New GM. It has been the mantra General Motors Corp. has adopted since it officially determined that the once venerable American car company had to radically change its plans for the future.
The New GM will be - if a judge approves a sale soon - a company that will contain best parts of the old company, a less expensive workforce and much less debt. The ‘old GM,' which includes the low-selling brands, un-needed factories, and other assets, will be sold off to the highest bidder.
The prospect of the new has come at the cost of the old. Already gone are old contracts with union workers and unprofitable relationships with some dealers. For several years, the company had been making cuts but not enough to stop losses.
GM's options had dwindled by late last year. Banks and financiers had given up. Government's grudging help for car companies had been in stark contrast to the trillions of dollars lawmakers and money policy makers directly and indirectly gave the financial services industry.
GM was not a high priority, initially. However the looming uncertainty about the status of hundreds of thousands if not millions jobs involving GM workers, suppliers, dealers and related industries created pressure in political circles, not nearly enough in Congress, however. The Bush administration stepped in when lawmakers refused to authorize funds.
When President Obama took over, GM's CEO was dismissed, the company's plans were deemed insufficient and a new strict deadline was established to reach a more definitive conclusion.
What former CEO and Chairman Rick Wagoner and his board of directors refused to even consider, or utter as a serious alternative - bankruptcy - was now seen as distasteful but necessary course under Fritz Henderson's watch.
On June 1, 2009, under Henderson, who was previously head of GM Europe and now government designated chief executive, the formerly unthinkable, untouchable idea had a new definition. On the day of the bankruptcy filing, without mentioning the word he called the court supervised process the reinvention of GM, the beginning of the launch of the New GM.