Earlier this week, Steve Green had some thoughts on GM’s many problems. In an article titled, “GM: It’s Worse Than You Thought” Forbes writes that it is indeed, worse than you thought. Columnist Jerry Flint (that rare man who looks good wearing an ascot) says that the situation reminds him of the early days of World War II, when the BBC would seem to be regularly announcing, “And now, news of fresh disaster”:
Vice Chairman Bob Lutz was quoted in the March 24 edition of The Wall Street Journal as saying GM could “phase out” Pontiac or Buick if such “damaged brands” fail to improve. “I hope we don’t have to do that,” he was quoted as saying at a conference. Lutz has been in the industry too long to be suckered into this kind of quote. Whether he meant to or not, he has put the divisions in play. What critics don’t understand is that the best thing GM has is its dealer force. You kill the dealers if you kill such well-entrenched nameplates as Pontiac and Buick, and you kill GM. It’s that’s simple.
As somebody whose father was a partner for decades in a large suburban Chevrolet dealership, this is bad news for GM indeed.