Tag Archives: gm

General Motors and Chrysler have held merger talks


The Wall Street Journal, citing people it described as familiar with the discussions, said Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that owns 80.1 per cent of Chrysler and 51 per cent of GMAC Financial Services, proposed trading Chrysler’s automotive operations to GM.

The talks have stalled because of the recent turmoil in the financial markets, according to the Journal. Its sources said negotiations could resume if markets stabilize because both GM and Cerberus want to quickly divest the assets under discussion.

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Black Friday: markets suffer biggest loss in 21 years bracing for worse, and cry for help


 

Black Friday Stock Market Collapse

Black Friday Stock Market Collapse

If ever there was a setup for a Black Friday on Wall Street, this is it.

 

We can hope it doesn’t happen. But better that investors are realistic about the risks. Global markets and the world economy are at a dangerous point in this debt-fueled debacle, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

On Thursday the U.S. stock market suffered its seventh straight loss, and the 7.3% drop in the Dow Jones industrial average — down 678.91 points to a five-year low of 8,579.19 — was the biggest yet in this latest sell-off.

In other words, the get-me-out-at-any-price mentality is more intense than even a few days ago. Many people are morose, demoralized, desperate. They can’t take any more.

 

“Investors are in survival mode,” said Robert Bissell, chief investment officer at Wells Capital Management in Los Angeles. “Stocks of major companies are at ridiculous prices,” he said, but no one cares. “This is what panics are all about.”

Much of the selling now is forced: Hedge fund managers may not want to let stocks go at these prices, but their clients want their money back. Ditto for mutual fund managers, who are facing a surge in redemptions. Selling begets more selling.

 

GM prepares for large cuts in North America. More bad news for Oshawa?


General Motors will unveil further measures on Tuesday to cope with the dramatic downturn in the north American vehicle market.

The world’s biggest carmaker said that the steps, to be outlined at a press conference, are designed “to align the business to current market conditions”. The conference will be attended by Rick Wagoner, chief executive, as well as Fritz Henderson, chief operating officer, and Ray Young, chief financial officer.

GM announced last month that it would close four north American light-truck plants in the wake of an abrupt shift in demand from big pick-up trucks and sport-utility vehicles to more fuel-efficient cars and crossover vehicles.

It is also reviewing the future of Hummer, its biggest vehicle, and accelerating the introduction of more popular vehicles.

GM’s US sales tumbled 18 per cent in June from a year earlier. By contrast, its business in many other countries is performing strongly. It said on Monday that sales volumes in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East jumped 18 per cent in the second quarter to a new record.

International operations now make up about 60 per cent of GM’s sales volumes.

Mr Wagoner last week dismissed talk that the company might seek bankruptcy protection or ditch more of its eight US brands.

However, it is widely expected within the next few months to take steps to shore up its liquidity, with analysts projecting that it will raise between $10bn-$15bn.

It currently has about $24bn in cash reserves but analysts estimate that it is burning about $1bn a month.

Himanshu Patel at JPMorgan said that GM had several options to bolster liquidity, including secured debt, delaying the transfer of its blue-collar healthcare plan to the United Auto Workers union, issuing new equity and further trimming capital outlays.

GM shares are currently at their lowest level in more than half a century. They slipped another 5.4 per cent on Monday to $9.38.

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The end of GM Oshawa has begun? The time of the small car renaissance has come!


General Motors says it will cease production at four factories in Ohio, Wisconsin, Canada and Mexico that produce trucks and SUVs. As General Motors Corp. prepares for its annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday, workers across the country are worried that the next round of the company’s restructuring could cost them jobs or even their factories.

GM may also furlough entire shifts of workers at some truck factories and may move them to car plants as it restructures to adjust to a rapidly changing U.S. market brought on by $4 per gallon gasoline.

With high gas prices, more expensive groceries, the credit crunch and declining home values, fewer people are going to dealer showrooms, Gettelfinger said.

“People are going to stay away from the big-ticket items like automobiles,” he said.

GM sales through April were off 12.2 percent when compared with the same period last year. The company sold 20.8 percent fewer Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks, and the market for big SUVs has all but collapsed.

GM also lost $3.3 billion in the first quarter and a record $38.7 billion in 2007, largely due to a charge for unused tax credits.

JP Morgan analyst Himanshu Patel said he would not rule out a cut in GM’s 25-cent-per-share dividend, and said in a note to investors Monday the company likely will have to borrow more money.

“GM no doubt needs to raise financing given current cash burn rate — we think as much as $10 billion of total financing may be needed, though not all immediately,” Patel wrote.

Already the company has announced indefinite layoffs of one shift each at the Pontiac and Flint pickup plants, and more are expected.

Last week the company announced that 19,000 of its 74,000 U.S. blue-collar workers had signed up for buyout or early retirement offers. That clears the way to shrink the company’s production footprint, but few know where the cuts will come.

For workers, it could mean being forced to move to another city, away from families and lifelong ties to the community, if their jobs are eliminated or their plant is closed. If they’re lucky, there could be a factory nearby where GM will increase production of cars that get good gas mileage.

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