By David Welch April 29 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek) -- The 15 General Motors dealers who flew to Detroit last September for a dinner with GM management were not an easily rattled bunch. They had endured the worst auto sales slide in 25 years, as well as the bankruptcy of the iconic carmaker on which they had built their businesses. Only three months had passed since GM accepted a $50 billion federal bailout, announcing the retirement of four of its eight brands and the shutting down of 1,900 dealers—a third of its domestic retail network. These dealers were the survivors, some of the more prosperous people in their towns, and they wanted a little reassurance. CEO Fritz Henderson gathered the group in a private conference room at the Westin Detroit Metro Airport and tried to demonstrate that he had a plan, according to an executive in the room who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to describe the dinner. Henderson announced that GM was going on the
The U.S. government should “sell every last share it owns” of General Motors Co. or else the company will be seen as a failure, former Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed commentary.
General Motors Co.’s board and bankers pressed Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre to either leave the automaker or commit to stay for years more to help them sell investors on the company’s initial public offering, three people with direct knowledge of the talks said.