Why did sales slip? And when sales slipped, why couldn’t GM scale down ops to reduce costs? There is never one reason, but usually 2-3 interesting combinations of reasons with a final death blow reasonthat makes recovery impossible even after the 2-3 reasons are addressed.
Was it quality that did in GM? No. Cars costing thousands more sell just fine, despite horrible quality ratings. Reference Consumer Report, Consumer Digest, JD Powers et al.
Was it performance, style, etc? No. Many GM models have performance specifications that far outweigh the needs and wants of consumers. GM’s diverse brands offered styling that fit everyone’s needs. No one ever saw GM as lacking in design and performance to any degree, other than ocassional criticism of a particular model.
Labor costs: GM couldn’t scale back ops, because union deals forced them to pay people who didn’t work. They couldn’t avoid the number one cost of doing business!
GM had/has an serious image problem, some of which is rooted in truth, and some of which is rooted in a cultural disdain for American Corporations. Michael Moore manages to accomplish in great public view an outwardly noticeable symptom of the disease that is an unfounded hatred of anything that is a big American Corporation. Moore is the unchallenged poster boy of propaganda. What people never realize is how powerful propoganda is. His reaction to this business tragedy is joy. This affirms his message was propaganda.
For about 25 years, a propoganda war has been waged on American business, with GM, Ford, Chrysler and any oil company taking the beating. The ‘evil U.S. Corporation’ them permeates movies, television and magaizines. It is now part of the culture to see these words as somehow bad: American Corporation or Capitalism.
Don’t bother to challenge the power that can be unleashed by propaganda. In the 1930’s, with access to nothing more than some printing presses and an ocassional radio adress, German leadership convinced a nation that they could take over the world, and instilled enough fear and hatred of the very people they lived with that it was deemed necessary to eliminate an entire race of people. Propaganda destroyed Germany from the inside out in an historic twist of irony.
So, the propaganda machine that has been in existence for the past 25 years is unrivaled in human history. Nothing even comes close to it.
GM never had a chance. It might have led itself down a path, but nothing was going to enable it to overcome the greatest propaganda machine in history.
Before American industry, and before people worked for corporations, businesses and large conglomerates, life was filled with starvation, disease and misery. People moved up in the world when they began to work for American Corporations.
Sure, most business models drift over time, and they need to be revisited, but GM is 200 thousand workers and maybe 200 thousand more supporting the suppliers, so what abstract thing does Moore hate? He should have longed and yearned for their success. He should have promoted anything good thing they did, drive up sales whenever it was for a hybrid or innovative design, or should have said, “Let me be a spokesperson for the Chevy Volt”.
He’s an ass.