Ford will not be the only American automaker to advertise at the Super Bowl. Its chief U.S. rival, General Motors (GM), has already spent millions to make Cadillac the official vehicle of this year's Super Bowl, and the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player will be presented with a 2007 Cadillac Escalade. Under its contract with the NFL, GM is the only automaker that can use the words "Super Bowl" in its advertising. While GM attempted to have the NFL force Ford to remove its advertising from the stadium during the Super Bowl, the league refused, since Ford's advertising contract with the stadium includes the championship game.
Not only will General Motors have to share advertising time with its rival Ford, it shares similar notoriety for massive layoffs announced this year. In November, 2005, GM announced that it would cut 30,000 hourly jobs and close or scale back operations at about a dozen U.S. and Canadian locations. The cuts are 5,000 more than the 25,000 jobs GM had said it would cut in June, and represent more than 22 percent of its union work force in North America. GM also announced that it would cut around 7 percent of its salaried workforce in North America by the end of 2006.
While GM can currently boast of fewer age discrimination lawsuits against it than Ford, its oldest workers still have much to fear, as the company's cost-cutting measures in recent times have most intensely focused on hacking away at health care benefits promised to its employees for decades. In October 2005, GM announced an agreement with the United Auto Workers union that would force retirees who were promised free lifetime health benefits to begin paying premiums for the first time. In the race to eliminate benefits, GM has become the industry leader, as "[a]nalysts say the GM agreement opens the door for Ford, Daimler-Chrysler and other large companies to cut their costs by reducing their health-benefits burden for both retirees and current workers."
John J. Hollis Sr., a retiree who worked at GM's Baltimore plant for almost 42 years, says "I figured I dedicated my life to GM all those years, and now all they're doing is taking, taking, taking." As the Super Bowl MVP takes it away in his brand new Cadillac Escalade, just think how many retirees' co-payments and prescriptions have been taken away by General Motors, as a result of broken promises and dishonored obligations.