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De Lorenzo nails it yet again


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http://www.autoextremist.com/

All I can say is A-freakin-men!

November 12, 2008

Tick, tick, tick...

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Detroit. So it has come down to this for General Motors: 100 years of living, breathing American industrial and social history is on the precipice of total disaster, with the once-glittering corporate icon facing certain collapse if some sort of government financial aid package is not put together in the next 60 days.

Think about that for a moment.

The company that basically powered this nation through a century of progress and helped this country muster the strength to fight world wars - while contributing immeasurably to the fabric of America and the development of our vast middle class - is on the verge of filing bankruptcy.

Unbeknownst to the legions of people out there in “fractured” America, the ones who fill the Internet with bile and who project such a level of viciousness and unbridled glee at the thought of the collapse of our domestic automobile industry as if it were – amazingly enough - some warped opportunity for celebration, there are countless towns, big and small, scattered all across this nation that have grown up with GM as their main employer and the main source of income for thousands of American families.

I am absolutely convinced that the people who hate “Detroit” and want it to implode have not even the faintest of clues as to what it really means if it were allowed to happen. To those instant experts out there who are reveling at the thought of a major part of our country’s industrial fabric collapsing, I say be careful what you wish for - because if GM is allowed to fail, it will take the entire domestic auto industry down with it - meaning thousands of suppliers and dealers in towns making up a cross-section of America will go under too.

For the record, there are around14,000 domestic-oriented dealers in the U.S. employing approximately 740,000 people with a payroll of around $35 billion – that’s billion with a “B.” But that’s just the dealer side of the equation. When you add in the suppliers and all of the associated businesses that either directly or indirectly depend on Detroit for their livelihoods, we’re talking almost three million people who would be out of work in a matter of just a few months, adding up to a $150 billion loss in personal income.

Let’s take California, for instance. Judging by our reader mail, there seems to be a large contingent of people out there who adamantly believe that “Detroit deserves to die” etc., etc., and that whatever happens “won’t affect me.” But GM and the domestic auto industry’s collapse will most definitely affect Californians as well. NUMMI, a joint operation between GM and Toyota (the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Tacoma and Pontiac Vibe are built there) and the only San Francisco Bay Area car factory, is already reducing shifts and may even shut down its Tacoma pickup truck line due to the burgeoning economic slowdown. One of our readers who understands the ramifications of a domestic industry collapse passed this interesting local news report along about NUMMI, which said, "There are tens of thousands of additional jobs on the line besides the 5,000 at NUMMI. There are over 1,000 suppliers in California that provide parts. They in turn employ 50,000 people."

That’s just one factory. Now multiply that by the staggering totals involved if GM - which has 22 stamping plants and 26 powertrain plants in North America on top of its assembly facilities - and the rest of the domestic automobile industry is allowed to fail. The tentacles of this kind of cataclysmic disaster would spread throughout the nation like a virus that could not be contained.

I really don’t know why it’s so easy for people out there to dismiss the collapse of the domestic automobile industry as being some minor event that won’t affect them in the least, because each person who is part of that figure of three million represents a real family and real human story, all across this nation. It’s the mom and pop diners, stores and peripheral neighborhood businesses that depend on the workers who toil at these factories and plants for their livelihoods too. There are towns all across America that would simply dry up and blow away if the local GM or supplier plant shut down. That’s not an exaggeration, that’s a simple fact.

I have been vilified of late by numerous critics for shifting my commentary to a more political tone over this election year, but I don’t offer any apologies. This country is not only in the throes of a financial crisis, it’s in the throes of a fundamental identity crisis as well. We as a nation have been lulled into thinking that things will work out and that any unpleasantness headed our way will be mere speed bumps on our journey to becoming a state of perpetual consumer bliss.

Well, it just doesn’t work that way, folks.

We live in a global economy that isn’t big on history or what we as a nation once did or stood for. We have to compete, or else we will arrive at a point when our national future will transition from being one of destiny to one being dictated to us by a unsavory set of circumstances and interests not in line in the least with our hopes, our dreams or our thinking.

In order to compete in this global economy we have to get smarter in our schools and with our educational policies. A high school graduation rate of 50-60 percent should be anathema in our inner cities instead of too often the rule. Remedial classes for kids entering college (who are not able to handle freshman classes) should become a thing of the past. And our teachers need to be compensated realistically and properly so more of our brightest people can sign up to help shape our kids’ futures.

Even though we as a nation don’t seem to have the stomach for hard work and sacrifice any longer - hell, I’m not sure those words and their meanings are even in the lexicon of vast swaths of our population - we must get tougher in the midst of this global economy, and we have to steel ourselves for the kind of battles we’ll face. And that means shoring up our manufacturing and supporting our homegrown industries that are so intertwined with communities all across this still great nation. It also means that President elect Obama will not only be President of the United States, he will have to be CEO of America, Inc. too.

And America Inc. not only needs to be rebuilt, it needs to be fortified with new determination because there are far too many talented and creative people in this nation who can do extraordinary things and we need to make the idea – the idea that we can innovate, create, build and manufacture things that are the envy of the world - cool again, and take pride in doing so as well.

In short, this nation needs a wake-up call.

Anyone who thinks this country will not be thrown into a full-blown depression if the domestic automobile industry is allowed to fail is simply kidding themselves. We are facing a perfect storm of events that could spell disaster if we as a nation don’t act and act fast. And it would take years for this country to recover too.

As I’ve said repeatedly the time for all of the idyllic, “let the free market run its course” hand-wringing is over. It’s far too late for that. This country’s leadership needs to get these loans to GM and the rest of the domestic automobile industry in the next 60 days, or life as we’ve come to know it in this country – and I mean every part of this country – not just here in the Motor City, will be severely and unequivocally altered.

That tick, tick, tick you hear?

It's the time running out on the future of America.

Let’s hope that what needs to get done will in fact get done, before it's too late.

Thanks for listening.

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Anyone just hear that Wells-Fargo has gone bust? I'm trying to find a credible source but our business manager was saying he was just told they've gone bankrupt. Any sources out there?

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Anyone just hear that Wells-Fargo has gone bust? I'm trying to find a credible source but our business manager was saying he was just told they've gone bankrupt. Any sources out there?

Well, this was published yesterday, doesn't sound that way:

WF article

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AP

Failure of auto industry could set off catastrophe

Wednesday November 12, 6:30 pm ET

By Tom Krisher and Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writers

Advocates: Collapse of US auto industry could set off catastrophic chain reaction...

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081112/meltdown_autos.html?.v=2

No kidding.

Absolutely, Longtooth.

This is deadly-serious business now. It has real consequences attached for all of us.

But, that article misses so many salient points - the authors need to do more research.

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Absolutely, Longtooth.

This is deadly-serious business now. It has real consequences attached for all of us.

But, that article misses so many salient points - the authors need to do more research.

No doubt De Lorenzo's article cuts more to the heart of the matter. The consensus among those I consider 'enlightened' is generally the same.

For those that would condemn the entire Industry and it's dependents downstream, I find their petty vulgarity on par with the 'proud ignorant' crowd.

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A couple years ago, I tried reading The End of Detroit by this witch: I couldn't get through the first chapter. Her myopic view of the auto industry, coupled with the clear fact that her 'advance' came from Toyota's bank, sickened me. I put the book in a biohazard bag and threw it out.

What a lot of people don't understand is that there is an entire army of lawyers and 'consultants' dying for GM or Ford to fail because a lot of money is to be made by these pack of vultures. Just think of the lawyer's fees alone that will be raked in by major legal firms that will represent the unions, the suppliers, the dealers, etc as everyone piles on and sues each other in the event of a major bankruptcy.

This would be yet another nail in the coffin for the American hegemony, because rather than BILLIONS being spent on R&D and productivity improvements for manufacturing, the money would be spent on legal battles - which is HALF the problem with both our countries in the first place.

Again, more paper pushers would get rich, America would continue to build nothing and slide farther into obscurity and irrelevance.

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A couple years ago, I tried reading The End of Detroit by this witch: I couldn't get through the first chapter. Her myopic view of the auto industry, coupled with the clear fact that her 'advance' came from Toyota's bank, sickened me. I put the book in a biohazard bag and threw it out.

What a lot of people don't understand is that there is an entire army of lawyers and 'consultants' dying for GM or Ford to fail because a lot of money is to be made by these pack of vultures. Just think of the lawyer's fees alone that will be raked in by major legal firms that will represent the unions, the suppliers, the dealers, etc as everyone piles on and sues each other in the event of a major bankruptcy.

This would be yet another nail in the coffin for the American hegemony, because rather than BILLIONS being spent on R&D and productivity improvements for manufacturing, the money would be spent on legal battles - which is HALF the problem with both our countries in the first place.

Again, more paper pushers would get rich, America would continue to build nothing and slide farther into obscurity and irrelevance.

Again, 'BIZ, It'd behoove Canada to embrace GM to it's bosom and supply the wherewithal to get GM righted. What wouldn't that do to the pedantic media here? Likely make them even more liberal in splashing misinformation and vitriol around.

Oh, if only. We, your Southern neighbors, generally venerate someone or something, then take gleeful sport in slashing them/it to ribbons. I'm just focusing too heavily on the negative of late I suppose, but I'd be happy to see the naysayers in the media eat their words.

I still feel that after putting GM through the crucible of public opinion and scrutiny that an equitable 'fix' will be found. The last thing needed here is: Another 2 or 3 million souls suddenly (or agonizingly slowly) having to scrounge for work in an already ridiculously tight labor market.

Edited by longtooth
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A couple years ago, I tried reading The End of Detroit by this witch: I couldn't get through the first chapter. Her myopic view of the auto industry, coupled with the clear fact that her 'advance' came from Toyota's bank, sickened me. I put the book in a biohazard bag and threw it out.

What a lot of people don't understand is that there is an entire army of lawyers and 'consultants' dying for GM or Ford to fail because a lot of money is to be made by these pack of vultures. Just think of the lawyer's fees alone that will be raked in by major legal firms that will represent the unions, the suppliers, the dealers, etc as everyone piles on and sues each other in the event of a major bankruptcy.

This would be yet another nail in the coffin for the American hegemony, because rather than BILLIONS being spent on R&D and productivity improvements for manufacturing, the money would be spent on legal battles - which is HALF the problem with both our countries in the first place.

Again, more paper pushers would get rich, America would continue to build nothing and slide farther into obscurity and irrelevance.

Here 'BIZ, I scrounged this from my favorite enlightened souls from CNBC...

16 minutes ago

Big Three Bailout: What It Will "Cost" The Automakers

Posted By:Phil LeBeau

An old friend of mine always used to say, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." That's true. And now the Big 3 are about to find out the price they'll pay for a government bailout. Yes, whether you like it or not (and I have heard from many of you that you don't like the idea of a bailout) Washington will lend the Detroit the money they need to survive this crisis...

http://www.cnbc.com//id/27697969?__source=...C&par=yahoo

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Nobody said it would be a 'free' lunch. An equity stake is better than a loan because loans have to be paid back nearly immediately at a cost, which paradoxically would only worsen things in Detroit for the immediate future.

Current shareholders would have to see the logic to this plan since their current stocks are nearly worthless anything. A diluted stock base is preferable to bankruptcy; surely they can see that.

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Nobody said it would be a 'free' lunch. An equity stake is better than a loan because loans have to be paid back nearly immediately at a cost, which paradoxically would only worsen things in Detroit for the immediate future.

Current shareholders would have to see the logic to this plan since their current stocks are nearly worthless anything. A diluted stock base is preferable to bankruptcy; surely they can see that.

It's far too early to breathe a sigh of relief, yet I believe many are beginning to feel as the mouse, after seeing the shadow of the hawk having passed over it and moving on.

There'll be pain aplenty within GM in reconciling any 'assist' from the Government.

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Even with $25 billion to GM, by December 2009 they will be bankrupt again. All it does is delay bankruptcy until a time the economy is hopefully doing better and the impact of them going under won't be as bad. The problem is not whether or not they get a bailout (I am sure they will) but what they actually do with it. Wagoner and clan will screw it up. If they don't change their business model, come 2010-2011 perhaps Toyota will buy them and change it for them.

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Even with $25 billion to GM, by December 2009 they will be bankrupt again. All it does is delay bankruptcy until a time the economy is hopefully doing better and the impact of them going under won't be as bad. The problem is not whether or not they get a bailout (I am sure they will) but what they actually do with it. Wagoner and clan will screw it up. If they don't change their business model, come 2010-2011 perhaps Toyota will buy them and change it for them.

A few friends of mine that are TTBs (Toyota True Believers) have said they hope Toyota buys GM.. a horrifying thought, IMHO.

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Even with $25 billion to GM, by December 2009 they will be bankrupt again. All it does is delay bankruptcy until a time the economy is hopefully doing better and the impact of them going under won't be as bad. The problem is not whether or not they get a bailout (I am sure they will) but what they actually do with it. Wagoner and clan will screw it up. If they don't change their business model, come 2010-2011 perhaps Toyota will buy them and change it for them.

Baseless drivel, stupid assumption, and flawed thinking - again.

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No doubt De Lorenzo's article cuts more to the heart of the matter. The consensus among those I consider 'enlightened' is generally the same.

For those that would condemn the entire Industry and it's dependents downstream, I find their petty vulgarity on par with the 'proud ignorant' crowd.

You know, if GM and Ford we're smart, they'd use the negativity against them to start a social movement the likes of which has not been seen since the "Green" movement.

Just as it is patriotic to go "Green" it should be patriotic to buy domestics.

They could do it to... All they need is a good sociologist. (FOG raises hand) ;)

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Yet another article..

CNN GM Bankruptcy article

I'm subscribing to a limited moratorium on GM-related articles for the rest of the day. (so I say now)

It feels like my brain is peeling :mind-blowing: and it can't discern new-age from nuance. There's definitely no shortage of opinion being bandied about now is there?

I'm calling it a late lunch even as President Bush in his overly deliberate, precise and mind-numbing cadence blathers on in ineffectiveness.

Hang in there folks.

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I'm subscribing to a limited moratorium on GM-related articles for the rest of the day. (so I say now)

It feels like my brain is peeling :mind-blowing: and it can't discern new-age from nuance. There's definitely no shortage of opinion being bandied about now is there?

I'm calling it a late lunch even as President Bush in his overly deliberate, precise and mind-numbing cadence blathers on in ineffectiveness.

Hang in there folks.

I'm getting overwhelmed also..thinking I should get off the internet and turn off the TV for the rest of the week and think happy thoughts about hugging warm terriers, sunny days, fast drives with the sunroof open... (alas, sunny days are a given in AZ, since 90% or more of the days are sunny).

Edited by moltar
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Even with $25 billion to GM, by December 2009 they will be bankrupt again. All it does is delay bankruptcy until a time the economy is hopefully doing better and the impact of them going under won't be as bad. The problem is not whether or not they get a bailout (I am sure they will) but what they actually do with it. Wagoner and clan will screw it up. If they don't change their business model, come 2010-2011 perhaps Toyota will buy them and change it for them.

??? Do you even know how to balance your checkbook?

Even if GM continues to 'burn' through a billion a month in cash (and there is no reason to believe that will go on indefinitely), 12X1= $12 billion, not $25 billion. Worst case scenario, the market doesn't correct itself in the next 14 months (to the end of '09) and U.S. sales are still in the 12-14 million unit range: GM would still have another $12 billion or so in cash reserves left.

I have no doubt, with what they have told us about the Orlando, 'Nox, Cruze and other models coming onstream in the next 12 months or so that GM will be positioned to ride the next market upswing. Plus, the healthcare savings that were negotiated start kicking in at the end of next year, which will further ease the cashflow crunch.

The real question is when will that upswing begin? Right now, it's all the negativity in the marketplace and all the f'ing rumors that are giving the market constipation!

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??? Do you even know how to balance your checkbook?

Even if GM continues to 'burn' through a billion a month in cash (and there is no reason to believe that will go on indefinitely), 12X1= $12 billion, not $25 billion. Worst case scenario, the market doesn't correct itself in the next 14 months (to the end of '09) and U.S. sales are still in the 12-14 million unit range: GM would still have another $12 billion or so in cash reserves left.

I have no doubt, with what they have told us about the Orlando, 'Nox, Cruze and other models coming onstream in the next 12 months or so that GM will be positioned to ride the next market upswing. Plus, the healthcare savings that were negotiated start kicking in at the end of next year, which will further ease the cashflow crunch.

The real question is when will that upswing begin? Right now, it's all the negativity in the marketplace and all the f'ing rumors that are giving the market constipation!

If the burn rate continues at $6-7 billion/Quarter (as per 3rd Q numbers which don't include a horrible October), than that's just 1 year.

Assuming they can slow the rate to $1 billion/month, then they make it until 2010, but have another $25billion in loans to repay on top of the current liabilities--oh, and they've got to restart all of the development programs at that time.

Simply put, that's a tall order. They'll get the money---but I predict a day of reckoning will only be extended, not prevented. PArtnership, merger, a split of US/World operations or receivership are the most likely outcomes.

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No doubt De Lorenzo's article cuts more to the heart of the matter. The consensus among those I consider 'enlightened' is generally the same.

For those that would condemn the entire Industry and it's dependents downstream, I find their petty vulgarity on par with the 'proud ignorant' crowd.

True but if you have read the emails he has posted over the last several years everytime he diece on the domestics you would notice a lagre number of anti Detroit crap. it's almost like they think they would be imune to the coming catastrphy. They also do not forgive Detroits transgressions while it is okay to buy Hyndai when they were POS when they first came here (ask me how I know), yet they are given a free pass. Many of Detroit' products are just as good as the imports yet the humpers recite the same old crap and don't even try them.

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A few friends of mine that are TTBs (Toyota True Believers) have said they hope Toyota buys GM.. a horrifying thought, IMHO.

i am extending any toyota bangers and advocates to an ell expenses paid, luxury weekend driving a toyota Echo and Yaris for a length of 1000 miles.

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You know, if GM and Ford we're smart, they'd use the negativity against them to start a social movement the likes of which has not been seen since the "Green" movement.

Just as it is patriotic to go "Green" it should be patriotic to buy domestics.

They could do it to... All they need is a good sociologist. (FOG raises hand) ;)

the paper pushers who seem to have the money in this country (and visit whole foods stores) reject the notion of domestic products and in fact disdain them.

give these people time. they just alleviated their white guilt for voting for a black president. give their minds some rest until they are primed for sheepishness again.

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True but if you have read the emails he has posted over the last several years everytime he diece on the domestics you would notice a lagre number of anti Detroit crap. it's almost like they think they would be imune to the coming catastrphy. They also do not forgive Detroits transgressions while it is okay to buy Hyndai when they were POS when they first came here (ask me how I know), yet they are given a free pass. Many of Detroit' products are just as good as the imports yet the humpers recite the same old crap and don't even try them.

you won't fix that mindset until you set fire to consumer reports offices unfortunately.

humpers do recite the same old crap. they 'research' car purchases more than other more important things, houses, insurance, medical care. Most car purchases a person does not make a huge financial mistake on if you do your diligence in the purchase phase (i.e. not overpaying vs. the real value of what is provided you). as an example, idiots pay 30k for a camry or accord loaded. they say the resale is great. But honestly, you can save several thousand buying an equally competent competitive make. For the sake of fairness, lets assume you buy a Hyundai Sonata instead. It will probably be cheaper. cars are an expense, not an investment. You pay for the use. Any higher resale you obtained for the camry vs the sonata was overextended when you bought the car. If you paid 5 grand more and add in inflation and interest to that, you paid a whole lot more for what is a garden variety midsize blandcar that has no superior benefits.

but idiots like to cover up the fact they made stupid decisions by twisting the logic around and putting a spin on it that sounds good so they feel good about blowing that much more for nothing of benefit in return.

GM's best approach at this point is to worry about rebuilding the value of the products in the consumers mind, after the bailout fails. I think they will have a lot easier time telling the true strengths and gaining sympathy and unbiased ear of their products once the public sees some of the financial catastrophe unfold first unfortunately. People want to see it happen, the theatrics. They want to see the people crying because they have been out of work, they want the soap opera first i'm afraid. problem is its not a very kind soap opera and its not fiction. We won't see the media report anything about what's right with the general until all the advertising checks have cleared for all the media outlets tv and internet on all the terrible news they report first.

Edited by regfootball
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I'd argue that you could have a wholesale turnover of the leadership of the Big 3 tomorrow - oust all of the corporate staff with no golden parachutes whatsoever - and people would still rather see these companies die than support their fellow Americans' jobs. In the end, it's irrelevant to who's running the companies NOW, because the errors were made when Smith, Ford Jr., et al. were running the companies, much less Wagoner, Mulally and Nardelli.

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Before you all start clapping your hands and dancing around in circles, there is responsibility to be accepted, there is no plan set as of yet to do anything to help a business that has sunk itself, there is accountability to be dealt.

My head can't get around this easy money mentality that seems to motivate CaminoLS6, longtooth, reg, perhaps a few others. Am I wrong? Where's the discourse about how we got to this mess? Where's the solutions to stop this kind of thing from ever happenning again? Where's the accountability, after all they're going to be getting yet more money out of the taxpayers' pockets. Instead of reforms and plans that work to stimulate job growth, sectors, tech investment, education investment, we have to worry about funding a company that's been reeling for over a decade and been inept enough to deny it all.

Thank God investors and government officials know enough not to gloss over history in these cases. The fact is these companies, especially GM, has been reeling in a downward spiral for some time. Where was the call for aid a decade ago? Where was the call for intervention because conditions and the situation called for it five years ago? Where has the revitalized product program taken them? Where we were a decade ago...with superlative trucks and outdated cars, where design was a privelege only to be gleaned with a Cadillac.

Why did we let it get to this mess? And why should we be responsible for bailing out a private business without there being accountability?

I understand the need for GM to be saved, I need no spiel about the affects it would have on local governments, and the 'millions' of jobs it affects.

GM must be saved

AND

GM must take responsibility.

Regardless of where the current restructuring is, the tenth restructuring in only the last decade, management and board needs to resign or forced out. they need someone with the guts, know how, and swift movements of Alan Mullaly.

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the paper pushers who seem to have the money in this country (and visit whole foods stores) reject the notion of domestic products and in fact disdain them.

give these people time. they just alleviated their white guilt for voting for a black president. give their minds some rest until they are primed for sheepishness again.

apart from two product, GM makes cars that are designed out of date and engineered out of date, on platforms with less structural integrity than competitors, utilizing less advanced building materials than competition. entire designs have come and gone that have revolutionized the industry and GM has been content to play in last century think, where they invest just what the need and never lead the pack. they're content with second, third, and fourth tier.

Is it that you are willing to accept out of date notion and technology and product, or is it that I reject a good product.

CTS and Malibu are with the head of the pack in cars, G8 and Astra are unsupported by thier own company. what else is there? Why should the general public buying these cars for general purposes care?

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Before you all start clapping your hands and dancing around in circles, there is responsibility to be accepted, there is no plan set as of yet to do anything to help a business that has sunk itself, there is accountability to be dealt.

My head can't get around this easy money mentality that seems to motivate CaminoLS6, longtooth, reg, perhaps a few others. Am I wrong? Where's the discourse about how we got to this mess? Where's the solutions to stop this kind of thing from ever happenning again? Where's the accountability, after all they're going to be getting yet more money out of the taxpayers' pockets. Instead of reforms and plans that work to stimulate job growth, sectors, tech investment, education investment, we have to worry about funding a company that's been reeling for over a decade and been inept enough to deny it all.

Thank God investors and government officials know enough not to gloss over history in these cases. The fact is these companies, especially GM, has been reeling in a downward spiral for some time. Where was the call for aid a decade ago? Where was the call for intervention because conditions and the situation called for it five years ago? Where has the revitalized product program taken them? Where we were a decade ago...with superlative trucks and outdated cars, where design was a privelege only to be gleaned with a Cadillac.

Why did we let it get to this mess? And why should we be responsible for bailing out a private business without there being accountability?

I understand the need for GM to be saved, I need no spiel about the affects it would have on local governments, and the 'millions' of jobs it affects.

GM must be saved

AND

GM must take responsibility.

Regardless of where the current restructuring is, the tenth restructuring in only the last decade, management and board needs to resign or forced out. they need someone with the guts, know how, and swift movements of Alan Mullaly.

I reject your assessment of both the product and planning done by GM during the current management's tenure. You have ignored completely the fact that they have been moving steadily, and decisively toward a much more competitive position.

That said, I do not reject the need for accountability. Remember that we are talking about loans, not grants here.

Also, isn't it a bit early to be sending champaigne to Mullaly?

Now is not the time to fiddle while Rome burns, the simple uncertainty of the situation demands immedite action.

Perhaps the best route to follow would be to grant enough of a loan to stabilize the industry while a more exhaustive analysis takes place. After all of the hand-wringing and arguing is worked out, the balance of the loan package could be implemented. Otherwise, there may be no way to stop this avalanche of disaster in our economic present and permanent damage to its future.

The gripes voiced by the opponents of making these loans ignore the fact that most of their criticisms are already being addressed by the big 3! And the calls for management heads on chopping blocks stem from a desire for blood rather than any logical, or even informed assessment of their performance.

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apart from two product, GM makes cars that are designed out of date and engineered out of date, on platforms with less structural integrity than competitors, utilizing less advanced building materials than competition. entire designs have come and gone that have revolutionized the industry and GM has been content to play in last century think, where they invest just what the need and never lead the pack. they're content with second, third, and fourth tier.

Is it that you are willing to accept out of date notion and technology and product, or is it that I reject a good product.

CTS and Malibu are with the head of the pack in cars, G8 and Astra are unsupported by thier own company. what else is there? Why should the general public buying these cars for general purposes care?

Y'know, if it didn't say you've post over 3,000 times here, I'd almost think you were new around here.

We've been debating this to death for the past 2 or 3 years. There is nothing wrong with the majority of GM's vehicles that the average person wouldn't be perfectly happy with. It's the constant hating/piling on mentality of the jaded, purposeless media that has created the biggest headaches for GM and Ford.

Why don't you do yourself a favor and stand on a street corner and ask 30 passersby what they drive, what's under the hood and how much horsepower it has. If you want a real laugh, ask them if it has DOHC or pushrods. If you got 3 intelligent answers, I'd eat my hat.

Quality (whatever that means), durability, styling and value are the most important attributes to any new vehicle. Unfortunately, 3 out of the 4 seem to be quite subjective.

Here's two conversations I had yesterday with customers:

1) old geezer with a 3 year old Malibu. Loves the car. Finds the ride too harsh. I asked him what he drove before. Answer: Buick Century. Oh, I replied, that's your saleperson's fault. He or she should have put you in an Impala, you'd like it better. Moral of the story: some people don't want road feel and just want comfort.

2) Younger guy, late '30s. He has a 12 year old Sunfire with 180,000 miles and the original clutch. I spoke to him two weeks ago, but he was 'told' to check out the Camry and Accord. He came back and bought a Malibu. Why? He shrugged and said the the Toyota and Honda were 'okay,' but he has never had probems with his GM cars in the past and wants to 'stick with GM.' Do you think this guy give s f$#k about how many speeds his tranny has, or whether his 'crappy' Sunfire was a pushrod engine?

If the WSJ, R&T, MT and others fell off a cliff tomorrow, GM and Ford's sales would probably double in a couple years. 80% of the public don't know there ass from a hole in the ground but they are being pushed and shoved around by the absolute bull$h! bordering on propaganda in the media today.

Where is Goebbles when you need him?

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...what's the lyrics of that one song by Green Day..."one nation controlled by the media"

Couldn't be more true.

Sadly, I think you, mr Carbiz, must be the LAST qualified salesperson left on the continent. My 12 year old daughter, Joanna, knows more about cars than most of the salespeople I talk to. Finding some way to get an educated slaesforce, and make it financially worth their while, would go a long way in helping GM. However, when you've got 15 salespeople in a dealerhsip that sells 5 cars a week, someone is going to go hungry.

Chris

Edited by 66Stang
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I reject your assessment of both the product and planning done by GM during the current management's tenure. You have ignored completely the fact that they have been moving steadily, and decisively toward a much more competitive position.

That said, I do not reject the need for accountability. Remember that we are talking about loans, not grants here.

Also, isn't it a bit early to be sending champaigne to Mullaly?

Now is not the time to fiddle while Rome burns, the simple uncertainty of the situation demands immedite action.

Perhaps the best route to follow would be to grant enough of a loan to stabilize the industry while a more exhaustive analysis takes place. After all of the hand-wringing and arguing is worked out, the balance of the loan package could be implemented. Otherwise, there may be no way to stop this avalanche of disaster in our economic present and permanent damage to its future.

The gripes voiced by the opponents of making these loans ignore the fact that most of their criticisms are already being addressed by the big 3! And the calls for management heads on chopping blocks stem from a desire for blood rather than any logical, or even informed assessment of their performance.

the public is only given what we see from the outside looking in. granted, the plan may be in place, the perfect restructuring plan, but we only see what we have evidence of. analysts and investors, the plague if it were up to members of this board, don't want to touch GM because of the one thing they have been talking about for decades now, a majority of the buying public has changed its habits, and a majority of the buying public has now shifted to import shopping. GM has lost a majority of consumer share in its field, in one of the most spectacular failures of a storied company in the last century.

I know you all have heard this before, I'm trying to word this to get around very plebian and sycophantic arguments, 'it's all unfair, GM has been treated harshly,' or the blind 'it's really all there, the product is there, it's great, it's enough, it's perfect. it's biased mindsets that won't shop because they hate GM.'

Really, what vendetta exists in people against GM? Explain away. Consumers who've had bad experience with a product and refuse to shop GM are numerous, but that's no vendetta, that's simple intelligent and adaptive behavior.

there's simply no denying the record GM has, unless you're stupid. there's simply no objective view of GM that has them as a successful company with a solid track record in thier specialty, cars. GM just has a huge distribution network, legions of employees to sustain and boost buying patterns, and an indisputable legacy and history. This is why they still exist today. plenty companies with equivalent track records for producing mediocre, unimaginative, and generally subpar product in their most important market segments have gone under.

to get back to my original point, we all only have evidence of what we see from the outside. it would be sorry and maniacal for the government to offer a private business a guaranteed loan with no strings attached, it'd be welcoming a number of private sectors, as well as private consumers' ire and personal requests.

on many different levels here, there will be a bailout, and there must be compromises. GM will be called into judgement for thier repetitive failure.

Edited by turbo200
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the public is only given what we see from the outside looking in. granted, the plan may be in place, the perfect restructuring plan, but we only see what we have evidence of. analysts and investors, the plague if it were up to members of this board, don't want to touch GM because of the one thing they have been talking about for decades now, a majority of the buying public has changed its habits, and a majority of the buying public has now shifted to import shopping. GM has lost a majority of consumer share in its field, in one of the most spectacular failures of a storied company in the last century.

I know you all have heard this before, I'm trying to word this to get around very plebian and sycophantic arguments, 'it's all unfair, GM has been treated harshly,' or the blind 'it's really all there, the product is there, it's great, it's enough, it's perfect. it's biased mindsets that won't shop because they hate GM.'

Really, what vendetta exists in people against GM? Explain away. Consumers who've had bad experience with a product and refuse to shop GM are numerous, but that's no vendetta, that's simple intelligent and adaptive behavior.

there's simply no denying the record GM has, unless you're stupid. there's simply no objective view of GM that has them as a successful company with a solid track record in thier specialty, cars. GM just has a huge distribution network, legions of employees to sustain and boost buying patterns, and an indisputable legacy and history. This is why they still exist today. plenty companies with equivalent track records for producing mediocre, unimaginative, and generally subpar product in their most important market segments have gone under.

to get back to my original point, we all only have evidence of what we see from the outside. it would be sorry and maniacal for the government to offer a private business a guaranteed loan with no strings attached, it'd be welcoming a number of private sectors, as well as private consumers' ire and personal requests.

on many different levels here, there will be a bailout, and there must be compromises. GM will be called into judgement for thier repetitive failure.

Of course there will be strings attached- that's a given when dealing with the government. Also obvious is the fact that GM will be put under a microscope during the process.

The problem arises when presupposition takes the place of facts, creating a negative mindset from the outset. Your posts on this are clear examples of just such a mindset. We on this site have followed all of the available details of GM's progress in restructuring itself over the last 5-10 years with our own microscope. With that as a given, it is unbelieveable to me that anyone here for that period of time could completely discount all of the obvious, and significant changes GM has already made.

GM is not the same company it was even 2 years ago, let alone 5 or 10 years ago, or decades ago as so many still like to claim. That can only be bias or ignorance - take your pick.

The long and short of this is that GM is requesting a loan and it is in our best interest as a nation to grant that request.

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If it were merely disgruntled consumers spreading rumors and lies, GM and Ford would be fine, but rather the bigger issue is the agenda being foisted on the auto industry by the likes of MT, R&T (and even the slobs on Top Gear), who rank every vehicle by how many Gs it can do in a turn. It's the aggregate of these two groups attacking Detroit that have created the bigger issue.

We see the same kind of biases here on C&G, amongst a group of supposedly auto-educated people. There are frequent posters on here who are willing to cheer GM into bankruptcy because they don't build hardtops or RWD, or because GM may have to cancel their favorite brand to stave off financial ruin. If we get that sort of anger amongst the 'enlightened,' is it hard to imagine worse from the ignorant?

It's simple math:

GM sold 5 million vehicles a year throughout the '80s (more or less), let's assume 20% of their cars were total POS; therefore, you'd have 1 million pissed off customers a year, bad mouthing GM

Honda sold 800k-1M a year through the '80s, and again let's assume they had 20% of their cars as total POS; therefore, you'd have 150k or so pissed off customers a year to slander Honda.

Multiply that over a couple decades and you'd have a $h! storm for GM, especially when their market share has DECLINED, which I view as a natural process, inevitable for any maturing business.

When I owned my own business, I once joked to my sister (as an irate customer stormed out of my store) that if we stayed in business long enough we would succeed in pissing off every customer we had.

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