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Justin Bimmer

After Many Stumbles, Fall of an American Giant

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By Micheline Maynard

Monday, June 1, 2009

Provided by

The New York Times

Link to Article

It is a company that helped lift hundreds of thousands of American workers into the middle class. It transformed Detroit into the Silicon Valley of its day, a symbol of America’s talent for innovation. It built celebrated cars, like Cadillacs, that became synonymous with luxury.

And now it is filing for bankruptcy, something that would have been unfathomable even a few years ago, much less decades ago, when it was a dominant force in the American economy.

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I thought this was a really good article.

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And now it is filing for bankruptcy, something that would have been unfathomable even a few years ago, much less decades ago, when it was a dominant force in the American economy.

Unfathomable a few years ago? Perhaps some people are just now taking their rosy glasses off.

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Unfathomable a few years ago? Perhaps some people are just now taking their rosy glasses off.

I think the conventional wisdom on this is when you are the biggest carmaker in the world, you are not going to fall flat on your face and go to $h!.

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The part that really chaps my ass.

But forced to feed so many brands, G.M. often resorted to a practice called “launch and leave” — spending billions upfront to bring vehicles to market, but then failing to keep supporting them with sustained advertising.

"Eh, build them, someone will buy them."

"Wait, what are we building again?"

"I don't know, didn't you see the commercial last month? I think we had it up for a week or so?"

Everything was based on the premise of volume sales. Even the UAW negotiated for its stupid job-bank program on this premise, using a kind of leverage against management to ensure they produced volume in order to avoid down-time. What choice does one have?

I simply see the failure summed up as so many backward-thinking policies and peculiar goal-setting that just did not consider the clear possibilities of the future.

Edited by ShadowDog
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