President Obama said yesterday that “for years GM has been buried under an unsustainable mountain of debt,” which literally describes the transit of Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024), as Pluto rules debt and Capricorn rules mountains and structures. Pluto rules bankruptcy which is a material representation of the soul’s journey of birth, transformation (death), and rebirth (reincarnation). With Pluto in Capricorn opposing the USA’s natal Venus (money), GM’s bankruptcy is expected to cost the US government $50 billion.
The Sun represents a company’s identity and Mercury its message. (Mercury rules automobiles.) Just as physicists have long attempted to figure out how to combine unrelated and incompatible theories into a single unified theory or message to understand the universe, Pluto in Capricorn conjoining GM’s progressed* Sun and Mercury in Capricorn through November 2011 will require the automaker to come up with a unified message that neatly sums up what the GM brand if it is to successfully rise like the phoenix from the ashes of bankruptcy. Otherwise GM will be forever drowning in a black hole of red ink.
GM filed for bankruptcy in Manhattan at 7:57:51 AM Monday when the Moon, the ruler of the bankruptcy chart, was Void-of-Course** in Mercury-ruled Virgo. Even though GM had already secured agreements with the bondholders, the UAW, and the US and Canadian governments prior to the filing, the VOC Moon greatly increases the potential that the bankruptcy proceeding will take some unexpected twists and turns that deviate from its projected schedule of exiting bankruptcy by August 1. The Moon Void in Virgo can make it more challenging to uphold contractual arrangements and stay on message.
Mercury in Taurus challenges the Jupiter/Neptune alignment in Aquarius appropriately located in the area of the chart representing bankruptcy. This means that GM and the parties involved in the bankruptcy have high hopes and expectations that the bankruptcy restructuring will be short and sweet. The cost of operating GM during the bankruptcy process is likely to be higher than projected. Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo. The Sun in Gemini challenging Saturn in Virgo in the area of the bankruptcy chart representing GM’s business can create delays and obstacles that slow down the bankruptcy process, as well as a further contraction of GM’s products and production beyond what was originally planned.
Pluto destroys what is no longer viable, and bankruptcy has forced GM to concentrate on fewer new models. CEO Fritz Henderson remarked at a news conference Monday afternoon that instead of delivering 15 new mediocre models of which 4 or 5 might be successful, GM must now be limited to 4 or 5 new models that all must succeed. Henderson was eager to tout GM’s few success stories such as the Chevy Malibu and Cadillac CTS, but neglected to tell the public what they should expect in terms of GM as a whole. Will GM become small and focused enough so that every product can be made a success?
Henderson’s reflation theme moved the bond market today but failed to bring GM closer to conveying a unified message of who the “new GM” is. GM is signaling that gas prices will inflate as the economy recovers, driving consumer behavior toward more energy efficient vehicles. Yet GM has chosen to retain the GMC truck brand as part of the “new GM.” How do three SUV brands (Chevy, GMC, and Cadillac) convey a unified message of fuel efficiency in the new GM?
As an example of what I mean, what message does BMW’s slogan “the ultimate driving machine” conjure up? Perhaps their cars handle like they’re on rails. How about Toyota (TM) quality or Honda’s (HMC) very low emission cars? These automakers have created a unified message that is embedded in their product characteristics that customers can count on, from their lowest priced to most expensive models.
Henderson believes that the launch of the new Camaro will create a “halo effect” of excitement that will entice people into Chevy showrooms. But that is the same attitude GM took with the G8 which instead of generating a halo, was overshadowed by the mediocrity of the rest of the Pontiac line. But Fritz Henderson would probably ignore this example since Pontiac is part of the “old GM” to be shed in bankruptcy.
GM touting this brand and that model is part of the formula that brought what was once the world’s largest manufacturer into bankruptcy court yesterday. Management never took heed when Ross Perot told GM two decades ago that “you have to be the best at something.” No car company can have unrelated and incompatible messages that can be all things to all customers. The closest unified message GM currently has could be summed up as “everything mediocre.” And mediocrity – particularly in bankruptcy – is not going to whet the customer’s appetite for the General’s products.
In other words, if you can’t get 10 out of 10 people to tell you what it means to buy a GM vehicle, then GM is still lost in space.
* A mathematical calculation that moves the planets forward in time as a method of prediction.
**The period of time when the Moon (our emotional barometer) does not form any relationships to a planet before entering a new zodiacal sign. This time period is best suited for anything where no specific outcome is desired, as actions taken during the Void-of-Course period might not turn out as planned. On June 1 the Moon became Void after opposing Uranus in Pisces at 4:32 AM and remained Void until the Moon entered Libra at 11:17 AM.