Did GM betray Americans?

Betrayal or just bad business?

Betrayal or just bad business?


GM today has officially brought their plea for billions of dollars to the public.

With a full-page print ad, the company admits to disappointing customers, letting quality fall below industry standards and creating lackluster designs.  They also acknowledge having too many brands, too many dealers and building too many trucks and SUVs.

This is all true, and I’m thrilled to see GM own up to their problems. Of course, the motivation for doing so is a possible injection of billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money, so it’s a wise move to make sure those taxpayers feel some sign of corporate humility. 

While there’s no doubt that GM has been poorly managed, made poor business decisions and produced historically sub-par vehicles, the ad also apologizes for at times betraying the American people.

I don’t think they have betrayed us, and I’ll put my neck out there to stand up to that.

While I still believe a bankruptcy filing would be a better consequence of their business decisions than a near-certain government bailout, I don’t think GM has done anything that has betrayed the people of America. They were greedy, cocky and arrogant, but it’s only now that they are being called out on it. 

For years, Americans have bought right into their business practices and supported them. So it’s not a GM betrayal of Americans, it’s a failure of Americans to notice or care that we were being taken advantage of. In that sense, we are somewhat at fault for helping GM arrive at this point of financial collapse. 

Maybe it’s us who has betrayed them by not forcing automakers to restructure years ago. We bought everything they threw at us, so it’s no wonder quality went in the tank and SUVs kept getting bigger. 

While they should’ve had the foresight to know that couldn’t last forever, we should’ve taken a stand against their products and practices years ago.

And now here we are on the verge of a very different auto industry than the U.S. has ever seen. And you know what? I’m excited about the changes and the potential for cars of the future.

Do you think GM betrayed the American people?


1 Comment

  1. Oh, gee, YAH THINK!?!?

    I can’t perform a tune up on a Quad Four engine. I can barely manage it on my Corsica’s V6. You cannot change the belts yourself: that has to be done by a mechanic. (And God help the poor schmoo who owns an independent shop; GM changes tooling every few years.)

    Hell, yes, GM betrayed us. If I want a GM car, I’ll buy an old one I can actually fix myself, and tell those bastards at the dealership they can kiss my zit-covered trucker’s ass!

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