It is sad to watch General Motors contracting before our very eyes. What was once referred to as Global Motors -- a company that worried about antitrust action because of its huge market share -- seems to have changed into a company that merely chases profits without regard to anything else.
It was bad enough when GM cried uncle and killed Oldsmobile, and later Saturn, Hummer and Pontiac. More recently we have seen the company retreat from Europe, selling Opel to Peugeot and leaving with its tail between it legs. And that after paying a king's ransom to Fiat to get involved with diesel technology, a move that cost the company billions.
And now, as its market share in the U.S. continues to fall, GM has decided to report sales numbers quarterly rather than monthly.
I am sure the company will continue to report the sales numbers internally, but it will ignore all the parties interested in learning GM's latest results. Still, I'm sure we will continue to receive press releases whenever GM has some success to show on the sales side.
I can't help but think that reporting sales monthly is a financial responsibility for a public company. Indeed, it will be interesting to see whether GM's major shareholders, Wall Street and the Securities and Exchange Commission will feel that monthly sales figures are an important bellwether of financial strength.
For obvious reasons, investors want to see the monthly sales results for Tesla, which does not report sales monthly. They should feel the same way about GM's numbers.
There was a great hue and cry many years ago when the domestic car companies eliminated 10-day sales results. It was a bad idea then and ending monthly sales reports is a bad idea now.
GM should continue to report monthly sales numbers along with the rest of the industry, both import and domestic. Just because it has lost so much market share is no reason to withdraw from this important competitive indicator. Even governments find these statistics important.
Whether the news is good or bad, GM should stand up and tell us what it has counted.