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Harry P.

GM on the critical list

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The last time GM tried to sell a Holden here, it flopped big time. Remember the new "GTO"? It didn't fool too many people here in the US... <_<

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Here's an interesting snippet from an editorial in today's LA Times regarding the automaker's bailout:

"As sad as it would be for American icons (like Chrysler) to die and for thousands of people to lose their jobs, propping up failure prevents innovation".

Couldn't have said it better myself. "Hey Detroit, you guys have been doing such a bang-up job that we want to give you billions of our dollars so you can keep on doing what you're doing. Way to go, guys".

As stupid as that sounds,, that's exactly what we're saying.

If I were in charge of handing out money to Detroit, I would make sure there would be some MAJOR strings attached: Elimination of redundant product lines (do we really need Chevies, Buicks and Pontiacs...all basically the same cars?). Elimination of ridiculous energy-wasting monstrosities like Hummers and Yukons and Excursions (or whatever Ford calls their house-sized SUV), an immediate raise in CAFE standards to 30 mpg across the board (any cars that can't meet that standard would obviously be eliminated from production), etc. Hey, if it's our money that the carmakers are getting, then they have to play by our rules!

And as far as the bailout money being a "loan"... what's to guarantee the taxpayers that the companies won't default on those loans and leave us holding the bag? Absolutely nothing, that's what.

That's a chance I don't want to take. Let the marketplace determine the fate of the carmakers, as capitalism is supposed to do. Put the unemployed autoworkers to work in newly created jobs in an aggressive government-sponsored expansion of alt fuel/alt energy programs, and use the bailout money for that purpose instead. Invest in America's future... not its failed past.

Harry,

There is no guarrantee whatsoever, short of intensive government intervention, to the point of making say, GM, some sort of government agency (those do have unlimited life!) that whatever is extended to them won't end up failing. That's why interest rates in the first place--the "rental of the money" of course, but also the risks involved (will the money eventually get paid back?). And as for putting all the unemployed to work, creating all these notions of some magical, almost instantaneous sources of "alternative energy" is pretty much the "pie in the sky" stuff politicians and government nabobs love to spout out. It often seems to me like the promise of a "free lunch" at times.

As a parallel, just look at HDTV--it took how long for government to decide on just what that would look like, whose system would prevail, and then, the lead time to institute the conversion, and the resultant confusion on the part of perhaps millions of consumers less educated than you or I, as to just what is going to happen when the sun rises on 2/9/09. Just imagine how long it would have taken to computerize our world, had it been government controlling and directing the development in the computer industry. Or, the telephone, or the electric light, or the airplane. Probably the alternative energy sources that we will use in the future are already in existence, but which one will prevail is is still up in the air--adamant proponents of each are already competing, each with little or no sympathy for any other form than what they themselves have signed on to. And to expect several hundred thousand line workers coming out of closed auto factories to somehow be the engine of discovery seems to me to be at least a bit unreasonable--do they have the knowledge, the inclination, the training to make that transition almost overnight, or would that be some sort of ruinously expensive "make work", with little chance for ultimately producing something useful? Bear in mind, FDR's Works Projects Administration did what they did, in concrete and steel, using available labor, readily available skills, not going into some massive retraining, or educational program with perhaps years of lead time before the first yard of portland cement was poured. And, IIRC, WPA and its derivatives, such as the TVA, did produce fairly quick results by providing what was in the 1930's, an alternative form of energy.

While it's of course true that compared to say, aircraft (both private general aviation and airliners) safety and performance standards are quite tightly regulated by government, planes are subject to close scrutiny as to maintenance, and overall condition, as a rule we Americans haven't much cared for government, be it Congress, or some body of bureaucrats in Washington dictating what we can or cannot buy and drive. For us, our car is still an extension of ourselves in so many ways.

We, in this country, pride ourselves on having a consumer-driven economy--we want choice, we want what we want, and oftentimes that goes 180-degrees to what "experts" love to tell us we should have, should be buying (or driving, eating, or drinking!). And in that, it's pretty hard to convince someone that they should be limited to driving a car seemingly smaller than the wheels and tires of the trucks they share streets and highways with, hence the market for larger cars, pickup trucks and SUV's. Let's not kid ourselves here, if Detroit hadn't built those larger vehicles, someone else would have, plain and simple. Toyota's factory in Southern Indiana was built to produce the Tundra pickup, not Corollas or Tercels, folks.

Now, if government is to step in, give some form of financial aid to the likes of GM, it would, in all likelihood, come with considerable strings attached. If the mood in Congress is one of some sort of conformity to say, fuel efficiency, rest assured that it could be the death knell of say, Corvette, certainly the limiting in some manner, of the availability of say, full size pickup trucks, even the Suburban--these do have their uses, their utility value to at least some buyers. A Cadillac as large as some of the Mercedes Benz models that are readily available? Not likely, if the more extreme types in government have there way.

Bailing out say, General Motors, while failing to address the true underlying causes of their financial problems won't do a danged thing but prolong the agony, delay the inevitable. It's not the cars that GM makes, or doesn't make that are at the root of the problem, but how much it costs them to make what they make, VS what they can sell them for. And that is the hardest part of the equation to solve, as production costs are directly related to the human factor. It's going to be a tough sell for any politician to go with something that means dramatically reduced compensation, but then, when GM pays almost twice what any of the transplants pay, for essentially the same services, something will have to give in order to solve the situation, make the company sustainable. Trouble is, factory workers vote, and today's congressmen and senators don't like getting voted out of office.

It's true of course, that executive compensation is a "hot button" issue, but in the overall scheme of things, it's NOT but a symbol, a symptom of the problem--millions in a paycheck to the CEO don't add up to billions in losses--the numbers just don't match. However, the mere symbolism of cutting production costs, without a corresponding deep cut in executive pay, perks and benefits will never fly on the factory floor, nor should it, period.

Cutting back, way back, on the overall bureaucracy at a huge company such as GM should be a key to the solution as well. Just as with government agencies, in a mega-corporation, it's too easy to base the need for more "cogs in the gears" to higher pay for those who must direct the activities of others. The more "reports" any manager (in government, institutions and large companies) has, the more he/she can demand in compensation. One has to wonder, just how many engineers, stylists does it take say, Toyota, to operate as huge an operation as they have, compared to GM?

But to give goverment the power to dictate what sort of products GM (or any other manufacturer for that matter!) shall make is a very slippery slope.

It's interesting how vehicle types and sizes get mixed up in all the discussion about what to do about Ford, GM and Chrysler, and the "suggestions" of just what THEY should be making. It seems to me that once government is given that level of power, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for politicians and bureaucrats to extend that into the daily lives of each and every one of us, choosing what products any of us can have, or not have, well beyond the rather basic rules in place now. Do we really want to start sliding down that slippery slope? I don't think so. But to ignore the worst-case scenario is one way to ensure that it may well come to pass.

Ultimately, if we are to have any sort of free market system, where the consumer dictates what gets made, based on sales or the lack thereof, is what will solve the problem of what cars will be built, whether there is to be such as a high performance Corvette (or Ferrari, or whatever), or not. Only government power could ever dictate that our future might lie in the bland, drab availability of latter day Trabants or Moskovich's.

Art

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That's the problem when you are in business to be in business and not in business to build a car... or whatever you're supposed to be in business for.

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Ok, Art... let me respond to some of your your post points individually:

Harry,

There is no guarrantee whatsoever, short of intensive government intervention, to the point of making say, GM, some sort of government agency (those do have unlimited life!) that whatever is extended to them won't end up failing. That's why interest rates in the first place--the "rental of the money" of course, but also the risks involved (will the money eventually get paid back?).

Charging interest rates does nothing to guarantee repayment. Take a look at the massive amount of foreclosures in the country as "exhibit A".

And, IIRC, WPA and its derivatives, such as the TVA, did produce fairly quick results by providing what was in the 1930's, an alternative form of energy.

That's my point! It worked before... it can work again. Thousands of unemployed auto workers ("skilled" workers, by definition) could be trained in short order to build solar collectors and wind farms. Not immediately, of course... training would take some time. But the money spent training them would pay dividends down the road vs. the money we'd otherwise throw down the "big auto"" rathole in a misguided "bailout" of Detroit.

...as a rule we Americans haven't much cared for government, be it Congress, or some body of bureaucrats in Washington dictating what we can or cannot buy and drive. For us, our car is still an extension of ourselves in so many ways.

True enough, up till now. But times change, society's needs change. We have a new reality to face. Can anyone out there... anyone... give me a rational argument in these current times in favor of vehicles like Hummers, et.al.??? Consumers have no inherent "right" to cars like that, any more than we have an inherent right to own a rocketship or aircraft carrier.

Bailing out say, General Motors, while failing to address the true underlying causes of their financial problems won't do a danged thing but prolong the agony, delay the inevitable. It's not the cars that GM makes, or doesn't make that are at the root of the problem, but how much it costs them to make what they make, VS what they can sell them for. And that is the hardest part of the equation to solve, as production costs are directly related to the human factor. It's going to be a tough sell for any politician to go with something that means dramatically reduced compensation, but then, when GM pays almost twice what any of the transplants pay, for essentially the same services, something will have to give in order to solve the situation, make the company sustainable.

Exactly what I'm saying! GM wants free money from the taxpayers? Then the taxpayers have the right to make the rules, like mandatory renegotiation of UAW contracts in order to get a handle on legacy costs. The UAW doesn't want to budge? Fine... then no taxpayer money. Simple as that. If the UAW is truly interested in saving jobs, and counting on the taxpayers to bail out GM, then they'd better be prepared to play ball according to our rules from now on.

Cutting back, way back, on the overall bureaucracy at a huge company such as GM should be a key to the solution as well. Just as with government agencies, in a mega-corporation, it's too easy to base the need for more "cogs in the gears" to higher pay for those who must direct the activities of others. The more "reports" any manager (in government, institutions and large companies) has, the more he/she can demand in compensation. One has to wonder, just how many engineers, stylists does it take say, Toyota, to operate as huge an operation as they have, compared to GM?

Again, I agree. The "foreign" companies run a much tighter, more efficient ship, while at the same time making better cars! Why in the world can't (or won't) US automakers do the same???

But to give goverment the power to dictate what sort of products GM (or any other manufacturer for that matter!) shall make is a very slippery slope.

Yes it is a slippery slope indeed, and one that I prefer not to get on! But giving a private company taxpayer money is the beginning of that slippery slope. Giving taxpayer money to a failing private enterprise to keep it afloat is by definition nationalizing that private enterprise. So if you advocate getting on that slope and bailing out the automakers in the first place, at least put some conditions and rules in there that will benefit the people who would now be footing the bills (that would be us!)

Ultimately, if we are to have any sort of free market system, where the consumer dictates what gets made, based on sales or the lack thereof, is what will solve the problem of what cars will be built, whether there is to be such as a high performance Corvette (or Ferrari, or whatever), or not.

And there you have perfectly underlined my point! In a free market system, companies succeed or fail based on the marketplace, not by artificial propping up by government bailout.

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First Chrysler, now GM! :(

I don't even know where to begin with the mistakes GM has made since the '70's, as well as the other car makers. I don't know if it was arrogance on their part------thinking that "well that's the way we've always done it" mentality, or just plain naive thinking that the American consumer would always put up with junk!

Harry, you're right-------GM was on top of the heap post WWII, all through the '50's and '60's.

I can't help but think the government itself had a big hand in getting GM to where it is now. What with all the safety regs, emission mandates, etc, GM (as well as the other makers) have had to fight the government on all fronts to stay in business.

Now it's ironic that GM is looking to the same government that foisted all these regs on them-------to bail them out with BILLIONS of our dollars!

I know styling can be subjective...................but here's a thought------when (or if) the carmakers go back to styling their cars as American cars, and not import wannabees, then they might see some turnaround in their fortunes. :blink: They've made some strides, but much more work needs to be done..............but hurry------time's running out! :(

Just my 2¢.

I agree with you about the Govt. regulations, etc. It's also been my experience that if one wants a company to go bankrupt just get the Govt. involved in it.

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I think we ought to let the car companies all file Chapter 11 so that the greedy companies as well as the greedy UAW restructure and come back to some reasonable levels. They are both guilty of the prediciment they are in. The companies like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan all seem to be surviving and doing well. So why can't we.

As far as thinking we don't have the right to drive what we want, thats a bunch of garbage. You can build all the hybrids and econo boxes you want and people will buy them. But I will drive what I like and can afford. I have owned both economy cars (VW.Honda, Nissan) and large vehicles (Grand Marquis, Crown Vic, Xterra, Impala). I think the market should dictate what is sold not the government or some socialist ideas. ;)

Edited by 58 Impala

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Guest 66dragfreak

This downfall has been a long time coming. With Oldsmobile's demise several years ago, that should have been the wakeup call needed to give the 7 figure a year big wigs at GM an idea of what was coming.

Let's face it people. With the economy in the downward spiral it's in now, you'd have to be bloody crazy to go into hock for a new car of ANY brand right now. While I do own a Chevy Monte Carlo SS, I didn't buy it new and I will never buy a new car or truck at this rate and that's fine with me.

Do you know why Honda, Toyota, and the other "import" manufacturers are doing so good? They build a quality product that runs until the doors fall off the things. A co-worker has a 93 Honda Civic with 325,000 miles on the thing and it still runs fantastic and the body's not falling off either. My Monte Carlo has been in the body shop 4 times for rust work that's under warranty and it only has 45,000 miles on it. What does that tell you? I have yet to see a newer domestic car with that kind of mileage that still runs and looks decent.

It's all about pride in workmanship and since we have started farming all our work to other countries because of cheap labor and "cost effectiveness", the quality of "American Made" products has steadily declined to the point where it's a whole lot of flash, but mostly junk. These wonderful trade agreements our government has sold us out to has done nothing but destroy our economy and quality of the products we used to be able to take pride in.

So now the CEO's want the American people to fork even more money out of their pockets to bail their fat asses out so they can continue to live the life of reilly? I don't think so. it's bad enough that we got stuck bailing out the banks that mismanaged their money for so long as well as the money of their customers.

I have been saying this for quite some time and I'll repeat it here. I can see a civil war breaking out in this country in the next few years that will make the first civil war look like a tea party. The people of this country are tired of working for peanuts and paying the elephants the few peanuts they manage to bring home. It's time the people of this country took back OUR country and re-established a sense of order that allows everyone to have a say in our government. We have lost the pride in our country and the politicians have taken away practically any voice we should have in our political system. We have sold our soul to our neighboring countries all for the sake of trade and promoting "world peace." yeah...the world is such a peacefule place to live in today, right? It's time we bring the jobs BACK to this country and start supporting OURSELVES rather than everyone else on this planet. It's survival of the fittest and right now, this country ain't surviving!

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To some Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a scary thing. However, Chapter 11 is about re-structuring. That is the way for GM to deal with this situation, not Government money. It would free up GM to get wage concessions from the UAW, re-organize some of its retirement programs, trash redundant programs, and trash divisions that aren't working.

Why so many models? Why both GMC and Chevy trucks? Cut back to those models with the most sales potential and build in reliability.

There are other ways than a cash infusion from the Feds. When did they run anything well?

Gary

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That's exactly the problem! They're standing there with their hand held out for free taxpayer money without changing a thing!

That's why I said earlier that any taxpayer bailout money had better come with some major strings attached as far as requiring them to rework their business model to compete in the 21st Century. I'd also include the UAW in on this. You want your union jobs saved by the taxpayers? Then you must renegotiate the ridiculous contracts now in place and solve the "legacy cost" issue.

If those changes aren't required before we give them free money, then we truly are throwing good money after bad. If the UAW and the auto industry don't agree to major changes, any bailout will simply delay the inevitable, that is, the ultimate collapse of the Big Three. In that case, why should we taxpayers be giving them huge sums of money, just to keep a bad business plan going for a little while longer before the ultimate collapse???

Once again.........nobody is proposing giving anything to anyone! Whats being considered are LOANS that must be repaid. Like any lending institution the borrower must convince the lender the loan is a good risk in order to get the money. In this case that must be a sound plan to return to profitabiliy. I dont think that plan can can include limiting the auto companys to only certain markets. For instance if the industry is told as you sugested in order to get this money you must only build small fuel efficient cars then you are effectivly surrendering the one market that the US auto makers beat the imports in hands down. Personally I dont ever see truck sales returning to previous levels but there will always be a market for them and the big 3 hold a tremendous edge in this segment.

A realistic plan must include retaining the truck business AND improving the car business.

The big three have made great strides in improving the quality of its cars. Consumers Reports says Ford is now virtually the equal of Toyota in quality, GM is close behind, and although Chyrsler does lag behind somewhat they are still ahead of several makes that people are convinced make quality vehicles. The problem is that no matter how good a Chevy might be people PERCIEVE it as inferior. Part of the plan must be some way to convince people their products are good.

I agree there must be strings attached............but realistic ones that wont hurt the companys in the marketplace. Someone wth great business sense that understands the auto market should oversee the distribution of these loans and approve who gets what based on the soundness of their plan.

Here in Detroit Roger Penske's name is often mentioned as being right for the job, and I would agree. Not sure if he would be interested in taking on such a venture though.

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Once again.........nobody is proposing giving anything to anyone! Whats being considered are LOANS that must be repaid. Like any lending institution the borrower must convince the lender the loan is a good risk in order to get the money. In this case that must be a sound plan to return to profitabiliy.

Ah, but in this case the "lending institution" is the American taxpayer!!!

And furthermore, the problem is that the Big Three don't have a plan! That's what put them in their curent position in the first place!

And to think that now, suddenly, they finally "got religion" and are willing and able to run a competitive industry... "Please, please just give us the money, we'll change, honest we will, we'll do it right from now on!" is pretty naive, I think. If I was in charge of the money, I'd have to say they sure haven't convinced me that they are a good risk for my money.

I think a better plan, with better odds of the Big Three actually rethinking their business plan, is to allow them to declare bankruptcy and reorganize under Chapter 11 protection. Rather than continuing to operate business as usual with our free money, with a "promise" to repay the loans (that promise being suspect, at the very least), declaring bankruptcy would put the pressure squarely on their own shoulders and force them to reorganize and finally get their houses in order... or disappear forever.

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Toyota has done away with their Tundra line in Indiana to make way for more fuel effecient vehicles. This is probably one of the biggest differences between the transplants and the Big 3; the willingness and ability to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace. By the way, no fulltime Toyota employees (all nonunion) were laid off while the line was retooled.

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While we need a US auto industry, it seems clear to me they're going to have to practically start from scratch. I don't think bailing them out w/o them going bankrupt will ever work. Just a longer, slower death.

All three of these CEO's flew private jets at huge expense to DC to beg for a bailout that will only prolong their agony towards bankrupcy.

Read this and weep

I can't stand the head of the UAW, but he was pretty honest and right on when asked in what order are the companies likely to survive. He said Ford has the best chance to survive, followed by Chysler, then GM. The cancer within GM is just too much...they cannot go on with business as usual.

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From Bob's "Read it and Weep" link (boldface added by me):

"When the management of these automakers start acting like they’re in crisis, then perhaps we’ll believe them. They’ve come to Congress not to rescue their companies but to salvage their lifestyles. This is an industry that desperately needs bankruptcy and collapse to put an end to unrealistic labor deals and obnoxious executive behavior. The American taxpayer doesn’t have any business subsidizing this failure."

AMEN!

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I don't want our gov't to give them one dime if all this gets us is corporate welfare that fails to fix the problem.

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Mitt Romney (remember him?) has written what I think is the most rational, insightful, and well-thought out op-ed piece on the automaker bailout that I have seen yet. (And the fact that he agrees with my opinions almost point for point has absolutely nothing to do with my high regard for his piece... :P )

In case anyone wants to read it, here's the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/...amp;oref=slogin

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While we need a US auto industry, it seems clear to me they're going to have to practically start from scratch. I don't think bailing them out w/o them going bankrupt will ever work. Just a longer, slower death.

All three of these CEO's flew private jets at huge expense to DC to beg for a bailout that will only prolong their agony towards bankrupcy.

Read this and weep

I can't stand the head of the UAW, but he was pretty honest and right on when asked in what order are the companies likely to survive. He said Ford has the best chance to survive, followed by Chysler, then GM. The cancer within GM is just too much...they cannot go on with business as usual.

Gotta love it when you show up at a soup kitchen in a Rolls Royce asking for food.....

B)

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Mitt Romney (remember him?) has written what I think is the most rational, insightful, and well-thought out op-ed piece on the automaker bailout that I have seen yet. (And the fact that he agrees with my opinions almost point for point has absolutely nothing to do with my high regard for his piece... B) )

In case anyone wants to read it, here's the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/...amp;oref=slogin

Yeah, but some of what his ideas and what he proposes is exactly what got GM into so much trouble in the first place.

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From Bob's "Read it and Weep" link (boldface added by me):

"When the management of these automakers start acting like they’re in crisis, then perhaps we’ll believe them. They’ve come to Congress not to rescue their companies but to salvage their lifestyles. This is an industry that desperately needs bankruptcy and collapse to put an end to unrealistic labor deals and obnoxious executive behavior. The American taxpayer doesn’t have any business subsidizing this failure."

AMEN!

I couldn't agree more. After reading of the private jets flown to Washington to ask for a hand-out, and hearing of all the things they've cut to save money etc. I truly do not wish people out of jobs, but when "everything we can do" doesn't include a pay cut for the higher exectutives.... that's not "everything we can do". It is exactly as stated above - people trying to save their lifestyles.

Another prime example of fiscal abuse (not trying to change the subject) - AIG who got a government "bail out" then had a HUGE party in Hawaii for their top executives to the tune of how much money???? WHERE's THE ACCOUNTABILITY FROM AIG, AND WHY ISN'T OUR GOVERNMENT TO SAYING GIVE US THAT MONEY BACK AFTER SOMETHING AS ABSURD AS THIS HAPPENS????????

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While we need a US auto industry, it seems clear to me they're going to have to practically start from scratch. I don't think bailing them out w/o them going bankrupt will ever work. Just a longer, slower death.

All three of these CEO's flew private jets at huge expense to DC to beg for a bailout that will only prolong their agony towards bankrupcy.

Read this and weep

I can't stand the head of the UAW, but he was pretty honest and right on when asked in what order are the companies likely to survive. He said Ford has the best chance to survive, followed by Chysler, then GM. The cancer within GM is just too much...they cannot go on with business as usual.

Boy are you ever right about that! The CEO's shot themselves in the foot big time. At the very least they should have "jet pooled" and all took the same jet. They have put restrictions on us like "no color copies", closing off half the bathroom stalls, lowering the thermostats, yet they fly in the corprate jet. We have complained for a few years now about our executive vice president who lives in florida and commutes at company expense to michigan several times a week. This is the kind of arrogance that must stop.

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The Mitt Romney article was excellent. Much has to change in Detroit for the American auto industry to survive. I've been watching the stock market to see what the stock price is for these 3 companies. Here's what they were at about 10 EST on 11-20-08: Ford 1.29, GM 2.90, & Chrysler 7.20. Notice you can buy 2 shares of GM and 1 share of Ford for less than one share of Chrysler. As we all know, the merger of GM & Chrysler is not going to happen. I did however read an article the other day on Yahoo that the merger should take place to stop Chrysler from continuing to "Make junk".

Sounds to me like those fat cats in Detroit need to go back and do some serious house cleaning. I doubt they are capable of doing it. In the late 1970's Chrysler turned around when they brought in new blood. The suggestion that new management come from outside the auto industry is a good one.

Let them go & be re-organized from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Its happened before and it can happen again with a different mindset.

Gary

Edited by BigGary

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We bailout the auto industry. the next thing you know retailers will want bailouts. then banks will want more. then restaurants. This is all caused by horrible executives and miss spending. as well as the unions. I can almost guarantee with this is all said and done with the UAW will be no more. and Rick Wagoner will be unemployed.

Honda just announced they are cutting there production by 18,000 cars. which are produced in Alabama (Odyssey, Pilot), and Ohio (Acura RSX and TL, Accord sedan and Coupe). and they will NOT cut one single job by doing this.

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Hey guys,

I am not an economist, just a tax paying citizen. I'm retired. Have been for 8 years. No pension, just Social Security. No pre paid medical, just Medicare. Nobody ever paid me for not working because my "line" was idled. Only government "hand out" that I ever got was short term unemployment when I was laid off, and that came from a fund that I had contributed to.

I have a few questions that I hope you folks might address:

Why does GM compete with itself by having its lines put out much the same products with different logos?

I can understand GM and Ford trying to keep their shareholders somewhat solvent, but why Chrysler? Aren't they privately held? That's like Warren Buffet wanting a hand out because the price of gold dropped.

As far a bailouts, I could use one. If you guys could get together and loan me $100,000.00, spread amongst you that wouldn't be much per lender, I promise to pay you back and change my ways. You can charge me 20% interest. I will quit smoking and drinking. I will only buy kits that are on sale. I will faithfully use my Michaels coupons. Really, I'll pay you back.

And, if for some reason my plan doesn't work, I might be back for another "loan".

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Hey guys,

I am not an economist, just a tax paying citizen. I'm retired. Have been for 8 years. No pension, just Social Security. No pre paid medical, just Medicare. Nobody ever paid me for not working because my "line" was idled. Only government "hand out" that I ever got was short term unemployment when I was laid off, and that came from a fund that I had contributed to.

I have a few questions that I hope you folks might address:

Why does GM compete with itself by having its lines put out much the same products with different logos?

I can understand GM and Ford trying to keep their shareholders somewhat solvent, but why Chrysler? Aren't they privately held? That's like Warren Buffet wanting a hand out because the price of gold dropped.

As far a bailouts, I could use one. If you guys could get together and loan me $100,000.00, spread amongst you that wouldn't be much per lender, I promise to pay you back and change my ways. You can charge me 20% interest. I will quit smoking and drinking. I will only buy kits that are on sale. I will faithfully use my Michaels coupons. Really, I'll pay you back.

And, if for some reason my plan doesn't work, I might be back for another "loan".

Excellent post! I agree with everything you say.

I filled out my government bailout form today. I didn't want to be greedy so I asked for "only" $250 million. Sure I'll have to cut back on a few little thing, and maybe my private jet will stay parked for a while... but I think I can scrape by on 250 mil... ;)

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Why does GM compete with itself by having its lines put out much the same products with different logos?

This is something that has plagued GM terribly, especially since the '70's. They pulled it off a lot better starting with the '59 models which started the body sharing across all divisions------and at least each division had its own engines.

During the '60s each division had its own styling "cues" which one could tell immediately what was what, but the downward trend started to hit major stride when the engine sharing started.

Anyone remember the major lawsuit that occured when a couple bought an Olds and thought they were getting an Olds engine? Turned out to be a 350 Chevy............(happened in '77 IIRC) but it shows that GM could stand to get rid of another division or two.

They already dumped Oldsmobile..........I wouldn't be surprised to see Pontiac and Buick given their last rites in the near future. Buick does well in China, so that may be their saving grace.

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