like the Communist Party in China in the 1960s, there has to be a cultural revolution here.” These comments come just weeks after the Washington Times reported GM’s sponsorship of a Chinese Communist Party propaganda film.

There seems to be a strange dichotomy at GM as marketing hints at patriotic roots for the company while corporate vision exposes a viewpoint that the philosophies of Communist China are worthy of praise. Akerson also has described China in the … Read More ➡

Bailed-Out GM Spends Millions on Phantom Carbon Offsets

A report on the Businessweek Web site Thursday illustrated how Chevrolet, General Motors’ subsidiary which gets most of its media love these days over the hyper-sensationalized electric Volt, is building its “Green-cred” in ways other than by the vehicles it manufactures.

But just as with the tax credit program for the Volt, in which dealers were discovered to be selling the vehicles to other dealers who then claim the $7,500 credit for themselves, all is not what it appears to be.

The story is about a program Chevy announced late last year, in which the company promised to purchase carbon dioxide offsets that would fund “environmentally-friendly” projects, which would counterbalance the emissions created by the 1.9 million vehicles the company expects to sell in 2011. Among the projects Chevrolet said would be funded were forestry projects, methane capture from landfills, wind farms, solar farms, and energy efficiency projects and … Read More ➡

Walmart Ripped for Supporting Cap and Trade at Annual Meeting

Here are my remarks delivered today at the Walmart annual meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas in favor of our shareholder proposal that asks for a report on the business risks of climate change:

Mr. Duke, I have some good news for you. You can stop worrying about global warming. The seas are not rising. The sky is not falling. And Al Gore has found a new role – as that crazed sex poodle.

During the elections last year, the American people spoke. Voters chose economic growth over pseudo-science and environmental alarmism. As a result, cap and trade legislation supported by Walmart is dead, and may be forever.

Cap and Trade was never about global warming. Instead it’s about politicians imposing a command economy on us, and raising taxes in order to enhance their own power.

Wal-Mart supported ObamaCare, too, which was never about health care. And it is even more unpopular … Read More ➡

Obama Ballyhoos Auto Bailout as Economy Tanks

GM logoToday’s jobs’ report raises worries that the US may be headed for a double dip recession. Jobs creation was much lower than expected and the unemployment rate rose to 9.1%. And where is President Obama? Traveling to Ohio to brag about how many jobs were saved by spending billions of taxpayer dollars to bail out the auto industry. Oh well, Nero fiddled, Obama campaigns. While Obama tries to convince the majority of people who will be voting in 2012 that auto bailouts are a wonderful thing, individual investors in General Motors should consider the specific risks the company faces if the economy does not improve.

GM has staked much by investing in raising production capacity and freely spending taxpayer money on environmentally friendly plant upgrades as well as on spending to create high paying jobs for the politically powerful UAW. While these moves help Obama on the campaign trail, investors … Read More ➡

Walmart’s Support for Cap and Trade to be Challenged at Annual Meeting

I will speak tomorrow at the Walmart annual meeting in favor of our shareholder proposal asking for a report on the business risks of climate change. The meeting takes place on Friday, June 3 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The supporting statement appearing in the proxy reads, in part:

Wal-Mart has committed itself to dramatic measures to reduce carbon emissions, and to support controversial political positions, even as scientific and political factors related to global warming are rapidly changing.

Documents and emails released from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in late 2009 exposed vulnerabilities in the reliability and objectivity of key information provided to the United Nations’ influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  In 2010, the IPCC acknowledged its Nobel Prize-winning 2007 report on global warming included inaccuracies and exaggerated claims based on questionable data sources.

According to the Wal-Mart 2009 Sustainability Report:

Currently, we … Read More ➡

Bailed-Out GM Relies on Incentives; Volt Sales Underwhelm

General Motors shares fell 5% on Wednesday after May auto sales figures were reported. Most auto manufacturers were hit as sales for the industry fell pretty much across the board. Excuses for the industry shortfall ranged from higher prices for vehicles to Japan parts shortages. GM cannot claim the latter, since they earlier declared that there were no issues with parts supplies. The one telling statistic on GM is one that was not reported in most of the media coverage, which was the fact that incentives at the automaker were, once again, well above industry averages.

According to Edmunds, the “true cost of incentives” per vehicle at GM was $3,373 per vehicle compared to an industry average of $2,094. Ford’s incentives came in at $2,283. GM was not willing to discuss the numbers during its sales conference call, rather citing an “anomaly” for incentives during the month. Well, that’s reassuring. … Read More ➡

GM Admits that Dealerships are Taking Chevy Volt Tax Credits

Chevy Volt photoAutomobilemag.com reports that General Motors has responded to my report questioning whether dealerships are gaming Chevy Volt tax credits. Chevy Volt spokesperson, Rob Peterson, states that “NLPC is confused.” He then goes on to confirm that the dealerships purchasing Chevy Volts and reselling them as used vehicles are entitled to the $7,500 tax credit. Clearly, it is GM that is confused, considering that this was the main point of my report.

GM does not deny that Chevy dealerships are selling Chevy Volts to other dealerships, including a KIA dealership, for resale. At the same time, Peterson also touts the high demand for Volts claiming, “we don’t sell Volts at the moment – it’s almost like we deliver them.” By this statement, you wouldn’t know that sales for the Volt averaged a dismally low 425 per month for the first four months of the year. GM recently stated that they … Read More ➡

Taxpayers Get Scammed on Chevy Volt Tax Credit?

On Friday night, I discussed the appearance that GM dealers are gaming the Chevy Volt tax credit on Fox Business Network’s “Follow the Money” show with Eric Bolling. Here’s a transcript:

Eric Bolling: Outrage alert. Former Saturn dealer, Mark Modica says there is something rotten in the business of marketing and selling the Chevy Volt. He claims he uncovered underhanded shenanigans that make the Volt appear to be a success story. Mark is here with us right now. Ok, Mark, tell us what happens. Dealers are selling to each other to grab that tax incentive.

Mark Modica: Hi Eric. Yes. What I did, was I did a search on some websites to check the availability of Volts. GM was claiming that demand was exceeding supply and that there was not enough out there. What I found was that there is plenty out there including six of them within … Read More ➡

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