Tuesday, October 23, 2007

GM is number 1? Not by .14 percent

Sports fans, don't be fooled. GM is not your favorite sports team. Resist the urge to identify with this global corporation's "success."

The Free Press reports:
"'We’ve been No. 1 for 76 years. We like being No. 1, and we’re going to stay focused on our long term goals,' said GM spokesman John McDonald."

This renewed No. 1 status amounts to 10,000 more vehicles than Toyota sold globally over the first nine months of the year. GM's total, 7.06 million.

Not to rain on your parade, GM, but that's .14 (point one four) percent more vehicles sold globally -- a statistically insignificant amount.

There's no trophy for selling a statistically insignificant greater number of significantly less profitable vehicles globally. According to the Free Press,"Last year, Toyota clearly beat GM on the profitability point. Toyota reported a profit of $14 billion, while GM reported $2-billion loss."

More troubling is the impact of lack of profitability on workers. The ink is barely dry on the recent agreement between GM and the UAW. Workers were pleased to sign the agreement with promises of future production of certain vehicles. GM proudly and strategically announced production of the Chevy Volt in Hamtramck in 2010 just before laying off 767 workers in Hamtramck last Tuesday. More Hamtramck layoffs are planned for the fall.

GM announced yesterday that 1,000 workers would be laid off by year's end at the Lansing cross over plant.

GM is only profitable in its oversees operations. There will be more pruning in North America for the foreseeable future. Workers would be well advised to consider immediate and profound retooling of their skill sets.