Obama: GM Headquarters to Remain in Detroit

Joshua Duval

President Barack Obama reassured Michigan Congress members on Sunday that GM will not move its headquarters out of the Renaissance Center as part of its bankruptcy restructuring efforts, quelling fears that the automaker would capitalize on tax incentives offered by Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.

GM CEO Fritz Henderson said last month that the automaker was open to moving out of its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, eliciting negative feedback from Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and spurring preventative measures from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.

GM moved its headquarters from midtown Detroit to the Renaissance Center in 1996, paying $75 million to occupy the space and doling out another $500 million to renovate it. The move helped inspire the renovations of several other downtown Detroit buildings as well, leading many to see the Renaissance Center -- with GM's presence -- as a driving force of a downtown resurgence.

But as financial hardship struck GM, the Renaissance Center became increasingly unoccupied. Just weeks before GM was expected to file for bankruptcy, Fouts mounted a campaign to lure GM to Warren, a Detroit suburb. Fouts vowed to provide the company with a 30-year break on personal property taxes and a 12-year, 50-percent cut in general property taxes if it would relocate its world headquarters to Warren, where the automaker already has a sprawling research and development center.

But Obama said Sunday that GM would not abandon its current headquarters. He called it a "GM business decision," according to a congressional aide cited by the Detroit News.

Fouts said Sunday night that GM could have saved millions by moving its headquarters, and that he hopes the decision to stay in Detroit wasn't made out of "political correctness."

"My mantra has been it's not about the image," he said. "It's about saving jobs and saving GM."

An interesting statement, considering it may well have been GM's image -- as a maker of gas-guzzling, unreliable SUVs -- that played the biggest role in its path to bankruptcy.

Source: The Detroit News

Except Honda. LOL GM is done as a large-scale automarker, Volkswagen will overtake GM as the world's largest automaker this year, 2009. They or Honda will be my next decision for a newer vehicle. Do you hear me, Mr. President?
A hybrid SUV and a luxury limo like the 7-series don't really have anything in common. I don't see how a comparison between them makes sense here.If you read the last paragraph, Josh says it was the image of building gas guzzlers that caused the problem. Every other automaker builds big SUVs that get poor fuel economy, but the public likes to ignore non-domestic SUVs.
Gas Guzzler2009 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Hybrid Weight: 6016 lbFuel Economy: 20 / 21 / 20 (city/hwy/combined)Small lightweight high tech 32 valve turbocharged European V8, the world’s best engineering.2009 BMW 750LiWeight: 4640 lb Fuel Economy: 14 / 22 /17 mpg (city/hwy/combined)Yeah GM doesn’t know what they are doing, best leave car making to western European knobs who think 14 mpg city is acceptable fuel economy. Perception is reality only to the Kool Aid drinkers at Automobile.

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