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Obama to Wagoner : Drop Dead

Yesterday, Kim blogged about GM's announcement of the immediate resignation of its CEO, Rick Wagoner. Apparently this was at the behest of the Obama White House, as part of a plan to "restructure" the faltering automaker. GM has already taken $9.4 billion in government loans, and now claims it needs $16.9 billion more.

In reporting this story, The Politico observes,

Obama and his aides may have honed in on Wagoner for two reasons. First, his company is asking for the most in total federal aid: $26 billion, a figure administration officials fear could grow even larger. Second, the GM chief was tied more directly to the ill-fated decisions that that brought much of the American auto industry to the brink of collapse. Wagoner joined GM in 1977, has had a senior role in GM management since 1992, and became CEO of the company in 2000. He is considered responsible for increasing GM's focus on trucks and SUVs--at the expense of the hybrids and fuel efficient cars that have become more popular in the last couple of years.

Huh? Americans only bought hybrids and glorified go-carts last year because of the severe spike in fuel prices. When fuel dropped back to 2001 price levels, Americans quit buying hybrids. Right now the Big 3 lose thousands of dollars on every hybrid they produce, while historically trucks and SUV's have been the auto industry's biggest moneymakers. If the Politico's explanation for Rick Wagoner's "failure" as an automotive CEO is meant to foreshadow the Obama Administration's plan to "restructure" GM -- forcing it to produce Smart Car knock-offs and hybrids -- then GM is doomed.

Instapundit points this morning to Mickey Kaus, who asks,

After visibly defenestrating GM CEO RIck Wagoner, and moving to replace the board of directors, won't Obama now 'own' the GM problem? If the company shuts down in the near future, costing tens of thousands of blue collar jobs, it will be under executives implicitly or explicitly chosen by Obama. It will be Obama's failure, not simply GM's failure, no? A public sector failure, not just a business failure.

Maybe they should rename the company "BM" -- "Barack Motors." Come to think of it, "BM" seems to describe the whole situation pretty well.


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Comments (25)

I wonder how Obama plans to... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

I wonder how Obama plans to take care of his union buddies now?

Forcing GM to abandon their only profitable vehicles in favor of hybrids that only the pencil-neck liberals want sure ain't gonna do it.

Ignoring the massive debt on GM's balanc sheet for the moment, sooner or later, Obama has to deal with labor costs, pension costs, toxic work rules, and sit-on-your-ass job banks. The UAW ain't gonna like it, leaving Obama with a reelection problem.

The only way I can think of is to get the American taxpayer to pay the freight directly.

It won't matter if it fails... (Below threshold)

It won't matter if it fails. It is never the fault of Obama. The excuse will be that the situation was too far gone for recovery.

I'm afraid Houston is right... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

I'm afraid Houston is right. For his entire career, it's never been Obama's fault.

I believe the actual quote ... (Below threshold)
Tregonsee:

I believe the actual quote is "Yugo!"

"It will be Obama's failure... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"It will be Obama's failure..."

No, no. Obama CANNOT fail. If there is a failure it's because "It's George Bush's fault" or "It's __________ fault".

When GM produces nothing but hybrids and all-electric carts....and no one buys, it will be the "fault" of the American consumer.

You guys are all forgetting... (Below threshold)
Tim:

You guys are all forgetting that Obama's going to force up the price of oil - no new drilling, bankrupting the coal industry, etc. When gas gets up to $7/gal, everyone will want, er, need to buy hybrids. It can't fail - it follows the time tested priciple of Demand and Demand.

I would not even ride in on... (Below threshold)
914:

I would not even ride in one of those little go carts. Obama is ruining the economy. Hes not even qualified to program the prompter yet there He goes trying to one up everybody else.

Dumd _ _ _

So he's a WaGONER? ;-)... (Below threshold)
Laura:

So he's a WaGONER? ;-)

isnt it WAGONEER? lol... (Below threshold)
914:

isnt it WAGONEER? lol

So what's the Market's reac... (Below threshold)

So what's the Market's reaction to GM having a new CEO? (Barak H. Obama)

GM has 556 million shares outstanding...and has lost ~$1.00 this morning (25% of it price, btw)

That means savvy investors believe GM is worth $556 million LESS with Barry at the helm!

If it had farther to fall it would have fallen further...but losing 25% in a couple hours under Barry's watch is pretty "impressive"

I give credit to FOX for ke... (Below threshold)
MPR:

I give credit to FOX for keeping the DJ ticker going while Obamalala was pontificating. It kept going down and it is still going down. But, as we all know Obamalala says we should not be watching it because it's like daily tracking polls.

You've got to have somethin... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

You've got to have something the people will buy, and a sales force that's motivated. Judging by my experience this last week, at leat one of the two are missing.

Maybe the sales folk see the writing on the wall also - why waste effort on an organization that's on life-support and possibly won't even be around for service after the sale?

Bobdog"Ignoring th... (Below threshold)
retired milirary:

Bobdog

"Ignoring the massive debt on GM's balanc sheet for the moment, sooner or later, Obama has to deal with labor costs, pension costs, toxic work rules, and sit-on-your-ass job banks"

Obama doesnt have to worry about that as long as he has the US Taxpayer picking up the tab.

----------

"He is considered responsible for increasing GM's focus on trucks and SUVs--at the expense of the hybrids and fuel efficient cars that have become more popular in the last couple of years.
"

All who oppose the plan as laid out by TOTUS must be eliminated.

Excellent are you glad you ... (Below threshold)
Militarymale:

Excellent are you glad you voted for him. Soon he will be in charge of what you have for breakfast in the morning.

And when you re-elect him he will set your wake up and bed times.

Oh and a side note: Have you seen the gas guzzlers that are in the presidents motorcade. That shows failure to support what your talking about right there Obama

Good point. Anybody heard a... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Good point. Anybody heard about the new Obamamobile or the new Obamacopter lately?

I couldn't help but notice the conspicuous absence in Obama's remarks about labor costs. All I heard him say was how he was the Great Defender of the Working Man and how he grew up in the Shadow of the Steel Mills. (Must be the Hawaiian steel mills or John Edwards is a contributor to the Living Teleprompter Project).

Talk about the elephant in the room. Destructive labor costs have raised GM's cost of production so far over its Japanese competitors that bankruptcy is the only possible way out of this mess.

Everybody in America sees it, but Obama, the consummate political class warlord, won't touch labor costs. We can blame Wall Street, the banks, management, George Bush and the American consumer, but we dasn't mention the corrosive effects of the UAW on death of the American auto industry. It's always somebody else's fault.

19 more months until the mid-term elections.

You've got to have somet... (Below threshold)
apb:

You've got to have something the people will buy, and a sales force that's motivated.

Eh - sounds like Obomber and the Dems...in this case, a load of snake oil and extremely persistent sales people (especially the media wing of the Dem party).

The GIVE re-education camps will reinforce Zero's innocence in all things financial and party like it's 1936; meanwhile, the Obomber administration will ponder the "wealthy question..."

Physical goods, APB, not me... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Physical goods, APB, not mental. Mental, you can 'sell' and they don't have to actually function in the real world - they just have to tickle the right ideology and be somewhat palatable to enough fools.

Physical goods are another matter.

Come to think of it, the attitudes of the sales folk at Chrysler and GM this last weekend fit government employees perfectly. "I don't care - I get paid the same whether you buy or not, and my life will be less of a hassle if you don't."

Prediction: Massive Fail</p... (Below threshold)
pa:

Prediction: Massive Fail

People in many other parts of the world are well accustomed to government control of industry and have no real knowledge of or personal experience with the quality products that private industry can produce. Americans have virtually no experience with anything except private industry and the lavish material goods we all consequently enjoy. When GM fails big time, the taxpayers' financial losses are staggering (if not concealed from us), the cars are terrible, and all the fab features of the above-mentioned Trabant are finally ours to enjoy, I think that Americans will certainly know who to blame -- government.

Sensible people learn from their mistakes. We won't need long memories to recognize the difference between then and now. Will Americans be so shocked by the big dose of Barry coming their way that they will reject leftist ideas for decades to come? Perhaps this monstrous assault on our ideology, economy, and lifestyle will contain its own solution. The Tea Parties are perhaps just the first gagging reflex at a noxious dose, with full rejection and purging to come, fairly swiftly, too.

"You've got to hav... (Below threshold)
marc:
"You've got to have something the people will buy, and a sales force that's motivated."

Good point, and it raises a good question.

Who will by GM's closest to market plug-in hybrid the Volt?

As the months go by the expected cost has gone from 30k to 35k and it's roll-out date has slipped to spring of 2011.

And all that is highly suspect, suspect if you want a Volt with the normal electric accouterments like windshield wipers, air conditioning and a stereo.

EVERY electrical feature of the car has to be redesigned, it being done, but at a much slower pace than was expected.

That translates into a higher cost then what's on the table now (35k).

And BTW, note to you greeny-weenies the Volt may have a green tailpipe but each time it's plugged in it's regenerated from those oh so nasty coal-fired power plants.

I think the Volt's going to... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I think the Volt's going to end up in Prototype Hell, Marc. At least as far as GM's concerned.

Innovation's going to take one hell of a hit.

Great, Now the mobbed-up mu... (Below threshold)
Brian Richard Allen:

Great, Now the mobbed-up murtadd Muslim Marxist empty galabia has made the move to the form of "modified Marxism" its inventor, Italy's Mussolini, called Fascism -- and that the rest of the world came to know as Nazism.

How fitting that Hussayn's Neo_National-Socialist/Fascist "administration's" first illegal, unlawful and un-Constitutional fiat diktat should be to go back to the source and pronounce the shotgun marriage of Chrysler to Fiat.

And can any doubt that its Saul Alinskyist street sh*t-stirrer "warranteed" offspring -- and whatever Rube Goldberg contraption any other of the little General Motivator's feral gummint controlled "car manufacturers" turn out -- will be called the U-Gov?

(By any other spelling)

God save US all!

Brian Richard Allen
Los Angeles CalifO'ZEROcated 90028 -- and the Far Abroad

The revolution is coming</p... (Below threshold)
MR:

The revolution is coming

Maybe, MR - but I think the... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Maybe, MR - but I think the 'progressives' are going to be real surprised when the producers revolt and put THEM up against the wall...

The man s such a two faced.... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

The man s such a two faced.
He talks about American Auto while he tells Chrysler to Merge with Fiat.
So what happen when the Italians close down plants in US open them in 3rd world countries that Fiat is know to do?

hcddbz--well, as a free-mar... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

hcddbz--well, as a free-market conservative who probably hates socialist unionized auto workers, you would f*cking applaud such a decision, as it would be the economically rational one. Insofar as Chrysler and Fiat both make shitty cars, they may as well pay people $4/hour to put their shitty cars together. Makes sense.




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