Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

GM Posts Record Profits

edited February 2012 in General Discussion

Have they paid back the US for the gift/loan??

Lets see if they finally decide to shore up the pension plan that according to them is their biggest pay-out each year.


  • According to The Detroit News a couple of weeks ago the U.S. Treasury has refigured the amount that GM still owes the taxpayers and raised that amount by a few hundred million dollars. In spite of the TV commercials GM was running about paying their loans back that is not true. They've paid something like 20% of it back and even that could be debateable depending on how the paper is shuffled.

    The Feds state that GM stock prices (hovering in the 20s currently) will have to reach 55 dollars per share before there's a break even point.

    GM should have been allowed to sink and then rise from the ashes on their own if possible. Chrysler also still owes the taxpayers; just not nearly as much as GM does.
  • GM should have been allowed to sink and then rise from the ashes on their own if possible. Chrysler also still owes the taxpayers; just not nearly as much as GM does.

    I've always agreed with that. It's NOT a true capitalistic system if don't allow companies to fail.
  • It's pretty easy to show a profit if the liability side of the ledger has been thrown into the waste bin.

    GM, and others, have gotten much more money than that over the years due to incentives from the Federal, state and local governments.
    When the OK City GM plant was opened a little over 30 years ago the state and local governments handed GM the farm in the name of job creation. (about 2000 jobs it was claimed)
    Not too long before the plant was scheduled to open I had to attend a school in Houston, TX and on the way back the GCA radar at DFW was going stupid so I had a 3 hour layover. Grabbing a newspaper and while having a few drinks in the airport bar I read on the business page that GM was closing their Fort Worth facility and causing a loss of several thousand jobs.
    The article also stated that the TX workers were being given first crack at the OK jobs so in the grand scheme of things nothing was improved with the only factor being that OK ponied up more tax money than TX did.

    To make matters worse, the GM plant closed in 2006 and Oklahoma County bought the empty White Elephant building for over 50 million dollars. They're leasing this in turn to Tinker AFB for 1 dollar a year.
    GM cashed in on the taxpayers for 50 million plus on the way out of town and in 50 million or so years that 1 dollar a year lease will retire the debt; not factoring in anything other than the actual purchase price.
  • Amen, Mike.

    I suppose any company can survive with the most enormous infusion of cash in history, the rights to violate contracts screw the stockholders of their legal claims, the right to walk away from contractual obligations and be legally protected, and various other "devices" to support them....such as the failed "cash for cllunkers" and the tax rebate for buyers of their new overpriced hybrid products. Take my money and give it to someone so they can buy a car they can't afford. But that don't make it right.

    A much healthier approach would have been to let them find their own way out of the mess they'd created......or go down with the ship. Other manufacturers better able to do their jobs would have filled the void and the marketplace (and the economy) would be healthier for it.
  • edited February 2012
    OK4450, those ads angered a lot of people. They were pulled almost immediately, as the internet lit up with the truth within 24 hrs of the first such commercial. GM execs still think they're in the '70s, when it would take months for the truth to come out. HEY, GM, THE INTERNET IS HERE!!!!!!
  • edited February 2012
    I agree in principle to most of the comments here. GM made a lot of bonehead decisions but in my heart of hearts I don't want to see any U.S. company fail. My biggest concern or worry is that China will someday build a decent vehicle like Hyundai and Kia are building now. Twenty years ago Hyundai and Kia were both building junk cars just like Honda and Toyota did in the sixties and early seventies. If China comes up with a reliable vehicle at a great price then we can probably all kiss Ford, GM and Chrysler goodbye.
  • edited February 2012
    What's angered me the MOST with GM in the past decade is them "crying" about how they spend way too much money on pension and pension health care. Well 10 years ago they had the money to shore up this problem. If they did then WE (the US government) NEVER (Well Maybe) would have had to bail them out. Instead they go on this advertising campaign about how the Auto Worker is over paid and it's mainly because of the enormous amount of money they pay retired employees.

    Well GM....Now you have the Money to take care of this problem. Last report I read in the WSJ they only needed 1.2 Billion to secure the pension plan. It's probably closer to 2-3 Billion now. But in the long run this is the best financially thing they could do.
  • Ok GM, where's my check ?
  • If China comes up with a reliable vehicle at a great price then we can probably all kiss Ford, GM and Chrysler goodbye.

    On MORE then one occasion I've bashed GM/Ford and Chryco here for their stupid business practices.

    I'm a firm believer that if they didn't pay these outrageous bonuses..and actually looked "Long Term" instead of the philosophy of ("How much money can we make THIS quarter")...then I think the Big-3 CAN build a quality vehicle that is competitively priced.
  • Mike......I could not agree more. You hit the proverbial nail right on the head.
This discussion has been closed.