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GM’s Ransom Note to America

12:28 PM EST on November 17, 2008

With the president-elect, Congress and the current White House divided on how or if American taxpayers should save the domestic auto industry, General Motors is taking its case directly to the public with this video and accompanying web site. More threat than appeal, the message, in a nutshell, is "Do it, or else."

On gmfactsandfiction.com, the reeling giant "Tells It Like It Is":

From plants to parks. From dealerships to driveways. From gas stationsto grocery stores. What happens in the automotive industry affects eachand every one of us. In fact, the collapse of the U.S.-based autoindustry wouldn't just impact the more than 239,000 Americans directlyemployed by the Big Three. One out of every 10 people in America isemployed in a service that is related to the U.S. auto industry. If aplant closes, so does its suppliers, the local stores, the hot dogvendors, and the local restaurants.The effect would be devastating in ways of which you never have thought.

Writing your congressperson yet? Well what are you gonna do now that your "suppliers and dealers" can't get credit? Who's gonna keep you supplied, man?

In all seriousness, while its fate is on the minds of many, New Yorkers included, GM may not be helping its case here. Rather than inspiring confidence that the company would put taxpayer dollars to good use, the "Facts and Fiction" campaign reeks of desperation and even paranoia. (See the web site's "Submit a Myth" widget: "If you’ve read or heard something about GM we’d love to know about it so that we can have an opportunity to address it.") Again revealing itself to be two steps behind, GM doesn't seem to have caught on to the fact that Americans are currently more receptive to change than fear mongering.

So that's the problem, huh? Think GM can't change? GM can change, baby. Just give GM another chance.

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