Archive for General Motors

GM's Mary Barra Fires Employees But Spares Herself

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Doesn't it seem to always be the case when there's a corporate problem, the first thing the bosses do is point fingers? The toppers never want to take responsibility themselves. It was some low-ranking employees and the CEO was left out in the dark. Somewhere along the line, after they've fired those who were directly hands on, the light starts to reflect back at them. Then there's very few places they can hide.

Well today, the lights at General Motors were shined on 20 key employees, 15 of whom were fired and 5 who were reprimanded over the company’s failure to disclose a defect with ignition switches that is now linked to at least 13 deaths.

This all stems back to 2001 and has continued up until recently -- both in General Motors lethal inactivity in responding to an issue they were totally aware of as well as their attempts to sweep this deadly flaw under the carpet.

Washington Post today reports:

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“I hate sharing this with you just as much as you hate hearing it,” [General Motor's CEO] Barra told employees in a town hall meeting at GM’s suburban Detroit technical center. “But I want you to hear it. I want you to remember it. I want you to never forget it.” Barra promised to “fix the failures in our system.”

Does Barra really mean what she's saying? Consider this, she's not among the 20 people singled out for firing or discipline.

Why should she be? Because a quick look at her employment at GM. She started working for General Motors at the age of 18 in 1980 and subsequently held a variety of engineering and administrative positions, including being manager of the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly. Is she trying to say she had no idea what was going on? I suppose it's possible, but...

From General Motors website:

Prior to her current position, Barra served as Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing Supply Chain since August 2013, and as Senior Vice President, Global Product Development since February 2011. In these roles, she was responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM vehicles around the world.

Previously, Barra served as GM Vice President, Global Human Resources; Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering; Plant Manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly; Executive Director of Competitive Operations Engineering; and in several engineering and staff positions.

Hello. The ignition catastrophe was an engineering design problem. That falls right under Barra's purview which brings us all back to the beginning. Finger pointing and assigning blame when it's really the guilty who should be taking the fall. I don't think Barra directly was responsible for the design flaw. But was she aware of it if these other 20 people were? Apply some simple logic here and decide for yourself-- in this case, did a guilty co-conspirator get promoted in order to put out the fire?

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Mary Barra-ly Telling The Truth About GM Related Deaths

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Sometimes people just aren't the right people to ask when something goes wrong. But in the case of GM and the multiple deaths attributed to a faulty ignition switch design, you'd think the government had found the right person to quiz.

There was an apparent `cover-up and to get to the bottom of this, General Motors tabbed the CEO of the company to come in and answer official inquiries by both the House and Senate committees into what happened, how it happened, when the company knew about it and what steps did they take to correct the situation?

Simple enough questions. And Mary Barra, the GM CEO, should be ideally suited to answer these questions. That is, if GM had nothing to hide. Sadly, they do and she did. She showed up to the Senate hearings and played the typical ignorance game -- she defended her lack of knowledge in this deadly issue by playing dumb. Truth is, she's anything but. She claimed that she is new to her job and she needs time to look for the answers. Currently she just doesn't know enough to comment on her company's potential criminality nor their alleged cover-up.

That wasn't good enough for committee chairperson, Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D-Missouri). She got right to the point to tear apart Barra's 'neophyte status' defense. Checking out Barra's resume, which McCaskill does so deftly, you can see why her "I wasn't aware of a problem" defense" was shred into itty-bitty pieces.

It's time for GM to stop lying to buy time and confess to their liability. Thirteen families have been devastated by their actions. We Americans have put a lot of money into big corporations to save them. Maybe they should start coming clean with us on their actions.

If the American public is going to subsidize you, (hear that big oil), you better come honest and prepared to our elected officials when summoned or face the consequences next time you look for us to give you any help.

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Chevy Camaro production to move to US

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Scares me to think that this is a result of right to work bullshit, but at least it's jobs and American cars.

You might think the Chevy Camaro is one of the ultimate expressions of American motoring muscle--and you'd be correct, except for the fact that it has been built in Canada since its 2009 return to production.

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That won't be the case with the sixth-generation Camaro, however, as production is moving out of the Oshawa Car Assembly plant in Canada and into the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Michigan.

Reasons for the move, according to Chevrolet, are improved production efficiencies and lower capital investment, as the Camaro is the only rear-wheel drivevehicle currently built at Oshawa. The Lansing plant also builds the ATS and CTS, so adding the Camaro to it "consolidates the RWD assembly with the Cadillac CTS and ATS."

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Rapid response, stat!

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Lyin' Ryan lies. Willard Romney lies. Incessantly. The biggest challenge we have is to debunk them instantly, before their whoppers can take hold. Rapid response is mandatory.

It's both depressing and infuriating that candidates for the highest offices in the U.S. are basing their entire campaign on outright lies and their slithery ability to evade giving direct answers and elucidating policy positions. And what's worse is that voters believe them without bothering to fact check for themselves.

Which brings me to a rather disturbing, and very brief, exchange that aired on MSNBC last night.

During the GOP convention coverage, a delegate was being interviewed, and someone on the MSNBC panel (Chris Matthews or Ed Schultz maybe, I'm too sleep deprived to remember) jumped in to correct one of the lies. Again, if my sieve-brain remembers correctly, they asked the woman if she realized that Paul Ryan blamed Obama for a GM plant closed in 2008 under Bush. She was clearly a little surprised, and refreshingly honest, saying, "No! I didn't know that!"

So she was there to support candidates who deceived her.

And that's scary.

We have our work cut out for us.

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VIDEO- Newscast: GM plant closed in 2008 under Bush. Paul Ryan blamed Obama for closing it in 2009.

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Bush was president, but Paul Ryan still blames President Obama

Via dKos's Jed Lewison:

Ryan said the factory closed because gas prices had climbed to $4 per gallon. Gas prices were that high, but that was in June of 2008, when George W. Bush was the president. Gas prices today are lower than they were then, though they do remain high.

Ryan also claimed the President Obama had promised to keep the factory open—but that's not true according to The Detroit News, USA Today, and TPM.

There are more sleazy Ryan details at the link.

What will Willard say? And does it even matter? They're admitted snake oil salesmen.

H/t: Andrew Kaczynski

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General Motors' US sales up 11 percent in May

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After a morning filled with doom and gloom over the jobs numbers, this is damn nice to see.

DETROIT —General Motors Co. says its U.S. sales rose 11 percent in May on strong sales of trucks and the new, pint-size Chevrolet Sonic.

GM sold 245,256 cars and trucks in May, its highest monthly total since the Cash for Clunkers deal in August 2009.

Sales of small cars rose 16 percent compared with last May thanks to the Sonic subcompact. Buick sales rose 19 percent due to demand for the new Verano small car.

Pickup truck sales were also strong as construction activity picks up. Chevrolet Silverado sales rose 22 percent.

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"If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how Pres. Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple..."

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Jed Lewison brings us a tweet and a post:

Courtesy of V.P. Joe Biden:

"If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive..."

Top that, Willard.

Oh, and this next part is dedicated to conservative commentator Ron Christie, who tweeted:

VP Biden thinks the re-elect theme should be that Obama got bin Laden and saved the auto industry? They have failed on jobs/economy.

I then sent him a link to the Bikini Graph, so he tweeted this to me:

Then I welcome the Obama team running on their economic stewardship and see where that leads them - to the unemployment line.

I reminded him that the Bikini Graph shows over 25 months of private sector job gains (about 4 million jobs). So, sure, welcome to Team Obama's economic stewardship, courtesy of a FoxBusiness.com email alert:

BREAKING NEWS: Dow Jumps 125 Points

The blue chips are posting triple-digit gains in afternoon trading as strong data on the housing market and easing tensions about the eurozone political situation trump ExxonMobil’s earnings miss. Meanwhile, gold is up 1% to $1,659 a troy ounce and volatility is down 4%.

Blame Obama.

Yes, the economy is still struggling, but it's gradually improving. Now let's take a look at what happened under Willard Romney's stewardship.

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