Francis Cianfrocca joins Ben Domenech for the Friday, October 2nd edition of Coffee & Markets, a series of brief morning podcasts on politics and the marketplace, now appearing as well on WashingtonTimes.com.
In today’s podcast, we discuss at length Mike Spector’s profile of the long slow death of old GM, the incredible assets it has to get rid of, and the overall ramifications for the marketplace.
DETROIT — On the 39th floor of the Renaissance Center, General Motors Co. Chief Executive Frederick “Fritz” Henderson and his managers are trying to shape the car maker’s future. High on their list are the Volt electric car and a new marketing campaign.
Two floors below, Al Koch and several dozen professional bankruptcy administrators are trying to dispose of GM’s past. They are seeking buyers for shuttered car plants saddled with outdated equipment and former GM sites tainted by toxic waste.
Experts have marveled at GM’s rapid 40-day trip through bankruptcy court this summer, under which the best parts and brands were sold to the surviving company. But GM abandoned its worst pieces in Chapter 11 purgatory.
Left behind are the remnants of a grand industrial empire: 200 properties, 5,000 assembly-line robots, 200 miles of conveyor belts and even a golf complex.
In all, an entity some call “Old GM” but formally known as Motors Liquidation Co. owns about 50 million square feet of unwanted factory and office space — roughly the equivalent of 25 Empire State Buildings. It could take years to shed all these properties, initially valued by Motors Liquidation in court papers at $2.3 billion but which the company now believes are worth far less.