For Jim Renacci's rant against the GM bailout to make sense, he needs the bailout to fail. If the bailout, and the subsequent bankruptcy, restructuring, layoffs, elimination of models, and yes, terminating dealer franchises works, then it sounds like he's just whining about his personal ox getting gored.
- General Motors' promise was this: by cutting its North American brands in half and shedding employees, dealers and creditors, it could break even with 18-percent share of a 10-million unit annual U.S. light vehicle market. In its second full quarter as post-bankruptcy New GM, (having even fired the man who made that promise as CEO, Fritz Henderson) has turned a profit.
- What does all this mean? It means the bankruptcy did what was intended. It shrunk GM to a manageable size and made it an automaker more likely to survive in a market crowded with keen Asian, European and domestic competitors. GM needed to shed brands, models, dealerships, white- and blue-collar employees, production capacity and debt to be viable and help save U.S.-based manufacturing. Liddell expects GM to remain profitable, although it's too early to predict an overall profit for 2010. If GM can pull that off, an IPO that "buys out" a portion of the government's "investment" (large enough to reduce our ownership to a minority position, I hope) should happen by early next year.