I just got done reading a news article about the changes General Motors (GM) is going through and how those changes will affect the company across the board. My response to this article was rather surprising and worth noting.
Conservative pundits are lambasting the government and equating their support of GM and Chrysler as clear signs of socialism. They say the government is nationalizing the auto industry. My take has been the same from the start. First, it’s not nationalizing if the government doesn’t unilaterally take over all US auto manufacturers and, second, it was GM and Chrysler that asked for the help. The government, and thus by extension, the people have a right to not only expect some sort of leverage but are correct to demand leverage just as any investor in any venture would command.
The interesting part here is that GM is now going to re-open a previously shuttered factory to build new, smaller, more efficient cars. Industry experts are saying that the emerging company is taking on the look of a manufacturer that will be fully on par with its overseas competitors. The catch is that they’ll need to survive bankruptcy and the downturn throughout the market. All of that stokes interest for me in a brand I long ago abandoned any interest in.
GM hasn’t made a single vehicle that excited me in at least a decade and likely two or more. They seemed like a company creating vehicles for people living in the past. Now, given all the effort and retooling I want to be both supportive and patriotic. If they can put out a line of cars that truly are seen as comparable and competitive I will be right at the head of the line to consider buying one and that is no small feat. Certainly I can’t be alone in this new-found optimism.
Imagine the success story in the making here should this pan out. One of America’s oldest firms goes to the brink of collapse to be saved by the very country it helped build (any why isn’t that thankful view ever talked about?). Instead of just dumping 100% of its workforce into the abyss of unemployment it instead begins to turn around creating a whole new generation of more cutting-edge jobs and opportunities here in this country. It creates a line of vehicles that stand up against anything the competition puts out and does so all while repaying the people for its help. That is a story I want to be a part of. I can purchase a car and help not only an icon of the country but to also help repay myself in the process. I, for one, am hopeful.