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Lamentations - a once great giant

There was a time (1962) when the biggest fear GM had was that its share of the US auto market would reach 60% and it would face anti-trust investigation. It was the biggest company in the world. A time when a factory job with GM was a ticket to a middle class life, and after 40 years a generous retirement package. A time when Charlie Wilson, the CEO of GM, could say “What’s good for GM is good for the US.” A time when the Dow Jones Industrial average was jiggled about by its correlation to GM stock.

Fast forward to 2007: $39B loss and $10B market capitalization (less than 1/10 of Toyota’s). 2008: 27% drop in sales, lowest stock price in 26 years, analysts’ projections that they likely will be bankrupt by 2010, and the addition of 19,000 UAW buyouts to a long string of 350,000 cuts.

I’m glad the buyouts will help GM become more competitive and I have high expectations for success of the Volt amidst these great struggles, but I have mixed reactions to this sad situation for a once great giant.
 

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Jason,

I’m also a graduate of GM. I worked for Delphi doing R&D on Integrated Circuits for Engine Controllers. We came to Florida for a vacation five years ago, saw the sun, palm trees, and water, and bought a house. Providentially, a few months later, I was offered an earlier retirement package that I couldn’t refuse. I loved my work, but my wife and I were ready for a change, so we took the leap.
 
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