General Motors IPO "Well-Scripted," Comments Edmunds.com
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — November 17, 2010 — Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, offers the following observations about the General Motors IPO:
"Anyone doing an IPO might want to use this as a case study — it's so well-scripted," stated Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl, who details this theory in his blog http://justtoclarify.typepad.com/. "Executives Stephen Girsky and Chris Liddell know the financial market and understand what it takes to make an IPO successful. They lined up institutional investors ahead of time and began a steady drumbeat of good news about 45 days ago in order to set the stage for the big day."
Anwyl points to the following recent events that have kept GM in a favorable light during this pre-IPO period:
- GM solidified its executive management and hired a group of respected marketing professionals to shift the company's image.
- GM reduced its debt by $11 billion and promised that upon the completion of its IPO, it will buy back some of the GM stock held by the US Treasury and contribute significantly to the GM pension plans.
- GM became the first automaker to sell two million vehicles in China.
- GM launched advertising for the Chevy Cruze that delivered head-on comparisons against of competitors, attempting to boost consideration of GM's most important new vehicle launch of the decade. GM followed with nostalgic Chevy ads to round out the appeal of the brand.
- A special edition Chevy Cruze received better-than-anticipated mileage ratings from the Environmental Protection Agency.
- GM announced that it would discontinue the Mr. Goodwrench brand just like it discontinued Pontiac, Saturn, and Hummer, emphasizing its commitment to efficiency regardless of history.
- GM announced impressive third-quarter results, and celebrated the fact that it exceeded October sales expectations.
- GM announced that General Electric will buy 12,000 Chevy Volts just as the media begin to question the Volt's significance within the larger context of the auto industry.
- Chevy Volt was named as Motor Trend's Car of the Year and Automobile Magazine's Automobile of the Year.
- Promising Buick product plans are under embargo until the Los Angeles Auto Show — the very day of the IPO pricing announcement.
"Given the steps GM has taken, the IPO should play out well for them despite complications such as the fact that the government is a major investor," noted Anwyl. "Scripted or not, these messages surely paint a favorable picture of the company and offer hope for the future."
The hosts of Edmunds.com's Forums note that consumer discussions about the GM IPO have largely drifted to also consider Ford's journey through the recession. Those discussions can be read at http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f16697b/12370.
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Edmunds.com Inc. publishes Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site and hosts the most established automotive community online. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.edmunds.com, makes car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and otherwise on the go. InsideLine.com is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.insideline.com, features the wireless Web's highest quality car photos and videos. AutoObserver.com provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds.com Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/edmunds.