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January 23, 2009

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Apart from the Chrysler-Fiat issue, Mr. Lessenberry offered us this pronouncement on GM:

"You might have thought GM would at least have made some noises by now indicating they are on track to putting together a new, leaner and smarter company. Announcing the cancellation of their ridiculous line of Hummers, for example. Instead, all we’ve heard is “give us more money, now.”

Surely, the Hummer brand is a kind of societal Rorschach test these days. Social scolds and devoted global warmists like Mr. Lessenberry love to hate them. Others, who regard them as useful vehicles (or who perhaps just love to drive Hummers to annoy people like Mr. Lessenberry), are perfectly happy to buy them and drive them.

While that argument rages, one thing that is beyond argument is that GM did not fail, and is not failing, because of vehicles like Hummers, of Escalades, or the Chevy Tahoe or the GMC Yukon. Those vehicles have been, at least until the financial crisis, a source of profitable vehicle production for GM.

If you want to talk about unprofitable vehicles, one place to start would be the Toyota Prius; Toyota won't even reveal how much money the company has lost on every Prius sold to date.

As this Wall Street Journal Op-Ed pointed out:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123275482810211725.html

Tha co-authors of that Op-Ed, Detroit News Editorial Cartoonist Henry Payne and Reason Foundation Analyst Shikha Dalmia offer the kind of opinion that are almost never heard on Michigan Radio, or NPR in general.

As a footnote, GM reportedly said they were planning on cancelling the Hummers during Wagoner's testimony before Congress, which precipitated my remark.

Well, not exactly. What GM is talking about is selling the Hummer brand and production, not "cancelling" it. And there have been vague and rather indeterminate rumors as to possible purchasers; Arab Gulf investors, Chinese investors, Indian investors, you name it.

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