GM is really sorry that they're about to borrow as much as $18 billion from American taxpayers. And to prove it to us, the company has published a lengthy letter in Automotive News explaining its need for the money, and how it'll do better next time, if we would just please take it back and give it one more chance. Green plans were a part of the groveling.
While we're still the U.S. sales leader, we acknowledge we have disappointed you. At times we violated your trust by letting our quality fall below industry standards and our designs become lackluster. We have proliferated our brands and dealer network to the point where we lost adequate focus on our core U.S. market. We also biased our product mix toward pick-up trucks and SUVs. And, we made commitments to compensation plans that have proven to be unsustainable in today's globally competitive industry. We have paid dearly for these decisions, learned from them and are working hard to correct them by restructuring our U.S. business to be viable for the long term.
Today, we have substantially overcome our quality gap; our newest designs like the Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac CTS are widely heralded for their appeal; our new products are nearly all cars and "crossovers" rather than pick-ups and SUVs; our factories have greatly improved productivity and our labor agreements are much more competitive. We are also driven to lead in fuel economy, with more hybrid models for sale and biofuel-capable vehicles on the road than any other manufacturer, and determined to reinvent the automobile with products like the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle and breakthrough technology like hydrogen fuel cells.
Is it too little, too late? Industry analyst Maryann Keller thinks so. She told the Washington Post: "I find it bizarre. Why are you spending money on this? What a pointless exercise."
Among the things that GM vows to do to win us back:
• lead the reinvention of the automobile based on promising new technology
• reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil
• protect our environment
• pay you back the entire loan with appropriate oversight and returns