General Motors Case

828 Words 4 Pages
General Motors is an American success story. They started at the dawn of the 20th century, with a humble origin story; Buick began with horse drawn buggies, before starting its foray into the automobile market. For years it grew and expanded gobbling up smaller companies and incorporating them into its family. Just under one hundred years later, the state of General Motors’ empire started to deteriorate (which is directly due to a criminal lack of quality control).
Then the housing bubble popped. The company was bleeding from every orifice. It decided to do the most capitalistic thing humanly possible, in the least laissez-faire way possible. It saved itself by killing the business’s struggling brands; and stacking their carcases into a stairway
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For those unfamiliar with the event, in the bankruptcy GM split into two companies. One became Liquidation Motors Company, and the other is the New GM people currently know and love. The first became a scapegoat for all the issues General Motors Corporation had, while the latter was an accumulation of lucrative assets.
Barely four years (and close to $25 billion in profits) after accepting government money, General Motors is in hot water once again; facing a criminal indictment (that stemmed from actions taken more than a decade prior). This something I have written quite a bit about, and I can honestly say it is the most overtly immoral move I have ever seen a company make.
In 2002, a supplier denounces the proposed ignition switches as an inferior product; despite this, a GM engineer who deals only in ignition switches; Ray DeGiorgio; green lights the design. The switches immediately find their way onto Saturn vehicles, later Pontiac, and eventually it finds itself across the Chevrolet lineup. Three years later, the first accident directly related to the switches is
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She was the hero that General Motors needed, she steered away from the iceberg to prevent a catastrophe. Immediately after being appointed she disclosed the scathing report from Anton R. Valukas. His report detailed all the wrongdoing on GM’s part. Her exercise in integrity helped return much of the company’s lost faith.
The pessimist in me believes that this was a cold calculated move on GM’s part. Executives knew that once the public became aware of the issues; they would be looking for someone to crucify, and the public might have a harder time attacking the first female CEO who exposed all the corruption. Also since the corporate power had since changed hands they would not have to deal with the government cutting off the head of the snake. Essentially they started a pathos appeal to distract from the ethos and logos aspects of the issue.
And it worked, in the grand scheme of things, GM made off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The criminal case was just closed resulting in a $900 million dollar fine which might sound substantial, but is nothing to a company that had over 10 billion in cash reserves, and made more profit last year than the aforementioned

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