Tag Archive | "General Motors"

General Motors Makes Last Pontiac For U.S.

The last Pontiac built for the U.S. market rolled off the assembly line at GM’s Orion Township, Michigan, plant Wednesday afternoon. MyStateline.com, a website for the Orion Township, reported on the final production.

The final Pontiac was a white G6 sedan.

The automaker did not allow any media into the plant for the completion of the vehicle, nor were there a commemorative banner or any GM officials on hand.

The 82-year-old brand went away quietly, with workers stopping to pose with the last cars as they built the vehicles on the assembly line.

In April, GM announced it would eliminate Pontiac as part of its bankruptcy restructuring.

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GM, Chrysler Agree to Reconsider Dealer Closings

DETROIT – General Motors and Chrysler will reconsider decisions to close thousands of dealerships as part of a compromise meant to stave off federal legislation that would require them to keep showrooms open, the Associated Press reported.

The decision by the two automakers raises the prospect of new life for some of the more than 3,000 dealerships that were slated to close. The shutdowns are part of a broad industry restructuring.

The plans call for face-to-face reviews with dealerships and offer binding arbitration with those who face closure of their showrooms. The largest U.S. automaker also said it would be more transparent about how it picked the dealers that will close. It will also speed up payments to assist those targeted for shutdown.

As part of its deep restructuring this year, GM has said it will cut 2,400 dealers from its 6,000-dealer network by next fall. Chrysler announced similar plans, slashing 789 dealers as part of its bankruptcy proceedings this summer. Both automakers say the cuts are needed to better align their dealer network with much lower demand for cars and trucks.

But dealers accused the automakers of closing lots that were still profitable, and said the auto companies weren’t forthcoming about the criteria they used to decide who will close and who stay open.

The House passed legislation in July that would force the companies to reverse their closure plans, though the Senate has not taken it up. The Obama administration opposes the measure.

Lawmakers have warned that if an agreement isn’t reached, legislation would move forward to deal with the closures. Most of the Senate Commerce Committee wrote a letter two weeks ago to Chrysler and GM seeking more information about the talks and warning that dealers should be treated fairly.

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GM Announces Plan to Address Dealer Concerns

DETROIT – GM is announcing that it is prepared to implement a plan that both resolves concerns raised by dealers regarding GM’s dealer network restructuring activities and allows it to continue to move forward with a critical component of its long-term viability plan.

GM will begin to implement this plan in mid-January provided that legislation related to GM’s dealer restructuring does not move forward. GM says its plan, the result of several months of discussion and constructive engagement among dealer groups and members of Congress, provides complete transparency, face-to-face reviews and binding arbitration, which together, will likely result in some dealers being reinstated.

GM’s plan includes:

  • A commitment to advise all Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealerships that received a complete wind-down agreement of the criteria used by GM in the selection of that dealership for wind-down. >/li>
  • A face-to-face review process for all complete wind-down dealers who have not already terminated their dealer sales and service agreements with GM.
  • If the complete wind-down dealer is not satisfied with the outcome of the face-to-face review process, he or she may elect to proceed to binding arbitration. The arbitration will expressly be limited to whether GM selected the dealer to receive the wind-down agreement on the basis of its business criteria.
  • Accelerated wind-down payments to dealers consistent with the terms of their wind-down agreements.
  • A process to resolve open issues identified by dealers related to the operation of wind-down dealers.
  • Agreement to support public policy issues of mutual interest identified by dealers.
  • Agreement to work with appropriate policy makers regarding floor-plan and other financing issues that are important to dealers.
  • Additional evaluation in limited circumstances for complete wind-down dealers who purchased stock, land or dealerships from GM in the last four years.
  • Reaffirmation of GM’s long-standing commitment to try to increase the diversity of its dealer body.
  • In the limited circumstances where there are dealer re-establishments, area wind-down dealers will be given the opportunity to submit a proposal.
  • Market reevaluation to ensure GM has sufficient dealer representation across the country.
  • Placement assistance for service technicians and other dealership employees.

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Henderson Exits as GM Board Seeks Faster Change

DETROIT – GM’s board and CEO Fritz Henderson parted ways Tuesday, the board upset that the automaker’s turnaround wasn’t moving more swiftly and Henderson frustrated with second-guessing, two people close to the former CEO told The Associated Press.

Board Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr., the former head of AT&T Inc., will take over as CEO while a global search is conducted.

It was unclear whether Henderson or the board moved first in the surprise resignation, which came just hours before Henderson was to be the high-profile keynote speaker at the Los Angeles Auto Show. At a hastily called news conference at General Motors Co.’s downtown Detroit headquarters, Whitacre would not answer questions, but said the board and Henderson agreed that he should step down.

Whitacre thanked Henderson, 51, a lifelong GM employee, for his leadership and said the company is on the right path toward offering high-quality cars and trucks worldwide.

Both men were chosen for their jobs by the U.S. government, which owns more than 60 percent of the Detroit automaker in exchange for giving it billions in loans. But Henderson is a GM insider, while Whitacre had no car experience before taking the GM chairmanship.

“I don’t think this has much to do with Fritz Henderson’s performance, I think it’s just the wrong time to be a GM lifer,” said Logan Robinson, a former Chrysler attorney and professor of corporate governance at University of Detroit Mercy.

Industry analysts said GM likely would look for someone like Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally, who was hired in 2006 from aerospace giant Boeing Co. Mulally also had no automotive experience, but unlike Whitacre, was well-versed in manufacturing.

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GM Returns $140M to Federal Government

DETROIT – General Motors Co. is returning $140 million to the federal government — money its suppliers won’t need to tap now that the automaker has emerged from bankruptcy protection, reported the Detroit Free Press.

The $140 million is part of $5 billion set aside in April for suppliers to GM and the Chrysler Group as questions arose about whether GM could pay its supply base as they drew closer to their bankruptcy filings. The total was later adjusted down to $3.5 billion.

The federal aid was meant to help suppliers avoid a cash crunch by paying suppliers more quickly than their automaker customers or to guarantee payments.

GM requested $290 million for its suppliers and of that is returning $140 million because the company expects fewer suppliers to draw on that aid, said spokesman Alan Adler.

After exiting bankruptcy, GM has been paying its suppliers more quickly and more frequently. GM started a program in which it pays most of its North American suppliers weekly instead of paying them for a month’s worth of work.

The program, which GM is rolling out in Europe, also cuts the time a supplier waits to be paid to 47 days compared with as many as 60 days.

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