Friday, October 9, 2009

cars: death of American brands

I'm surprised how my friends didn't care about General Motors going under. Making things is important to a country's soul, and the alternative of financial shenanigans didn't work out well.

GM has survived, but at the cost of so many storied nameplates. It's hard to keep track of the carnage, here's where things stand, with a little help from Wikipedia.

Hummer: Its sale to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company blocked by Chinese government on "environmental grounds" in June, but in October it finally went through for $150 million (a baseball stadium costs three times as much). GM has no plans to continue the nameplate after the 2010 model year.

Opel/Vauxhall: Sold! To consortium lead by Magna Group-backed-by-Sberbank of Russia (55%). GM will continue to own 35% of Opel; while Opel employees will own 10%. Called "New GM Europe" by some.

Pontiac: dropped, all of its remaining models will be phased out by the end of 2010.

Saab: A deal to sell it to tiny Swedish supercar maker Koenigseggeggegegg (sp?) is supposedly still on, though it depends on three billion Swedish Kronor appearing from the tooth fairy troll.

Saturn: Dead now.

GM holds on to Chevrolet, Buick (mostly for China), Cadillac, and GMC trucks and SUVs.

Damn that's depressing. It mirrors the fall of British Leyland.



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