Slouching Toward Tomorrow: GM Sags After the Clunker Push


Them that has, gets...

The August sales figures for automakers are in and we're getting our first read on the impact of the Cash for Clunkers program.

For Ford, Toyota and Honda, the news was good. All three companies boosted their numbers last month. For Chrysler, down 15%, and GM, down 20%, it was a different story.

GM's Golden Years
Things looked very different in 1958 when GM celebrated its Golden Anniversary. America's torrid love affair with the automobile was white-hot and the future looked bright.

That year, the Chevrolet Impala was on the threshold of a decade long run as the best selling automobile in the US, with total unit sales of 13 million over that period. The Cadillac's scalpel-sharp tailfins were a bold statement that GM was ready to rocket to the stars. Pontiac was a proud member of the fleet.

The Long and Winding Road
Today, GM struggles for survival in a world hammered by an economic slump and a marketplace rife with global competitors. The first post-bankruptcy commercial was almost an apology for how the company had stumbled since the Golden Years.

Asleep at the Wheel
As auto industry prospects turned bleak in 2008, the -- then -- heads of Detroit's Big Three told Congress the shape of things to come. The GM guy and the Chrysler guy are gone now.