John Ransom

To date, the company had sold only about 6,800 of the Chevy Volts. The cars are so safe because they are so rare. They are even safer, in fact, because GM has offered to replace or buy back each one of the cars because of the fire hazard. Bloomberg reports “Nissan has said that it has had no reports of fires in its Leaf electric car. Tesla also said it hasn’t had a fire in its Roadster electric car.” Toyota Prius has had some fire incidents, but there are also 3 million of them on the world’s roads- and somehow, miraculously Toyota didn’t have to rely on taxpayer dollars to pull that off. 

As to the money: GM has now slid to a closing price of $24.74 as of January 26, 2012, for an additional loss of $13 billion since the Initial Public Offering price of $33. The company trades at 5.4 times its earnings while non-bailout Ford Motor trades at 7.76 times its earnings. In other words, Ford enjoys a 43 percent premium to GM in the market even though it didn’t enjoy the preferential credit advantage that US government guaranteed financing confers on GM.

General Motors Company Stock Chart

General Motors Company Stock Chart by YCharts

Toyota? It trades at 45 times its earnings, even after a tsunami knocked it about last year. Guess what? Toyota doesn’t operate as a subsidiary of the US Department of the Treasury.         

I wonder what the stock market understands that Ackerson, Obama and Geithner don’t?

Plenty, I am sure.

Because GM doesn’t define success the way the rest of us in the marketplace do now.

They have a whole other ethos, inspired by Obama: “The Volt’s technology and its recent accolade from Consumer Reports make the Volt a marketing tool for Chevy,” said Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet U.S. sales, according to Bloomberg “This vehicle is about more than how many we sell,” Batey said. “This vehicle is a magnet around everything we are trying to do to showcase our brand.” 

Ah, the old magnet ploy.

Gosh. Sales have become so passé as a way of measuring success 

It’s nice to know from the guy in charge of sales at GM that actual sales really don’t matter, in the same way that Democrats want us to believe that Obama’s actual job performance doesn’t really matter either.

It makes sense, though, when you think about it.

The Volt and Obama: two brands best known for crashing and burning everything around them.       

Akerson not included.


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John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

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