The new GM is leaner: it's exiting bankruptcy with $48 billion in debt, a massive reduction from the $176 billion it was carrying when it started the process; it will have four brands (Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC) versus the eight it had before; the number of manufacturing facilities will now be 34 from 47; and the number of employees eventually will be reduced by nearly a third from the end of 2008.
In a press conference this morning, CEO Frederick "Fritz" Henderson said that the new GM would focus on three things: customers, cars and culture. That's a nice slogan, but now the hard work begins. GM must now create and produce cars that consumers want to buy. Maybe they're on the way--GM sold 9,300 Chevrolet Camaros in June.
Henderson said that the goal "is to make each and every General Motors car, truck and crossover the best-in-class." I would settle for the company producing vehicles at a profit, which would be a welcome new development for a company that lost $80 billion over the last four years.
It's been a long road (pardon the pun) for GM and much has gone wrong over the years. But on the dawn of GM's new era, I want to believe that the company can succeed. Sure, that might be wishful thinking, but considering that US taxpayers now own 60.8% of GM, we should all root for its success.
Image by Flickr User Stomashek, cc 2.0