"Saving General Motors" will premiere on Wednesday, August 6th at 9PM and 1AM (pre-empting the 1AM airing of "The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch"). The documentary re-airs on Sunday, August 10th at 10PM.
General Motors is the quintessential American industrial icon, a symbol of U.S. manufacturing might for nearly a century, a Dow component and the country's largest car company. For decades, its divisions have produced many of the best known and most popular vehicles ever made, from the most pedestrian Chevrolets to the flashiest Buicks and Cadillacs, to today's ubiquitous SUV's and pickup trucks.
Today, GM – like American manufacturing itself – is relentlessly challenged by low-cost and high-quality foreign competition, burdened with bland products, and staggered by crushing labor and retiree costs. Market share over the past decades has plummeted; new GM products are attracting ever fewer buyers, and much of its present portfolio is based on gas-guzzling SUV's and trucks, a strategy that could prove disastrous as fuel prices continue to rise. Can GM turn itself around? Could GM actually fail? What would that look like?
CNBC goes inside GM, with unprecedented access, to show how it is fighting for survival. We watch as designers and engineers race to roll out the new Camaro. We profile a GM dealership, to see how the company's struggles play out on the showroom floor and in the salesman's pocket. We see how this most American of companies is ironically far stronger overseas than in its home market, and travel to China, where Buick is a prestigious brand. We meet and follow GM's top executives as they attempt to steer the company away from obsolescence – and disaster. CNBC's Phil LeBeau reports.
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