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GM Still Finding Innovative Ways To Beg


New 867-word ad threatens collapse of industry, nation.

"What's good for General Motors is good for the country."

That misquote, attributed to a former General Motors (GM) president, is now getting a modern-day makeover. In an 867-word print advertisement released Monday, the automaker now says: What's bad for General Motors is catastrophic for the nation.

The advertisement is part of GM's blitz to secure $18 billion in federal loans, and marks a distinct wising-up since CEO Richard Wagoner flew to Washington in a private jet to beg for bailout money. With Ford (F) and Chrysler, the US auto industry seeks $34 billion in loans.

The advertisement, appearing in the December 8th edition of Automotive News, is headlined "GM's Commitment to the American People."

In the advertisement, GM admits its mistakes and outlines a plan to rebound, stressing that it needs the $18 billion loan from Uncle Sam because the company is "precariously and frighteningly close" to running out of money.

"At times we violated your trust by letting our quality fall below industry standards and our designs become lackluster," GM's advertisement says. "We have proliferated our brands and dealer network to the point where we lost adequate focus on our core US market. We also biased our product mix toward pickup trucks and SUVs. And we made commitments to compensation plans that have proven to be unsustainable in today's globally competitive industry."

The advertisement says GM, like all Americans, has been hit by a "perfect storm" of economic problems - "volatile energy prices, the collapse of the US housing market, failing financial institutions, a stock market crash and the complete freezing of credit."

In a variation on GM's apocalyptic video, entitled "What Happens If the Domestic Auto Industry Collapses?" GM warns that the "collapse of GM and the domestic auto industry... will be devastating to all Americans, not just GM stockholders, because it would put millions of jobs at risk and deepen our recession."

Our recession? Nice touch. The message: We're all in this together, taxpayers.

GM then promises to become competitive by building cars "you want to buy and are excited to own" while protecting the environment, reducing US dependence on foreign oil and all that good stuff. Most importantly, GM promises to "pay you back the entire loan."

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