They Just Don't Get GM!

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Determining whether General Motors ( GM) is posturing or merely lying about strategies for turning around its European business involves mentioning one item the business media have already forgotten: the Volt.

With the Geneva International Motor Show underway, GM has been talking about the future of its troubled European operations. But when GM talks about the future, traders need to see it through the prism of the Volt. You remember the Volt, right?

After hyping the electric vehicle beyond easy measure, GM recently (sorry) pulled the plug on production. That's right: GM promised the world on a platter...and delivered nothing but grinding disappointment. Traders, with this in mind, must take everything GM says with a spoonful of apprehension.

But the media, those forgetful little devils, already forgot the Volt. In an article entitled, "GM Won't Rule Out Plant Closings in Europe," The Wall Street Journal doesn't mention the Volt. It's always hard to tell if a company is going to do what it says, but when the recent past offers up a cautionary tale: tell it.

The Motley Fool points out that contrary to expectations raised last month, the bulk of GM's plan to fix its European business will be reveled over time. Is this mostly hidden plan something we can trust? Motley Fool does well to ask the question, but fails to weave the Volt into the defining answer. Seen through the lens of the Volt hype job, traders must know: you trust GM at your own peril.
At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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