Home » Why GM Is Paying 40,000 Employees A Record $12,750 Bonus

Why GM Is Paying 40,000 Employees A Record $12,750 Bonus

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It’s a good time to be a GM hourly employee, an emergency worker in the UK, a construction worker in the United States, and Doug DeMuro. It’s a bad time to be shopping for a Volkswagen EV. So much news this morning, let’s get right into it.

GM Printing Money Now, Maybe A Little Less Next Year


General Motors just revealed that it ended the year with fourth quarter revenue of $43.1 billion and a net income of $3.8 billion (EBIT-adjusted). For the year, the company banked a record adjusted net income of $14.6 billion on $156.7 billion of revenue.

If you’re one of GM’s approximately 42,300 eligible workers then GM’s good year equates to roughly $12,750 in profit sharing, a record  according to this story from The Detroit News:

For every $1 billion GM makes in North America, the automaker’s U.S. employees receive $1,000, according to the GM/United Auto Workers agreement. GM made about $13 billion in North America in 2022.

And next year? In its letter to shareholders, GM predicted a range of adjusted net income in the $10.5 to $12.5 billion range. That’s down, slightly, but next year is a big year for investments.

For instance, GM and Lithium Americas Corp. announced today that the two companies would work together to develop the Thackler Pass mine in Nevada, which is claimed to be the third largest lithium source in the world and the largest in the Untied States. A working lithium mine in the U.S. could provide a huge boost to GM as it tries to keep costs down while also qualifying for the full tax rebate from the federal government.

VW Will Have None Of Your Price War

Id 4

First, Tesla dropped its prices in an attempt to get Inflation Reduction Act tax credits. Yesterday, Ford followed suit and dropped Mach E prices to make more vehicles qualify. Who will be next? Not Volkswagen, according to VW CEO Oliver Blume in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (as translated by Automotive News this morning):

“We have a clear pricing strategy and are focusing on reliability. We trust in the strength of our products and brands,” he said.

VW wants to be a global leader in EVs but this should be achieved through profitable growth, Blume said.

Sure! Don’t let Tesla squeeze you out of the market. Plus, it’s not like Ford and Volkswagen are sitting on Tesla-level inventories or have Tesla-like production capacity for their EVs yet.

Autopian Member Doug DeMuro Gets $37 Million Investment

Doug Demuro

I have yet to buy a car on auction site Cars and Bids, but I have bid on at least one. The site’s co-founder, Doug DeMuro, turned a Jalopnik column into an incredibly popular YouTube channel into a real business [Ed Note: Not that YouTube isn’t a business! -DT] and, according to Forbes, that business is doing well enough that C&B is taking on a big investment in the form of $37 million from The Chernin Group:

“The thing that was appealing about The Chernin Group is they work specifically with these creator-owned and creator-led businesses, like MeatEater and Barstool Sports,” says Doug. “We’ve heard from all these potential investors, but here’s one that gets it. That understands the limitations and the benefits a creator brings. That understands that paid marketing maybe isn’t the way to achieve growth. Maybe it’s going after people who are naturally there because they love the creator. Here’s a group of people I don’t have to explain this to.”

The company’s new CEO will be Ro Choy, who started out at eBayMotors.

Did I Mention Skoda Will Be In The Running For More UK Government Vehicles?


If you’ve ever bid for government work in the United Kingdom you know it’s a detailed and lengthy bureaucratic process involving tenders (similar to RFPs) and reviews. The good news for fans of Skoda police cars is that Skoda UK has successfully completed a tender with the Crown Commercial Service, which is the body responsible for helping public sector organizations acquire vehicles.

From the company’s press release:

Škoda has a proud tradition of supporting the emergency services that dates back more than 117 years. From the groundbreaking Voiturette Ambulance of 1906 to today’s high quality fleet of Police, Ambulance, and Fire and Rescue services models, Škoda has long been the brand of choice for emergency services across Europe.

Škoda UK’s emergency services sales have increased 40% since 2018. The brand expects to deliver around 6,000 + cars to government bodies under the new agreement thanks to its reliability, value and aftersales service.”

Is this an excuse for me to just post some Skoda emergency vehicles? Absolutely.

Skodafire Skoda Ambulance

Biden Is Investing In Infrastructure And… It’s Mostly Roads


The longstanding joke about President Biden is that he was the “Senator from Amtrak,” largely because he often took the train to Washington, D.C. (and partially because it’s difficult to make jokes up about Delaware). Some have viewed his election as a great boon for both intra- and inter-city rail.

Just this morning the Department of Transportation unveiled new projects from the discretionary grant program totaling $1.2 billion. You can read all about there from the DOT release here, but here’s a quick summary of grants being made this year:

  • $250 million to improve the Brent Spence Bridge between Ohio and Kentucky, one of the “worst truck bottlenecks” in the nation.
  • $292 million for Hudson Yards Concrete Casing, Section 3: American’s spend way more to build trains than European countries, and this is merely a step in improving train service into and out of New York City.
  • $78 million to improve 12 miles of Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia: A terrible, crash-tastic road gets fixed.
  • $150 million to improve the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge (pictured): A bridge that’s almost as old as Joe Biden gets fixed.
  • $110 million for NC’s Alligator River Bridge: Another bridge that looks like it’s gonna fall into a river gets fixed.
  • $60 million to help widen I-10 west of Diamondhead, Mississippi: We’re going to keep going until I-10 is 900 lanes wide.

Unfortunately, lack of investment has led to roads and bridges in this country that are in pretty rough shape and it’s not like the United States is suddenly going to build trains everywhere all at once. The word “jobs” shows up six times in the press release because, as much as this is about fixing things, it’s also about putting people to work.

The Flush?

Where would you put $1.2 billion in infrastructure spending?

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Photos: GM, Skoda, LA DOT, VW

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49 Responses

  1. ““We have a clear pricing strategy and are focusing on reliability. We trust in the strength of our products and brands,” he said.”

    VW. Reliability.
    Hang on, let me laugh louder.

    “creator-owned and creator-led businesses, like MeatEater and Barstool Sports,” says Doug.”

    And this is where you nope the hell out. Barstool is below scum of the earth, and it is not even remotely inaccurate to state that anyone supporting them financially is a supporter of stochastic terrorism, racism, stealing from contractors, rape culture, violent threats, COVID denialism, and explicit Nazism. And guess what? You absolutely can choose your investors. You don’t have to take their money.
    ProTip for Doug: if that’s the kind of investor you want to get in bed with? Don’t be surprised when you wake up with fleas.

    “$250 million to improve the Brent Spence Bridge between Ohio and Kentucky, one of the “worst truck bottlenecks” in the nation.”

    That improvement had better be ‘total replacement and offset costs by selling tickets to watch the damn thing get blown sky high. Literal sky high.’

    Unfortunately, lack of investment has led to roads and bridges in this country that are in pretty rough shape and it’s not like the United States is suddenly going to build trains everywhere all at once.

    “Rough shape”? That would be an incalculable improvement over what we actually have. To put it mildly. Thanks to years of outright theft, fraud, and malfeasance we get to enjoy such things as bridges rated ‘structurally sound’ – with huge steel nets to catch deadly chunks of concrete falling onto roads and trails beneath. Huh. Pretty sure rebar exposed to open air and salt isn’t getting any gold stars from ASCE.
    Or how about the surface road pavement everywhere that makes the surface of the moon look glass smooth? Nevermind the millions wasted in just dumping asphalt into chasms, followed by a ‘repave’ that’s just laying asphalt overtop of that. Or the freshly constructed ‘concrete’ interstates that turned to gravel in just 2-3 years. Or a federally owned and administered passenger train system that’s made subordinate to private railroads actively trying to bankrupt it. And on and on and on and on.
    “Rough shape” means ‘oh, wow, that bridge needs paint.’ Or ‘the shoulder’s eroded a lot, let’s fix that.’ Not ‘this bridge is unsafe, but we’re going to pass inspection anyways because we don’t want to shut down traffic.’ (See: the I-35W collapse that killed 13 people and injured 145.)

    “Where would you put $1.2 billion in infrastructure spending?”

    Honest answer? I don’t know. I know that I would put at least $50M of it into a comprehensive, thorough, survey and analysis of every federal roadway and right of way (railroads) to figure out where the traffic is and what the state of things really are. And no ‘structurally deficient but ok’ bullshit. Straight truth, no polishing of turds.
    Past that? Depends on the findings. But given the rampant corruption and beyond abysmal state of things, I already know $1.2B isn’t even going to put a dent in it. Just fixing a single tunnel that hasn’t been fixed or upgraded in the past 150 years is going to cost $6B. It took over 9 years to get approval to start fixing tunnels damaged and destroyed by Sandy, and that’s going to be $12B+. The Big Dig was supposed to be $2.8B and instead ended up costing well over $21.5B.

    $1.2B isn’t going to make a dent in infrastructure with anywhere from 50 to 150 years of neglect.

    1. Jeez, I don’t know much about Barstool and always just thought they were merely some sports blog, but after reading that it sounds like they embody all that is wrong with the world. I’m almost afraid to dig any further to find out what they’re really all about!

      1. It’s not that serious at all, haha! They talk sports and do pizza/restaurant reviews.
        Barstool isn’t North Korea, even if the founder is kinda a douche. That’s all you need to know 🙂 Calling them terrorists (and whatever else) is an umm…interesting take.

        As far as infrastructure goes, that’s great that they are trying to “create” jobs. It really is. But, as someone who has seen firsthand how Federal Contracts work out, it most likely is not gonna accomplish as much as promised. Crap, they just opened up the East Side Access tunnel into Grand Central Terminal in NYC. It was only $10B over budget and 10 years late for what amounts to a shuttle service from Queens to Midtown. It actually increases commuter time (even the escalator to the street takes 9 minutes) and decreases service for many people that use the LIRR.

        Now that is something to get pissy about!

  2. I cancelled my ID.4 order and switched to a Tesla. Tesla model Y became the same price as the ID.4 and the model 3 is cheaper. I’m also getting my Tesla less than three weeks after ordering it instead of 9-12 months after I ordered the VW.

    IMHO, VW should have fought back with 0% financing. Don’t get into a price war with a company that is rumored to have (per Sandy Munro) significant margin in their products. Tesla also has zero issues adjusting their MSRP at any time. Larger, established auto manufacturers don’t appear to be as nimble with pricing.

    1. Good news for VW is that that ID.4 will sell within a week. I just picked up mine yesterday after waiting a while. After Tesla had cut prices I asked my wife if she wanted to test drive a Tesla, the answer was a quick no. Elon has become a toxic and looming figure, that’s the main turn off. But she disliked the look of the interiors and a few of her friends have complained about horrible service. Now on the latter point, we’ll see how VW service does with the ID.4, but at least with VW I have several dealers servicing ID.4s all within driving range.

      1. I do expect my ID.4 to sell very fast once it arrives. My latest order update pushed me into the May-July 2023 delivery time frame. This was a significant change from the November-December window when I locked my order… back in October. Elon and his antics didn’t factor into our decision.

        Hopefully your VW dealers are properly EV trained. I only have one VW dealer within 100 miles of me and they don’t sell many ID.4s (or any vehicles for that matter). Apparently in situations like mine, the dealership techs aren’t well trained due to a low demand for EV skills. I also have a Tesla service center in my town.

      2. “Elon has become a toxic and looming figure”

        Agree completely. He’s been very publicly becoming dumber and more obnoxious for years. I stayed on the waiting list to buy a Cybertruck until Elon walked into Twitter headquarters carrying a porcelain sink. I cancelled the next morning.

        A Model S was an aspirational car, and I was hoping to buy a Model 3 right about now. Instead, almost entirely because of Elon Musk, I bought a used Honda Clarity PHEV, while I wait to see what the other manufacturers come up with.

        Now I’ll never even consider a Tesla as long as Elon Musk is a prominent figure in the company.

  3. The Brent Spence Bridge is a complete clusterfuck to drive and has long been over due for a replacement and 2020’s fire highlighted this. But what they are doing is definitely not the way I would have done it. A new bridge for I-71/75 will be built next to it the Brent Spence will be converted for local duty only. The amount of confusion the interchanges will cause will make the current bridge look like the Golden Road in comparison.
    My idea is to have two bridges built on either side of the Brent, one for North bound traffic and one for South bound. Then demolish the Brent Spence and eliminate the current northern most on ramp and exit in Covington as all they currently do is add to the Mad Max Fury Road atmosphere. The Cincinnati side of the river interchanges and exists also need to be redrawn, but I’d need to post an image here to explain how to fix that fuckery.

    1. “I’d need to post an image here to explain how to fix that fuckery.”

      Let’s be honest. The only image that would fix the fuckery down there is a nuclear bomb. A big one.

    2. The last plan that I saw (last week, I think) was to completely rebuild the interchanges on both sides, especially the spaghetti disaster on the Ohio side. The intent is to partially restore a lot of the westside neighborhoods that were destroyed when that abomination was built.
      That said, I think we’re at the point now where I couldn’t care less what they do as long as it’s an improvement of some sort, however minor it may be. The corruption and infighting between Hamilton County, Cincinnati, and their Kentucky counterparts have held this back for way too long. My expectations are so low I’m tripping over them. I’ll take what I can get, then bend over and say thank you sir may I have another.

  4. VW “relying on the strength of their brand and reputation” might not be the silver bullet they think it is.

    Cool to see Doug getting the recognition he deserves.

    1. It was “focusing on reliability” that got me. My old GLI went through 3 intake manifolds in 4 years. How does that even happen? It turns out that plastic manifolds with plastic butterfly valves get brittle in cold weather and then snap.

  5. The LA to SF boondoggle should show everyone the “wisdom” of attempting to build rail projects in this country, and yet we keep coming back to this.

    I’ve lived in Europe. The US isn’t like Europe, for better or worse. It isn’t ever going to be like Europe. Political solutions for this country need to be tailored for its unique nature.

    1. I’d argue that rail needs heavy investment, but not passenger rail. Shipping by rail is so much better than truck traffic – for other drivers, for roads, and so on.

      1. Agree, and knowing very little of the details, that seems like an easier lift too. Expansion of existing right-of-ways vs. acquiring new ones, no need for passenger stations and related infrastructure, more forgiving design due to lower speeds, and so on.

      2. Freight rail companies already have the right of ways and the ability to profitably make their own investments. They’re very successful at it and need no further help from government, and haven’t for years.

        America should invest in passenger rail, but only in the highest traffic corridors, and only to connect cities that are already committed to public transportation as evidenced by robust local and regional public transportation services.

        There’s no compelling reason to connect Columbus, Ohio with Indianapolis, Indiana, because you’re going to need a rental car when you get to either destination. But we should have the best possible connections between New York and DC.

        Start to pair off cities for rail link grants based on existing public transportation and you’ll see enormous improvements in regional systems as they compete to get the links.

    2. God I am so sick of the constant, annoying calls for passenger rail on “the other site”.

      You’ve succinctly stated what should be so obvious to anyone.

      It might be worth mentioning that Europe dreams of a freight rail system as efficient as ours.

  6. “Autopian Member Doug DeMuro Gets $37 Million Investment”

    Have you sent a reminder that The Autopian Wrenching/Road Tripping Experience is a mere $6000 and includes all of the benefits of the Autopian Rich Corinthian Leather membership level?

  7. I would spend $1.2 Billion on expanding broadband to communities that are still living in the 90’s. There are places in Michigan where businesses are only accessible by a landline phone and you still have to mail them a check. Sure we got Star-Link last year and it works great…but it is literally the only option, is prohibitively expensive, the price keeps going up, and I’m not sure about the long term stability of Twitter Boss.

  8. Speaking of police cars saw an armored G-Wagen going past my house yesterday, a G280 CDI LAPV 5.4 to be specific. They grabbed 13 guys from some Swedish gang around the city so probably related to that.

  9. Its very interesting that the largest shareholder in Lithium America is a…… Chinese Company, Ganfend Lithium which is the 2nd largest lithium company in the world. So the EV battery rules are still locked into a foreign company.

  10. I’m a civil engineer for a supplier working on a 1.2 billion dollar project to improve the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens. 1.2 billion aint worth a morning dump. That’s a comically small amount of money in the grand scheme of failing American infrastructure.

  11. Flush: To finish the mixmaster in Waterbury, CT. It’s been a work-in-progress for….. ever.

    Otherwise, to remove all the left exits in CT. It just sucks.

    OR, install high speed rail across Montana (easily the best use of the money).

    1. Haven’t been through Waterbury in a while, but is I-84 still a 45mph zone through much of it? With everyone doing approximately 80? The first time I drove through there I genuinely didn’t know what to do.

  12. VW might want to rethink not dropping price a bit. After sitting in the ID.4, Ioniq 5 and Model Y, the ID.4 is the furthest behind in feeling like it is worth the price inside. It is also smaller, at least smaller than the Ioniq 5 in terms of fitting a taller person and passengers (Ioniq 5 will fit a 6’4″ person, front and back – at least in SEL, which doesn’t have the headroom issues of cars with pano roofs) which makes it useless to me.

    1. Did you try an EV6? I think it is slightly larger than the Ioniq 5, I’m 6’4″ and I fit in the back behind the drivers seat set for me.
      My wife said the interior quality and noise (or lack of) was on par with her ’22 Lexus RX.

  13. I would put half of the 1.2 into direly needed projects and the other half into augmenting already funded road work with a more robust road bed requirement.

    A lot of our major roads were built fast and cheap, which has cost us in the long run. Every time we tear up a section, we should fix that.

  14. 1.2B is not going to be enough for the amount of infrastructure we need to fix, much less what we want to build. My federal investment priorities (assuming only transportation infrastructure) would be:
    Rebuilding/renovating structures in danger of failure/collapse (which is sadly too many and might take all the money).
    Rail where it would make the most sense and reduce road use/wear (significant freight corridors, for example).
    EV charging MAINTENANCE (or buildout with medium to long term maintenance requirements). By spending on buildout without any rewards/requirements for proper maintenance, we have incentivized the quick buildout of stations that don’t work for long.

    That said, I think a lot more could be done at the local level for infrastructure improvement. As mentioned in yesterday’s comments, reducing the number of roads within cities and planning parking near those areas would reduce the amount of maintenance required and the interactions between vehicles and pedestrians. It also gives you room to build out more wheelchair accessibility than narrow sidewalks allow and could include other accessible features. Perhaps trolleys to take people to and from the parking areas. Maybe other mobility solutions that I’m not considering right now.
    Cities/counties/states could also invest in EV infrastructure, rail where it is likely to have the most impact (and not just the biggest headlines), and the like. We hear so much about big federal spending and the flashiest state projects, but local spending plays a huge role.

    And Vegas could build a subway in their Tesla tunnel to make that far more efficient (or repurpose it in other ways). But I think most of us here know that whole thing is pretty dumb.

  15. I would say no new lanes on any highway, but spend the money fixing farked up interchanges.

    I’m sure we can all think of many examples of interchanges in our areas that are the cause of bottlenecks due to crappy design.

    The highway will be free flowing until it gets to the ramp that dumps traffic out at 15mph since the entrance ramp is too tight of a loop, or the exit ramp is a cross over merge with an entrance ramp so the exiting traffic brake checks the entering traffic.

    In my area, I can think of a dozen interchanges that if fixed would greatly improve traffic flow without adding lanes.

    1. They must have changed the traffic light timing on one of the main roads near me because now rush hour traffic backs up onto the highway and creates a jam every afternoon. It never used to, in the previous decade or so I’ve been driving that road. What’s even more odd is that all the roads in the area are on a grid, so if you got off ~1 mile earlier and zig-zagged a little, you could miss all that congestion if that was your exit.

      It’s interesting how small changes can have big impacts, but the way jurisdictions are drawn, the systemic impacts are never measured or the group that sees it can’t effect change to mitigate it.

  16. Too bad Doug gets pissy when people ask about the reserve in the auction. He should be required to state whether a reserve has been met or not. Also, ebay motors does disclose this, so no excuse. Maybe the new investor will add that to CnB?

    1. BaT also only discloses whether or not there is a reserve. Often it is up to the seller if they want to disclose when the reserve has been met, but sellers are discouraged from disclosing if it has not. I could see advantages either way.

      1. It would be interesting to see the unmet reserve relative to the final bid. ebay offers a second chance option, where the seller can offer to to the high bidder for that bid amount.

        The auction sites should charge a fee just for having the reserve, whether it’s met or not. Charge 5% of the reserve price as the fee, with the amount credited towards the seller fees if the reserve is met.

        If they really want a reserve, they should just make that the starting bid amount. If you list something for sale, even an auction, you should do so with the intent to sell. Otherwise, you’re just wasting people’s time.

        1. I’ve always felt that secret reserve prices are an unfair advantage granted to the seller, but in some cases, that’s the only way certain things are going to auction in the first place.

          There should always be notice of a reserve, and further notice once it has been met.

    2. Hidden reserves don’t bother me as much as no proof that past Auctions completed. At least on eBay you would have some sense if the buyer actually followed through. I feel like a much higher percentage of auction wins don’t actually finalize on BaT and C&B than people think. Shill or false bidding is also a small concern but much less than eBay.

  17. Every time I look at the livery on European public safety vehicles it makes me sad that in North America everything looks like a military weapon. No wonder cops go around beating people up. It’s baked into everything around them.

    1. I was thinking along the same lines. I think all police vehicles used by uniformed officers should be ultra-visible like they are in Europe. Not just marked, but brightly and obnoxiously marked. Forget trying to blend in so you can snare people making dumb mistakes, then beat them to death when they get scared and panic.

  18. Infrastructure is so broad and 1.2B will not fix all the issue. I would focus on roads and charging stations for the EV push.

    Then you start looking into trains, which to be honest can expensive as we do not have the support for them. For example taking the Autotrain from VA to FL round trip can easily hit 2 to 3 k. I could fly down and rent a car or just take a grueling drive.

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