Every news outlet has by now jumped on the lousy year-over-year sales comparisons recently reported by General Motors
Granted, it's usually a good thing when a company increases sales. In a normal situation, like over at rival Toyota Motor
Both firms have decided to reduce their exposure to lower-margin sales to fleet customers -- i.e., rental car companies like Hertz
Plenty of analysts are more sanguine on the carmakers than I am, though. They've revved up ratings on GM shares in light of the company's prospects of cutting a deal with its workers' union, the UAW. Standard & Poor's estimates that this could save around $350 million annually. The more important prospect is moving health-care liabilities off of the companies' books and into a separate trust, similar to what was achieved at Goodyear Tire & Rubber
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