Should You Buy A GM Car?

So, General Motors is bankrupt, and the “GM” brand now essentially stands for “Government Motors,” since the restructured company will largely be owned by the U.S. and Canadian governments. But what you really want to know is whether you should consider buying one of those cars your tax dollars are building. Consumer Reports has an FAQ on the subject, along with this quick video from the company’s head of auto testing. Tweetable version: There are great deals, but get a decent car. CR likes the Malibu and CTS. Be prepared for inconveniences, like local dealers closing shop.

What does the GM bankruptcy mean to you? [Consumer Reports]

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  1. HiPwr says:

    Right now may be the last chance to buy a car that you want from GM before they start producing cars that the wise governing class have determined are best for you.

    • goodcow says:

      @HiPwr: Yes, because whatever GM was currently producing before government intervention sure was selling well enough to keep them out of bankruptcy, right? What about the EV1? The public wanted that and it was killed due to a lack of vision by management.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @goodcow: Spot on. And it would take monumental incompetence to live down to General Motors’ cars.

        I am kinda hopeful, because Obama was pusing the car cos to come out with decent Hybrids and greener cars in general. If he does not back down from that stance and uses GM to that effect, then we should see some decent cars coming out. And that might just push other manufacturers to follow suit.

        Well, a man can dream…

      • HiPwr says:

        @goodcow: I think it is unlikely that a government-run version of GM is going to be any better. The Federal Government hasn’t had anything like “vision” since the Apollo Program. And it is going to even worse with an injection of politics into the mix.

        • Jim Topoleski says:

          @HiPwr: So what you are saying is we need a big bad for our government to do anything productive?

          Because you do realize the ONLY reason we went to the moon is because the Russians wanted to do it first.

      • Trick says:

        @goodcow:

        GM current line-up is nothing to fawn over… But to sit here and actually think the government can build a better car is just ridiculous.

        How can a bloated, unreliable GM compete with the bloated, unreliable government calling the shots?

      • pmr12002 says:

        @goodcow: The EV1 was too expensive to sell outright and GM was loosing money on the production and maintance of each one. that’s why they didn’t manufacture them.

    • TouchMyMonkey says:

      @HiPwr: Better trolls, please.

      Maybe if GM had been selling what we all wanted to buy, they wouldn’t have gone tits up.

      Oh, and we just elected that “wise governing class.” They’re doing what we hired them to do.

      • HiPwr says:

        @HurtsSoGood: You mean you elected them to run up federal deficits that our great, great grandchildren will have to pay? I didn’t elect them to do that, but I’m certainly not surprised by it.

        @takes_so_little: You want to see genius at work, wait until the executives are unelected bureaucrats and politicians motivated not by profit, but by special interest groups and political pay-back.

      • HiPwr says:

        @HurtsSoGood: BTW, you disagree with me on this so YOU must be the troll. Pretty childish thinking, isn’t it?

    • takes_so_little says:

      @HiPwr: You mean, while the shots are still being called by the wise executives at GM? Because clearly they’re geniuses.

    • lightaugust says:

      @HiPwr: ‘The wise governing class have determined…’? Please. I didn’t exactly notice the CEO’s of these companies exactly resisting government intervention a few months back whilst sitting in front of congress and begging for cash infusions for the second and third times…

      The free marketeers beg for the government to save their ass, and now the government’s the problem? I’m so confused.

      • HiPwr says:

        @lightaugust: You seem to think that GM couldn’t be run any worse than it is now. Well, it can (Amtrak). The difference being that GM shareholders aren’t going to be the only ones losing money; GM will become a black hole that Congress throws taxpayer money down.

        • lightaugust says:

          @HiPwr: It has nothing to do with how well it could or couldn’t be run, or how well it might or might not do. Since your assumption here is that the US government, which can run the military, couldn’t run any sort of business.

          It’s the same with any of these bailouts… you can’t come to screaming for money and then complain that the government meddles in everything. The latest round of whining has been to get the government out of all this, as if it were those stupid, meddling bureaucrats who came in and crammed all that money down their throats.

          On the plus side, looks like Romney has a vote in 2012.

          • HiPwr says:

            @lightaugust: If your example of the government running a business is the U.S. armed forces, you may be a bit confused on the military’s mission. I don’t have the space or the patience to explain to you the difference between the United States Navy and General Motors.

            I’m not sure who was “screaming for money”, but it sure wasn’t anyone that held true to the concepts of capitalism and the free markets. And I place George Bush at the top of the list of sell-outs.

            • lightaugust says:

              @HiPwr: Just to bring the debate down a notch… I’m not sure if I believe ANYONE is ‘true to the concepts of capitalism and free markets’ after this whole thing. Wasn’t it the very people who ostensibly hewed to free market principles the most who seemed so ready to violate those same principles when they needed to?

              To me it seems like another case of everyone wanting to go to heaven, and nobody wanting to die.

              • HiPwr says:

                @lightaugust: There are plenty of people who still believe in the American system. I count myself as one of them despite the recent developments (which I blame in large part in a deviation from the economic system that built this country.)

                If your point is that people like Bush and Paulson (and any of the so-called conservatives that voted with them in Congress) were not true to their professed principles; I absolutely agree with you. I expect irresponsible government spending out of the likes of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi (and they have certainly done nothing to disuade me from this opinion since we went to one-party rule), but those that called themselves conservatives and then sold out are not honest and are worthy of scorn.

                • West Coast Secessionist says:

                  @HiPwr: “One-party rule.” PISH TOSH. I trust you were screaming just as loudly about “one-party rule” in 2002 when the House and Senate were awash in GOP Red, right? Right? No, back then you had about 40 “obstructionist Democrats” “getting in the way” of everything you wanted done. But when there is even the slimmest majority of Democrats (or the current case, a decent but NON-FILIBUSTER-PROOF majority that has no real power without some help from the right side of the aisle) suddenly you’re using the phrase “one-party rule” in what I can only assume is a hilarious attempt to compare the Obama administration to the USSR.

                  Shouldn’t you be on some sort of screaming-Rush-Limbaugh-Fanblog?

                  • HiPwr says:

                    @West Coast Secessionist: It’s surprising how little you know about me from a half dozen, or so blog entries. Didn’t stop you from making assumptions, though.

                    However, if you did know me, you would know that I hated one-party rule when it was the Republicans as well. It made them corrupt and unaccountable. We desperately need balance of idealogies in government (as well as a vigilant media).

                    I’m a Rush fan, I watch Fox News, I spew RNC talking points, blah, blah, blah. I would think liberals would tire of those same hackneyed “insults” used over and over and over again against anyone that disagrees with them.

      • HiPwr says:

        @lightaugust: Also – let me clear up some of your confusion. “Free marketeers” were calling for the government to let GM go down in flames without federal assistance.

  2. rpm773 says:

    When buying from Government Motors, the Cadillac drives you!

  3. takes_so_little says:

    I have already owned all of the GM vehicles I will ever own.

  4. Sean Masters says:

    I like how he starts off with, “The Cadillac, the big SUVs…”, and then goes on to list basically every model GM produces.

    It was a good time, to be sure.

  5. ezmobee says:

    No you shouldn’t. I bought a 2007 Impala GM Certified with only 35k miles on it in September. It was so bad that we just last week traded it on a new Accord. The list of things wrong with it was enormous. Oh, and FYI, a powertrain warranty is next to worthless.

  6. winshape says:

    They should just go ahead and rename it “Twentieth Century Motor Company”

  7. Skin Art Squared says:

    Nope.

    Won’t be buying a GM or any other brand for a long long time, if ever. I bought a brand new Dodge Ram 1500 in early 2005, (I know, I know… mpg is teh sux0rz, but I needed something large for hauling big stuff because I don’t know anyone personally with big trucks that I can leech off of every time I need to buy something bigger than the backseat area of a fricken Prius)… and to date has 9000 miles on it. It’s paid off in full, and I expect at my current mileage rate, should last me easily 25 – 30 more years or until the oil runs out or until I’m dead. Maybe by then we’ll have those flying cars that run on magic and tofu.

    Even though it cost a fortune to fill up with gas, I’m not complaining much because I fill up once every two months, whether I need it or not.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      @BZMedia:

      If you fill it up and hold it for a year you may profit on the gas when the price goes up.
      Sort of like a local commodity futures exchange.

  8. sockrockinbeats says:

    @Jim Topoleski: your last name is frighteningly similar to mine. maybe yours is the polish version of my slovak last name.

    that’s all, i really have nothing to add to this conversation :D

  9. albear says:

    I wonder if that nice CR guy in the internets would buy a GM car?

  10. I_have_something_to_say says:

    Well I’m pretty sure I’m staying away from GM in the near future. My mothers Malibu and my Colorado have been less than spectacular in build quality. We’ve BOTH had early brake issues and steering column defects. I’ve also had numerous sensor failures and body noise issues that have been difficult to locate.

    Thanks but no thanks GM.

  11. Big Poppa Pimp says:

    Bailing out GM in October was a bad idea, the imminent government takeover is an awful one. I wish I could see this ending well, but there is no reason to believe there will be a happy ending to this story.

  12. I Love New Jersey says:

    If I had the need/space/money for a new car, it would probably wind up being something like a Ford Fiesta. Sadly, the one GM product that I would want isn’t even sold in the US.

  13. TomCoughlin says:

    Wouldn’t really have considered buying a GM car before now, and this definitely won’t change my mind. If anything it’ll push me even further away, if only to avoid lending any sort of support to the idea that government intervention like this is a good thing.

  14. t-r0y says:

    To all those who say: “No, I won’t support Government Motors” — Just remember, they don’t need your support via purchases, they already have your support via taxes. And they government knows that you’re all sheep and you’ll just let it happen. Welcome to the new world order, comrades!

  15. Skaperen says:

    Beware of those offers to do things like cover your car payments if you become unemployed. Your debt will be to the finance company which is not a party agreeing to cover those payments. If you do become unemployed, a car maker in bankruptcy won’t (and can’t) pay you anything. You’ll still owe the finance company. That whole program is a sham in the case of any car manufacturer at even the slightest risk of bankruptcy. This isn’t something the government is covering for, either.

    • Heresy_Fnord says:

      @Skaperen: Was that targeted at GM? Because Ford does that, and so does Kia. I think most Car companies are offering that as a service to try to convince customers to buy from the with “piece of mind”.

    • Trick says:

      @Skaperen:

      Which makes me wonder, will auto loans be more like student loans? You can’t discharge student loans in bankruptcy… so if you buy a new Government Motors Whatever and find yourself facing bankruptcy, will you still have to pay for your car?

      • West Coast Secessionist says:

        @Trick: Don’t be silly, car loans are not from the automakers themselves so nothing about them would change. And the government doesn’t “own” GM anyway, neither are they going to keep their STAKE for any longer than they have to–the first willing buyer to offer a fair price, boom, the government will unload it. There’s no conspiracy to nationalize production of autos, and I GUARANTEE you Obama doesn’t have a fantasy of running a car company any more than Bush did. It’s just that neither President saw an alternative to bailing them out that didn’t involve TENS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN JOBS GOING DOWN THE TOILET. And I support what BOTH of them have done.

        Not that that’ll stop all the rabid angry republicans on here who are just pissed because they don’t want America to have ANY manufacturing jobs left. That way you’re either born rich or you live in the gutter where you belong. We don’t want no middle class! Right guys!

  16. William Brinkman says:

    I’ve been reading anecdotal reports that Pontiac G8s are flying off dealer lots as people take advantage of incentives (financing/cash back). You really won’t find a big deal on those since they’re desirable cars.

    In addition, the other power car, the CTS-V, has no incentives attached to it. Then again, it’s probably the best, most powerful sedan out there and easily the best car made in the U.S. Plus, as laid out in the GM Government Restructuring Plan, the engineering teams in the performance division are disbanded and will work on other projects until further notice. =(

  17. stanner says:

    I think one of these comes with each McDonalds happy meal now. And maybe for just a few box-tops from your favorite breakfast cereals.

  18. William Brinkman says:

    @goodcow: Hindsight is 20/20, eh?

  19. aja175 says:

    anybody want to buy my GM car? Only needs about $500 in repairs EVERY YEAR because of the same fecking problem. EVERY. YEAR.
    Good riddance.

  20. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I hope they keep the Pontiac G8 and re-badge it as a Chevy. Part of GM’s problem is that they don’t make any interesting cars. They either make boring SUV’s or boring sedans. Nothing in between.

    But I’m not holding my breath here. With the bankruptcy and restructuring, I think they’re just going to start producing a bunch of ugly and boring crossover vehicles. And maybe re-badge another Daewoo car, probably a sedan to compete with the Civic and Altima.

    • seandavid010 says:

      @LatherRinseRepeat: The Corvette is a pretty interesting car, in fact the ZR-1 is probably one of the best cars GM has ever made.

      • LatherRinseRepeat says:

        @seandavid010:

        Hehe.. Yes, I like the Vette too. But I was mainly referring to mainstream cars. I doubt a family of 4 would choose a Vette over a G8 for their main car. ;-)

        • seandavid010 says:

          @LatherRinseRepeat: Ah. Gotcha ;) Although, to be honest, if it meant having a ZR-1, I’d toss my wife in the passenger seat and let my kids hitchhike everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I mean, I love them and everything, but we’re talking about the fastest Corvette EVER.

  21. seandavid010 says:

    I dunno about buying one, but I’d gladly take my tax return in the form of a 2010 Camaro, if you don’t mind. Oh, and make it midnight black, please.

  22. YourTechSupport says:

    I’d rather invest in good American made bicycle than a GM car.

  23. Blueskylaw says:

    I would be willing to pay $1000 for the right to use the name General Motors.

    I will make my offer and see how badly they need the money.

  24. wee0x1B says:

    If there was no compelling reason to buy an inferior product in the past, why would a bankruptcy filing by the company which makes that shoddy product have any positive bearing on a new purchasing decision?

    It might be that a new, leaner company produces a better product, but there’s no reason whatsoever to buy now what wasn’t worth buying before.

  25. HiPwr says:

    I like the new Camaro. If it is priced right, I see it selling like the Mustang (they are all over the place). However, it is a big American muscle car-looking thing that may be seen as a symbol of capitalistic indulgence which may be its demise in our new eco-friendly, politically correct, nanny-state world.

  26. Featherstonehaugh says:

    How about boycotting American cars unless they are better than their foreign counterparts?

  27. stevgex says:

    I’m just glad I have a spare engine for my ’67 Camaro. No hybrid for me.

  28. FLConsumer says:

    The ONLY GM car I’ve actually wanted in the past 10 years is the current Opel Insignia. Alas, GM won’t sell me one! I’ve even called and written to GM asking them to bring this car to the USA. I’m even willing to buy one sight-unseen.

    Otherwise, there isn’t a single American car that appeals to me. And there’s something huge in that statement there. GM has how many different models of cars? Yet they don’t make a single one that I’d even consider owning. Pathetic.

  29. Black-Cat says:

    Should you buy a Garbage Motors car? The answer is the same now as it has always been: NO. What a stupid question. What is the next one: should you hit yourself in the face with a hammer? If you are dumb enough to buy a car from those dicks, then yes, start swinging at your skull.

  30. KMan13 still wants a Pontiac G8 says:

    I WANT A PONTIAC G8 BEFORE THEY’RE GONE!!!

  31. CFinWV says:

    @HiPwr: Just let the damn business fail. They couldn’t make it work for how many years now? If the government steps in then jerks like you will bitch, if they don’t then other people will bitch. People should bitch about GM and years of mismanagement.

  32. vladthepaler says:

    No, GM stands for Government Morons, for pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into this black hole of a company.

  33. w_boodle says:

    If the government owns it, I won’t be doing business with it. Ever.

  34. stands2reason says:

    Market psychology will probably drive the deprecation costs through the roof, unless you’re willing to drive it until the wheels fall off (well, not that long).