Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GM's European Problems

Not much has been made here about GM Europe, but this might be an indicator of even greater problems with GM. I seem to recall GM Europe was its cash cow in the Eighties.

GM's European engine runs dry - Megan McArdle:

GM's European division is in even bigger trouble than the US operations. The US division at least has some clean options: liquidation, Chapter 13 reorganization, or government bailout. But the European operations sprawl across borders and regulatory regimes. The EU has so far proven unable to muster the kind of coordinated government action that the US is capable of, as its stillborn efforts to deal with Eastern Europe illustrate quite plainly.

And from The New York Times, Sweden Says No to Saving Saab:

Saab was always known for its innovative engineering. But analysts say that in recent years, with General Motors’s emphasis on volume rather than individuality, it has lost its edge.

“Under G.M.’s ownership, they denuded the intellectual content behind the brand,” said Peter Wells, who teaches at Cardiff Business School in Wales and specializes in the automotive industry. “Its products are not exciting enough, and Saab doesn’t have a strong brand identity anymore.”

(But it still has Volvo and which brings to mind another Times headline in the same issue: Trade Barriers Rise as the Recession’s Grip Tightens)

Meanwhile, closer to home comes this headline out of Kokomo: GM, Chrysler may need 'considerably' more: task force.

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