Image via CDN
Remember that huge, obstinate American car company that consistently lobbied the governmetn to avoid stricter emissions standards, killed its own electric car, refused to seriously develop fuel efficient vehicles while the Japanese car companies surged ahead, and instead brought us gas guzzling classics like the Hummer? The one that begged for bailout funds a couple times before collapsing entirely and filing for bankruptcy? Remember that? Neither do I. But I do hear there's an exciting new auto company start-up that's backed by the government, and it's going to be really green! It's called--give me a minute, it's on the tip of my tongue . . . General Motors! That's right, forget all about that smoggy past--the new, green GM is here to stay. It looks like the auto giant is about to undergo some serious rebranding after its catastrophic last couple of months (or years). After its bankruptcy restructuring proposal was approved, CEO Frederick Henderson announced that General Motors is now going to be "a greener, more customer-focused company with a leaner management," according to the Wall Street Journal. Awesome! Unfortunately, the curmudgeonly old WSJ is skeptical:
The new company carries substantial baggage when it comes to fuel economy, in part because of its dominance of the truck market and years of fighting emissions legislation.Oh, yeah. That. Well, decades of fiercely opposing measures to cut pollution shouldn't stand in anyone's way of calling themselves green, right? Of course not. Quick, announce smaller cars and an electric vehicle!
Mr. Henderson's announcement will be supported by a litany of new products aimed at shattering that image, ranging from a compact Chevrolet and small Buicks to the battery-powered Chevrolet Volt and a similar Cadillac model.Okay, well, a compact Chevy, a smaller Buick, and one EV that's been the subject of much speculation and skepticism probably won't "shatter" any images. I'm not one to second guess the GM publicity machine, but I imagine they might have trouble convincing American's they're green all of a sudden, after decades of heavy trucks and SUVs have been ingrained into our consciousnesses.
Sarcasm and criticism aside, it's a good, tiny start, I suppose. Henderson announced he's axing 4,000 white collar employees to remove some of the company's glut, and it could be a perfect time for GM to get serious about turning greener. Let's see some hybrids, some of that stimulus funding used to get the Volt on track, and a final farewell bid to the Hummer brand. Then, Mr. Henderson, you can start dropping 'green' into your press releases.
More on a Green General Motors:
Isn't GM already Green?
General Motors Factory to Host World's Largest Rooftop Solar Array