As we move closer to seeing the Treasury Department approving $5-10 billion in federal loans to back a merger of GM and Chrysler, I've been hit with a wave of comments from readers, viewers, and others that basically amounts to this: We should let GM go bankrupt because they aren't worth saving.
Some feel this way because they believe taxpayers should not help out GM because the automaker and auto industry would be better served going bankrupt, restructuring it's union and dealer contracts, and then coming out on the other side as a leaner company. While I disagree with the merits of this argument (mainly because the impact on the economy would be far greater than people imagine), it's a rationale opinion.
Then there are others who send me e-mails essentially saying, "GM is bad company, that builds bas cars, and nobody cares if they are saved." These e-mails have convinced me that many people have an "anti-GM" bias. A bias so bad that it doesn't matter if GM does something right, these people will blast the company.
I hear it all the time. When GM unveiled the Chevy Volt, these "GM Bashers" told me, "This is a long shot that won't work." When GM cars and trucks do better in quality and reliability ratings, the "anti GM" crusaders dismiss the findings.
When I point out that GM's overseas growth is a bright spot for the company's troubled bottom line, I hear people say, "Who cares about overseas sales." You get the point.
Maybe these people had a Chevy in the late 80's that turned out to be a lemon. Maybe they dealt with a dealer who was horrible. Or maybe they are just tired of seeing GM struggle here in the U.S. and think the country doesn't need the company. Whatever their reasons for for being against GM, I'm always struck by their reluctance to debate why they think GM should die.
As I've said in the past, GM will likely get this government loan. Whether it's the answer to getting them and the auto industry through this crisis remains to be seen.
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