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GM & Chapter 11

GM already has essentially done a self-funded restructuring without filing for bankruptcy. This year alone, 19,000 of its workers have accepted early retirement or a buyout from the company. Since launching its turnaround in 2005, it has slashed its hourly workforce by 56% and its salaried workforce by 36%. From 2005 to 2007, the company cut $9 billion in costs, and it has outlined another $4 billion in cost cuts through 2009.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 16th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
Cuz hey, first oil prices got to where their products were unattractive, and then the economy took a nosedive?

I didn't take the time to comment and give my thoughts, in part because I wasn't sure exactly what they were. I was impressed that GM had already done a fair bit of belt tightening and thus isn't asking for money without doing some house cleaning first. On the other hand, if they did some drastic restructuring and are still failing, is it hopeless? Or is it a matter of getting them over the deepest point of the recession, and are they well-positioned to do better after that? Not really questions one can answer without a closer-up familiarity.
Nov. 17th, 2008 10:26 am (UTC)
I see so many articles about "how much they already reorganized" and "how much billions they lose per month".

What I'm still looking for is a good article on how, say, toyota is perfectly capable of making a good profit with their factories in the US, and what they are doing differently.
Nov. 17th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
Agreed. You read isolated claims on this ("it's the gas guzzlers", "it's the cost of labor") but no detailed analysis. I wonder if there's a Harvard Business School case on this.

I looked around for 10 minutes and saw two separate claims by different HBS faculty that Toyota is simply more nimble, refreshes models faster and can change its production facilities to match, and one cites GM's labor contracts as a facet of the difference, but none of it really addresses the issue of cost structure and profitability very well.

It's worth remembering that GM is still the #2 automaker in the U.S. and world-wide (9+ million vehicles last year). They have successful smaller cars on the European market (and presumably in Asia) that they could bring to the U.S.
Nov. 17th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
Successful in Europe? Up to a point - Germany is considering EUR 1B in support for Opel.
Nov. 17th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
One datapoint here: operating profit per vehicle is shown as positive for the big Japanese firms, and negative for the US Big 3. Article doesn't say what year the data is from, and you always have to wonder what has and hasn't been accounted for and whether the companies report their costs equivalently, etc. etc. But still.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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