GM Buyouts, A Town Named Snailbrook, Army Ads and Bellbottoms

March 10, 2023
It’s a beautiful Friday, folks and the ASOTUverse is ready for it! Today we’re talking about GM’s buyback moves as they try to cut costs the empathetic way. We also cover a new town just outside of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Austin Tx, as well as a reboot of an old Army recruiting slogan.
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  • Yesterday, General Motors announced it is working to avoid involuntary layoffs…by paying people to leave. The company will be offering buyouts to all salaried employees that have been with the company 5 years or more. They have until March 24th to accept the offer and will leave the company by June 30th.
  • Non-executives will receive one month of pay for every year w/ the company up to 12 months, plus benefits
  • Execs will get base salary, incentives, health, and placement services
  • The move is expected to cost the company $1.5B and is part of the GMs plan to cut $2B annually from its cost structure
  • In a memo sent to employees, CEO Mary Barra highlighted the bright side of things as she wrote the the voluntary separation program, "...presents an opportunity to explore a new industry, make a career change, further a personal business venture or decide you can retire earlier."

  • A reported plan is spinning as Elon Musk may be building a town on a 3500 acre plot just outside of Austin to offer affordable housing and services named “Snailbrook” after the mascot for The Boring Company. There is even a sign up that features a snail design and reads “Snailbrook, EST 2021”
  • The main purpose of the town is to provide affordable housing to Tesla and SpaceX employees. The 2 and 3 bedroom houses will cost about $800/month and will have access to the town’s pool, outdoor athletic fields, and fitness center. There may also be a school built on the property
  • The site will also be home to some of the companies warehouses

Just like bell bottoms come back around every couple of decades, the Army is reviving its “be all you can be” slogan and revealing new visual designs in a new brand campaign featuring pointed, cinematic storytelling and Creed III star Jonathan Majors

  • The slogan was created in 1981 and ran through 2001 but then disappeared from the Army’s marketing
  • As Majors walked through various scenes of historical challenges the Army has fought through, he asked the question, “When you look into your future, do you see obstacles, or possibilities?”

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Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly

Paul Daly  00:26

Yo, coming into Friday, Friday is just hitting good today

Kyle Mountsier  00:30

isn't good. Feel that

Paul Daly  00:32

it's I'm ready to go GM buyouts today, a town called stale Brook, and army ads and bell bottoms. What they have to do with one another? Are we gonna see bell bottoms in an army head? Yo, who is it?

Kyle Mountsier  00:47

The Navy real quick, real quick. So my kids are kind of at the ripe age for a little High School Musical action, especially my daughter.

Paul Daly  00:54

Wait, wait the show High School Musical or an actual High School Musical?

Kyle Mountsier  00:57

No, no, the the movie, the movie? Early, late 90s, early 2000s Something like that. And I was like, oh my goodness over there. Like baggy jeans and polos and the cargo pants. Like I was like, That was a bad. You know, it's gonna all of that stuff always comes back. When but when that come back, I'm gonna be like, head over. Yeah, like, well, it's

Paul Daly  01:24

all coming back. It's all coming back. I mean, my I look at like, the jeans that like my teenage girls are wearing. And we're like, yeah, they're like, they're in my mind. I'm like, they're so not cool. But they're like this is I did that phase one. I know. It's not what you think it is. It's Manos MC Hammer pants. Come back. Remember the buttons. Okay, okay. Well, speaking of

Kyle Mountsier  01:48

things that we're bringing back, whoa.

Paul Daly  01:51

In the intro, how to even do

Kyle Mountsier  01:55

an announcer head. So we are our social media team dreamed up this little fun thing. And of course, it's March Madness coming in hot with the basketball season. Oh, look, we're market is at heart. So we gotta lean in to the season, right. And so we're doing a little thing called Motor madness. If you check out our social profiles, starting on Monday, we're going to be releasing this thing where we're pitting old antique vehicles, some classic stuff with the new stuff. And we're gonna do a little bracket challenge, we'll have some polls on all of our social media profiles will aggregate all that pick a winner, there's probably gonna be some people that are happy, sad, mad, annoyed, you know, some comments all you know, fire and, and all that type of stuff. So come alongside of us Join the journey. It'll be you know, the second half of the month. And I think it's gonna be a lot of fun to kind of pick what the winner is. In the first version, the

Paul Daly  02:49

community community is gonna get to pick the greatest car of all time, it's going to be an old car versus a new car. And we're gonna see what everybody says we have our friend Todd Caputo. kupuna on cars, use cart King column what you want. He's the one that helped curate the list. And he we're gonna have a lot of fun next week, he's going to talk about why he picked the cars. It's gonna be a great time, right? It's gonna be a good time. He said, he said this, were on the call yesterday. He was like, you know, he's like, it's very rare that you have find someone who's really into the car business that isn't in the cars. I know, there are a lot of people that like a growing number of people who are into people and not as much cars, right? They're like, I sell cars. But you know, you and I even are like, well, we're not real car people, but we ran

Kyle Mountsier  03:28

into cars. But like I can't

Paul Daly  03:31

there's an affinity for it. And it was like a ton of fun going through the list yesterday with him. And so you're all gonna have a lot of fun. So, yeah, what Amanda's

Kyle Mountsier  03:40

Abby's on the list

Paul Daly  03:42

was he was a Chevy dealer. We were like, we can't have all Chevy's, Todd. So what let us know what you think in the comments, please be part of the conversation. We'll see. Maybe there'll be even a chance for a write in I don't know like a walk. I don't know. We'll see. Speaking of things from motors, segue ship motors. Right speaking shows two yesterday, General Motors announced it is working to avoid involuntary layoffs by paying people to leave Yes, the company will be offering buyouts to white collar salaried workers that have been with the company at least five years or more. They have until March 24 to accept the buyout offer, and then they will officially leave the company on June 30. These non executives will receive one month of pay for every year that they serve the company up to 12 months. So there you go get up a year of severance, if you've been with the company. 12 years or more sounds seems pretty generous. If you're an executive you'll get you know base salary, incentives, health and placement services. If you decide that you are looking to go on to new opportunities, the move is expected to cost the company about $1.5 billion, but as part of Jim's overall plan to cut $2 billion and $2 billion annually From its cost structure, in a memo sent to employee CEO Mary Barra highlighted the bright side of things as she wrote, The voluntary separation program presents an opportunity to explore new industry make a career change further a business personal business venture, you got a side hustle, you want to turn into your real hustle, or decide whether or not you can retire earlier, she forgot to put in like, or you can be that YouTube celebrity you always wanted to be. Right. So

Kyle Mountsier  05:25

I you know, I appreciate the effort in the moving this into the voluntary piece of stuff. But it's quite clear that there's a, there's an involuntary nature to this, and I'm sure there's some shuffling and moving and, and making sure that some people are, are encouraged to find a new career path, right. It's an interesting way of spinning it. But I appreciate the effort to not just go yo, we sent you an email on Friday and on Monday, you're not here kind of thing. Pack your balls,

Paul Daly  05:55

is that right? I mean, that's obviously what's coming next. Right? If they aren't able to cut the structure, this is I think the real, the more empathetic way to do it. And I think it's a good PR move. It's a good person, move it. And so we'll see what happens. And I think the reality is thinking about this, like, what does it take for someone to take a buyout offer? And really, I think the people who are least committed to the future of the company are going to be the ones that take the buyout offer. So it's actually kind of a Yeah,

Kyle Mountsier  06:19

if I if you're right, if you just been in a J. OB, this is this is an opportunity to find a career. And I'm guessing we yeah, we've been we've been this whole week is some different jobs, jobs reports, and there's job reports that are going to come out today. And it looks like the job market is still hot. So I think placement for a lot of these people is going to be a great opportunity within or outside of the automotive sector. And so, you know, kudos to them for for doing it differently than a lot of the tech sector. And I'm just kind of, I'm a little giddy to see what all of these people do with their lives because there might be some really cool stuff that comes out of it if I had

Paul Daly  06:59

to guess Yeah, or maybe you want to come to the other side. He Hey, I'm trying to think of a great transition here because speaking of building really cool stuff, okay, are moving to a new place. Reported plan is spinning as Elon Musk is building, maybe building a town but it's likely it's happening building a town on a 35,000 acre plot just outside of Austin to offer affordable housing and services. The community name is snail Brook, after the mascot of the boring company is Gary the Snail actually because it moves so slow, you know, it's very sarcastic. There's even a sign that is posted that features a snail and snail Brook established 2021 The main purpose of the town is to provide affordable housing Tesla and SpaceX employees. The two and three bedroom houses, their modular homes, they will go for about $800 a month, which if you live anywhere near Austin, you know that is very affordable, comparative, what you're gonna get in Austin, they'll have access to you know, like a community pool and outdoor athletic fields fitness centers. There may also be a school or some daycare build on the property. And it also has a SpaceX warehouse and maybe a Tesla warehouse. I think it's not the first time that Elon has been dreaming up this utopia of living and working and saving the universe. There was the bass the name of the other one was way cooler actually near it was called Starbase near SpaceX launch facilities about five hours away from Austin. But that's unclear if that's going to move forward as most of those employees as they were thinking about Star base just really just took over the entire city of Boca Chica, Texas,

Kyle Mountsier  08:41

you know, well, first of all, let me just clarify it's a 3500 acre plot,

Paul Daly  08:46

not 35,000 Yeah, you said thank you. Because that's the size of Disney. That's the size of Disney actually Disney 40 1000s.

Kyle Mountsier  08:54

Right. So but this is, what's what's interesting about this and and kind of like the the narrative, I've kind of seen it milling around on a couple of different places. The narrative here is that is that this is some brand new thing that only Elon Musk could do. But this is actually how the majority of manufacturing happened in the early 1900s. Actually, there's like literally I can almost throw a stone to it from my office, a place called Old Hickory, Tennessee, and Old Hickory was completely built like the whole landscape. It was a a city built to house like all of the employees for like one of the largest warehouses in Tennessee of the time. And it's a planned city. It has all of you know, all the shopping, all the amenities, all the amenities. It's all you know, lined out. It's not a it's not a downtown city, it's very suburban, but this is that was a way that a lot of America got built was we're going to bring manufacturing and we're going to give people a place to live close to it so that they can live work and play close to the place that we need to. And I think that it's a, it's a genius move. Why wouldn't you do something like that, especially if you're building in a place that maybe doesn't have a lot near it to kind of like, build this community around and you think about, like creating a community around the workplace? Let's go,

Paul Daly  10:20

that's a win. That's a win. I'm trying to think about, like, is this something I'd be into? I mean, obviously, like $800, verse dollars a month versus like, $2,500 a month is a very valuable proposition. There is definitely that thing, like, it sounds so great. And I bet it is so great until it's just something doesn't work. Right. Right. Like, if you have trouble at work, or trouble with management or trouble with filament, and all of a sudden, like, you all live in the same area. Or, yeah, there's, I mean, there's pros and cons, pros and cons. So I was thinking like, what I get excited about this, I probably would for a while, and it'll probably be cool for a while. But hey, you know what? I think we tie this back to the fact that if you work for a local car dealer, you already live in the community. Right? You've already answered since you've been hanging out with Cirilo, I got the the Italian, the Italian thing going a little bit more these days. Okay, we got to transition to this last Speaking of things that have been hanging around for a while. Segue.

Kyle Mountsier  11:21

I got Hey, Paul, it's Friday. I got them weird on today for the sake of it. Just like bell bottoms come back around every couple of decades the army is reviving its be all you can be slogan, which if you've been around the marketing ecosystem, you know about, they've revealed some new visual designs in a brand new campaign featuring cinematic storytelling, and creed star Jonathan creed three star Jonathan majors, the slogan originally was created in 1981, and ran all the way through 2001. But kind of just grew up on that slogan. Oh, we're not I mean, I didn't

Paul Daly  11:56

say like when you say, can be it's like sing the jingle in your head. Oh, did you?

Kyle Mountsier  12:02

Exactly. Yeah. And and did a ton of marketing. Right. I mean, it was it was a, it was a harder push. You know, and and so I think like that, for one, the majority of people that are kind of entering the army right now have probably never seen that advertising. You think about it like, Oh, you're coming right out of college? No, we're scoring around 2000. So have just not seen that campaign. So it's like a brand new fresh for a lot of people.

Paul Daly  12:37

You know, hey, Isaac, I don't know if you can, the YouTube link is in there. I don't know how easy it is to pop that in and play some of the video. But the reality is, is that going through a major rebrand and recontextualizing the message, there are several things in here that really tie back to what we're doing in automotive. So basically, the video is, you know, the character walks through various time periods talking about obstacles versus possibilities did we saw that we didn't see the obstacles, we saw possibilities, and we push through. And then check this out Major General Alex Fink chief enterprise marketing, Chief of enterprise marketing at the US Army. First of all, I just think of like a chief marketing officer showing up in fatigues every day, like that's pretty bad. It's pretty, right. It's old adage, that research tells us that you seek out paths filled with possibilities of purpose, passion, community and connection. However, they don't see the army as an organization that can set them on those paths. So this possibilities campaign is a really great way to tie those things together. And I think if we literally can draw a straight line from this campaign, to the automotive industry, and saying that, do the youth of today see this industry as a path that provides purpose, possibility? Community? I don't think so. But that's what we're fighting to change. And that's what every deal in this in this audience and in this industry, can band together and collectively fight to change that, because we know that the industry has no floor, there's no ceiling, but there's also no floor. So there's possibility. We know that there's community here like look at what we're doing right now we're seeing more and more young folks be a part of the asoto community. So we know these things happen. But we have to be intentional about telling the story just a little bit better and a little more

Kyle Mountsier  14:23

thorough. Think about this. For the army, this campaign isn't just a recruiting campaign. It's a brand build campaign. It's an affinity

Paul Daly  14:35

all day, Isaac, you can just roll that video with us on the side and just roll in the background, no audio, it is it's a brand build.

Kyle Mountsier  14:41

So it's a rebrand if you think about that and in the same straight line to auto is how do we figure out how to build recruiting campaigns that actually are that actually lend themselves to brand build within service and sales, because people will begin to have affinity for the organization based on their recruiting

Paul Daly  15:04

here that's so good and let me let me tell you this too when it comes to brand building brand building like this brand builds for the Army yes but it also brand builds for serving your country for all the arm I think all the armed services benefit from this rebrand and so as you approach brand new your rebranding or or you know, things like that. Why don't we think about how do we rebrand automotive first, and then our store second, right and I think that that message is going to hit just a little bit better and a little bit cleaner. And yeah, I didn't expect to go that deep but dude, that's the truth. That's the truth is the truth for a Friday on a Friday. The bottom line is we're heading into all things use cars, check it out on clubhouse, we're gonna be there at 9am Eastern in three minutes. It's Friday. When you approach today think about how can I rebrand this industry for everyone that walks through this door?



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