From an article by the Associated Press entitled "GM in struggle to survive"
General Motors Corp., struggling to survive, will slash jobs, cut production, sell assets and suspend its dividend for the first time in 86 years as it tries to ride out an unprecedented collapse of its core U.S. market.
This is entirely self-inflicted. In the documentary Who Killed The Electric Car, the filmmakers outlined the issues surrounding the EV1 and how it got "killed" by combined stupidity. GM published comments disputing the findings of the film and stated that there was a limited market for EV1s...and then pursued the manufacture of gas guzzling SUVs and trucks in increasingly greater numbers. This action was, of course, incredibly short-sighted, given the state of the oil industry today.
Short-sightedness is a common factor in the fall of many companies, and GM should not be immune to it...that is, NO government bailouts should ensue. What GM meant to state, in their critique of the findings of the film, is that there was no huge short-term demand for the electric car, and most companies only care about short-term gain...to their detriment.
Successful companies need to look further into the future than the next fiscal shareholders' meeting. It needs to look beyond the current economy and focus on what will most likely happen in the next 10 years. It didn't take a genius to figure out that, with the invasion of Iraq in early 2002, oil would start a new rollercoaster ride...and from that event, GM should have begun planning. They didn't.
Toyota did. So did Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Kia, and on and on...just not the big 3 in the States. Stupidity.