‘While we’re still the U.S. sales leader, we acknowledge we have disappointed you,’ read the advert.
‘At times, we violated your trust, by letting our quality fall below industry standards, and our designs became lacklustre.’
Explaining the advert, GM spokesman Greg Martin told Reuters that ‘we believe we need to deliver this commitment unfiltered, since quite a bit of media commentary has not kept pace with our actual progress to transform the company.’
The advert is seen as part of GM’s plan to secure state aid of up to $18 billion. It was published in trade title Automotive News, and was entitled ‘GM’s Commitment to the American People’.
‘We have proliferated our brands and dealer network to the point where we lost adequate focus on the core U.S. market,’ the advert said. ‘We also biased our product mix toward pick-up trucks and SUVs.’
However, despite admitting to other errors, the company continues to say: ‘Despite moving quickly to reduce our planned spending by over $20 billion, GM finds itself precariously and frighteningly close to running out of cash.’
If the company failed, millions of jobs would be at risk. And taxpayers would not be at long-term risk from any bailout. The company pledges restructuring, and to commence repayments by 2011.
US car maker crisis