GM is preparing to sell one or several of its eight major brands in its latest attempt to save itself, the WSJ says. It may also fire thousands of managers:
Discussions among top executives about the number of brands have intensified in recent weeks, and signal a potential major shift in thinking by the company — especially by Chief Executive Rick Wagoner. As top executives review future cars and trucks earmarked for various brands, “nothing is off the table,” several people said. All but Cadillac and Chevrolet, which GM considers core to its business, are undergoing close scrutiny, other people said.
Saturn and Saab seem the most likely sale candidates. Saturn has never made money and Saab’s sales are relatively small.
The spike in oil prices has thrown GM into panic mode. Selling off assets will raise cash and reduce the likelihood that the company will be forced into bankruptcy. It won’t solve the company’s deeper problems, however: designing more popular cars (cars, not trucks) and reducing its massive long-term employee liabilities. In the meantime, it continues to burn $1 billion a month.