What Cuts Will GM Announce Tomorrow?

July 14, 2008

The news is apparently going to be big - big enough that General Motors not only put out a series of media advisories, but made sure to call just everyone up and down the journalist food chain to ensure they know about CEO Rick Wagoner’s big announcement Tuesday morning.

What’s in store? The release is as neutral as it can get, advising us scribes Wagoner wants “to discuss actions the company is taking to align the business to current market conditions.”

But speculation is already running rampant, and here are some of the possible topics we may very well here raised:

*Further plant closings on the light truck side, following the closure of four assembly lines announced by Wagoner earlier this year;

*Additional job cuts, possibly including more blue-collar buy-outs, but even more likely impacting the white-collar side of the business;

*The sale or closure of the moribund Hummer brand, among the options raised by Wagoner during his last big news conference; and possibly the elimination and consolidation of other GM brands, notably the weak Buick, Pontiac, and GMC marques;

*On the more upbeat side, plans to push ahead with new small programs, such as the Chevrolet Beat, one of a trio of Korean-made minicars.

Late last week, during an appearance in Dallas, CEO Wagoner ruled out a GM bankruptcy and appeared to be saying no to those who expect any brand, other than Hummer, to go away. But in this era of $4-a-gallon gas, one can never, truly, say never. What seems highly likely is that aligning business to miserable U.S. market conditions will result in a smaller General Motors than we’ve seen since in many decades.

We'll have the details, tomorrow. But care to guess what we're going to hear?

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