What a difference a year makes.
Last year Fritz Henderson was supposed to be the keynote speaker for the Los Angeles Auto show. He didn’t make it. Instead, General Motors fired him, sent Bob Lutz in his place and then, unexpectedly, told Bob Lutz to get home. Ed Whitacre took over as CEO, Chairman of the Board and Board member.
In the midst of the 2010 LA auto show, General Motors is bringing out its IPO. Whitacre is gone, Lutz is gone and Dan Akerson is now CEO and, probably, Chairman of the Board and a Board member. He is also a board member for American Express.
Jeff Bliss, the bliss index, Forbe’s Gordon Chang and John Batchelor, host of the John Batchelor radio show talk to me about the General Motors IPO.
I talked to Bob Lutz, CNBC contributor, and former General Motors employees. Lutz said that China’s SAIC buying one percent of the stock is just a sign of good faith in General Motors.
I also talked to Victor Muller, CEO, and Chairman of the Dutch car company Saab Spyker automobiles. Muller’s company is listed on the Amsterdam Stock exchange (SPYKR:AS). Muller is hoping for the GM stock does well because GM is Saab’s biggest supplier of parts and technology. Muller sees not only General Motors and Ford profiting from the IPO, but other car companies and suppliers, “Once people start getting excited about buying they look at different companies. This could be good for other car companies and suppliers.”
Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board AUDI AG, talked about Audi in China and India. Schwarzenbauer thinks people are still underestimating China, “I think we have to take this quite seriously. I would not be surprised, in 10-15 years, we could see the premium segment coming out of China. Especially in the electric car segment, China is investing a lot of money in this technology.”