President Obama has been banned from visiting any GM or Chrysler plants during the election and so has Mitt Romney.
Being the birdie in a game of election season badminton is arguably one of the worst things that can happen to a big company, which is why both GM and Chrysler stepping as far as possible from being beaten back and forth.
It’s a delicate situation for GM, with which the government is still a majority stakeholder following the 2009 auto industry bailout. That’s because the government’s position in the company, regardless of GM’s actions, will be a major point of contention between the Obama and Romney camps.
Vice President Joe Biden has already started with what’s sure to become a staple statement in the coming months, saying “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.”
Undoubtedly, Romney’s 2008 op-ed piece published in the New York Times called “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” will become the subject of fresh debate, as will the possibility that the government could stand to lose billions on its stake in GM if the company fails to recover. Currently, the government would lose $15.6 billion if it chose to sell its 500.1 million shares.
Chrysler, on the other hand, has already repaid its loans and stands much less of a chance to become political fodder. Nonetheless, both brands are keeping clear. For GM especially, the decision is about being known for the cars it makes instead rather than a pawn in either side’s game.
[Source: the Detroit News]