But Buffett's recent purchase of a Cadillac XTS was not just a case of an investor showing loyalty to his investment decision-making. Rather, the purchase demonstrated the value of listening to employees and the importance of the automotive sales force.
It also continues the narrative that GM may face ignition switch problems, air bag defects, compensation claims, regulatory issues and increased Congressional scrutiny, but consumers have apparently shut that out and continue to buy new GM vehicles.
On the negative side, given that Buffett is 83, the story reinforced the reality of Cadillac's older demographic. But overall, it can't hurt when the world's most famous value investor invests in your car.
GM publicly released the Buffett story late Tuesday, in the midst of more negative publicity as The New York Times reported that it hid information from regulators and CEO Mary Barra prepared for one more Congressional grilling on Thursday. The Buffett story continues the narrative that GM's sordid safety practices occurred in the past, but aren't particularly troubling to buyers of new GM cars.
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In early morning trading Wednesday, GM shares were up 16 cents to $37.74. Year to date, shares are down about 8%.
According to the automaker, Madison Willers, a saleswoman at Huber Cadillac in Omaha, Neb., recently greeted a woman who said she was shipping for a friend. Unbeknownst to Willers, the mystery shopper was Susie Buffett, Warren Buffett's daughter.