dtwclipper
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GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:45 pm

GM chief Wagoner to step down as part of Obama auto plan


WASHINGTON -- General Motors Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Wagoner will step down immediately as part of President Barack Obama's aid plan for the automaker, a person familiar said today.

http://www.freep.com/article/2009032...ep+down+as+part+of+Obama+auto+plan
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stasisLAX
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:55 pm

Well its about damn time that Ricky quit. Bob Lutz announced his retirement recently too, so I guess the rats are finally jumping ship.   

As a corporate CEO, Ricky's primary job function was to provide strategic leadership for GM. A huge part of that strategic leadership is the ability to forecast market trends, have well-developed contingency plans, and catering your product development to meet the needs of consumers.

Wagoner & Lutz and their dismal executive team failed miserably in providing that leadership. Bill Ford realized that he needed someone that could provide strong strategic leadership, and was intelligent enough to step aside and let Alan Mulally run the show at Ford Motor Co.

[Edited 2009-03-29 15:08:16]
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JAL
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:57 pm

It's about time he steps down.
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Flighty
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:06 pm

Pretty much all Rick's priorities, his long range statements / policy statements have been wrong, and he has been forced to take them back. For example, he once said it was (?) "dangerous" for GM's senior leadership to quit at this time, as if he is so valuable and positive for GM. Guess what, nobody agrees with that. He's not been smart enough to protect GM from its worst dangers. Instead, he has let GM weaken for many years, because he does not understand the car business. He sucks!
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:44 pm

OK, the New York Times is reporting that Wagoner was forced out by the Obama Administration.

"Mr. Wagoner was asked, and agreed to, step down as part of G.M.’s restructuring agreement with the Obama administration, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement has not been made yet.

The unexpected move by Mr. Wagoner, who has been at the helm of G.M. for eight years, was not confirmed by the company. A statement about Mr. Wagoner’s future will be issued after the president’s comments, which is expected to be Monday morning."

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/business/30auto.html?_r=1&hp

And heads are also rolling at Peugeot where Christian Streiff (formerly head of Airbus) is being forced out as the CEO.

"The company, the No. 2 European carmaker, after Volkswagen, said that Philippe Varin, chief executive of the Anglo-Dutch steel company Corus, would replace Christian Streiff, who is stepping down immediately.

“Given the extraordinary difficulties currently faced by the automotive industry, the supervisory board decided unanimously that a change in the senior leadership position was necessary,” Thierry Peugeot, chairman of the board, said. “I am confident that under the leadership of Philippe Varin, the group will be able, with all the teams, to unlock its potential.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/business/global/30peugeot.html?hp

[Edited 2009-03-29 15:50:43]

[Edited 2009-03-29 15:52:33]
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Flighty
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 pm

Hahaha. Fired by the president. That's pretty awful for poor Rick. But what did he expect? He never apologized for anything. He seemed like a good accountant whose strategic decisions were like a book of "what not to do."
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:37 pm

First of all, I have no problem canning these CEOs who could not/would not make the tough decisions early enough to avoid disaster for their companies.

But I question heavily the precedent that this is setting - the idea that government is telling a private business how it should be run.

And the absolute scandal of all this is the relative competence of who's getting fired and who's wagging the finger and doing the firing.

GM's annual revenue is around $200 billion, and the lost $30 billion last year. They are upside down by 15%

The US Government this year will have $2.1 trillion, and will spend $3.9 trillion. Upside down by a whopping 80% !

So when does Congress get fired? (Note also that Congress votes itself nice raises every year and has given itself the most lucrative pension scheme in the country - 2 years of work and lifetime salary and benefits.)

THAT is the scandal. But this administration is proving awfully good at distracting your attention on other 'villains', like Rush or the AIG executives, who are babes in diapers compared to Congress when it comes to reckless and irresponsible behavior.
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iflykpdx
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:47 pm

Well the government, unlike GM, is not a for-profit business, so its goals are very different.

Also, once your company receives, and indeed relies on billions of dollars of tax-payer money, I think the government has the right to tell you what to do. Were it not for the government, no one at GM would have a job to get canned from anymore!
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prosa
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:01 am

I rather doubt he'll have to look for a job at Wal-Mart anytime soon.
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NIKV69
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:05 am

Let's not forget his arms were tied at the behest of the UAW. Which is a good part of the reason GM lost money for the last 20 years. Sure this guy did a crap job of running GM but the UAW didn't make life easy for anyone.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
But I question heavily the precedent that this is setting - the idea that government is telling a private business how it should be run.

I have concerns about this too but one has to remember that if the government does bail them out with huge amounts of taxpayer dollars they have to have control over the company. It doesn't work any other way. Either don't give them money or give it to them and take over. As long as this doesn't cross over to companies that are not asking for money I have no issue with it.
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Vega9000
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:06 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
But I question heavily the precedent that this is setting - the idea that government is telling a private business how it should be run.

There wouldn't be a precedent if they didn't need government money in the first place. If a government invests, especially if it's a critical investment, they should have a say about who's running the company. A company can't just beg the government for money, and then expect to be left alone running business as usual.
The point is, if the government bails you out, you're not a private company anymore.

In my view, I think the Obama administration is handling this just right. Give them the money to protect the larger economy, but make it as unpleasant as possible so they realize that bad management has consequences.

Quoting Iflykpdx (Reply 7):
Were it not for the government, no one at GM would have a job to get canned from anymore!

Exactly.  checkmark 
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dtw9
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:15 am



Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 10):
The point is, if the government bails you out, you're not a private company anymore.

Does that also include banks. I don't see any heads rolling there. The double standards of Obama and his cronies continues

Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 10):
In my view, I think the Obama administration is handling this just right.

Right in the direction of Socialism
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:24 am



Quoting Iflykpdx (Reply 7):
Well the government, unlike GM, is not a for-profit business, so its goals are very different.

And what happens to a non-profit business if they overspend by 80%? Usually, someone goes to jail.

Granted, they aren't supposed to make a profit, but at least try to come a bit closer to breakeven... 1.8 TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT guys! How do you people just blow that off? Is it that you can't comprehend the numbers?

Let me illustrate. $1.8 Trillion in brand new $100 dollar bills would take up 718,000 cubic feet of space - that's the size of a large warehouse - and weigh 18,400 tons - the weight of two modern US Navy destroyers.

If they were $1 bills, It would be enough to fill up that NASA Saturn Assembly building (until recently the biggest enclosed space in the world), from floor to ceiling, and weigh 1.84 million tons - the weight of 18 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

And it's all money 'borrowed' from our kids - or at least they will have to pay it back.

I once knew a guy who pilfered his own kids' college funds so that he could gammble and play with hookers. Once it became known what he had done, he was of course ostracized by everyone in his family, not to mention divorced and fired from his job.

What's the difference with what is happening now?
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Dreadnought
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:28 am



Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 10):
There wouldn't be a precedent if they didn't need government money in the first place

They DON'T need the government. Declare bankruptcy, clean house, rightsize the company, and there you go - no need for government.

This is just a bailout for the UAW.
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mt99
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:30 am



Quoting Flighty (Reply 5):
Fired by the president. That's pretty awful for poor Rick. But what did he expect?

If he had been with AIG, he would have expected a bonus.

Quoting Iflykpdx (Reply 7):

Also, once your company receives, and indeed relies on billions of dollars of tax-payer money, I think the government has the right to tell you what to do. Were it not for the government, no one at GM would have a job to get canned from anymore!

Agreed!

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):
I once knew a guy who pilfered his own kids' college funds so that he could gammble and play with hookers. Once it became known what he had done, he was of course ostracized by everyone in his family, not to mention divorced and fired from his job.

What's the difference with what is happening now?

If you truly do not see the difference - then you have just proved that you do not understand the situation.
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dxing
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:34 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
But I question heavily the precedent that this is setting - the idea that government is telling a private business how it should be run.

It will be interesting to see who replaces him and who picks that person. This indeed sets a bad precedent if he is replaced by a party apparatchik.

Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 10):
There wouldn't be a precedent if they didn't need government money in the first place.

No one forced them to take it.

Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 10):
Exactly.

 redflag  They would have been better off going into bankruptcy. Then they could have dealt with the UAW as they need to be dealt with now
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Mir
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:51 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
So when does Congress get fired?

When the people vote to fire them.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 9):
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
But I question heavily the precedent that this is setting - the idea that government is telling a private business how it should be run.

I have concerns about this too but one has to remember that if the government does bail them out with huge amounts of taxpayer dollars they have to have control over the company.

 checkmark  If GM didn't want to have to deal with working under the restrictions of the government, they shouldn't have asked the government for bailout money.

The day Obama starts telling self-sustaining companies how they should be run, I'll be all too happy to protest. But this isn't that day.

-Mir
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stasisLAX
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:14 am



Quoting Mir (Reply 16):
If GM didn't want to have to deal with working under the restrictions of the government, they shouldn't have asked the government for bailout money.

The day Obama starts telling self-sustaining companies how they should be run, I'll be all too happy to protest. But this isn't that day.

Self-sustaining WELL MANAGED firms that are profitable - I can't agree more.

However, I also must stress that the U.S. auto industry bail-out should force the Big Three (well, Big 2.5 now) to purchase auto parts made here in the U.S.. I want my tax dollars to help support other Americans at all levels of the industry!  grumpy 
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ltbewr
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:42 am

First of all, I hope that Wagoner and any other 'departing' executives now and in the future from GM, Chrysler, and any bank or financial company getting TARP monies get no 'golden parachutes' and little or no pension. They have already gotten too much compensation without sufficient reasoning in the past.
Wagoner kept pushing Hummer when he should been pushing hybrids. He wouldn't take on the UAW. While Olds brand got ditched, he kept too many models and other brands in GM. Unlike at Ford, he really didn't try to shut down more plants or improve efficiency of GM. I have a strong belief that no CEO should be in power for more than 5 years as after that, they tend to get too comfortable in their positions, the executive structures get stale and start to make too many bad decisions. Wagoner has been the CEO of GM since 2003. Time for a change. I hope this is a start of the march into retirement of many CEO's and other top executives as well as their too friendly Board Members. Those that replace them will have to take much lower salaries and bonuses to be tied to long term performance of the companies.
 
NIKV69
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:01 am



Quoting Vega9000 (Reply 10):
Give them the money to protect the larger economy, but make it as unpleasant as possible so they realize that bad management has consequences.

Makes sense but government has to let them know that they just can't be greedy and expect to be bailed out. Sets a bad example.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
They DON'T need the government. Declare bankruptcy, clean house, rightsize the company, and there you go - no need for government

I agree but thanks to CNN and the far left all of a sudden the world would end if GM declared bankruptcy, which we all know was complete crap and was just another way to attack free market.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
This is just a bailout for the UAW.

Remains to be seen if Obama makes the UAW give up what they need to but I think even the UAW saw that if they didn't budge the company would be gone.

Quoting DXing (Reply 15):
They would have been better off going into bankruptcy. Then they could have dealt with the UAW as they need to be dealt with now

This is a given but the UAW waited for the election to be over and Obama to be in office. They saw that CNN had scared the public into thinking the country would collapse if GM had to file bankruptcy so they thought they were home free. Glad this wasn't the case. In the end I think everyone knew that through many factors GM was losing money and would continue to do so unless things were drastically changed. It was a pissing contest that the UAW thought they could win.

Quoting Mir (Reply 16):
If GM didn't want to have to deal with working under the restrictions of the government, they shouldn't have asked the government for bailout money.

Again don't forget they felt that as soon as Obama was in power they would get a blank check. When they saw this wasn't going to happen the UAW and the company had to play ball or the alternative was being on the beach.

Quoting Mir (Reply 16):
The day Obama starts telling self-sustaining companies how they should be run, I'll be all too happy to protest. But this isn't that day.

I doubt that will ever happen remember that Obama is seizing this economic situation to deflect attention away from his far left stance on just about everything, He constantly proclaims how he inherited this and that he has to do things in a way and in a hurry. Once things recover he won't have this luxury and I doubt he will try that. His presidency is already not going as planned and he has to change things in a hurry or he will be a one termer.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 18):
Wagoner kept pushing Hummer when he should been pushing hybrids

Hybrids are not the answer to GMs problems in fact if you look at the enviorment once gas came back down to 2 bucks a gallon you will see that this green, hybrid mantra is a totally fantasy. GM's competition still sell trucks, cars and SUVs. They just build better cars for far less cost and don't have to bow to a union that constantly has their hand out.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 18):
I have a strong belief that no CEO should be in power for more than 5 years as after that, they tend to get too comfortable in their positions,

Too bad this doesn't go for the senate we wouldn't have to look at Ted Kennedy.  biggrin 
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:03 am

Here's some news from inside the D.C. beltway:

"On Monday, President Barack Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler. The plan is based on recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, headed by the Treasury Department.

The White House confirmed Wagoner was leaving at the government's behest after The Associated Press reported his immediate departure, without giving a reason.

General Motors issued a vague statement Sunday night that did not officially confirm Wagoner's departure.

"We are anticipating an announcement soon from the Administration regarding the restructuring of the U.S. auto industry. We continue to work closely with members of the Task Force and it would not be appropriate for us to speculate on the content of any announcement," the company said."

Source: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20625.html
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StarAC17
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:45 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
But I question heavily the precedent that this is setting - the idea that government is telling a private business how it should be run.

As said when you get government bailouts you play by their rules, none of us can dictate the terms of a loan to a bank when we ask them for money so why should this be any different.

If you don't want the government getting involved like this then man up and go into Chapter 11 and turn away a bailout if offered one. An example of this is states with conservative governors that are turning away federal stimulus money because they don't want or fear the feds taking over which when you give money that is not a donation you have the right to do.
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NIKV69
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:05 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 20):
"We are anticipating an announcement soon from the Administration regarding the restructuring of the U.S. auto industry. We continue to work closely with members of the Task Force and it would not be appropriate for us to speculate on the content of any announcement," the company said

Just read that Obama will give GM 2 months worth of financing to restructure. Though I don't know what that will do.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
Lufthansa411
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:06 am



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 19):
Hybrids are not the answer to GMs problems in fact if you look at the enviorment once gas came back down to 2 bucks a gallon you will see that this green, hybrid mantra is a totally fantasy. GM's competition still sell trucks, cars and SUVs. They just build better cars for far less cost and don't have to bow to a union that constantly has their hand out.

I beg to differ. At least here in the Northeast, truck and SUV sales have gone down the toilet. My mom went to look at cars the other day, and the trucks, minivans and large SUVs were all heavily discounted. No one wants to buy them in this economy. Gas may be cheaper, but during a recession, the disposable income people had to spend on gas is spent on other more important things.

And although gas is cheap now, people are worried that it will climb back up to the price levels that it it was at last April or May. Never mind people purchasing vehicles from companies like VW to subtly protest the big 3.
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Alias1024
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:09 am



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 9):
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
But I question heavily the precedent that this is setting - the idea that government is telling a private business how it should be run.

I have concerns about this too but one has to remember that if the government does bail them out with huge amounts of taxpayer dollars they have to have control over the company. It doesn't work any other way. Either don't give them money or give it to them and take over. As long as this doesn't cross over to companies that are not asking for money I have no issue with it.

 checkmark 
I'm getting very concerned that I've recently found myself agreeing with NIKV69 and Dreadnought more often than usual.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 19):
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
They DON'T need the government. Declare bankruptcy, clean house, rightsize the company, and there you go - no need for government

I agree but thanks to CNN and the far left all of a sudden the world would end if GM declared bankruptcy, which we all know was complete crap and was just another way to attack free market.

Nevermind.  Wink

Would you buy a car from a company that might not be able to emerge from bankruptcy, leaving you with a worthless warranty? I wouldn't unless someone else is going to back the warranty. The only group with the money and lack of intelligence to do such a thing is the government, meaning the government is needed for a bankruptcy to work.
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IgneousRocks
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:35 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
This is just a bailout for the UAW.

Dreadnought fires the salvo that hits its mark.

Even more telling that "Cardcheck" looks to be facing an uphill battle for passage - thankfully.
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Ken777
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:41 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 1):
Bill Ford realized that he needed someone that could provide strong strategic leadership, and was intelligent enough to step aside and let Alan Mulally run the show at Ford Motor Co.

Now if only the politicians only understand that Alan is one of the good guys.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 19):
I agree but thanks to CNN and the far left all of a sudden the world would end if GM declared bankruptcy, which we all know was complete crap and was just another way to attack free market.

The problem with a Ch 11 us that people would stop buying GM cars for a whole and that major drop in sales (on top of very difficult sales for all companies) could move GM into liquidation, not re-organization. Those challenges presented follow-on challenges, like suppliers that can't get financing for operations and therefore can't deliver parts to Ford or Toyota.

It's a huge infrastructure supporting more than just GM and it's important that they have GM to deliver parts to.

Oh, I just read the other day that Toyota is requesting some funding from the Japanese government. Guess it's not just the Big 3 after all.

Personally I'm hoping that out of this entire mess we will have changes in business that returns some sanity to this world. Shifting huge medical insurance costs from companies to a tax based universal care gets conservatives responding, but GM pays more for health insurance on a car than they do for the steel. (Think of Boeing's break and increased competitive position).
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:11 am

It's been confirmed that Fritz Henderson will take over CEO duties at General Motors, but only on an INTERIM basis accord to the Detroit News website:

"Obama told four key Michigan members of Congress during a Sunday night conference call that he would grant unspecified additional aid to GM for 60 days and Chrysler for 30 days, according to a person familiar with the call.

Obama said GM Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson would take over the automaker on an interim basis and that no management changes at Chrysler were forthcoming.

The White House demanded and received GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner's resignation as part of the aid request.

The call included Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing as well as Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, and Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn."

Source: http://www.detnews.com/article/20090329/AUTO01/903290337/1148/rss25
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Mir
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:15 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 17):
Self-sustaining WELL MANAGED firms that are profitable - I can't agree more.

If they are self-sustaining, then the well-managed tends to be a given.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 19):
Again don't forget they felt that as soon as Obama was in power they would get a blank check.

Perhaps. But they were wrong, and he did the right thing by not giving them one. Now they have to live with the consequences of their strategy.

-Mir
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ltbewr
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:41 am

What is getting me and others angry is that Pres. Obama is dictating terms and conditions to GM and Chrysler that he won't upon the banks and financial getting TARP monies. He isn't demanding BoA or AIG to fire their CEO's or forcing them to cut the pay and benefits of most of their middle class employees to continue to get TARP monies.
 
N801NW
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:30 am



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 29):
He isn't demanding BoA or AIG to fire their CEO's

AIG's CEO was dismissed. Ed Liddy was recruited by Hank Paulson to wrap up AIG and he works for $1 a year. That said, I agree with your broader point.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:32 pm

Some more details:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090330/bs_nm/us_autos_taskforce

U.S. autos task force rejects GM, Chrysler plans

By Kevin Krolicki Kevin Krolicki – Mon Mar 30, 1:32 am ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration autos task force on Monday rejected the turnaround plans of General Motors Corp and Chrysler LLC and warned both could be put through bankruptcy to slash debts.

...

"We have unfortunately concluded that neither plan submitted by either company represents viability and therefore does not warrant the substantial additional investments that they requested," said a senior administration official, who asked not to be named.

...

GM CEO Rick Wagoner, who met on Friday with the task force, was forced out on Sunday at the request of Rattner, an official said. U.S. officials said plans were also underway to replace most of GM's directors in the coming months.

...

Chrysler, which is controlled by Cerberus Capital Management, was given 30 days to complete an alliance with Italy's Fiat SpA or face a cut-off of its government funding that could force its liquidation.

The autos panel rejected the claim by Cerberus that Chrysler could be viable on its own, citing its smaller size, weaker product line-up and declining U.S. market share.

In a written report, the panel said Chrysler's assumptions under the business plan it had submitted to the U.S. Treasury were "unrealistic or overly optimistic."



So, Chrysler is being forced towards a merger with Fiat (considering that Fiat is profitable, it amounts to a sale). Problem is: Fiat does not want a controling interest in the company.

They called Chrysler “unrealistic or overly optimistic”. Or were they talking about Obama’s budget and his economic projections for recovery? Hard to tell, eh?

Another incongruity: Rick Wagoner was forced out as CEO and Fritz Henderson has been promoted to CEO, although Henderson was the architect of the plan that the task force just rejected? What's that about?

I think I figured it out. Henderson only donated money to Democrats last year, whereas Wagoner sent $2,100 to support Mitt Romney.

http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/in...zip=&employ=General%20Motors&cand=
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NIKV69
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:51 pm



Quoting Lufthansa411 (Reply 23):
I beg to differ. At least here in the Northeast, truck and SUV sales have gone down the toilet. My mom went to look at cars the other day, and the trucks, minivans and large SUVs were all heavily discounted. No one wants to buy them in this economy. Gas may be cheaper, but during a recession, the disposable income people had to spend on gas is spent on other more important things.

And although gas is cheap now, people are worried that it will climb back up to the price levels that it it was at last April or May. Never mind people purchasing vehicles from companies like VW to subtly protest the big 3.

Great point but it is a cycle like anything else. A friend of mine owns a Nissan dealership and during the gas price spike sales of his SUVs tanked and the Altima became his big seller now its correcting. People are not going to buy as many but there still will be a demand for them and as confidence grows that fuel won't spike it will go up.

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 24):
I'm getting very concerned that I've recently found myself agreeing with NIKV69 and Dreadnought more often than usual.

Well it's a no brainer, AIG proved that. I don't believe in bailouts but once it was given you have to take over and control what is going on.

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 24):
Would you buy a car from a company that might not be able to emerge from bankruptcy, leaving you with a worthless warranty? I wouldn't unless someone else is going to back the warranty. The only group with the money and lack of intelligence to do such a thing is the government, meaning the government is needed for a bankruptcy to work.

This whole warranty thing was a CNN talking point. I am sure any judge helping GM restructure would make provisions for the product to be backed. What other alternative did you have? You have a company 65 Billion in the hole, a union that won't give squat and your not selling anything because Ford, Chrysler and the Japs are killing you? Come on it's either restructure or bye bye.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):
The problem with a Ch 11 us that people would stop buying GM cars for a whole and that major drop in sales (on top of very difficult sales for all companies) could move GM into liquidation, not re-organization. Those challenges presented follow-on challenges, like suppliers that can't get financing for operations and therefore can't deliver parts to Ford or Toyota.

I don't think that would have happened or will happen. I think if GM can restructure properly they will be fine. True the timing with the economic downturn is killing them but they created their own situation over the last few years and need to do this or they will have to fold. Can't keep giving them money, it's just going out the window.

Quoting Mir (Reply 28):
Perhaps. But they were wrong, and he did the right thing by not giving them one. Now they have to live with the consequences of their strategy

Thankfully so, the president of the UAW is a terrible person and I would have loved to see the look on his face. He really thought Obama was just going to pat him on the back and tell him whatever he wanted,. Glad Obama stood up to him.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 29):
What is getting me and others angry is that Pres. Obama is dictating terms and conditions to GM and Chrysler that he won't upon the banks and financial getting TARP monies. He isn't demanding BoA or AIG to fire their CEO's or forcing them to cut the pay and benefits of most of their middle class employees to continue to get TARP monies.

Your not alone, would have been great if Pelosi let everyone actually read that bill before they rushed it to Obama's desk? AIG isn't totally at fault for the bonus debacle. Obama and Geithner could have made them do things differently and they didn't. For that Obama dropped the ball badly.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
DucatiRacer
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:25 pm

Personally, I don't see anything about Wagoner's dismissal being inconsistent with the conditions that were put on the auto industry bailout recipients. If I recall correctly, when the first round of bailout $ was given (which was under GWB's watch, right?), the marching orders from the White House were for GM and Chrysler to come back with viable plans to restructure their failed businesses by March 31 or face being cut off from any further aid.

From what I have read, the general consensus among auto-industry journalists for a LONG while now has been that Wagoner is a failure and needs to be gone like yesterday. Assuming there is some truth to that long-held sentiment, the government would seem reasonable in determining that GM's mandated restructuring plan is a no-go so long as it includes Wagoner remaining at the helm. Accordingly, so long as he stays in the picture the federal funding stops. Again, that seems pretty consistent with what GM should have expected - and for their restructuring plan to have not included a shake-up in the executive ranks is proof positive to me that the company is being led by incompetents that are more concerned with their own status and vanity than with the survival of the company.

That said, I do not understand the promotion of the No. 2 guy, Fritz, who seems to have been part of the problem at GM for the past 20 years. It is like they have hit the bottom of the barrel and started digging.
 
Flighty
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:27 pm



Quoting DucatiRacer (Reply 34):
That said, I do not understand the promotion of the No. 2 guy, Fritz, who seems to have been part of the problem at GM for the past 20 years. It is like they have hit the bottom of the barrel and started digging.

Agreed!! Very weird.. I was thinking Doug Steenland might be good.

Quoting PROSA (Reply 8):
Sure this guy did a crap job of running GM but the UAW didn't make life easy for anyone.

That's certainly GM's #1 challenge. We need to allow for the possibility that the UAW actually kills GM and buries it, and figures out what to do after that. The natural fact is, unions kill jobs unless you have a synthetic govt program to hand out welfare to keep the charade going. The same is true of poor quality banking. Poor quality banks fail; only government welfare can keep them alive. The question is why do it.
 
N801NW
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:48 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 36):
Agreed!! Very weird.. I was thinking Doug Steenland might be good.

I had been thinking the same thing. He's available, in the area, has a Democratic Party connection, and doesn't mind being unpopular.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:43 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 22):
Just read that Obama will give GM 2 months worth of financing to restructure. Though I don't know what that will do.

I think that the board of directors of GM will use that time to develop a pre-packaged bankruptcy. GM needs to lose dealerships across the board (why do they need 5,000+ Chevy dealers?) and restructure its labor union agreements.

Would Mitt Romney take over the CEO duties at GM? I'm just saying......
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
Alias1024
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:00 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 31):
Another incongruity: Rick Wagoner was forced out as CEO and Fritz Henderson has been promoted to CEO, although Henderson was the architect of the plan that the task force just rejected? What's that about?

I don't think it's about political contributions. It is about Americans that are angry at having to bailout these big corporations and want some retribution. Wagoner is being made into the sacrificial lamb (albeit a deserving one) to satisfy the casual observer and give the Obama administration some political cover. Most people have no idea who Henderson is, nor do they care. They just want to see some heads roll and that's what they're getting.
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NIKV69
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:26 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 38):
I think that the board of directors of GM will use that time to develop a pre-packaged bankruptcy. GM needs to lose dealerships across the board (why do they need 5,000+ Chevy dealers?) and restructure its labor union agreements.

I think GM needs to do many things to get into a state where they can survive and pay their debts. Going to be an interesting two months.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:06 am

Wagoner is laughing all the way to the bank. His retirement plan is worth $20.2 Million - after GM has lost $80 Billion in the last several years. There is no justice.   

"Former General Motors chief executive officer Rick Wagoner may be out of a job, but it doesn’t sound as if the one-time auto exec will be looking for another nine-to-five anytime soon. Despite the recent troubles of the Michigan-based automaker, Wagoner’s retirement package is worth $20.2 million.

According to ABC News, Wagoner is in line for both a ‘Salaried Retirement Plan’ and an ‘Executive Retirement Plan’. The combined value of both plans is $20.2 million. “Most of that will be paid out as an annuity over five years, the remainder is a small lifetime annuity,” GM spokeswoman Julie M. Gibson said of Wagoner’s retirement plan."

Source: http://www.leftlanenews.com/rick-wag...rs-retirement-plan-worth-202m.html

[Edited 2009-03-30 19:09:55]
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
mt99
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:41 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 41):
Wagoner is laughing all the way to the bank. His retirement plan is worth $20.2 Million - after GM has lost $80 Billion in the last several years. There is no justice.

Right He is probably happy! "You can keep this mess. I am out of here!"
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dxing
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:56 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):
The problem with a Ch 11 us that people would stop buying GM cars for a whole and that major drop in sales (on top of very difficult sales for all companies) could move GM into liquidation, not re-organization.

The reasoning given was that no one would buy the cars based on the fear they would go out of business and not be able to fulfill their warranty obligations not to mention parts an service.
That however was solved when the President put the U.S. government in the car warranty business today.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090330/bs_nm/us_autos

"With U.S. auto sales near 30-year lows, Obama moved to reassure would-be car-buyers, saying the government would stand behind the warranties of GM and Chrysler."

If the U.S. government covers the warranties, then Ch 11 is not a bad thing.
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NIKV69
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:01 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 41):
Wagoner is laughing all the way to the bank. His retirement plan is worth $20.2 Million - after GM has lost $80 Billion in the last several years. There is no justice

Not a done deal, the board has to vote on it. He has to get something he has been with the company 30 years and truth be told the UAW has had more to do with GM going down the crapper than him. He was a fall guy here. He will get something but doubt it will be 20 million.

Quoting DXing (Reply 43):
The reasoning given was that no one would buy the cars based on the fear they would go out of business and not be able to fulfill their warranty obligations not to mention parts an service.
That however was solved when the President put the U.S. government in the car warranty business today.

The whole warranty thing was a smoke screen to try to get GM money without them having to tell the UAW to go to hell or file for bankruptcy, Any judge will include provisions to protect consumers.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
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DocLightning
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:46 am



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 44):
He has to get something he has been with the company 30 years

How about 2 million?
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Ken777
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:02 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 45):
How about 2 million?

He's going to "stay on in an undefined job for $1 a year job" in order to avoid this situation. If he's still around after we get through the mess (having made $10 during that time) he'll probably retire.

Obviously this entire situation was in the works for a while and wasn't a surprise to Rick.
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:51 pm

Well even the government were able to see that GM plans were not sustainable.

The Volt has been used as some form of propaganda tool and wont live up to even half the promises. This comes as no surprise.
Everyone involved in the carindustry have been gossiping about this wondering why they present the Volt as so special. After all the suppliers produce many of the parts and they haven't seen anything revolutionary with the Volt.
The US government advisers talked straight about it and thats a good thing. the fall will be shorter from it. GM has to stop being dragged kicking and screaming to change, with that entrenched mentality they wont solve anything.
Detroit has to eat some humble pie and realise its day as the carmanufacturing centre of the world is gone and its former glory is gone. The rest of the world has known this for decades but somehow Detroit has refused to see it.

Good on the government advisers to step up to the plate. Now lets get some serious change and new inputs and start saving the company and the jobs.
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dxing
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:58 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 44):
The whole warranty thing was a smoke screen to try to get GM money without them having to tell the UAW to go to hell or file for bankruptcy, Any judge will include provisions to protect consumers.

A judge in a bankruptcy court after the company has filed. Here we have a sitting President of the United States setting precedent. The government didn't even go this far in the 1979 Chrysler loan.
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seb146
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:35 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 32):
AIG isn't totally at fault for the bonus debacle. Obama and Geithner could have made them do things differently and they didn't. For that Obama dropped the ball badly.

Question about AIG: Isn't that company so diverse that simply telling one person to leave would not even come close to solving their problems? I mean, I thought the insurance part of AIG is solvent and doing quite well while the other part that "we" are bailing out, the part that took over the bad mortgages, was going to take down the whole company? Wouldn't it have been next to impossible to split the two sections? I don't know, so I am asking.

Also: A pure electric car was introduced this week. Tesla now has a 4 door car that can go from 150 to 300 miles on one charge. I asked this in that thread, but if they can make a pure electric sedan, why can't GM, Ford, or Chrysler? If we, the people, are wanting electric or, at the very least, hybrids for when gas prices go over $5 a gallon again (and we know they will), why don't the Big 3 get on that? I understand there is a bigger profit margin for SUVs, but that is not what people want. If a company knows they can sell 100 widget 1.0s and make a $1 profit on each or knows they can sell 200 smaller and lighter widget 2.0s and make $.50 profit on each, isn't that the same amount of profit?
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dxing
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:45 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 47):
I understand there is a bigger profit margin for SUVs, but that is not what people want.

According to whom?
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
mt99
Posts: 6166
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RE: GM Chief Wagoner To Step Down

Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:56 pm



Quoting DXing (Reply 48):

According to whom?

Businessweek ..oldish article.. but gets the job done,

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/jun2001/nf2001066_900.htm

"That compares to SUV margins as high as $15,000 on a high-end unit"

-"The SUV business is probably 80% of their profits, and the margins on that business are declining," says Domenic Martilotti, automotive analyst at Bear Stearns. Not that the story is any different for GM or Chrysler. Consumers are trying to shift to smaller trucks. The Explorer is king of the midsize range, so Ford sales have further to fall as big cars go out of fashion"
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