Monday, June 01, 2009

Questions about the GM Bankruptcy

A few questions to ponder on this historic day in which General Motors announces that they are filing for bankruptcy:

1. Why should we believe that a company whose core capabilities revolve around making trucks and SUVs can suddenly become a highly competitive and successful manufacturer of small, environmentally friendly cars?

2. How long will it take to wind down the "old GM" and will this process require an additional infusion of government funds?

3. Has the company done enough in its talks with the UAW to make the firm competitive against firms such as Honda and Toyota?

4. Will GM's suppliers survive this process, or will some enter bankruptcy themselves? Will the government find itself bailing some of them out as well?

5. Can the firm attract the management talent required to engineer the turnaround, particularly given the limitations on executive compensation that are likely to be put in place due to government ownership?

6. How much will Washington meddle in business decisions for political reasons?

7. Will Washington find itself favoring GM over Ford or engaging in protectionist policies to advance the interests of government-owned General Motors?

8. Does GM have a viable, profitable strategy for the Volt?

9. With the sale of assets such as Opel and Saab, GM will become more U.S.-centric while the auto industry continues to globalize; is this an effective strategy?

10. Finally, how much more money will the government have to invest in GM in the years ahead? Will we end up throwing good money after bad?

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