Fox News downplays mass layoffs at GM: “Listen, it's not a bad thing”

From the November 26 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

Video file

SANDRA SMITH (CO-ANCHOR): What about this General Motors story though? 15,000 employees getting laid off. Shutting down possibly five factories?

CHARLES PAYNE (Host, Making Money): I’m not surprised by the news, in fact, last month I think it was, was the first time that car sales weren't the majority of overall vehicle sales. We just stopped buying cars. I’ve been talking on my show now for a while about the death of the car in America. People just aren’t buying cars.

Now, here's the good news. That means you've got to be kind of flush if you don’t have to go with a car. If you can buy an S.U.V., or a crossover, or a pickup truck, because they typically cost a lot more money. And that's what Americans are going with now right now. In fact, the last quarter General Motors reported, they had their highest ever average selling price for the third quarter. What they’re selling is selling like gangbusters but these cars with low profit margins are holding them back.

SMITH: They're going to double resources allocated to electric and autonomous cars over the next two years. Is that where things are going?

PAYNE: Autonomous more than electric, you know what I mean? I think they threw “electric” in the headline just so that they sound like they're cool and hip, you know, corporate virtue-signalling. But autonomous obviously is where we’re going, you know.

BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): The sales of pickup trucks is pretty amazing.

PAYNE: Oh, crossovers --

HEMMER: That's where Ford's gone and --

PAYNE: Ford, but the crossovers have been the thing that really, I think, is putting cars out of business, because pickups and S.U.V.s have been strong for a long time. It's the crossover that’s really crushing these cars.

SMITH: Let me get this in really quickly here, because digging through trade tariffs, General Motors is saying, have hurt business costing it a billion dollars in raw material costs in the United States alone.

PAYNE: Yeah that's steel and aluminum, those are still in place. I would hope at some point the administration would remove them from Canada and Mexico. Keep them on China. Remove them on Canada and Mexico particularly with USMCA already tentatively a done deal. I thought they would have removed them by now. But yeah, that's hurt.

But this is not about hurting General Motors. This is about demand. There's hardly no demand for cars in this country.

SMITH: Fascinating.

PAYNE: Listen, it’s not a bad thing. These other products cost a lot more money and they have fatter profit margins.

HEMMER: I think consumers are changing.


Reuters: GM to slash jobs and production, cancel some car models

USA Today: GM poised to close plants in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, will cut 15% of salaried workers