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View Poll Results: for or against automobile bailouts
for 32 16.67%
against 145 75.52%
don't care 15 7.81%
Voters: 192. You may not vote on this poll

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      11-21-2008, 01:28 AM   #67
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but I don't believe in kicking them while they're down.
When do you kick them? While they're up?
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      11-21-2008, 08:43 AM   #68
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Saturn has a lot of good cars. The Ford GT, Corvette, and Dodge Viper are world-class sports cars. The Chevy Volt could be a very good car once it is ready production.

Yes they make sh*tty cars as well (drove an HHR while in Seattle); that doesn't mean all of their cars are terrible. I will concede that it is their fault that they lost the faith of the customers, but I don't believe in kicking them while they're down. Give the engineers credit when the bean counters aren't giving them sh*t to do anything with.
It is called downsizing then, they can review their products and decide what they want to keep producing and cut their other products that do not sell well. What, all of a sudden these execs don't know how to run a business? Not like I have a business degree or anything. But for them to go ask for $$$ is just pathetic. I doubt these execs are worrying about the assembly line folks either. More products does not always equal profit, it is the quality of the products as well.
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      11-21-2008, 10:37 AM   #69
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The domestic manufacturers need to reign in their product line. Right now they're spread to thin, decent at everything, great at nothing. There's too much overlap, and a loss of focus. Look at what the Germans did with the "one sausage, three lengths" mentality. They kept it simple and focused on their core before branching out. Even Honda did this to an extent with its Civic and Accord.

American companies are constantly trying to reinvent the wheel, and in doing so, don't really progress. Their product life is much shorter then their Asian/European counterparts; but to an extent, this is the fault of consumers.

The typical American mentality is to always have the latest and greatest, most buyers don't want to trade their car in for a newer version of that same car. They want something different, usually for the sake of being different. This has led to an industry that is focused on a replacement before the current model even hits dealers. The smart approach is to let it reach the market, garner feedback, make adjustments, and build upon the development. Not only is this a more efficient way of spending money, but it builds a customer base. If you keep your car for 3+ years (like I assume most of us do), do you really want to spend over $35k on something that will be discontinued or drastically changed within 24 months?
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      11-21-2008, 10:45 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by ClarkGriswold View Post
Don't get me wrong, I am torn with the idea of bailing out GM and the other U.S. automakers, but what we need to realize is the mass effect that would have on our economy.

There is very little that GM atually produces. The majority of the components of the GM car is a product of outsourcing. If GM fails, 2,100 other companies that supply GM with parts fails with it. Not to mention the mass job loss.

That being said, they need to eliminate labor unions. They do not promote capitalism and they do not nourish a competitive marketplace.

Just my 2 cents.... but I still am torn on the idea.
I agree completely. I'm torn because I feel that the companies should be held responsible for their actions, but this industry is too important to our entire economy to let go.
Even if they file Chapter 11 to reorg it won't work. If they file Chapter 11, they won't get any parts for their "just-in-time" inventory, so they won't be able to build cars and they won't have any sales at all while they're in Chapter 11. It would be catastrophic to the company.
There would be an estimated 2.5 million jobs lost if GM went under. The country can't take that kind of hit.
The retiree's and the unions are killing our car companies. The overhead they have if they had NO employees is incredible. The unions need to realize that if they don't go away, there will be no jobs to have a union for.
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      11-21-2008, 10:36 PM   #71
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It is called downsizing then, they can review their products and decide what they want to keep producing and cut their other products that do not sell well. What, all of a sudden these execs don't know how to run a business? Not like I have a business degree or anything. But for them to go ask for $$$ is just pathetic. I doubt these execs are worrying about the assembly line folks either. More products does not always equal profit, it is the quality of the products as well.
They were doing fine producing SUV's and trucks, when their cars were so-so or worse... then gas prices soared, and the economy went to sh*t; anything w/ a V8 in it just sat in the lot. They are finally producing or bringing over decent cars from Europe. Too little; too late.

The Big Three needs to survive... not only as a source of pride of America, but the huge economical impact their implosion may bring.
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      11-22-2008, 08:31 AM   #72
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The people on this board who have such hatred against the US Auto Manufacturers are really clueless. Detroit does build vehicles people want. Up until gas prices went out of control, which is something the Government should take responsibility for because it can't foster a decient stable economy based on manufacturing, GM and Ford trucks were selling quite well. Does anyone on this board realize the entire BMW production of cars world wide is not as much as just the Ford F-Series line in the US. Does anyone realize Ford outsells BMW in Europe, in Germany? Does anyone know BMW was supported by the German government in the 1950's, BMW was on the verge of bankruptcy too.

Does anyone realize our beloved 3-Series is just an overpriced economy car? $37K (base E90 328i with sport package and a few other options) for a 92 cubic foot sedan. $50K for 300 HP coupe that blows its fuel pump every 10,000 miles.

Come on guys, not everyone is in the market for a BMW 3 Series. Ever driven a Ford Taurus 500? It's a nice car. It's well sized, gets mid 20s for fuel mileage, reliable and inexpensive. For a middle-aged guy who needs a decent 4-door sedan to take his 2.5 kids around in and not make his car payment the next biggest payment to his mortgage. What does BMW offer in that class size? An $85K 7-Series. A Ford Fusion, nice car based off the Mazda 6, nobody bitches about a Mazda 6. The $60K Cadillac CTS-V beats the $80K BMW M5. The regular CTS at $35K blows away the value of a comparatively sized 5 Series. The $22K Chevy Cobalt SS beats any similarly priced BMW (BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ONE IN THE US!) Cobalt SS ($23,795) at the VIR 3 minutes 13 seconds; BMW 135i ($43,220) 3 minutes 13.7 seconds.

I’ve driven a BMW 3-Series for the past 21 years, I’m as pro-BMW as anyone on this forum, I've probably been personally responsible for at least 10 people switching to a BMW. My sister has a ’05 X3, my brother, a ’06 525i. My friend Joe has 3 BMWs now (E36 318is, Z3 MCoupe, E46 ZHP). My friend Joe-2, two (E30 M3 Cabrio and an E46 323i), and his wife 1 (E46 wagon). None of these folks owned BMWs until they met me. So don’t try to flame me for being anti-BMW.

Get real. Detroit does build some good cars. They do it at a competitive price, under way harsher business conditions than the foreign competition. How they are even able to do it is a testament to good management. Do you realize Detroit is in constant negotiations with the UAW? Once they settle a 4-year labor contract they start all over again the next day for the next contract 4 years away. They could use that money spent on labor negotiators (it takes a huge team) on engineering talent to make better cars. They have to fight politicians like Obama who want to raise the corporate tax rate and mandate 35 MPG CAFE (with no concept of what it takes to make it happen). They have to fight the EPA (car manufacturing is one of the most cleanest industries now), OSHA, fuel prices they have no control over, and the public like you who have ancient misconceptions of “American cars are crap.”

Like I said in another post, these companies are the ones the Government turned to to build our ships, planes, tanks, trucks, and guns for the World War II campaign. They probably made some piece of equipment that saved your father or grandfather's life, and you just tell them just to go get fucked.

I’d like anyone of us to have the balls to take on management of GM, or Ford, see how well you could do.
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      11-22-2008, 12:53 PM   #73
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QUOTE=ENINTY: The people on this board who have such hatred against the US Auto Manufacturers are really clueless.

- But, thankfully there are people like you, who seems to think he knows something everyone else doesn't.

Get real. Detroit does build some good cars. They do it at a competitive price, under way harsher business conditions than the foreign competition. How they are even able to do it is a testament to good management. Do you realize Detroit is in constant negotiations with the UAW? Once they settle a 4-year labor contract they start all over again the next day for the next contract 4 years away. They could use that money spent on labor negotiators (it takes a huge team) on engineering talent to make better cars (or building up the corporate jet fleet?).

- So explain to us genius, how exactly do you void a labor contract without a judges order?

They have to fight politicians like Obama who want to raise the corporate tax rate and mandate 35 MPG CAFE (with no concept of what it takes to make it happen).

- GM spent the same amount of money building up their Hummer brand/division as did Toyota developing the Prius. Today, which car is back ordered and which division can't be sold at any price? So be it then, don't develop the 35 mpg car. Japan will do it and Detroit will be back at capitol hill begging for money

They have to fight the EPA (car manufacturing is one of the most cleanest industries now), OSHA, fuel prices they have no control over, and the public like you who have ancient misconceptions of “American cars are crap.”

-Maybe it's the fact that Detroit did build crap, and no too long ago. And to bad for those pesky regulations, huh. The same ones that every other company (Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, VW) who have manufacturing plants in the US have to deal with but aren't going bankrupt over.

Like I said in another post, these companies are the ones the Government turned to to build our ships, planes, tanks, trucks, and guns for the World War II campaign. They probably made some piece of equipment that saved your father or grandfather's life, and you just tell them just to go get fucked.

- So now, we need to look past greed, excess, piss-poor management, an undereducated and over compensated workforce, and the lack of any coherent recovery plan and just throw tax-payer money at it, because they built a tank 60 years ago?

I’d like anyone of us to have the balls to take on management of GM, or Ford, see how well you could do.

I have to ask, are you a manager there? Because you seem to take the same sort of non-accountable, poor-me, it's everyone else's fault but me sort of approach these corporate assess regurgitate right before picking up their bonus package and strapping on their golden parachute.

All you've done is make excuse after excuse, pointed the finger at everyone else and said it's their fault. It's like saying mediocrity is all we can hope for. Well, sorry but 25 billion should buy us a little more then a failed business model and a universe of legacy dept.
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      11-22-2008, 01:05 PM   #74
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"Congressional Democrats have promised to make a broad economic stimulus a top priority when they reconvene in January. The package is expected to include middle-class tax cuts and billions of dollars for public works projects, such as the construction of roads, bridges and mass transit." -Reuters

I can agree with this much more than bailouts. It's too bad that they will tie it to increased taxes for others (and ultimately higher taxes for those they say will see cuts).
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      11-22-2008, 10:48 PM   #75
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They were doing fine producing SUV's and trucks, when their cars were so-so or worse... then gas prices soared, and the economy went to sh*t; anything w/ a V8 in it just sat in the lot. They are finally producing or bringing over decent cars from Europe. Too little; too late.

The Big Three needs to survive... not only as a source of pride of America, but the huge economical impact their implosion may bring.
I am not going to beat a horse to death (kinda late for that already). I just don't believe that the bailout is the only option. With that said, I have not seen the big 3 making any efforts to save themself except flying to washington to beg for $$$, they seem to be too focus on $$$. I hope that not everyone think $$$ is the answer to everything.
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      11-22-2008, 11:23 PM   #76
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"New Detroit vs. Old Detroit in Washington. By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Detroit. In the last week I have done several live and taped radio interviews across the country and with the BBC in London, a spirited interview with Diane Tucker appearing in The Huffington Post entitled, “Journalist to GOP: You're 100 Percent Wrong About U.S. Automakers,” and I have several national and international TV appearances slated for the next few days too. The subject? The looming implosion of Detroit, of course. People want to know the who, what, when, where, why of this whole thing, and they want to know about the cost, both in terms of taxpayer money needed and the real cost to the economy if the Detroit automakers don’t receive these bridge loans.

The din out there in the media right now is so anti-Detroit, anti-“bailout” that I welcome the opportunity to present the other side of the debate, even if it appears with each passing day that Detroit is running out of time and unable to break through the negative media clutter that envelopes the industry at every turn. And after that death march of a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, I’m even more pessimistic.

When Alan Mulally, Rick Wagoner, Bob Nardelli and Ron Gettelfinger sat down in front of the microphones, I knew it wasn’t going to be good, especially when Peter Morici – the relentlessly self-promoting economics professor from the University of Maryland – sat down next to them (more on him in “On The Table” this week – ed). Which Senator was responsible for inviting him is anyone’s guess, but it was clear that this was a setup from the get go.

We then had to watch as each of these U.S. Senators spewed their particular brand of inaccuracies and flat-out misconceptions about the automobile industry in their opening statements. A very few were actually worth listening to – and I mean like two - while most of the others were so blatantly self-serving and out of touch with reality that it was painful to watch. And then some acted like they were just hatched yesterday and were so resolute in their lack of awareness about what was going on and why they had to be there in the first place that it was simply appalling .

I can’t help but think that when enlightened Americans watched these people in action – the people who were actually elected by us to be in office – that they recoiled in horror at the absolutely stunning lack of knowledge, awareness, sense of place, sense of well, anything that was displayed by these Senators yesterday. Is this really the best we can do? I certainly hope not.

At any rate, the message in that hearing room was clear: Detroit put itself in the shape it finds itself in by building bad, low-tech cars that nobody wants. That they were regurgitating the now-obligatory woeful misperception of Detroit that has spread across the country - a Detroit that hasn’t existed for the better part of a decade, by the way - was obvious. The fact that these Senators weren’t aware of the kind of ultra-competitive products that these companies have out now was predictable. And the fact that they weren’t aware of the kind of leading edge technological development that Detroit is actively engaged in was predictable too.

Being clueless in Washington isn’t all that uncommon, unfortunately, but when misconceptions, half-truths and flat-out lies get hoisted up the flagpole as Fact, then it’s no wonder that the leaders of these Detroit car companies were on the defensive and unable to score points with the judges.

Proof of that was on display yesterday when the senators in that hearing room kept talking about restructuring, as if it was a new-fangled idea that these Detroit CEOs weren’t aware of. And they had to be reminded over and over again that Detroit has been restructuring and revamping since 2000, that Detroit hasn’t been operating in a vacuum, that Detroit does build competitive and class-leading products, that Detroit has pioneered new technologies, that Detroit is a viable, relevant, strategic industry that’s part of the crucial fabric of America’s manufacturing base, that the worst financial crisis in seven decades has wreaked havoc on their ability to do business, and on, and on, and on.

Back when things were booming for the domestic automobile industry, the importance of lobbying in Washington and having a consistent and focused image strategy that presented these companies’ positions and outlined their contributions to the American economy wasn’t a top priority. Now that it is, and the Detroit Three are playing catchup - while taking body blows and backed up against the ropes - the Old Detroit is still slamming the New Detroit to the ground.

The Perception Gap that exists out there for the Detroit automakers isn’t narrowing, it’s actually growing wider. Because when Americans get what minimal news they’re willing to digest – and only because it’s pre-packaged in carefully doled-out sound bites – then the Old Detroit will perennially overshadow the New Detroit, hands down.

Detroit may get help from Washington, but left to their own devices - and timetables - it’s looking like the politicians will come up with something that’s too little and too late to actually make a difference.

And that’s a giant bowl of Not Good.

Thanks for listening."
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The people on this board who have such hatred against the US Auto Manufacturers are really clueless. Detroit does build vehicles people want. Up until gas prices went out of control, which is something the Government should take responsibility for because it can't foster a decient stable economy based on manufacturing, GM and Ford trucks were selling quite well. Does anyone on this board realize the entire BMW production of cars world wide is not as much as just the Ford F-Series line in the US. Does anyone realize Ford outsells BMW in Europe, in Germany? Does anyone know BMW was supported by the German government in the 1950's, BMW was on the verge of bankruptcy too.

Does anyone realize our beloved 3-Series is just an overpriced economy car? $37K (base E90 328i with sport package and a few other options) for a 92 cubic foot sedan. $50K for 300 HP coupe that blows its fuel pump every 10,000 miles.

Come on guys, not everyone is in the market for a BMW 3 Series. Ever driven a Ford Taurus 500? It's a nice car. It's well sized, gets mid 20s for fuel mileage, reliable and inexpensive. For a middle-aged guy who needs a decent 4-door sedan to take his 2.5 kids around in and not make his car payment the next biggest payment to his mortgage. What does BMW offer in that class size? An $85K 7-Series. A Ford Fusion, nice car based off the Mazda 6, nobody bitches about a Mazda 6. The $60K Cadillac CTS-V beats the $80K BMW M5. The regular CTS at $35K blows away the value of a comparatively sized 5 Series. The $22K Chevy Cobalt SS beats any similarly priced BMW (BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ONE IN THE US!) Cobalt SS ($23,795) at the VIR 3 minutes 13 seconds; BMW 135i ($43,220) 3 minutes 13.7 seconds.

I’ve driven a BMW 3-Series for the past 21 years, I’m as pro-BMW as anyone on this forum, I've probably been personally responsible for at least 10 people switching to a BMW. My sister has a ’05 X3, my brother, a ’06 525i. My friend Joe has 3 BMWs now (E36 318is, Z3 MCoupe, E46 ZHP). My friend Joe-2, two (E30 M3 Cabrio and an E46 323i), and his wife 1 (E46 wagon). None of these folks owned BMWs until they met me. So don’t try to flame me for being anti-BMW.

Get real. Detroit does build some good cars. They do it at a competitive price, under way harsher business conditions than the foreign competition. How they are even able to do it is a testament to good management. Do you realize Detroit is in constant negotiations with the UAW? Once they settle a 4-year labor contract they start all over again the next day for the next contract 4 years away. They could use that money spent on labor negotiators (it takes a huge team) on engineering talent to make better cars. They have to fight politicians like Obama who want to raise the corporate tax rate and mandate 35 MPG CAFE (with no concept of what it takes to make it happen). They have to fight the EPA (car manufacturing is one of the most cleanest industries now), OSHA, fuel prices they have no control over, and the public like you who have ancient misconceptions of “American cars are crap.”

Like I said in another post, these companies are the ones the Government turned to to build our ships, planes, tanks, trucks, and guns for the World War II campaign. They probably made some piece of equipment that saved your father or grandfather's life, and you just tell them just to go get fucked.

I’d like anyone of us to have the balls to take on management of GM, or Ford, see how well you could do.
+1

That fact that Ford has 5 cars in the top 10 in initial quality speaks to the turn around in Detroit. Read any of the American car magazines, who used to be very negative on most American cars, and you'll find the articles are certainly much more positive now.

I heard on one of the news shows that GM is making huge inroads in many foreign markets, including China.

If the big three go out of business, it will seriously effect the American economy in a huge way. IMHO if you are rooting for the Big 3 to fail, then you are uninformed and anti-American. It's the auto workers unions who have killed the Auto industry. Some renegotiated contracts will go a long way.
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      11-23-2008, 02:47 AM   #77
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There was a special on MSNBC saying that in China, Buick is king. It also was reaffirmed even before that in Automobile Magazine; Buick chose to debut its concept cars over there (never seen here after that).

I would approve of the bailout because of the car enthusiast in me, as well as a major overhaul of all their operations. I mean, their best cars are built outside of the US, WTF is up with that.
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      11-23-2008, 10:41 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
The people on this board who have such hatred against the US Auto Manufacturers are really clueless. Detroit does build vehicles people want. Up until gas prices went out of control, which is something the Government should take responsibility for because it can't foster a decient stable economy based on manufacturing, GM and Ford trucks were selling quite well. Does anyone on this board realize the entire BMW production of cars world wide is not as much as just the Ford F-Series line in the US. Does anyone realize Ford outsells BMW in Europe, in Germany? Does anyone know BMW was supported by the German government in the 1950's, BMW was on the verge of bankruptcy too.

Does anyone realize our beloved 3-Series is just an overpriced economy car? $37K (base E90 328i with sport package and a few other options) for a 92 cubic foot sedan. $50K for 300 HP coupe that blows its fuel pump every 10,000 miles.

Come on guys, not everyone is in the market for a BMW 3 Series. Ever driven a Ford Taurus 500? It's a nice car. It's well sized, gets mid 20s for fuel mileage, reliable and inexpensive. For a middle-aged guy who needs a decent 4-door sedan to take his 2.5 kids around in and not make his car payment the next biggest payment to his mortgage. What does BMW offer in that class size? An $85K 7-Series. A Ford Fusion, nice car based off the Mazda 6, nobody bitches about a Mazda 6. The $60K Cadillac CTS-V beats the $80K BMW M5. The regular CTS at $35K blows away the value of a comparatively sized 5 Series. The $22K Chevy Cobalt SS beats any similarly priced BMW (BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ONE IN THE US!) Cobalt SS ($23,795) at the VIR 3 minutes 13 seconds; BMW 135i ($43,220) 3 minutes 13.7 seconds.

I’ve driven a BMW 3-Series for the past 21 years, I’m as pro-BMW as anyone on this forum, I've probably been personally responsible for at least 10 people switching to a BMW. My sister has a ’05 X3, my brother, a ’06 525i. My friend Joe has 3 BMWs now (E36 318is, Z3 MCoupe, E46 ZHP). My friend Joe-2, two (E30 M3 Cabrio and an E46 323i), and his wife 1 (E46 wagon). None of these folks owned BMWs until they met me. So don’t try to flame me for being anti-BMW.

Get real. Detroit does build some good cars. They do it at a competitive price, under way harsher business conditions than the foreign competition. How they are even able to do it is a testament to good management. Do you realize Detroit is in constant negotiations with the UAW? Once they settle a 4-year labor contract they start all over again the next day for the next contract 4 years away. They could use that money spent on labor negotiators (it takes a huge team) on engineering talent to make better cars. They have to fight politicians like Obama who want to raise the corporate tax rate and mandate 35 MPG CAFE (with no concept of what it takes to make it happen). They have to fight the EPA (car manufacturing is one of the most cleanest industries now), OSHA, fuel prices they have no control over, and the public like you who have ancient misconceptions of “American cars are crap.”

Like I said in another post, these companies are the ones the Government turned to to build our ships, planes, tanks, trucks, and guns for the World War II campaign. They probably made some piece of equipment that saved your father or grandfather's life, and you just tell them just to go get fucked.

I’d like anyone of us to have the balls to take on management of GM, or Ford, see how well you could do.
-1

I'd love to manage those companies. I'll add them to my list of poorly managed businesses turned around with decisive and effective decisions. Give my management consulting company 5 years of leadership at GM and we'll see a downsized but healthy US auto industry.

A perfect example of GM's idiocy can be seen in the Chevy Volt. GM has known about rising fuel prices and uncertainty in oil supply since the 70's. GM even developed a cool little car whose time would come, the EV1. However, that car was not profitable in and of itself so the plug was pulled. There was no foresight, no concern for GM's image, and no vision. The ex-CEO now admits it was his worst decision at GM.

In the meantime, we have almost a decade of rising fuel prices and another fuel crisis. Add to that an environmental movement concerned about Global Warming, and Toyota is selling every Prius they can, and Honda as well with their Hybrids. Where is GM (Ford, Chrysler as well)? By the time GM re-entered the game with a concept Chevy Volt that still may never see the light of day, they are so far behind the curve as to be headed for bankruptcy. Had GM continued with the EV1, the Volt could have been ready a decade earlier, according to GM's own head of R&D, Larry Burns. How many Volt's would GM have sold in the last 2 years?

Of course, the above is just an example, and the Big 3 have come out with some competitive products over the years. The trouble is, there is no consistency. Here is an excellent WIKI entry for Car and Driver's Ten Best cars. Note how relatively few and far between US cars make the list with the exception of the Corvette. Also note how the US entries seem to be a specific refreshed model that then falls back out of favor a couple of years later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_and_Driver_Ten_Best

Check out Consumer Reports, and look at all the nice red circles for Honda and Toyota products. Note the prevalence of black marks around US cars.

Check out ALG lease residuals...US cars fare poorly in resale value as well. Or as an example use KBB.com to price out a 3 year old, 30,000 mile Accord and any Big 3 competitor same miles same year with the same or more features and MSRP.

Check out JD Power ratings, again we have spotty and inconsistent records from the Big 3. And where US cars do fare well, their desirability rankings are in the toilet.

Bottom line, I'm sick of people suggesting the Big 3's troubles are anything but a product of their own poor management.

Finally, a few comments about specific cars in your list:

Suggesting the BMW 3 series is an economy car is really burying your head in the sand. Many very automobile knowledgeable persons like myself whom can afford almost any car we want, consider it the best all-around car in the world. Cobalt SS? Cheap azz interior lets down otherwise great potential. Ford Fusion/Mazda 6? I test drove one about a month ago, boring as hell. CTS-V? Fantastic car if you can live with 14 mpg and poor resale record.

We can agree on the Corvette as world class...while still wondering why we have to live with a leaf spring suspension.

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      11-23-2008, 10:43 AM   #79
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      11-23-2008, 10:48 AM   #80
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QUOTE=ENINTY: The people on this board who have such hatred against the US Auto Manufacturers are really clueless.

- But, thankfully there are people like you, who seems to think he knows something everyone else doesn't.

- Having some understanding of the history of the US Automobile manufacturing industry does help. I’m not claiming Expert here, but the US Automotive industry and the Airplane industry have made most of the advances in modern manufacturing, both of which I have studied.

Get real. Detroit does build some good cars. They do it at a competitive price, under way harsher business conditions than the foreign competition. How they are even able to do it is a testament to good management. Do you realize Detroit is in constant negotiations with the UAW? Once they settle a 4-year labor contract they start all over again the next day for the next contract 4 years away. They could use that money spent on labor negotiators (it takes a huge team) on engineering talent to make better cars (or building up the corporate jet fleet?).

- So explain to us genius, how exactly do you void a labor contract without a judges order?

- You don’t. I’m not really for the bailout because I’d be all for renegotiating the Union contracts under a bankruptcy reorg (if a Democratic-leaning judge would let it actually let it happen). My issue with the Auto Bailout is the Congress practically jumped through hoops to bail out Wall Street, with “no recovery plan”, no bitching about corporate plane rides (the President gets one), and no stern scolding by cluless Congressmen.
They have to fight politicians like Obama who want to raise the corporate tax rate and mandate 35 MPG CAFE (with no concept of what it takes to make it happen).

- GM spent the same amount of money building up their Hummer brand/division as did Toyota developing the Prius. Today, which car is back ordered and which division can't be sold at any price? So be it then, don't develop the 35 mpg car. Japan will do it and Detroit will be back at capitol hill begging for money

- Well Nissan just announced they can’t achieve a 35MPG Corporate Average Fuel Economy. The Prius is just one car out of fleet or cars that must meet the 35 MPG AVERAGE. So Genius please tell us how a company can build Tundras, Tacomas and Sequoias, and achieve a CAFÉ of 35 MPG

They have to fight the EPA (car manufacturing is one of the most cleanest industries now), OSHA, fuel prices they have no control over, and the public like you who have ancient misconceptions of “American cars are crap.”

-Maybe it's the fact that Detroit did build crap, and no too long ago. And to bad for those pesky regulations, huh. The same ones that every other company (Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, VW) who have manufacturing plants in the US have to deal with but aren't going bankrupt over.

- It’s called legacy environmental damage lawsuits. Look at any legacy auto manufacturing plant and you will find numerous EPA lawsuits in action suing for environment damages that occurred 30 years ago. Toyota, Honda, et.al. have all built and operated plants post the EPA movement and therefore do not have legacy environmental damage costs. GM and Ford do.

Like I said in another post, these companies are the ones the Government turned to to build our ships, planes, tanks, trucks, and guns for the World War II campaign. They probably made some piece of equipment that saved your father or grandfather's life, and you just tell them just to go get fucked.

- So now, we need to look past greed, excess, piss-poor management, an undereducated and over compensated workforce, and the lack of any coherent recovery plan and just throw tax-payer money at it, because they built a tank 60 years ago?

- ”greed, excess, piss-poor management.” And this is exactly different from Wall Street how? So, Ford and GM do have recovery plans, Ford has smaller forced induction engines coming for it’s cars and trucks, smaller SUVs already on the market (Edge, Flex, Escape Hybrid), GM has the Malibu, CTS, Cobalt, to name a few; all good cars. You make it sound like all GM builds is SUVs and Hummers (thus the stereotype).
I’d like anyone of us to have the balls to take on management of GM, or Ford, see how well you could do.

I have to ask, are you a manager there? Because you seem to take the same sort of non-accountable, poor-me, it's everyone else's fault but me sort of approach these corporate assess regurgitate right before picking up their bonus package and strapping on their golden parachute.

- I never said they are without fault. They have made mistakes, as has BMW, Toyota, Honda, Nissan (they had to merge with Renault to survive). My point was the American Auto Industry in the 1970’s was under an onslaught with emissions regulations, safety regulations, labor strikes with rising labor costs, and overnight rising fuel prices, all at the same time. Most of other industries would have perished. The fact that they are still in business is pretty amazing.

All you've done is make excuse after excuse, pointed the finger at everyone else and said it's their fault. It's like saying mediocrity is all we can hope for. Well, sorry but 25 billion should buy us a little more then a failed business model and a universe of legacy dept.

I’ve pointed a finger at the Government. It is the Government’s job to foster a good business climate for all industries both manufacturing and service, they have failed. When they fail, they should expect companies to come begging for a bailout. What is congress concerned about? Executives flying on corporate jets…
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      11-23-2008, 01:17 PM   #81
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against it. The unions are killing everything, its time for them to learn not to be so greedy. There was a time when unions were needed, now its ridiculous how someone can make over $75 a hour for almost doing nothing all day.
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      11-24-2008, 09:39 PM   #82
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Here is a vote FOR the bailouts:

Obama Vows Bold Moves to Avoid Millions of Lost Jobs (Update1)

President-elect Barack Obama warned that the U.S. is “trapped in a vicious cycle” and faces the loss of “millions of jobs” unless immediate steps are taken to stimulate the economy and to rescue the nation’s automakers.

“If we do not act swiftly and act boldly, most experts now believe we could lose millions of jobs next year,” Obama said at a press conference today in Chicago. “We do not have a minute to waste.”

Obama also pledged to aid American automakers in avoiding a cash shortage and possible bankruptcies, saying, “We can’t allow the auto industry simply to vanish.”

Still, he said, the Big Three automakers must present a plan on how they will overhaul their operations to become more competitive with foreign automakers, and take into account environmental and energy concerns.

“We should help the auto industry, but what we should expect is that any additional money that we put into the auto industry, any help that we provide is designed to assure a long- term sustainable auto industry and not just kicking the can down the road,” he said.

U.S. automakers have been lobbying Congress for $25 billion in aid to stave off a cash shortage by year-end. Lawmakers have put off until December a vote on a bailout, telling the carmakers to submit plans to reform themselves by Dec. 2.
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      11-24-2008, 11:13 PM   #83
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As long as The Big Three have a good plan... bail them out. If the unions are bad (I wouldn't know) then break them and start anew. Start bringing some of the European cars here sooner; I know Ford is going to and can't wait.

Let GM become the "standard of the world" once again.
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      11-25-2008, 08:32 AM   #84
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Let see what plan they have...
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      11-25-2008, 09:32 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakepilot View Post
let them file chapter 11 and renegotiate their union contracts.
This is what I was thinking. If however they do decide to bail them out then I would demand that everyone of their designers is fired, especially the guy that gave the green light on bringing back the el camino.

BTW, I watched the CEO's of the big three talk before senate and their argument wasn't too convincing at all IMO. They couldn't even remotely show how giving them "x" amount of dollars would actually make the company profitable instead of delaying the inevitable with them going under. The only guy in the room who had a clue as to WTH he was talking about was that economist.
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      11-25-2008, 01:46 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdiver68 View Post
-1

I'd love to manage those companies. I'll add them to my list of poorly managed businesses turned around with decisive and effective decisions. Give my management consulting company 5 years of leadership at GM and we'll see a downsized but healthy US auto industry.

A perfect example of GM's idiocy can be seen in the Chevy Volt. GM has known about rising fuel prices and uncertainty in oil supply since the 70's. GM even developed a cool little car whose time would come, the EV1. However, that car was not profitable in and of itself so the plug was pulled. There was no foresight, no concern for GM's image, and no vision. The ex-CEO now admits it was his worst decision at GM.

In the meantime, we have almost a decade of rising fuel prices and another fuel crisis. Add to that an environmental movement concerned about Global Warming, and Toyota is selling every Prius they can, and Honda as well with their Hybrids. Where is GM (Ford, Chrysler as well)? By the time GM re-entered the game with a concept Chevy Volt that still may never see the light of day, they are so far behind the curve as to be headed for bankruptcy. Had GM continued with the EV1, the Volt could have been ready a decade earlier, according to GM's own head of R&D, Larry Burns. How many Volt's would GM have sold in the last 2 years?

Of course, the above is just an example, and the Big 3 have come out with some competitive products over the years. The trouble is, there is no consistency. Here is an excellent WIKI entry for Car and Driver's Ten Best cars. Note how relatively few and far between US cars make the list with the exception of the Corvette. Also note how the US entries seem to be a specific refreshed model that then falls back out of favor a couple of years later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_and_Driver_Ten_Best

Check out Consumer Reports, and look at all the nice red circles for Honda and Toyota products. Note the prevalence of black marks around US cars.

Check out ALG lease residuals...US cars fare poorly in resale value as well. Or as an example use KBB.com to price out a 3 year old, 30,000 mile Accord and any Big 3 competitor same miles same year with the same or more features and MSRP.

Check out JD Power ratings, again we have spotty and inconsistent records from the Big 3. And where US cars do fare well, their desirability rankings are in the toilet.

Bottom line, I'm sick of people suggesting the Big 3's troubles are anything but a product of their own poor management.

Finally, a few comments about specific cars in your list:

Suggesting the BMW 3 series is an economy car is really burying your head in the sand. Many very automobile knowledgeable persons like myself whom can afford almost any car we want, consider it the best all-around car in the world. Cobalt SS? Cheap azz interior lets down otherwise great potential. Ford Fusion/Mazda 6? I test drove one about a month ago, boring as hell. CTS-V? Fantastic car if you can live with 14 mpg and poor resale record.

We can agree on the Corvette as world class...while still wondering why we have to live with a leaf spring suspension.
I agree GM has made errors in judgment. I haven't stated otherwise. The EV1 was never sold to anyone, just leased to a few Californians; it never had the chance to be evaluated in the real market. The Prius is a great marketing campaign. It never sold well until fuel prices doubled. The Honda Insight? Didn't sell well; pulled in 2006. Most of the early buyers of hybrids were tree-huggers thinking they are saving the Earth by driving an "electric" car. When fuel prices were low it was marketed as a Environmentalist car.

Since I've been driving a 3 Series for over 20 years, I agree it’s a great car. But it's not the only car. It's small and expensive (well engineered though). Most people with a decent income and a family do not see the value in it. There are other good cars on the market, some made by GM and Ford. Not everyone is an enthusiast buyer, stop looking at the market from a performance perspective.

It'd be great just to walk into GM with the authority to do what you want, kill the union, screw legacy employees and retirees, and suppliers. I doubt it will be that easy. We both agree, good product will right the balance sheet. I think GM is on the path to selling good products. It's not an overnight situation. I doubt anyone in Congress would understand a good business recovery plan from a bad one, and good sellable product of an automotive nature. To Congress a car is something that doesn't kill the Earth with its exhaust, doesn't kill its passengers when they drive off the road, and gets 35 MPG. That car will never be designed by any company.
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      12-04-2008, 09:00 AM   #87
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They are back, this time driving hybrids instead of flying. They also want to borrow more money. They said they will work for $1 a year and reduce the workforce. Did not hear how they are going to address the union.

Could the big 3 borrow money and file bankruptcy a year later and pocket the money without paying back?
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      12-04-2008, 09:12 AM   #88
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I'll be waiting for a "Going out of Business sale" and get a ZR1 at 50% off :-)
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