Government Motors has been busy lately, getting themselves in the news (for good or ill) as they pimp their new government-funded car that will save the world – the Volt. Meanwhile, with dealerships apparently planning to make up for two years of losses by jacking the price on one Volt sale, GM wants to keep upping the ante with its good, green name.
The company has created a venture capital group called General Motors Ventures LLC and funded it with $100 million in money that came from who-knows-where. Being a self-employed, small business type myself, I happen to have a pretty good grasp of business economics. You see, if I get a credit card in the name of my business, run it up to its limit and then beg someone for a bailout, that someone is going to expect to be paid off. Unless, of course, that someone is the government and they’ve taken a big stake in my business.
Since government isn’t like other businesses and it’s profits aren’t measured in dollars and sense, but instead in over-budget losses and strategies based on a complete lack of common sense, none of what I know about business economics applies to them. Hence, with the government being a majority stake holder in General (Government) Motors, it apparently doesn’t apply to them either.
So this $100M in debt funds is used to fund a new venture capital firm so that GM can pretend to be getting into green businesses around the country. It’s good for morale and PR and other things that can’t be directly measured with the bottom line, I’m sure.
Anyway, GM’s Bright Idea is, well, Bright IDEA. I’ve reviewedBright Automotive’s IDEA and even spoken with someone at the company. The Indiana-based outfit has a lot going for it and the IDEA is a very focused, unique cargo van that would compete in the same sector as the Ford Transit Connect Electric and similar trucks. I have no beef with the company and actually wonder why the DOE has taken so long getting them approved for a low-interest loan. They didn’t waste any time funneling money to Tesla Motors or Fisker Automotive. Of course, those two companies have flashy vehicles, political connections, and professional lobbyists. That’s probably the difference. When you have people like the Governator and the Vice President (of foot-in-mouth) on your side, it’s hard to go wrong.
At any rate, I don’t want to slight Bright on this one. My main target is GM. And the money they’re throwing around like it’s not theirs. Which it isn’t. Which is the point.
Sadly, now that GM is Government Motors, they’ll probably run in the red indefinitely. Hell, the government couldn’t even run a brothel in Nevada without red ink. Sheesh. Think about that, folks. Common everyday thugs can make money pimping. When the government does it? They lose money.
At least our guv thugs aren’t common everyday ones, I guess. Gotta see the bright side here.