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GM, Chrysler Slams Door on Obama, Romney Visits

By Joel Arellano | August 27, 2012
Touchy, touchy. General Motors is apparently getting tired being everyone's punching bag. From being lambasted by the car enthusiast community ("Fireturd", "Puick", "Chevrolame", etc.) to the recent GOP-led committee investigating its Chevrolet Volt hybrid EVs, GM is pulling a roll, tuck, and duck to the earthquake that is the current U.S. election year Says GM VIP Bob Ferguson of global public policy, "It's an understatement to say we can't wait November to get here." Good luck. Both presidential campaigns look to use GM as ammunition against each other, specifically GM's bankruptcy back in 2009. President Obama's administration plans to use GM's subsequent bailout by the U.S. government as one of his major selling points during the Democratic National convention next month. Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has pushed that the bailout has cost taxpayers billions from the high pay of auto union workers to closure of dealerships. The U.S. government provided nearly $50 billion to help GM restructure after bankruptcy, with the Treasury department still holding more than 30 percent in GM common stock at the time of this post. GM is taking several steps to avoid the limelight. Its lobbyists in Washington, D.C., are more quiet over issues such as transportation and CAFE regulations. GM is also spending fewer funds in such policies. But the more immediate--and dramatic--step is outright banning both the president and presumptive GOP nominee from visiting its manufacturing plants and facilities. States consultant and former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, "GM sees no purpose of taking on either party and just wishes the whole thing would go away and people would start treating them like a normal automobile company." Rival Chrysler has also banned the president and the presumptive GOP nominee from tooling around touring its plants. Chrysler, which also declared bankruptcy in 2009, has paid back its loans to the government. Automotive.com's take: Both automakers know the bankruptcy--and the loans--have impacted their image among American car shoppers. Does the federal government's aid to GM affect your buying decision? Or do you just focus on the products? As always, let us know in the comments below. Source: Detroit Free Press
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