General Motors

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General Motors is a really well run company, as Michael Moore once proved, and which 25,000 U.S. employees learned the hard way in June of 2005.

According to University of Toronto professor Joe D'Cruz, the company has major problems in five distinct areas of concern:

  • management
  • labour and pension
  • health care costs - which add $1500 to the cost of every vehicle produced and have led to threats to cut health benefits for tens of thousands of workers
  • rising fuel prices making its SUV line obsolete
  • major competitors such as Toyota moving in, with seven plants on the North American continent

D'Cruz believes it should seek Chapter 11 corporate bankruptcy protection.

Executive Rob Lutz says that transportation is taken for granted but "we're not in the transportation business, we're in the art and entertainment business" and that style is what GM lacks.

Buzz Hargrove of the Canadian Auto Workers union claims that lack of access to the Japanese market is a problem for North American car makers. However it is unclear why Japanese buyers would be interested in gas-guzzling GM vehicles which they have no space available to park, especially in the cities where the well-to-do buyers live.

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