Periods of major step changes in technology present serious challenges to investors, particularly those who have significant interests in incumbent firms. In retrospect, one can confidently point to inflection points that represent technology shifts with enormous impacts on human history
General Motors took the first step toward a new public offering last week with the filing of a massive Form S-1 with the SEC. While exact terms of the offering are not known yet, Barron’s has estimated that the IPO transaction may be worth $15 billion and would result in a market capitalization of $60 billion. With the United States Treasury owning over 60 percent of the company, the IPO represents a partial exit strategy for Uncle Sam and an opportunity for GM to shed the “Government Motors” stigma that has negatively impacted consumer perceptions. However, aggressive pension plan assumptions could still sink the company in the long run. Read this article for more information.
Any regular viewer of NFL football is well aware of GM’s advertising campaign starring former NFL star and current Fox Sports commentator Howie Long. While many of the ads, particularly for Chevy trucks, are effective and amusing, the ad shown below seems immature and silly. Comparing Honda vehicles to a lawnmower may have made sense in 1970. It isn’t remotely amusing in 2009 and chances are the GM executives who find this clever are out of touch with reality. Read this post to view the video.
As a follow up to yesterday’s comments on the Chevy Volt, here is an interesting Fox Business News video where General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz makes the case for the new vehicle.
General Motors is claiming that the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle can be expected to achieve 230 miles per gallon when used mostly in city traffic. The Volt is a hybrid vehicle that has a 40 mile range on electric power when the battery is fully charged along with a small internal combustion engine that acts as a range extender for the battery once the 40 mile electric only limit is reached.
Read this article for a brief comparison of the Chevy Volt and BYD e6 electric car.