通 用汽車上週五在向《華爾街日報》提供的聲明中說﹐董事會對申請破產進行了討論﹐但並不認為申請破產是解決流動性問題的可行性方案。通用汽車發言人托尼•瑟 沃尼(Tony Cervone)表示﹐公司董事會將視情況的發展考慮各種選擇方案﹐管理層正在考慮在職權範圍內竭盡所能以避免破產。
通 用汽車董事會內部出現新的緊張跡象﹐可能會令55歲的瓦格納今後幾週的日子更加難過。在過去一個月中﹐他已被迫承認通用汽車使用現金的速度達到了危險水 平。瓦格納表示﹐受信貸市場凍結和汽車需求暴跌的影響﹐公司的現金可能最早在明年1月就會跌破維持正常運轉的最低水平。通用汽車上週五收盤為3.06美元 ﹐上漲18美分﹐漲幅6.25%。而一年之前通用汽車股價還在42美元左右。
最近幾週 來﹐通用汽車董事會已開始表露出他們不怕與瓦格納立場不一致﹐上週五表現出來的分歧至少是第二次發生這種情況了。今年秋天﹐瓦格納的管理小組推出了一項計 劃﹐可能與克萊斯勒(Chrysler LLC)尋求合併。但據知情人士透露﹐一些董事對這個計劃興趣寡然。11月初﹐在通用汽車即將公佈第三季度大幅虧損和現金流出69億美元的季報時﹐公司董 事會督促管理層放棄合併談判﹐以集中精力應對流動性危機。
在通用汽車14席董事會中﹐有9位董事在2003年瓦格納出任董事長時就已經在 位。許多董事都是瓦格納的導師兼前任史密斯(Jack Smith)執掌通用的時候當選的。在通用汽車近年來遭受數十億美元虧損的情況下﹐董事會首席董事、伊士曼-柯達公司(Eastman Kodak Co.)退休董事長費什(George Fisher)仍多次表示支持瓦格納。董事會其他成員還包括前安永(Ernst & Young)董事長拉斯卡維(Phil Laskawy)北卡羅來納大學校長鮑爾斯(Erskine Bowles)。拉斯卡維最近被任命為房利美(Fannie Mae)董事長﹐鮑爾斯則曾擔任克林頓總統的白宮幕僚長。
瓦 格納和福特汽車(Ford Motor Co.)以及克萊斯勒首席執行長上週前往華盛頓﹐希望從財政部用於救助陷入困境的金融機構的7,000億美元資金中獲取250億美元救急﹐或說服國會加快 發放已經批准的250億美元貸款﹔這筆貸款是根據能源部一項提高能效計劃﹐批給底特律汽車製造商的。
瓦格納、福特汽車的穆拉利(Alan Mulally)、克萊斯勒的納德里(Robert Nardelli)對議員們表示﹐他們已經開始對公司實施重組﹐需要過渡性貸款幫助他們度過難關。瓦格納懇請政府立即提供100億至120億美元的貸款。
三 人都表示﹐他們擔心三家中任何一家公司申請破產都會導致另外兩家公司的連鎖崩潰。他們指出﹐由於三家公司共享供應商﹐因此一家公司倒閉可能會拖垮供應商網 絡﹐從而影響另外一家或兩家公司。他們還提到﹐有研究顯示﹐由於擔心沒有質量保證或無法獲得部件﹐消費者可能不願意購買破產汽車製造商的產品。
眾 議院議長佩洛西(Nancy Pelosi)和參議院多數派領袖雷德(Harry Reid)上週五在一封信函中表示﹐汽車製造商必須提供他們長期穩定所需現金的確切評估。他們還表示﹐汽車製造商獲得貸款後﹐必須保證政府債權人地位高於 其他所有債權人﹐完成能效目標﹐限制高管薪酬並提供認股權證﹐保證公司復蘇後納稅人可以從中獲利。
John D. Stoll
Speaker: Ethics key to business success
Galesburg Register-Mail - Galesburg,IL,USA
Martin Carver was the former CEO of Bandag Incorporated, a Muscatine, Iowa, based tire retread business that provides retreading materials, equipment and tire management services to franchised dealers in more than 100 countries. Now he is president of MG Consulting, LLC. Carver has an impressive resume. In 1986 he was voted by Financial World Magazine as the CEO of the year in the rubber and plastics industry. Following that accomplishment, he was voted by Financial World again in 1989 as the CEO of the decade in the broader category of chemicals industry. In a recent interview with Terry Cavanaugh on WGIL, Carver talked about his company in the early 1990s as doing fairly well financially. From a financial perspective, he had few complaints. However, he was troubled by employee morale. Although Bandag employees earned some of the highest wages in the area with one of the best benefits packages, they were still fairly negative. At first Carver was angered by his observation. He couldn’t understand it. But instead of disregarding it, he chose to confront the culture of his organization.
Shortly after that, Carver attended a conference with Dr. W. Edwards Deming. As he told Cavanaugh last week, it quite literally changed his life. If you go to the Deming Web site you’ll find on the home page these words, “We seek to conduct ourselves in a manner consistent with his high moral and ethical standards, professional and personal integrity, and commitment to lifelong learning. We do this solely from our dedication to the philosophy and values of Dr. Deming and our belief that together, with humility, we can and will make a difference in the quality of life for everyone.”
And this quite literally says it all about Carver and the approach he took with his company. He began a culture change that in most cases would have been unheard of and largely unnecessary from a financial viewpoint. However, he knew the company could be even better with the new direction. Specifically, he took a large, top-down, hierarchically organized business and turned it into a flatter team-based organization. Employees at every level began contributing to decision making and departments worked cross-functionally to achieve the best solutions for the company. Carver wanted the employees of Bandag to have a passion, and allowing employees to take ownership at the decision -making level and to lead the organization created that passion. Ultimately, Carver knew the passion couldn’t help but be extended to the customer and the bottom line would improve.
Carver also emphasized that there can’t be egos or personal agendas involved with leadership. Everyone within the organization is important to its success. And the Bandag company core values still confirm that approach.
Carver was right. Bandag went on to greater success with sales in 2005 of a staggering $921 million worldwide. In 2006, Bandag was sold for over $1 billion and merged with Bridgestone Tire. Today, the Web site still says this about its approach to business: “We treat everyone with respect and dignity. We do what we say we are going to do and never allow honesty and integrity to be compromised. We assume good intentions; we believe that all people desire to do their best.”
据德新社等的报道，继欧宝之后，福特汽车公司德国子公司总裁马特斯（Ｂｅｒｎｈａｒｄ Ｍａｔｔｅｓ）也发出呼吁，为了解决目前汽车行业的 问题，欧盟层面必须行动。他对"图片报"发表谈话说，"我们希望看到在欧洲投资银行有大约４００亿欧元的投资框架存在。这是为了帮助欧洲汽车制造行业，让 他们有机会实现在降低能源和排放方面经得起挑战"。"我们大家都必须在开发领域继续向前走"。马特斯强调，他的呼吁不同于一把援救大伞，他需要的是"借贷 资金，含贷款利息而且是要偿还的。换言之，它们不是送礼。这里讲的是现代科技以及国际市场上的竞争能力"。 他重申，他的公司不需要德国政府的资助，"我们不需要向默克尔总理伸手要钱。福特还从来没有、今后也不会向政府要钱"。虽然福特在欧洲市场上进展不 错，但今年年内销售1800万台车的计划显然无可兑现。比较现实的估计是，今年可以在欧洲市场销售1600万辆福特汽车。马特斯不得不承认，"这一下滑数 字的幅度还是相当的大"。他说，福特有足够的资金进行企业的重新整顿，"没有人能够估计今后12个月或13个月内事情会怎样发生。我们估计，人们对汽车的 需求会下降，我们会因此调整生产。"
Big Three’s Troubles May Touch Financial Sector
To the long list of troubles plaguing the financial industry, add three big ones — make that Big Three ones.
The foundering Detroit automakers owe more than $100 billion to their bankers and bondholders, and Wall Street is starting to wonder how much of that will be paid back.
With Congress balking at a rescue for the auto industry, and Chrysler and General Motors warning that they could face bankruptcy without one, investors are worrying about financial companies’ exposure to the Big Three, as well as to automotive suppliers and dealers.
The intertwining troubles of the auto and financial industries were partly behind the sharp sell-off in financial stocks last week, when banking shares fell to their lowest levels since the economic crisis broke out and questions swirled about the future of Citigroup.
“It’s pretty clear there was a cause and effect,” said Wilbur L. Ross Jr., a prominent financier who specializes in distressed industries and has invested in auto parts companies.
Big banks say that their exposure to the auto industry is relatively small and that in any case most of the loans are secured by vehicles or other assets, which would help minimize any losses.
But the true risks are difficult to ascertain because banks do not disclose much about their exposure. Of particular concern is the fate of billions of dollars of bonds that were used to finance the 2007 acquisition of Chrysler by a large private investment fund, Cerberus Capital Management.
The potential losses do not end with those high-risk loans, however. Over the past three years, as the auto industry’s fortunes darkened, big banks like Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase helped the automakers sell more than $56 billion of new debt securities, according to Dealogic. Most of those securities were bought by investors like insurance companies, pension funds and hedge funds, many of which have been staggered by losses on other investments. Some hedge funds already have been forced to dump investments into a falling market to meet demands.
That figure does not include $47 billion of risky loans made to various affiliates of Chrysler, Ford and G.M. that are backed by auto leases and car loans to individual car buyers, some of whom are now struggling to pay their own bills as the economy craters.
Many of these auto bonds and loans have plummeted in value as things have gone from bad to worse for Detroit’s once-proud carmakers. A $7 billion term loan that Ford issued in 2006, for instance, was trading for 32 cents on the dollar late last week in the secondary, or resale, market. That is particularly worrisome given that this debt would be the first to be repaid in the event that Ford filed for bankruptcy.
But businesses and ordinary people all the way down the automotive food chain are shouldering a lot of debt too. That includes autoworkers, but also everyone from makers of car stereos to dealerships to parts suppliers, as well as the people who work for those companies. Many of these borrowers could run into trouble if the automakers implode, leaving lenders in the lurch.
“The bigger fear is banks’ indirect exposure to suppliers and related companies in the auto industry,” said Ricardo Kleinbaum, an analyst at BNP Paribas in New York. “The real issue is the effect of an automaker bankruptcy on employment, credit card payments and mortgage defaults in the regions that are affected.”
A big worry is whether banks that have extended loans or underwritten bonds for the auto industry have held on to this debt or sold it to other investors. Banks typically retain a small portion of the securities they underwrite, and many banks that had hoped to sell high-risk loans have been unable to find buyers for them since the credit markets froze over.
“The question is, how much of these loans have they retained on their balance sheet?” said Tanya Azarchs, a credit analyst at Standard and Poor’s Ratings Service.
Few doubt that banks are sitting on billions of dollars of loans to the industry, though. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley were among the banks that arranged $11.5 billion in financing for Cerberus’s takeover of Chrysler. Analysts say the banks are stuck with much of that debt.
And then there is GMAC, the finance arm of G.M. GMAC, which is half-owned by Cerberus, applied last week to become a bank holding company in hopes of qualifying for the government’s bank rescue.
In 2005, when banking was still strong, Bank of America bought $55 billion in loans from GMAC and then sold most of them to other investors. In June, the bank, which has itself received billions of dollars from the government, helped GMAC refinance $60 billion of debt.