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View Full Version : GM has 120 days to live, Ford 7 months.


quagmire
Nov 7, 2008, 11:41 AM
Well Ford and GM's Q3 results have been posted. GM had a cash burn of $6.9 billion and a loss of $2.5 billion. Ford lost $2.98 billion. If nothing changes, estimates have GM lasting 120 days and Ford lasting 7 months.

While I agree GM and Ford have been mismanaged on a massive scale and they were idiots relying on SUV's and trucks and neglecting their cars, etc. Should the gov't be sitting there and do nothing to help them( give loans, etc with massive stipulations, etc like removal of GM's idiotic board members)? While people may believe in the free market and let the weak die, the free market is going to kill the country due to the thousands of people that will be out of work if GM and Ford fail.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/GM-Reports-Third-Quarter-Financial/story.aspx?guid=%7B83F94693-8303-4DB1-82FD-8C59C59D7C57%7D

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aysNwuvCVmpw&refer=home

iGav
Nov 7, 2008, 12:30 PM
It's madness that Ford aren't speeding up the introduction of the One Ford ideology. Get the Ka, Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo in U.S. showrooms now, not 2010. Or they might as well just spin Ford Europe off now, before Ford U.S. sinks the whole shebang.

rhett7660
Nov 7, 2008, 12:37 PM
Yikes....

Not saying it is going to happen, but can you imagine, no Ford or GM at all. Think about that. Wow. If this happens this will truelly be a sad day.

BoyBach
Nov 7, 2008, 12:42 PM
A NHS-style healthcare system in the US would almost certainly help.

Drumjim85
Nov 7, 2008, 12:44 PM
dont worry, Obama will take care of it all :rolleyes:

Unspeaked
Nov 7, 2008, 01:06 PM
It's madness that Ford aren't speeding up the introduction of the One Ford ideology. Get the Ka, Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo in U.S. showrooms now, not 2010. Or they might as well just spin Ford Europe off now, before Ford U.S. sinks the whole shebang.

Ford Europe's profit was down nearly 75% this quarter. They're barely breaking even now.

The only semi-viable division at this point is Ford South America.

It's all moot, though, since the government will bail out Ford and GM so they can keep throwing their money away making cars no one wants.

synth3tik
Nov 7, 2008, 01:11 PM
Who wants those crappy transmissions anyway?

I'll take an Audi or a Volvo over a GM or Ford any day.

iGav
Nov 7, 2008, 01:29 PM
Ford Europe's profit was down nearly 75% this quarter. They're barely breaking even now.

But they still made a profit in a period that was defined by a dramatic economic slowdown, with 3 of Europe's largest economies entering into recession.

Not to mention that the last quarter was the end of a life cycle for 2 of their main products (Ka & Fiesta) one of which (the Fiesta) has only just gone on sale, and the other does not go on sale until 2009, this has had a significant impact on sales (and profits) for the last quarter, as buyers waited for the new models to arrive.

omegaphil6
Nov 7, 2008, 01:31 PM
They both make absolutely horrid vehicles that look and feel super cheap and run like **** and fall apart... I hope they close shop, it is survival of the fitest.

cantthinkofone
Nov 7, 2008, 02:05 PM
I like my acura. and will keep buying them.

I can't believe they are still trying to sell SUVs and trucks here. Everybody has one.

quagmire
Nov 7, 2008, 02:13 PM
Who wants those crappy transmissions anyway?

I'll take an Audi or a Volvo over a GM or Ford any day.

Volvo is owned by Ford. Take a look at the Taurus, it rides on a Volvo platform.

They both make absolutely horrid vehicles that look and feel super cheap and run like **** and fall apart... I hope they close shop, it is survival of the fitest.

Have you owned one of their recent products? I have and they are huge improvements and actually compete with the japanese.

I like my acura. and will keep buying them.

I can't believe they are still trying to sell SUVs and trucks here. Everybody has one.

Because people still need them. My family still has a need for a Suburban for towing and hauling 7 people and cargo.

mkrishnan
Nov 7, 2008, 02:22 PM
It's madness that Ford aren't speeding up the introduction of the One Ford ideology. Get the Ka, Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo in U.S. showrooms now, not 2010. Or they might as well just spin Ford Europe off now, before Ford U.S. sinks the whole shebang.

They would have done this a decade ago had they not made the decision to let Nasser fall on the sword for the Firestone debacle and let Bill Ford run the company. They were even in the process of it -- in the early 2000s, they had the Focus squarely on the Car & Driver top ten list. They should have let Bill Ford fall on the sword and kept Nasser instead.

ChrisA
Nov 7, 2008, 03:10 PM
If I were on Ford or GM's board I'd cure this problem by paying all executive level management with a five or ten year deferment. In other words we hold their pay check for five to ten years then the amount of the check is based on how well the company is doing at the time the check is written. This would end their short sightedness very quickly. Of course they would need to eat now, so we loan them money to cover the 5 to 10 year no-pay period. This loan only makes it better because now they are in debt.

The current trouble is all due to the executives being paid from current quarter results. With the current pay system stupid things like cash incentive to buyers where the cash comes from next quarter and closing plants makes to much sense. If their pay came from five years out accounting tricks would matter less and they would have incentive to invest in R&D and engineering and employee training

Antares
Nov 7, 2008, 03:13 PM
Ford makes some great and truly groundbreaking vehicles. It's a great company which has had a bunch of unfortunate missteps....without a doubt, though, it will survive. Ford is one of the cornerstones of the auto industry...an integral part of it. GM is another great car company that has had it's fair share of issues. GM has some really good products, both current and planned. A failure of GM would mean a major loss of innovation and design to the auto industry. GM should not be allowed to fail. If the US government will bail out banks, they should do in kind for the auto industry...Extend loans to them so they can move ahead.

NT1440
Nov 7, 2008, 03:14 PM
Maybe they should actually live in reality, scale back there damn suv and truck production because almost no one is buying, and give some cars that are innovative, say ones that actually meet higher gas mileage goals? (40 mpg).

TSE
Nov 7, 2008, 03:19 PM
The American government should not intervene with any of this. Let the market ride itself, the so called free market should be run like everyday life: the strong and smart outlast the dumb and weak. Make companies more competitive by not intervening so big companies aren't so concerned about ignoring people's needs by making stupid business decisions because the government will just bail them out. Do this, and prices will go down from the competitiveness, people buy more due to cheaper prices, and the economy is much stronger.

SubaruNation555
Nov 7, 2008, 03:20 PM
It's madness that Ford aren't speeding up the introduction of the One Ford ideology. Get the Ka, Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo in U.S. showrooms now, not 2010. Or they might as well just spin Ford Europe off now, before Ford U.S. sinks the whole shebang.

Agreed, we need the Focus and Mondeo over here asap!

Sun Baked
Nov 7, 2008, 03:20 PM
Yikes....

Not saying it is going to happen, but can you imagine, no Ford or GM at all. Think about that. Wow. If this happens this will truelly be a sad day.

Sort of like what will happen if the company survives.

Their euro products will hit the US with few changes, lights, bumper, and seats.

Share about 90% of content instead of the current 10% for the world platforms.

Think this is what will happen if they survive, they said they'd try to do it. Don't know how realistic it is.

---

NHTSA and the EPA are still a roadblock to bringing in a lightly changed vehicle.

So that hurdle should be smoothed and euro cars imported with as few changes as possible.

Though in the past this has led to warranty problems with our crap gas like sulfur contamination of the fuel system and exhaust. Plus any NHTSA shortcut would lead to the injury lawsuits for failing to meet US safety requirements.

Don't know how fast we can crash them for the NHTSA stamp, but the EPA will likely force a US engine into the euro car. So the same crap EPA numbers.

bobfitz14
Nov 7, 2008, 03:25 PM
aren't the majority of (US) government vehicles Ford and GM? i would say like 95% (if not more) cop cars are Ford, and don't the Feds drive GM SUV's?

you would think they'd step in or something..looks like they'll need another source in a couple years if this is true!

NT1440
Nov 7, 2008, 03:28 PM
I think that they should allow the loan, provided with conditions.

Possible conditions:

Meet new MPG regulations within 10 years or suffer massive penalties

Scale back SUV/Truck production to actually reflect the demand

R&D in alternative energy/hybrid car technologies


any suggestions?

Bargsbeer
Nov 7, 2008, 03:58 PM
let the market decide I have to agree. The quality of both is terrible,I drive Honda's and will continue to drive them you can't beat the long term reliability.

quagmire
Nov 7, 2008, 04:03 PM
I think that they should allow the loan, provided with conditions.

Possible conditions:

Meet new MPG regulations within 10 years or suffer massive penalties

Scale back SUV/Truck production to actually reflect the demand

R&D in alternative energy/hybrid car technologies


any suggestions?

GM is scaling back. They are shutting down 4 SUV and truck plants.

let the market decide I have to agree. The quality of both is terrible,I drive Honda's and will continue to drive them you can't beat the long term reliability.

Long term reliability experience with my GM's have been outstanding. If you're basing your opinion on experiences 10-20 years ago, they are outdated and need to be updated.

11800506
Nov 7, 2008, 04:13 PM
The problem without intervention is if the companies end up failing, then thousands of Americans are without jobs, sending the economy into worse condition than it already is. And GM is scaling back SUV and truck production as much as they can.

Recent GM and Ford products actually have become more competitive with the Japanese. Cars such as the new Malibu, CTS, and eventually the Ka, Fiesta, Focus, and Mondeo are all quite nice. I'm not trying to sound like a fanboy for GM as I agree that they were really stupid in their reliance on SUVs and the majority of cars are Japanese (although a new CTS is high on our list for future cars). The simple fact is is that without intervention our economy would be in even worse shape than it is which would obviously not be good.

n8mac
Nov 7, 2008, 04:26 PM
Volvo is owned by Ford. Take a look at the Taurus, it rides on a Volvo platform.

I still haven't forgiven them for that. I used to love Volvos and always wanted one. Now I just own a Mazda and love it. I would own an Infinity if I could afford it. But I can't complain. A friend of mine has an Acura with almost 300k miles and it still runs great.

joeshell383
Nov 7, 2008, 04:40 PM
I still haven't forgiven them for that. I used to love Volvos and always wanted one. Now I just own a Mazda and love it. I would own an Infinity if I could afford it. But I can't complain. A friend of mine has an Acura with almost 300k miles and it still runs great.

Mazda is also owned by Ford.

Dont Hurt Me
Nov 7, 2008, 04:41 PM
Fords styling has become for a lack of a better term FUGLY, GM cant seem to ever plan further ahead then today but with that said I just rented a GT6 and was pretty happy with what I saw and drove though again the styling was luke warm.
Not much talk here about Chrysler and Dodge and must say if I was going to buy soon the Challenger draws my attention big time.

n8mac
Nov 7, 2008, 04:43 PM
Mazda is also owned by Ford.

I wasn't sure if they did or not. What year did this happen anyway? Please say it was after 1996 :eek:

joeshell383
Nov 7, 2008, 04:51 PM
The American government should not intervene with any of this. Let the market ride itself, the so called free market should be run like everyday life: the strong and smart outlast the dumb and weak. Make companies more competitive by not intervening so big companies aren't so concerned about ignoring people's needs by making stupid business decisions because the government will just bail them out. Do this, and prices will go down from the competitiveness, people buy more due to cheaper prices, and the economy is much stronger.

let the market decide I have to agree.

Wrong. The auto industry is one of the most representative examples of the pitfalls a high-barrier-to-entry oligopoly. From the beginning of the industry to the present, REAL innovations have been few and far between. Year after year, we get new models, but they are just facelifts and refreshes. Same transmissions, same internal combustion engines, same everything. With all the history, resources, and experiences not one firm has come out with a real alternative energy car (in 100 years!). Competitors who have tried to enter (a la Tesla) are not able to even get a toe in the door. If the big three fail there will be even fewer competitors in the industry, leaving less incentive for the remaining firms to compete. Not to mention national security, economy, pride, etc.

We're losing too much. There are no more American macrobrewers (except the premium market Boston Brewing Company). There are no American consumer electronics makers (except computer companies). Do we really want to lose the auto industry?

ravenvii
Nov 7, 2008, 04:56 PM
Volvo is owned by Ford. Take a look at the Taurus, it rides on a Volvo platform.

Mazda is also owned by Ford.

lulz

I wasn't sure if they did or not. What year did this happen anyway? Please say it was after 1996 :eek:

It begun to happen all the way back in 1976.

joeshell383
Nov 7, 2008, 04:59 PM
I wasn't sure if they did or not. What year did this happen anyway? Please say it was after 1996 :eek:

Ford has had a stake in Mazda since 1979.

rhett7660
Nov 7, 2008, 05:08 PM
The American government should not intervene with any of this. Let the market ride itself, the so called free market should be run like everyday life: the strong and smart outlast the dumb and weak. Make companies more competitive by not intervening so big companies aren't so concerned about ignoring people's needs by making stupid business decisions because the government will just bail them out. Do this, and prices will go down from the competitiveness, people buy more due to cheaper prices, and the economy is much stronger.

I couldn't agree more. Sad to see it go, but if it is going under let it. They made the decisions, let them live with them.

cantthinkofone
Nov 7, 2008, 05:13 PM
Ford has had a stake in Mazda since 1979.

Yup. Why do you think the new mustang has such good handling.


Because people still need them. My family still has a need for a Suburban for towing and hauling 7 people and cargo.

I know. But they put all their resources in making suvs and trucks. Not many people are driving around big SUVs any more unless they need them, like your self.

Right now, and even two years ago, people were wanting fuel efficient cars.

I'm not sure when toyota started working on the prius, but it came out right on time. Seems like they were ready for the storm.

mikeyredk
Nov 7, 2008, 05:13 PM
So what happened to the talk of the iCar? The way things are going apple has the cash to buy GM

jbernie
Nov 7, 2008, 05:29 PM
They both make absolutely horrid vehicles that look and feel super cheap and run like **** and fall apart... I hope they close shop, it is survival of the fitest.

Maybe they should actually live in reality, scale back there damn suv and truck production because almost no one is buying, and give some cars that are innovative, say ones that actually meet higher gas mileage goals? (40 mpg).


Sounds like some people haven't stopped near a GM dealer in the last 20 years. Now, slowly open your eyes, be careful now, we don't want you getting blinded by the sunlight, but look and see over there, not too far away, it is reality, where GM provides some of the most fuel efficent vehicles available, they may not sell the MOST fuel efficent vehicle available in the US market (Prius?) but overall they do a lot more than most. Also keep in mind GM is represented by many brands not 2 or 3.

If GM stopped selling those SUVs & Trucks the people who do actually need those vehicles would just trot along to the next guy who does, strangely enough a Prius does not make a good work vehicle for a construction company. I know, it maybe a shock to some of you but the world doesn't work on small cars alone.

The American government should not intervene with any of this. Let the market ride itself, the so called free market should be run like everyday life: the strong and smart outlast the dumb and weak. Make companies more competitive by not intervening so big companies aren't so concerned about ignoring people's needs by making stupid business decisions because the government will just bail them out. Do this, and prices will go down from the competitiveness, people buy more due to cheaper prices, and the economy is much stronger.

Ahh yes, we must not help any company in need, there is no purpose in helping GM, Ford & Chrysler, they are weak companies, they got themselves into this position, they must die becauses of errors made in the past.

Knock knock, its reality speaking, remove all 3 US automakers and the potential job losses will amount to around 3 million, as the job losses will quickly spread to most other parts of the economy as you would suddenly have hundreds of thousands of people out of work and little to no money to spend.

Oooo should we mention that there is billions of income taxes and corporate taxes that would not exist either, which may just happen to knock about government spending in many areas as suddenly the money isn't there.

Now, the Federal Government could offer loans, no not Bail Outs like they give their buddies on Wall St, a loan that must be repaid, which will allow these three large employers to reorganize and continue to improve.... or you could just tell them to get lost, see them all fail and then a few months later we will wait for people like you to be complaining endlessly how things suck because the governments do not have enough money to spend on required services.

NT1440
Nov 7, 2008, 05:36 PM
yea, uh, maybe i should have made it clear that I was talking about Ford. Whenever i pass their dealership its a see of trucks and suvs, then a small lot for cars.

Edit: and I never said stop making them, theres a demand for them obviously, but their production in the last couple of years has FAR outpaced their sales, and if they looked anywhere into the future its obvious that people are shifting towards buying with fuel economy as a major factor.

Of course theres always gonna be families that need them, like mine

1994 GMC suburban
2003 (POS) chrysler Town & country
and my sister has a 94 volvo wagon thats being replaced with the 97 model

erickkoch
Nov 7, 2008, 05:55 PM
Just curious, has Japan ever had to bail out Toyota or Honda? Has Korea ever had to bail out Hyundai?

I seem to recall we bailed out Chrysler once already many years ago. I don't want the auto industry in the US to fail but there comes a time when you just have to let the dead wood burn.

joeshell383
Nov 7, 2008, 06:01 PM
Just curious, has Japan ever had to bail out Toyota or Honda? Has Korea ever had to bail out Hyundai?

I seem to recall we bailed out Chrysler once already many years ago. I don't want the auto industry in the US to fail but there comes a time when you just have to let the dead wood burn.

Japan has long had protectionist trade policies that kept foreign automakers out.

danny_w
Nov 7, 2008, 06:13 PM
Just curious, has Japan ever had to bail out Toyota or Honda? Has Korea ever had to bail out Hyundai?

I seem to recall we bailed out Chrysler once already many years ago. I don't want the auto industry in the US to fail but there comes a time when you just have to let the dead wood burn.
Yes, but Chrysler completely repaid the $1.2B loan in a quick 4 years.

Firefly2002
Nov 7, 2008, 06:15 PM
dont worry, Obama will take care of it all :rolleyes:

umad?

He'll do a better job than McCain, shh.

aethelbert
Nov 7, 2008, 06:25 PM
He'll do a better job than McCain, shh.
And this will be confirmed when? Oh right, never.

As for the companies going under, that's not gonna happen if the government keeps throwing money at the industry before they can even see the implementation of the previous package. I can easily see this winding up like the Italian government and Alitalia.

GSMiller
Nov 7, 2008, 07:40 PM
I wasn't sure if they did or not. What year did this happen anyway? Please say it was after 1996 :eek:

You shouldn't have anything to worry about, I think instead of Ford developing crap for Mazda, it's the other way around :p

quagmire
Nov 7, 2008, 08:06 PM
You shouldn't have anything to worry about, I think instead of Ford developing crap for Mazda, it's the other way around :p

Yeah, the Fusion and Edge both ride on Mazda platforms.

danny_w
Nov 7, 2008, 08:11 PM
You shouldn't have anything to worry about, I think instead of Ford developing crap for Mazda, it's the other way around :p
Ford and Mazda have had a relationship at least since the early '70s. I know that Ford pickups had Mazda air conditioner compressors even way back then. Of course the Ford Ranger is just a rebadged Mazda B2xxx, the last Escort was a Mazda Protege, etc. They bought a larger percentage of Mazda in the '80s or '90s but I don't know that they ever bought them out completely.

n8mac
Nov 7, 2008, 08:16 PM
You shouldn't have anything to worry about, I think instead of Ford developing crap for Mazda, it's the other way around :p

I went ahead and looked up on wiki. Here's what I found...

Ford doesn't completely own Mazda, rather they have a 33.6% stake in them currently. Mazda is called an associate of Ford.

From wiki:
"Mazda also helped Ford develop the 1991 Explorer, which Mazda sold as the 2-door only Mazda Navajo from 1991 through 1994. Ironically, Mazda's version was unsuccessful, while the Ford (available from the start as a 4-door or 2-door model) instantly became the best selling sport-utility vehicle in the United States and kept that title for over a decade. Mazda has used Ford's Ranger pickup as the basis for its North American-market B-Series trucks, starting in 1994 and continuing through to the present."

LOL

"Since 1997, Ford's deeper involvement in Mazda's operations has meant an increasing level of cooperation in engineering and marketing as well. The two firms now share engine designs from around the world (Ford uses Mazda's four-cylinder designs in large numbers, while Mazda has replaced its own V6 engine lines with designs from Ford) and have made several combined efforts in platform engineering. Their first major platform cooperation of this type began with the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute models, which were effectively a global design that has since been sold in many parts of the world. The most recent Ford Focus also shares a platform with both the Mazda Axela and the Volvo S40."

I guess my 1996 Millenia is safe. It does make me think about future purchases.

"Amidst the world financial crisis in the fall of 2008, reports emerged that Ford was contemplating a sale of its stake in Mazda as a way of streamlining its asset base [6]. BusinessWeek explained the alliance between Ford and Mazda has been a very successful one, with Mazda saving perhaps $90 million a year in development costs and Ford "several times" that, and that a sale of its stake in Mazda would be a desperate measure."

NT1440
Nov 7, 2008, 08:18 PM
Id guess that 33% is the majority shareholder, so that would make them the owners.

mkrishnan
Nov 7, 2008, 08:24 PM
Id guess that 33% is the majority shareholder, so that would make them the owners.

The rules for this work slightly differently in Japan than in most other countries... the level of ownership Ford has allows them to "control" Mazda, which is somewhat more power than just being majority shareholder entails (it allows them, as I understand it, to do things like report Mazda earnings).

Anyway, though... Mazda makes great cars. I love my 6. The new 6 looks very nice, but simply too big for me (I was disappointed that they took it in this direction). The 3 looks great also. Their two new SUVs and their micro-minivan are interesting also, albeit not to my taste. They are weak in that they don't really have a hybrid electric plan. But Mazda definitely makes the most fun to drive cars coming out of Japan.

geese
Nov 7, 2008, 08:28 PM
I'll be surprised if one of the big 3 doesn't go bust- look what happened to the British car industry. No amount of government intervention saved it.

Too many cars being made- something has got to give.

GSMiller
Nov 7, 2008, 11:32 PM
Yeah, the Fusion and Edge both ride on Mazda platforms.

I didn't know those two were built on a Mazda platform, I knew the Ranger was though, and I remember Mazda having an SUV called the "Navajo" back in the 90s that was identical to the Explorer, not sure which was based on which there though.

Ford and Mazda have had a relationship at least since the early '70s. I know that Ford pickups had Mazda air conditioner compressors even way back then. Of course the Ford Ranger is just a rebadged Mazda B2xxx, the last Escort was a Mazda Protege, etc. They bought a larger percentage of Mazda in the '80s or '90s but I don't know that they ever bought them out completely.

Ford owns a good amount of Mazda, but not a controlling stake. Just enough to benefit from Mazda's surge in the last few years.

I went ahead and looked up on wiki. Here's what I found...

Ford doesn't completely own Mazda, rather they have a 33.6% stake in them currently. Mazda is called an associate of Ford.

From wiki:
"Mazda also helped Ford develop the 1991 Explorer, which Mazda sold as the 2-door only Mazda Navajo from 1991 through 1994. Ironically, Mazda's version was unsuccessful, while the Ford (available from the start as a 4-door or 2-door model) instantly became the best selling sport-utility vehicle in the United States and kept that title for over a decade. Mazda has used Ford's Ranger pickup as the basis for its North American-market B-Series trucks, starting in 1994 and continuing through to the present."

LOL

"Since 1997, Ford's deeper involvement in Mazda's operations has meant an increasing level of cooperation in engineering and marketing as well. The two firms now share engine designs from around the world (Ford uses Mazda's four-cylinder designs in large numbers, while Mazda has replaced its own V6 engine lines with designs from Ford) and have made several combined efforts in platform engineering. Their first major platform cooperation of this type began with the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute models, which were effectively a global design that has since been sold in many parts of the world. The most recent Ford Focus also shares a platform with both the Mazda Axela and the Volvo S40."

I guess my 1996 Millenia is safe. It does make me think about future purchases.

"Amidst the world financial crisis in the fall of 2008, reports emerged that Ford was contemplating a sale of its stake in Mazda as a way of streamlining its asset base [6]. BusinessWeek explained the alliance between Ford and Mazda has been a very successful one, with Mazda saving perhaps $90 million a year in development costs and Ford "several times" that, and that a sale of its stake in Mazda would be a desperate measure."

I knew the numbers would be on Wikipedia! I think it would be stupid for Ford to sell their stake in Mazda right now, as stupid as it was for GM to sale their stakes in Suzuki and Subaru (although I think GM still owns like 3% of Suzuki). The Japanese brands seem to be where its at right now. I would definitely research any Mazda before I bought it, for fear that's its just a rebadged Ford :p I was going to buy a Mazda3 when I was in the market a few years ago, but because all the Mazda dealers refused to cooperate. I wanted a specific color, they wouldn't tell me what they had in stock, so I wasn't driving 50+ miles just to come back home without a new car. They thought they'd get me on the lot and force a car upon me I didn't want, but I'm just spiteful enough to where I would have driven the 50 miles back home without a new car and them without a sale. The Chevy dealer I bought my Cobalt from on the other hand done business completely over the phone.

I'll be surprised if one of the big 3 doesn't go bust- look what happened to the British car industry. No amount of government intervention saved it.

Too many cars being made- something has got to give.

And yet it seems like the cars that people want to buy, GM can't make them fast enough :confused:

FrankieTDouglas
Nov 8, 2008, 12:39 AM
I hope GM doesn't go under, but for personal reasons.

My father worked for GM for over 20 years as an electrician at the local assembly plant. He has since retired and lives on his retirement, which includes the check along with health benefits.

If GM declares bankruptcy, he has suddenly lost all that he ever worked for and after finally being able to retire, will be left with nothing except the position of having to become employed all over again in his 60's.

AmbitiousLemon
Nov 8, 2008, 01:21 AM
I think this chart might be useful:
http://jalopnik.com/assets/images/gallery/12/2008/03/thumb1280x1280_2364177540_0e30819365_o.jpg

Regarding the argument of intervention versus laissez faire. The reason we are seeing staunch fiscal conservatives (not many of them left unfortunately) joining democrats to "bail out" companies is that they have been informed by history. Leading up to the great depression it was felt that the only way to rid the system of the bad loans was to allow banks to fail. A more recent example occurred in Japan. The difference here is that the Japanese government recognized that a bail out was necessary, but felt the public would not tolerate the intervention. 20 Years later and the Japanese economy still has not regained the heights it was at prior to their crash.

The economy will "ride out" these bad times by purging the bad companies and money from the system through the process of bankruptcy, but the social implications can be dire (as seen in the great depression), and the time it takes can be very long (as in Japan).


President-elect Obama says:
The news coming out of the auto industry this week reminds us of the hardship it faces – hardship that goes far beyond individual auto companies to the countless suppliers, small businesses and communities throughout our nation who depend on a vibrant American auto industry. The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I would like to see the Administration do everything they can to accelerate the retooling assistance that Congress has already enacted. In addition, I have made it a high priority for my transition team to work on additional policy options to help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis, and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars here in the United States. I have asked my team to explore what we can do under current law and whether additional legislation will be needed for this purpose.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm gave some of the specifics, telling the world President-elect Obama hopes to approve the $25 billion in assistance for retooling in additional to other policy options to help U.S. automakers create fuel-efficient cars.

reberto
Nov 8, 2008, 01:42 AM
I still haven't forgiven them for that. I used to love Volvos and always wanted one. Now I just own a Mazda and love it. I would own an Infinity if I could afford it. But I can't complain. A friend of mine has an Acura with almost 300k miles and it still runs great.

Ford since 1999, Ford since 1979, Nissan since...forever, Honda also since forever.

Yup. Why do you think the new mustang has such good handling.

Actually, better question is "Why do you think the new Mustang has such crappy handling?". My dad has 2 1965 Mustangs and test drove a 2008 for a weekend (I drove it too) and they all handle roughly the same. The old ones have more body roll, but in terms of how the car drives they are nearly the same.

Counterfit
Nov 8, 2008, 04:03 AM
as stupid as it was for GM to sale their stakes in Suzuki and Subaru (although I think GM still owns like 3% of Suzuki). The Japanese brands seem to be where its at right now.

I don't think selling their stake in Subaru was all that dumb. Subaru doesn't exactly rake in the cash, plus the only thing to really come out of the deal was the 9-2X (a.k.a. the Saabaru :D). My Impreza was built 7 years after GM bought 20% of FHI, and yet my window switches (and rear differential housing I think*) are Nissan parts. :D




*: I'm not sure on this, but I know the LSD's that Subaru uses in the WRX and STI are Nissan units.

ErikCLDR
Nov 8, 2008, 09:06 AM
I think the problem with all the US car makers is #1 their name and #2 their styling.

Ford:
- Haven't seen a significant update to their explorer or expedition in years. The explorer used to be the #1 selling SUV and the expedition is pretty popular.
- The Taurus is just ugly, even though its supposed to ride very nicely
- The ford flex looks like a station wagon on viagra
- Focus is ugly
- Lincoln & Mercury are pretty much dead aside from the Town Car (for limo service)

And unless the buyer is a die hard ford fan, they'd probably go for the Honda or Toyota.

GM:
I'm just going to say most of their cars are unattractive. And I think the biggest issue is their platform sharing. If they use the same engines, transmissions, and frames- fine. But when they make 12 cars that look exactly the same with 12 different names, its ridiculous. Want to find a way of saving money, cut back the crap. Lets take the trail blazer- how many forms did that take? Trail Blazer, Envoy, Rainier, 9-7x, Bravada, and Ascender. Unnecessary.

I think they should make all trucks/SUVs GMC, have all the cars be chevy, ditch pontiac, maybe saturn, keep cadillac, and then make a new brand to actually compete in the luxury market. Honestly not many people under the age of 65 see themselves in a Cadillac unless its an Esclade.

The Americans need to step up their game and start producing something that is better looking, more fuel efficient, better built, and cheaper than the Japanese and Korean competitors.

Drumjim85
Nov 8, 2008, 09:10 AM
umad?

He'll do a better job than McCain, shh.
no, not mad, and i never said anything about mccain ... but some people out there thinks he's going to fix everything.

quagmire
Nov 8, 2008, 09:25 AM
Ford owns a good amount of Mazda, but not a controlling stake. Just enough to benefit from Mazda's surge in the last few years.

Ford does own a controlling stake in Mazda. Even though it doesn't have a 51% stake in it due to Japanese regulation not letting Ford to have it. The gov't does recognize it has the controlling share. Or something like that.

richkent72
Nov 9, 2008, 04:34 PM
Apologies if someone's already said this:

The previous threads all seem to have the misconception that Ford and GM's main industry is car manufacturing. In recent years their main business has been finance. Ford (and I assume GM) have made more money from finance deals that car sales. Therefore the problems with the finance industry in recent weeks has hit them in the same way as banks and insurance companies. The fact that their cars are often $h!t in a comparatively minor problem.

Lord Blackadder
Nov 9, 2008, 04:54 PM
While I agree GM and Ford have been mismanaged on a massive scale and they were idiots relying on SUV's and trucks and neglecting their cars, etc. Should the gov't be sitting there and do nothing to help them( give loans, etc with massive stipulations, etc like removal of GM's idiotic board members)? While people may believe in the free market and let the weak die, the free market is going to kill the country due to the thousands of people that will be out of work if GM and Ford fail.

Why is it that foreign car manufacturers with plants inside the US don't have these problems? How many times do we have to resuscitate a domestic car industry that fails to keep itself solvent time and time again? The lost jobs are a tragedy, but the problem is MUCH bigger than tens of thousands of jobs. It's a problem of a fundamentally uncompetitive industry. Saving the jobs alone is just window dressing. We need to remake the industry in a more competitive mold so that those jobs are safe without subsidies and bailouts.

The Big Three and the American public are living in a fantasy world. We have to stop buying large, shoddily made vehicles in the numbers we do and start looking seriously at smaller, more economical and sustainable vehicles. We also need to treat our vehicles as less disposable than we currently do, which demands a better build quality for a longer useful life. The rest of the world learned this harsh lesson in the aftermath of WWII 60 years ago, but we have been able to shield ourselves due to our economic and political power. Now, however, the chickens are coming home to roost.

I'm not saying we can't have any trucks or SUVs anymore, but we all need to re-evaluate just how much we are willing to sacrifice in order to have that type of vehicle. It's no longer the case that we can have our cake and eat it too. The Big Three need to understand that their existence is not a given.

rhett7660
Nov 9, 2008, 04:58 PM
Why is it that foreign car manufacturers with plants inside the US don't have these problems? How many times do we have to resuscitate a domestic car industry that fails to keep itself solvent time and time again? The lost jobs are a tragedy, but the problem is MUCH bigger than tens of thousands of jobs. It's a problem of a fundamentally uncompetitive industry. Saving the jobs alone is just window dressing. We need to remake the industry in a more competitive mold so that those jobs are safe without subsidies and bailouts.

Lord...

I couldn't agree more. This is one reason why I don't think the government should get involved in this one. Lost jobs suck, but don't blame the economy on this one.....

NT1440
Nov 9, 2008, 04:59 PM
Why is it that foreign car manufacturers with plants inside the US don't have these problems? How many times do we have to resuscitate a domestic car industry that fails to keep itself solvent time and time again? The lost jobs are a tragedy, but the problem is MUCH bigger than tens of thousands of jobs. It's a problem of a fundamentally uncompetitive industry. Saving the jobs alone is just window dressing. We need to remake the industry in a more competitive mold so that those jobs are safe without subsidies and bailouts.


Exactly why I've been calling for the bailout with the exception that these companies have to adhere to new guidelines put in place, and actually enforced, by the government.

45 Mpg average by 2015
Ramp down production of SUV/Trucks to better match the actual demand
Ramp UP hybrid production
Heavy R&D into alternative fuel cars and technology to get the best fuel mileage in exsisting cars.


Of course none of these would ever happen seeing as too many people would cry afoul.

firstapple
Nov 9, 2008, 05:01 PM
Living here in MI and working in the Auto industry as well, this has been very hard on the state. So many people depend on the auto industry for jobs. You have the big 3 themselves, then all the suppliers (Where I work - Bosch).

As suppliers we have already seen tough times, but it is only going to get worse before it gets any better. Lets hope the government acts quickly!

jabrowntx
Nov 9, 2008, 05:03 PM
What happens if the US gov't "loans" millions if not billions of dollars to these companies and they fail anyway? Why should the US taxpayer foot the bill for the failure of publicly-owned companies?

As already stated, it's sad to see the loss of 1000's of jobs and possibly the end of the American auto industry, but the American taxpayer's didn't put them in this situation and they sure as hell shouldn't be expected to bail them out of it -- they've been living on borrowed time anyway (IMO).

Lord Blackadder
Nov 9, 2008, 05:11 PM
Exactly why I've been calling for the bailout with the exception that these companies have to adhere to new guidelines put in place, and actually enforced, by the government.

One thing they could do NOW to dramatically improve fuel economy would be to bring over all the diesel engines being used in European Ford and GM vehicles. Modern turbodiesels are very fuel efficient and emissions are not at all bad, though hybrids are of course better (except for the pollution from making all those batteries!). Big SUVs are an especially good candidate for torquey, fuel-efficient turbodiesels. It's a sad fact that all of those turbodiesel Mercedes/Dodge vans driving around in DHL or Fed Ex livery get better fuel economy than most big SUVs and trucks.

Rodimus Prime
Nov 9, 2008, 05:11 PM
Why is it that foreign car manufacturers with plants inside the US don't have these problems? How many times do we have to resuscitate a domestic car industry that fails to keep itself solvent time and time again? The lost jobs are a tragedy, but the problem is MUCH bigger than tens of thousands of jobs. It's a problem of a fundamentally uncompetitive industry. Saving the jobs alone is just window dressing. We need to remake the industry in a more competitive mold so that those jobs are safe without subsidies and bailouts.

The Big Three and the American public are living in a fantasy world. We have to stop buying large, shoddily made vehicles in the numbers we do and start looking seriously at smaller, more economical and sustainable vehicles. We also need to treat our vehicles as less disposable than we currently do, which demands a better build quality for a longer useful life. The rest of the world learned this harsh lesson in the aftermath of WWII 60 years ago, but we have been able to shield ourselves due to our economic and political power. Now, however, the chickens are coming home to roost.

I'm not saying we can't have any trucks or SUVs anymore, but we all need to re-evaluate just how much we are willing to sacrifice in order to have that type of vehicle. It's no longer the case that we can have our cake and eat it too. The Big Three need to understand that their existence is not a given.

you are a little off by the job count. Losing the big 3 would be worth over 3 mil lost jobs in less than 1 years. You have to remember how far out those companies reach. All their suppliers are going to be hurt and many of them will be forced to shut down.

The US auto industry supports a lot of jobs. And like some one else pointed out letting them fail is bad idea as history has shown.

Counterfit
Nov 9, 2008, 05:16 PM
Why is it that foreign car manufacturers with plants inside the US don't have these problems?

This (http://www.uaw.org/) is why.

thomahawk
Nov 9, 2008, 05:22 PM
i never cared for big trucks and SUV's they are a waste of money and gas, if those big companies want to keep those products up then they should use their money on making better efficient engines to handle that weight. if they do then im sure they'll get their upkeep back

Lord Blackadder
Nov 9, 2008, 05:46 PM
The US auto industry supports a lot of jobs. And like some one else pointed out letting them fail is bad idea as history has shown.

But is it as bad an idea as keeping them at any cost? Besides, there are ways of giving the Big Three and UAW a kick up the backside without necessarily losing all those jobs.

danny_w
Nov 9, 2008, 05:47 PM
What happens if the US gov't "loans" millions if not billions of dollars to these companies and they fail anyway? Why should the US taxpayer foot the bill for the failure of publicly-owned companies?

As already stated, it's sad to see the loss of 1000's of jobs and possibly the end of the American auto industry, but the American taxpayer's didn't put them in this situation and they sure as hell shouldn't be expected to bail them out of it -- they've been living on borrowed time anyway (IMO).
Unfortunately in this case many taxpayers did at least help to get them into this situation by greedily buying those big SUVs and trucks that the big 3 put out. After all, they didn't sell by themselves.

LethalWolfe
Nov 9, 2008, 06:31 PM
you are a little off by the job count. Losing the big 3 would be worth over 3 mil lost jobs in less than 1 years. You have to remember how far out those companies reach. All their suppliers are going to be hurt and many of them will be forced to shut down.

The US auto industry supports a lot of jobs. And like some one else pointed out letting them fail is bad idea as history has shown.
Instead of spending 25 billion in tax payer money for below market rate loans to help keep afloat these poorly run corporations why not spend that money on financial assistant and job training for the people that lose their jobs?


Lethal

rdowns
Nov 9, 2008, 06:37 PM
Instead of spending 25 billion in tax payer money for below market rate loans to help keep afloat these poorly run corporations why not spend that money on financial assistant and job training for the people that lose their jobs?


Lethal

For what jobs? Have you seen the latest job numbers? 250,000 lost in October.

Also, do we really want what little manufacturing we have left erode further?

joeshell383
Nov 9, 2008, 06:54 PM
The Americans need to step up their game and start producing something that is better looking, more fuel efficient, better built, and cheaper than the Japanese and Korean competitors.

What about this? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d0/2008_Chevrolet_Malibu_LS.jpg/800px-2008_Chevrolet_Malibu_LS.jpg

or this? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fc/Pontiac_G6_GT_sedan.jpg/800px-Pontiac_G6_GT_sedan.jpg

or this? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1a/2008_Cadillac_CTS.jpg

or this? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/68/2009_Lincoln_MKS_DC.JPG/800px-2009_Lincoln_MKS_DC.JPG

or this? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/2007-GMC-Acadia.jpg/800px-2007-GMC-Acadia.jpg

or this? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/eb/05-07_Buick_LaCrosse.jpg/800px-05-07_Buick_LaCrosse.jpg

or this? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9a/Saturn_Sky.jpg/800px-Saturn_Sky.jpg

or this http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/2007-Saturn-Aura-XE.JPG/800px-2007-Saturn-Aura-XE.JPG

There are so many misconceptions that have crushed the domestic auto industry.

P.S. Many great new vehicles are around the corner like this (hybrid version will get 5 mpg better than Camry hybrid--- 38 mpg)

http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/jalopnik/2008/10/2010-Ford-Fusion-Sport.jpg

this (which gets 300 hp and 27 MPG highway!) http://jalopnik.com/assets/resources/2008/07/2010-Chevy-Camaro-Production.jpg

this http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/Ford_Fiesta_mk7_5dr_front_Moscow_autoshow_2008_26_08.jpg

this (which gets 40 mpg and isn't even a hybrid) http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/jalopnik/2008/10/Chevy_Cruze.jpg

and if GM can remain in business long enough, this (which of course gets 40 miles of all electric driving and a 50 mpg average after that is exhausted)http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/11/ChevyVolt2011ProductionCar.jpg/800px-ChevyVolt2011ProductionCar.jpg

Lord Blackadder
Nov 9, 2008, 07:06 PM
Also, do we really want what little manufacturing we have left erode further?

We can't afford to give our auto industry a free pass whenever they get into financial trouble - I'f we don't make them more competitive we will lose them anyway.

What about this

What about 'em?

LethalWolfe
Nov 9, 2008, 07:13 PM
For what jobs? Have you seen the latest job numbers? 250,000 lost in October.

Also, do we really want what little manufacturing we have erode further?
Do we really need to keep mismanaged companies afloat using public funds? How much money should the Feds pass out in sweet heart loans to corporations that fail to show economic viability? Or on the flip side how much money in unnecessary subsidies and tax cuts should be given to profitable companies that don't need any finical assistance? Sorry, I'm not very enthusiastic about corporate welfare.

Will the 25 billion for the auto industry get them to rehire all the people they've laid off over the past few years? Or will those people, and others, still be SOL while the guys who ran the companies into the ground still get their millions a year and golden parachutes?

According to this article (http://blog.mlive.com/bctimes/2008/10/auto_manufacturing_jobs_in_the.html) jobs in Michigan in chemical manufacturing, food processing and metal fabrication have held steady since 2000 where as the auto manufacturing jobs have tanked. If the government is going to give out sweet loans why not sweet loans to companies that are being run well so they can expand, and training/education money to laid off auto workers so they can get jobs at those better run companies that are now expanding?


Lethal

jabrowntx
Nov 9, 2008, 07:20 PM
Sorry, I'm not very enthusiastic about corporate welfare.

I'm not for it either, but unfortunately there is likely going to be some newly elected government official that "owes" the auto industry a favor for helping getting them elected, so we all know what that leads to...

Lord Blackadder
Nov 9, 2008, 07:23 PM
I totally agree Lethal.

People bleed their hearts out about lost auto worker jobs, while the auto industry execs laugh all the way to the bank. The industry is not healthy. We need to do something about it, and just giving the big three more money will not fix the problem except in the very short term.

quagmire
Nov 9, 2008, 07:31 PM
What about this?

Sorry, but even as much as I am an advocate for GM, even I agree that the LaCrosse sucks. Though the new one is promising.

http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezwebin_site/storage/images/reviews/hot_lists/car_shopping/latest_news_reviews/2010_buick_lacrosse_exclusive_photos_car_news/2010_buick_lacrosse_exclusive_photos/builac_spied_10_2/1581259-1-eng-US/builac_spied_10_2_gallery_image_large.jpg

joeshell383
Nov 9, 2008, 07:45 PM
Sorry, but even as much as I am an advocate for GM, even I agree that the LaCrosse sucks. Though the new one is promising.

http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezwebin_site/storage/images/reviews/hot_lists/car_shopping/latest_news_reviews/2010_buick_lacrosse_exclusive_photos_car_news/2010_buick_lacrosse_exclusive_photos/builac_spied_10_2/1581259-1-eng-US/builac_spied_10_2_gallery_image_large.jpg

The interior looks very nice. http://jalopnik.com/photogallery/new2010buicklacrossespy/1003676616?viewSize=thumb800x800

Lord Blackadder
Nov 9, 2008, 07:54 PM
One reason I think American automakers are behind is that they rely on their pickups/SUVs/fleet vehicles to keep them profitable. If the best seller is a pickup truck, how can you expect them to focus the kind of energy required to build world-beating cars?

Iscariot
Nov 9, 2008, 09:26 PM
One reason I think American automakers are behind is that they rely on their pickups/SUVs/fleet vehicles to keep them profitable. If the best seller is a pickup truck, how can you expect them to focus the kind of energy required to build world-beating cars?

The problem is that the American automakers artificially inflated a market sector. By abusing loopholes in manufacturing and mileage standards, they were able to flood the market with poorly made "light trucks" that they could sell cheaply at large profits. The SUV craze was always living on credit, and the collectors have come for their dues. If the government had stepped up and actually regulated these products and especially mileage standards properly, these companies would have been forced to innovate before they fell as far behind as they did.

LethalWolfe
Nov 9, 2008, 09:50 PM
I'm not for it either, but unfortunately there is likely going to be some newly elected government official that "owes" the auto industry a favor for helping getting them elected, so we all know what that leads to...
Already elected officials approved the 25 billion dollar bailout last year.


Lethal

TimDaddy
Nov 10, 2008, 06:07 AM
If Ford and GM go under, not only are those employees out of work, but the American workers at plants owned by Asian and European companies are in trouble as well. I've work in an auto plant for over ten years now. When I started, my company, as well as others, were paying just enough to keep us just happy enough to keep the UAW out. As the American companies have struggled, our raises, bonuses, and benefits have gotten worse, until this year when the drop in the bonus actually wiped out our pitiful raise plus some. When the big 3 go, they can pay us whatever they see fit. Where are we going to go?

I'm not big on government bailouts, but I'm not rooting for the competition to go under, either.

DCBass
Nov 10, 2008, 06:51 AM
I'm surprised that in 5 pages of discussion, no one's mentioned health care (unless I missed it =P).

The big 3 have huge legacy programs providing health care to all of their workers, as well as retirees. These are not costs that the Japanese, Korean, and German manufacturers have to deal with. The common phrase is that the big 3 spend more on health care than they do on steel for each car.

This more than likely had a costs impact on decisions on quality and name-rebranding (as well as dealers whining about wanting the same car another brand has).

Not to say that there weren't mistakes made in terms of styling, quality and R&D in the past, but I really do think that GM and Ford are turning over new leaves in terms of both. Especially compared to Toyota and Honda.

Also, if my understanding is correct, this federal loan is strictly tied to R&D investment, right where it should go.

So, they're suffering now, but if this country can fix it's healthcare and social security systems (big ifs, I know), the Big 3 will be doing much much better in the long run.

SactoGuy18
Nov 10, 2008, 07:16 AM
One reason I think American automakers are behind is that they rely on their pickups/SUVs/fleet vehicles to keep them profitable. If the best seller is a pickup truck, how can you expect them to focus the kind of energy required to build world-beating cars?

This is where Ford has a huge advantage over GM. Ford not only has more money available (so they may not need as big a loan), but Ford has new products from their European division that could be huge sellers here, starting with the new Fiesta and the third-generation Focus coming in 2010.

quagmire
Nov 10, 2008, 08:10 AM
This is where Ford has a huge advantage over GM. Ford not only has more money available (so they may not need as big a loan), but Ford has new products from their European division that could be huge sellers here, starting with the new Fiesta and the third-generation Focus coming in 2010.

GM also has their Opel's to bring over. They brought the Astra over and there is the new Insignia which is a pretty awesome car( I was in London and went to the British autoshow when it debuted).

edesignuk
Nov 10, 2008, 08:12 AM
GM also has their Opel's to bring over. They brought the Astra over and there is the new Insignia which is a pretty awesome car( I was in London and went to the British autoshow when it debuted).heh, not often you hear the words Vauxhall (aka. Opel) and awesome in the same sentence :D

danny_w
Nov 10, 2008, 08:16 AM
heh, not often you hear the words Vauxhall (aka. Opel) and awesome in the same sentence :D
I was thinking the same thing. Of course, the last Opel that I drove was perhaps 15 years ago (in Germany). I was not impressed.

bassproguy07
Nov 10, 2008, 08:27 AM
GM better not go under, I want my vette or camaro for when I get out of school.....I will be buying used, but still want to get service from a GM dealer, etc.

P-Worm
Nov 10, 2008, 08:57 AM
The American government should not intervene with any of this. Let the market ride itself, the so called free market should be run like everyday life: the strong and smart outlast the dumb and weak. Make companies more competitive by not intervening so big companies aren't so concerned about ignoring people's needs by making stupid business decisions because the government will just bail them out. Do this, and prices will go down from the competitiveness, people buy more due to cheaper prices, and the economy is much stronger.

That would be nice other than the fact that the US needs an auto industry. Having the industrial base in place is mighty handy in times of need - such as war. If we just let the market do it's thing, there's a good chance GM and Ford will disappear and that would be horrible for the country.

P-Worm

rdowns
Nov 10, 2008, 09:01 AM
GM better not go under, I want my vette or camaro for when I get out of school.....I will be buying used, but still want to get service from a GM dealer, etc.

I can't imagine the govt. not bailing out GM once they read this. :rolleyes:

covisio
Nov 10, 2008, 09:08 AM
Speaking as a Brit, where we have already experienced what you are experiencing now (i.e. former largest car maker Rover Group going into receivership in 2005), I say it doesn't matter who is making the cars, as long as somebody is. If GM collapses and Toyota thrives, so be it. As long as they are employing American workers, why should it matter?
At the end of the day any profits (or losses) go into the pockets of shareholders, who could be from anywhere on the planet. The origin of the company is irrelevant.
We had demonstrations in the 80s to try and stop Land Rover being taken over by a foreign company. Now it's owned by TATA, an Indian Company. That's business.

quagmire
Nov 10, 2008, 09:32 AM
heh, not often you hear the words Vauxhall (aka. Opel) and awesome in the same sentence :D

Well it is much better then what we Americans get. Looks and interior beats out our Camry's and Accords.

And exterior wise, Top Gear liked it. :p

jeffy.dee-lux
Nov 10, 2008, 09:36 AM
One reason I think American automakers are behind is that they rely on their pickups/SUVs/fleet vehicles to keep them profitable. If the best seller is a pickup truck, how can you expect them to focus the kind of energy required to build world-beating cars?

I love how you blame the company for the choices that American people make. The F-150 was the number one selling vehicle in America, not because Ford chose it to be, but because so many Americans were convinced that that's what they needed. The American companies happened to be in the best position to capitalize on this materialistic fad, while the Japanese companies tried as hard as they could to jump on the band wagon (Tundra, Titan, Ridgeline, Sequoia, Armada, Pilot...). Fortunately for Toyota, Nissan and Honda, the SUV/PickUp bubble burst before they made any significant inroads, and before they had dedicated their manufacturing inertia to these vehicles as the Americans already had.

On top of that, we have a largely uninformed buying public, with perception of the big 3's offerings lagging far behind their actual products. Its too bad so many people who buy cars blindly shut out Ford and GM without bothering to read any "automotive journalism" or quality surveys. Have a look at Consumer Reports or JD Powers surveys these days and you'll regularly see Ford nipping at the heals of Toyota and Honda, and way ahead of other brands typically perceived as being high quality.

http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pdf/2008063.pdf

Notice Ford is basically tied with Honda, just ahead of Audi, and well above Acura, Nissan, BMW, Volkswagen and Subaru.

As for making fuel efficient cars, I agree it's too bad they weren't quicker to move, but fortunately we have some really good product on the way from both GM and Ford. The Volt is the brightest spot on the horizon in terms of actually getting people to accept battery electric vehicles. It's far more ambitious than Toyota's PHEV plans. Ford is also playing it smart and working on their PHEV plans together with Electrical Utility companies, which is an essential cooperation for this to work on a large scale. Lets just hope the two companies can survive long enough to put these things on the road.

Closer term projects like the Fusion hybrid unveiled in a week or two, and the impressive little Fiesta are really promising.

I don't know if I believe in an all out bail out, but the government definitely doesn't want these companies to go bust. How bout just boosting the R&D cash for promising new products?

takao
Nov 10, 2008, 10:37 AM
good god i just read that GM HQ demands that their GM europe daughter to save 750 million dollar next year .. how that is supposed to work without laying of workers i have no idea

and i suspect that they are going to hit less hard since the european branch isn't doing half as bad as the US one

quagmire
Nov 10, 2008, 10:44 AM
I love how you blame the company for the choices that American people make. The F-150 was the number one selling vehicle in America, not because Ford chose it to be, but because so many Americans were convinced that that's what they needed. The American companies happened to be in the best position to capitalize on this materialistic fad, while the Japanese companies tried as hard as they could to jump on the band wagon (Tundra, Titan, Ridgeline, Sequoia, Armada, Pilot...). Fortunately for Toyota, Nissan and Honda, the SUV/PickUp bubble burst before they made any significant inroads, and before they had dedicated their manufacturing inertia to these vehicles as the Americans already had.

On top of that, we have a largely uninformed buying public, with perception of the big 3's offerings lagging far behind their actual products. Its too bad so many people who buy cars blindly shut out Ford and GM without bothering to read any "automotive journalism" or quality surveys. Have a look at Consumer Reports or JD Powers surveys these days and you'll regularly see Ford nipping at the heals of Toyota and Honda, and way ahead of other brands typically perceived as being high quality.

http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pdf/2008063.pdf

Notice Ford is basically tied with Honda, just ahead of Audi, and well above Acura, Nissan, BMW, Volkswagen and Subaru.

As for making fuel efficient cars, I agree it's too bad they weren't quicker to move, but fortunately we have some really good product on the way from both GM and Ford. The Volt is the brightest spot on the horizon in terms of actually getting people to accept battery electric vehicles. It's far more ambitious than Toyota's PHEV plans. Ford is also playing it smart and working on their PHEV plans together with Electrical Utility companies, which is an essential cooperation for this to work on a large scale. Lets just hope the two companies can survive long enough to put these things on the road.

Closer term projects like the Fusion hybrid unveiled in a week or two, and the impressive little Fiesta are really promising.

I don't know if I believe in an all out bail out, but the government definitely doesn't want these companies to go bust. How bout just boosting the R&D cash for promising new products?

You can blame them for not being prepared for the time when the SUV/truck sales were going to go down and people regained their senses and went back to sedans.

joeshell383
Nov 10, 2008, 11:14 AM
Speaking as a Brit, where we have already experienced what you are experiencing now (i.e. former largest car maker Rover Group going into receivership in 2005), I say it doesn't matter who is making the cars, as long as somebody is. If GM collapses and Toyota thrives, so be it. As long as they are employing American workers, why should it matter?
At the end of the day any profits (or losses) go into the pockets of shareholders, who could be from anywhere on the planet. The origin of the company is irrelevant.
We had demonstrations in the 80s to try and stop Land Rover being taken over by a foreign company. Now it's owned by TATA, an Indian Company. That's business.

-Corporate taxes
-Power
-Nat. security
-Autonomy
-Pride
-White-collar jobs and white-collar spending power (aka "salaried workforce")

Antares
Nov 10, 2008, 12:08 PM
If GM collapses and Toyota thrives, so be it. As long as they are employing American workers, why should it matter?
At the end of the day any profits (or losses) go into the pockets of shareholders, who could be from anywhere on the planet. The origin of the company is irrelevant.
We had demonstrations in the 80s to try and stop Land Rover being taken over by a foreign company. Now it's owned by TATA, an Indian Company. That's business.

Because I don't like any of Toyota's products. I think they're bland and overrated. As an American, Ford and GM are symbols of pride for this country. They're important both historically and for the future. It's not just a matter of products being made in this country...but it's also about products being made by actual American companies...regardless of which country the shareholders reside.

And, yeah, Landrover and Jaguar used to be owned by Ford. It's strange that TATA owns them now. Are the "Britishness" of these two brands now completely gone?

LethalWolfe
Nov 10, 2008, 12:48 PM
Also, if my understanding is correct, this federal loan is strictly tied to R&D investment, right where it should go.

From what I've read the money, or the lion's share of it at least, is supposed to go towards retooling existing plants to make greener vehicles. So basically these clowns got rich riding their one trick pony into the ground and are now looking for handouts to buy a new horse.

I can see arguments for the bail out being a necessary evil, but there should be serious repercussions to come along w/that money. IMO if you've run your company so far into the ground that it takes a act of Congress to potentially save it you don't deserve to keep your job, you don't deserve the millions you made destroying the company, and you sure as heck don't deserve the golden parachute you will inevitably get. The fact that some of these execs can be so utterly horrible at their jobs yet still get millions, if not 10's of millions, of dollars is mind boggling.

I love how you blame the company for the choices that American people make. The F-150 was the number one selling vehicle in America, not because Ford chose it to be, but because so many Americans were convinced that that's what they needed. The American companies happened to be in the best position to capitalize on this materialistic fad, while the Japanese companies tried as hard as they could to jump on the band wagon (Tundra, Titan, Ridgeline, Sequoia, Armada, Pilot...). Fortunately for Toyota, Nissan and Honda, the SUV/PickUp bubble burst before they made any significant inroads, and before they had dedicated their manufacturing inertia to these vehicles as the Americans already had.
So the America people are at fault because these companies put all their money into a fad and had no forward looking business plans?


On top of that, we have a largely uninformed buying public, with perception of the big 3's offerings lagging far behind their actual products. Its too bad so many people who buy cars blindly shut out Ford and GM without bothering to read any "automotive journalism" or quality surveys. Have a look at Consumer Reports or JD Powers surveys these days and you'll regularly see Ford nipping at the heals of Toyota and Honda, and way ahead of other brands typically perceived as being high quality.
So the America people are also at fault because these companies have done less than stellar jobs marketing themselves?

Seriously?


Lethal

geese
Nov 10, 2008, 01:23 PM
And, yeah, Landrover and Jaguar used to be owned by Ford. It's strange that TATA owns them now. Are the "Britishness" of these two brands now completely gone?

Nah, as long as the R&D is and production is done in the UK, its still British. Its probably more British now* then when Ford owned Jaguar and BMW owned Land Rover.

* I say this as Tata has said that they dont want to tarnish the 'Britishness' of the brands. And India was a British colony once.

danny_w
Nov 10, 2008, 01:49 PM
So the America people are at fault because these companies put all their money into a fad and had no forward looking business plans?
The SUV craze could definitely be called a fad, but the F100/F150 has been (until recently of course) the best selling truck in the US since the 1960s and the best selling vehicle since the 1980's. You can hardly call 40 years of dominance a "fad".

mkrishnan
Nov 10, 2008, 02:05 PM
* I say this as Tata has said that they dont want to tarnish the 'Britishness' of the brands. And India was a British colony once.

Soon, Land Rover will once again be as British as Tikka Masala (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/apr/19/race.britishidentity). :)

it5five
Nov 10, 2008, 02:10 PM
I'm surprised that in 5 pages of discussion, no one's mentioned health care (unless I missed it =P).


Very first page, post #4. I almost missed it too, though.

trule
Nov 10, 2008, 02:32 PM
I'm surprised that in 5 pages of discussion, no one's mentioned health care (unless I missed it =P).

The big 3 have huge legacy programs providing health care to all of their workers, as well as retirees. These are not costs that the Japanese, Korean, and German manufacturers have to deal with. The common phrase is that the big 3 spend more on health care than they do on steel for each car.


In Germany health costs are around 14% of salary, half paid by the company and half by the employee. Social security is 20% with a similar split. Its not an option, its the Law.

Industry and automotive seems to function fine.


The US auto makers, via a variety of mechanisms (regulation, credit, labour relations etc) made a market for a very profitable class of vehicle. It worked to their advantage for quite some time. Now that market is saturated and they find that they have neglected other markets to the benefit of Euro, Japanese and Korean brands.

Now they want their bail out too. This is the same bunch who did not want airbags and other safety features...you get a pretty good idea of how hopeless they are, its not a new problem but rather a long sad trend. Its everyones fault but their own....

Don't worry about Opel and Ford Europe, they are for the most part profitable and making cars that are in demand in their markets. Corporate structures being what they are would suggest that bankruptcy will be mostly a US affair.

fwhh
Nov 10, 2008, 03:25 PM
The german magazine Der Spiegel has an article (in german) (http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,589582,00.html) reporting that Deutsche Bank expect a stock price of zero $ for GM. This caused the stock to drop another 25%. Deutsche Bank expects that GM can not afford to continue work after December 2008 and will have to file for bankruptcy in mid 2009 without the help of the government.

jemeinc
Nov 10, 2008, 03:52 PM
an interesting take on this by some experts in Austrian Economics can be found here..
http://mises.org/story/3202

LethalWolfe
Nov 10, 2008, 05:24 PM
The SUV craze could definitely be called a fad, but the F100/F150 has been (until recently of course) the best selling truck in the US since the 1960s and the best selling vehicle since the 1980's. You can hardly call 40 years of dominance a "fad".
Ford being a leader in truck sales wasn't a fad. The light truck/SUV boom was a fad.


Lethal

geese
Nov 10, 2008, 05:44 PM
Soon, Land Rover will once again be as British as Tikka Masala (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/apr/19/race.britishidentity). :)

Jaguar/Land Rover- in that light they are probably as British as they have been in a long time. Better to have an Indian owned, British run J-LR, then... I dunno... a Chinese MG.

How would GM survive though? A partial buyout from a foreign buyer, a la J-LR? Maybe Tata's rival, Mahindra could put in an offer.

ErikCLDR
Nov 10, 2008, 06:03 PM
Jaguar/Land Rover- in that light they are probably as British as they have been in a long time. Better to have an Indian owned, British run J-LR, then... I dunno... a Chinese MG.

How would GM survive though? A partial buyout from a foreign buyer, a la J-LR? Maybe Tata's rival, Mahindra could put in an offer.

Yea I am actually glad to see Jag/LR under Tata. Ford would have screwed them. At least TATA has money and desire.

geese
Nov 10, 2008, 06:37 PM
Yea I am actually glad to see Jag/LR under Tata. Ford would have screwed them. At least TATA has money and desire.

I thought Land Rover did rather well out of Ford (and a lesser extent BMW). They got a modern line-up of cars that actually competes with the Japanese and Germans. They are one of the only 4x4s that look good as well.

I dont think Ford really understood Jaguar. The cars were better put together then the pre-Ford era, but what was with the X-type? And what were they doing with the styling? Have you seen the new XJ6's? A good example of how to make high technology vehicle design look fusty and boring.

mkaake
Nov 10, 2008, 07:28 PM
Wow there's a lot of uninformed (but loud) opinions floating around here. The problem is far more complex than can be summed up in 2 paragraphs. There's a whole slew of reasons that GM and Ford are in the situation they're in right now, and while it may be fun and easy to laugh and say that

a) they build crap products,
b) they deserve the situation they're in, and
c) they should have seen the writing on the wall / they should have not relied so heavily on truck sales / etc.

It really ignores a large bit of reality.

And while it's obvious some people remember the GM/Ford products that came out of the 80's, and continue to point at only the worst examples of products that came out of each firm (while simultaneously ignoring quality trends and the overall product mix from each), there's a reason that up until the very end of 2007, GM was the largest automotive manufacturer in the world (and still #1 in sales in the U.S.). It's not because they make mediocre product (and yes, I know, they have a few examples of poor cars, but nearly every automotive company does) - it's because they make good products that people want to buy. The 'crap' product argument really disappeared a long time ago, to anyone who takes an honest look at the market.

As for 'they deserve the situation they're in', most automotive manufacturers are in the same boat right now. There's a reason Kia is doing a 'buy one get one' sale at many of their dealerships. There's a reason Toyota's sales are down 25% over last year. Financially, however, Toyota in particular has the cash on hand to make it through the current climate without much risk to their operations. GM / Ford / (and to some extend, Chrysler) are suffering double as they were

a) working on refining their product lineup to match new consumer demand
and
b) Have financing arms (GMAC, anyone?) that were heavily tied to the mortgage market.

Yikes. So while they were already spending additional cash to revamp the lineup, while working with low cash reserves, their finance arms took a dump with the rest of the finance community in the U.S. It's really a bad combination working against them.

Also, I want to hit this 'they should have not relied so heavily on trucks' thing - that one really bothers me. The same people who say they shouldn't have leveraged their best selling (and most demanded) products are the same ones saying 'let the market work'. Er? That's what they were doing when they were making what the market... demanded. Yes, they needed a stronger lineup of cars, but if you were to actually look at both companies actions over the last 10 years, you would see that both have been working towards a better car mix for some time - it's not something that you can just flip like a switch, no matter how much any of us may like it.

In fact, Toyota was doing its best to break in to that same market, attracted to the high profit margins and visibility of trucks. So much so that for the first time in history, the American arm of Toyota was heavily involved in the final design of a product (for those outside of the automotive industry, that was a *very* big step). They spent some 800 million on a new final truck assembly plant in Texas; and wouldn't you know it - as of August, they had to suspend production at that facility.


The biggest problem, IMHO, right now, facing *all* automotive manufacturers is that is really is *not* easy to anticipate market demand, and it's even harder to adjust manufacturing facilities on a whim. If today, GM (or Toyota, for that matter) designed a new engine that would revolutionize the internal combustion engine, it would be at minimum 2 years (and that's really a short timeframe - really) before the design would be validated and ready for production. And that's just the engine. For an example, look at the electric vehicle programs that each manufacturer is undertaking. The Volt (which is probably the most hyped at the moment) was fast tracked, and is still on a nearly 4 year cycle from inception to production.

So while it's easy and convenient to say that 'they should have seen it coming', it's not that they didn't - it takes time. All of the manufacturers got it wrong, but some have more cash than others to pull them through.


Which brings us to now.

I don't like the idea of bail-outs, I'm not big on government backed loans - that said, the loss of the US auto manufacturers would be a huge hit to our economy. When the government made similar loans to Chrysler several years back, the loans were repaid, Chrysler emerged stronger, and life went on. I would hope that is what we're looking at right now - that given 2-3 years time, with the proper capitol to work with, GM / Ford would emerge as stronger companies, self-dependent again. Is it guaranteed? No, certainly not. But knowing what's in the pipeline from a product perspective, and knowing the history of the automotive industry (they faced an eerily similar near-extinction experience during the great depression), things will swing back. It's a very cyclic industry.

For those interested, there's really a lot of information out there about how and why GM / Ford are in the position they're in now, and it's far more detailed that one liner 'they make crap product' arguments.

Sun Baked
Nov 10, 2008, 07:50 PM
Ford being a leader in truck sales wasn't a fad. The light truck/SUV boom was a fad.


Lethal

Yep, station wagons --> minivans --> SUVs is a generational fad.

Though I don't think the SUVs have the trauma of a family vehicle the wagons and minivans had. Just a gas guzzling monster.

Don't know if cross overs or hybrids will take over.

Lord Blackadder
Nov 10, 2008, 08:18 PM
I love how you blame the company for the choices that American people make.

I love how you absolve the auto companies from blame for running themselves into the ground. :rolleyes:

The F-150 was the number one selling vehicle in America, not because Ford chose it to be, but because so many Americans were convinced that that's what they needed.

Agreed, to a certain extent.

The American companies happened to be in the best position to capitalize on this materialistic fad, while the Japanese companies tried as hard as they could to jump on the band wagon (Tundra, Titan, Ridgeline, Sequoia, Armada, Pilot...). Fortunately for Toyota, Nissan and Honda, the SUV/PickUp bubble burst before they made any significant inroads, and before they had dedicated their manufacturing inertia to these vehicles as the Americans already had.

Not entirely true. Toyota and Nissan (and to a lesser extent Honda) have spent a TREMENDOUS amount of money developing their pickups and setting up production. They stand to lose big-time by the economic downturn.

On top of that, we have a largely uninformed buying public, with perception of the big 3's offerings lagging far behind their actual products. Its too bad so many people who buy cars blindly shut out Ford and GM without bothering to read any "automotive journalism" or quality surveys. Have a look at Consumer Reports or JD Powers surveys these days and you'll regularly see Ford nipping at the heals of Toyota and Honda, and way ahead of other brands typically perceived as being high quality.

I've done better than that - I've actually driven many of the cars you're referring to. And while it is true that the Big 3 have improved somewhat since the 90's in terms of competitiveness with the Japanese and Europeans, anybody who says they are truly on the same playing field is smoking crack. This is especially true when it comes to smaller passenger cars. Ford Europe makes some outstanding small vehicles, but our domestic capacity for small cars is weak.

As for the future planned hybrids and electrics - they are promising, but at present they are just concepts, so it;s too early to judge one way or the other. Hopefully they really are serious about these vehicles and the government should, if they do bail out the Big 3, make the development of these types of vehicles mandatory and high priority.

Rodimus Prime
Nov 10, 2008, 08:19 PM
In Germany health costs are around 14% of salary, half paid by the company and half by the employee. Social security is 20% with a similar split. Its not an option, its the Law.

Industry and automotive seems to function fine.


The US auto makers, via a variety of mechanisms (regulation, credit, labour relations etc) made a market for a very profitable class of vehicle. It worked to their advantage for quite some time. Now that market is saturated and they find that they have neglected other markets to the benefit of Euro, Japanese and Korean brands.

Now they want their bail out too. This is the same bunch who did not want airbags and other safety features...you get a pretty good idea of how hopeless they are, its not a new problem but rather a long sad trend. Its everyones fault but their own....

Don't worry about Opel and Ford Europe, they are for the most part profitable and making cars that are in demand in their markets. Corporate structures being what they are would suggest that bankruptcy will be mostly a US affair.
you have the taxes and heath care part of everyone cost. It the retirement benfits that are killing the big 3. They are quickly approaching a 1 to 1 ratio of works to retired workers and lets face it that is not profitable. That above is the same reason why SS is failing. There are to many taking out and not enough putting it in.

Most companies do not have to pay the health care cost of their retired workers.

NT1440
Nov 10, 2008, 08:20 PM
How would these guys be doing if the US actually had a NHS in place?

From what I understand a HUGE part of the problem is just paying for insurance for workers.



HINT HINT

LethalWolfe
Nov 10, 2008, 08:30 PM
So while it's easy and convenient to say that 'they should have seen it coming', it's not that they didn't - it takes time. All of the manufacturers got it wrong, but some have more cash than others to pull them through.
Honda and Toyota didn't seem to get it wrong. They released their first hybrid vehicles around a decade ago. And what's GM's current contribution to greener vehicles currently? 5 of their 8 hybrid vehicles are trucks or SUVs. How's that for squeezing one or two more eggs out of the golden goose. I don't blame them for cashing in on the truck/SUV fad but someone there had to be smart enough to ask the question, "Hey guys, what happens when trucks and SUVs aren't super popular anymore?"


I don't like the idea of bail-outs, I'm not big on government backed loans - that said, the loss of the US auto manufacturers would be a huge hit to our economy. When the government made similar loans to Chrysler several years back, the loans were repaid, Chrysler emerged stronger, and life went on.
Chrysler got, what, 1.5 billion in 1979? 30 years later we are up to 50 billion (apparently 25 billion isn't enough after all).

The Chrysler Bail-out Bust (http://www.heritage.org/research/regulation/bg276.cfm), a different take on the Chrysler loans and a look at the current bail-out situation, Putting the Brakes on the Automaker Bailout (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/wm2060.cfm)


Lethal

mkaake
Nov 10, 2008, 09:21 PM
Honda and Toyota didn't seem to get it wrong. They released their first hybrid vehicles around a decade ago. And what's GM's current contribution to greener vehicles currently? 5 of their 8 hybrid vehicles are trucks or SUVs. How's that for squeezing one or two more eggs out of the golden goose. I don't blame them for cashing in on the truck/SUV fad but someone there had to be smart enough to ask the question, "Hey guys, what happens when trucks and SUVs aren't super popular anymore?"

Hey, while we're on the subject, who produced the EV1 back in the early 90's? Why was the program canceled?

Probably the same reason the Accord Hybrid was recently canceled - even in the current market. People talk about what they want, but they don't buy those same vehicles, when it comes time.

Re: GM and their current lineup of hybrid vehicles, when they began seriously looking at doing hybrid vehicles, they made the choice to focus their initial efforts on the vehicles that accounted for the greatest use of oil - trucks (and buses, if you want to get particular). While not nearly as popular, or trend setting as having a small car get better gas mileage, it was said that GM's hybrid bus program, despite only being active in just over 1000 buses, has saved more gasoline than all of the Priuses made to date.

Unfortunately, they were wrong about timing. Based on the trends of gas prices and the general market, they planned on having several more years (2, at least) before conditions became what they are today. So today, we see the benefits of their earlier work - best in class mileage in trucks, and a greater focus on hybrid functionality in trucks.

What you also see though, is what's in line for the next few years - things that have been in the pipeline, but again, didn't happen early enough. They currently have 18 vehicles that get 30mpg or better on the highway. The Cruze (scheduled for 2010) is expected to get low to mid 40's on the highway, and around 30 in the city.

They saw it, but didn't see it coming fast enough.

Heck, the current Tahoe hybrid gets better gas mileage in the city than a 4 cylinder Camry - that's a huge step from where we were 10 years ago. And it only happened because the industry knew there would be a shift to greater gas mileage. But again, no one knew it would come this fast. The companies that are thriving (or rather, not publicly dying) are the ones that have fat cash reserves to make it through. Just look at the numbers for October - Honda and Toyota both down 25%. Nissan down 33%. You don't hear a lot from these companies though, because they have cash to spare.


Chrysler got, what, 1.5 billion in 1979? 30 years later we are up to 50 billion (apparently 25 billion isn't enough after all).

Lethal

Point taken, but you can't compare the auto industry's daily operating budget to what it was in the 70's (that, and the 25 billion isn't for one manufacturer, and its for a very specific purpose). Part of GM's problem right now is that they need 11-14 billion dollars per month to cover the cyclic nature of billing vs. car sales (even if they were not operating in the red right now) - that's a might bit different than the 70's, and it requires (unfortunately) a different level of commitment to fix.

I still don't like the idea of the loans, just to let you know - but I do think the industry (and our economy) needs it right now.

jeffy.dee-lux
Nov 10, 2008, 09:29 PM
I've done better than that - I've actually driven many of the cars you're referring to. And while it is true that the Big 3 have improved somewhat since the 90's in terms of competitiveness with the Japanese and Europeans, anybody who says they are truly on the same playing field is smoking crack. This is especially true when it comes to smaller passenger cars. Ford Europe makes some outstanding small vehicles, but our domestic capacity for small cars is weak.
You're probably a bit more qualified to talk about this than me then, cause I really don't spend much time actually driving cars, I just waste time reading about them. I did drive a couple Ford's in the UK though and it's about bloody time they start bringing some of those over here. I sat in the new Fiesta at the London Motor Show and I gotta say they can't bring that over here faster. I've been following rumours of this b-segment Ford for about 3 years now, and while I'm happy to see they're going with a higher end product (as opposed to a Chevy Aveo fighter), it's really too bad it's not going on sale already.



As for the future planned hybrids and electrics - they are promising, but at present they are just concepts, so it;s too early to judge one way or the other. Hopefully they really are serious about these vehicles and the government should, if they do bail out the Big 3, make the development of these types of vehicles mandatory and high priority.

lol... the Hybrid Fusion is apparently gonna be a pace car at an upcoming Nascar race! It'll have to go a bit above it's 47mph electric only cut off though, that's too bad.

LethalWolfe
Nov 11, 2008, 01:31 AM
Hey, while we're on the subject, who produced the EV1 back in the early 90's? Why was the program canceled?
GM and it depends on who you ask.;) The more jaded would say that the EV1 was killed because people in the oil and American auto industry couldn't, or didn't want to, acknowledge a future that didn't revolve around the internal combustion engine. All it takes is the auto industry to say, "The internal combustion engine had a great run, but it's an antique and we are moving onto bigger and better technologies" and we enter a new era of personal transportation. Sure, some people will b*tch for a while because it's change and most people are resistant to change but the b*tching will subside and everything will return to the status quo soon enough. Consumer electronic manufacturers phase technologies in and out all the time (not to mention getting people to re-buy movies, music, etc., multiple times) and I don't see why the auto makers can't as well. They just don't want to. They are complacent and have enough lobbying power in DC to remain complacent. But now the chickens are coming home to roost.


While not nearly as popular, or trend setting as having a small car get better gas mileage, it was said that GM's hybrid bus program, despite only being active in just over 1000 buses, has saved more gasoline than all of the Priuses made to date.
Commercial vehicles can definitely have a bigger impact on 'going green' than consumer vehicles and have the added bonus of being a nearly invisible
transition to the general public. It was there was a greater push for public transpo in the US but that's another thread entirely.:D


They saw it, but didn't see it coming fast enough.

IMO, they saw it coming long ago but just 'played stupid' because that was in the short term best interests of their companies. Kinda like cigarette companies 'not knowing' that cigarettes are very addictive and severely detrimental to people's health. Plausible deniability. Keep your head in the sand and do your best to push the hot potato onto the next guy.

Of course hindsight is 20/20, Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1#Program_cancellation):
In late 2003, GM officially canceled the EV1 program.[12][13] GM stated that it could not sell enough of the cars to make the EV1 profitable. However according to GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, the worst decision of his tenure at GM was "axing the EV1 electric-car program and not putting the right resources into hybrids. It didnít affect profitability, but it did affect image."[14] According to the March 13, 2007, issue of Newsweek, "GM R&D chief Larry Burns . . . now wishes GM hadn't killed the plug-in hybrid EV1 prototype his engineers had on the road a decade ago: 'If we could turn back the hands of time,' says Burns, 'we could have had the Chevy Volt 10 years earlier.'"[15]"]In late 2003, GM officially canceled the EV1 program.[12][13] GM stated that it could not sell enough of the cars to make the EV1 profitable. However according to GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, the worst decision of his tenure at GM was "axing the EV1 electric-car program and not putting the right resources into hybrids. It didnít affect profitability, but it did affect image."[14] According to the March 13, 2007, issue of Newsweek, "GM R&D chief Larry Burns . . . now wishes GM hadn't killed the plug-in hybrid EV1 prototype his engineers had on the road a decade ago: 'If we could turn back the hands of time,' says Burns, 'we could have had the Chevy Volt 10 years earlier.'"[15]

The companies that are thriving (or rather, not publicly dying) are the ones that have fat cash reserves to make it through. Just look at the numbers for October - Honda and Toyota both down 25%. Nissan down 33%. You don't hear a lot from these companies though, because they have cash to spare.
Would it be a safe assumption that the companies that have 'fat cash reserves' have been better run than the ones that don't?


I still don't like the idea of the loans, just to let you know - but I do think the industry (and our economy) needs it right now.
The post 9/11 bail out of the airline industry (10 billion) was a bit more justifiable because the entire industry was blind-sided by an event well beyond their control. And like in the Chrysler bail-out tax payers got a cut of the action when those companies started generating a profit. That's not so in the 700 billion bank bail-out and 25-50 billion dollar auto industry bail-out. They get low-interest loans and get to keep all the profits generated by those loans. Talk about a sweet deal...

I just find it incredibly difficult to justify 50 billion to two or three companies that were mismanaged and run into the ground.


Lethal

Evangelion
Nov 11, 2008, 02:15 AM
I can understand helping out banks, since they are at the very core of our financial system. But why should the government bail out companies who run in to problems because they sell undesireable products? In case of Chrysler, repeatedly.

Bailing out the Big Three basically sends the message "it doesn't matter if your products and management is crap, we will cover you in any case. Just keep on running your companies to the ground, because in case of trouble, you can rely on unlimited credit from the taxpayers".

Fact is that the Big three basically put their eggs in one basket (trucks and SUV's).

nplima
Nov 11, 2008, 03:50 AM
Honda and Toyota didn't seem to get it wrong. They released their first hybrid vehicles around a decade ago. And what's GM's current contribution to greener vehicles currently? 5 of their 8 hybrid vehicles are trucks or SUVs. How's that for squeezing one or two more eggs out of the golden goose. I don't blame them for cashing in on the truck/SUV fad but someone there had to be smart enough to ask the question, "Hey guys, what happens when trucks and SUVs aren't super popular anymore?"


Hi,

There's one thing that confuses me a bit about this so-called dependency on SUVs/trucks/US-only models... GM owns others brands that compete in Europe with all the "generic" makes. They own Opel (Vauxhall in the UK) who have a product line as broad as Renault, Citroen, VW... and Ford and Fiat (also part of GM!)...

Re-tooling their factories would not be possible from one day to the other, but I can't really get the argument that Ford and GM aren't competitive because they are unable to build the whole range of car models - they do build them in Europe (probably in factories in Asia, actually).

Evangelion
Nov 11, 2008, 03:59 AM
Hi,

There's one thing that confuses me a bit about this so-called dependency on SUVs/trucks/US-only models... GM owns others brands that compete in Europe with all the "generic" makes. They own Opel (Vauxhall in the UK) who have a product line as broad as Renault, Citroen, VW... and Ford and Fiat (also part of GM!)...

Fiat is NOT part of GM, never has been. The two companies have cooperated with each other, but that's about it.

Sure, GM and Ford have "European"-models that aren't that different from their European competitors (Renault, VW etc.). But the thing is that while they have those models and they are pretty good products, the entire global company is being dragged to the brink (or even forther than just "brink") of bankruptcy because the American division of the company insisted on manufacturing metric assload of SUV's and trucks that no-one wants to buy.

Re-tooling their factories would not be possible from one day to the other, but I can't really get the argument that Ford and GM aren't competitive because they are unable to build the whole range of car models - they do build them in Europe (probably in factories in Asia, actually).

They are not competitive because their reliance on trucks and SUV's is dragging the entire company down. If you looked solely at their passenger-car business, they might be doing OK'ish. But you can't do that, you need to look at the whole.

If we go around pick and choosing what products we should talk about, we could say that "if we exclude all the loss-making products from the discussion, Motorola (for example) is doing really well!". But surely you know that we can't do that?

Rodimus Prime
Nov 11, 2008, 06:50 AM
How would these guys be doing if the US actually had a NHS in place?

From what I understand a HUGE part of the problem is just paying for insurance for workers.



HINT HINT

I do not think it would change the problem. Another huge part of the cost problem is the Union. Unions are very inefficient and cost a huge amount of money. You have to pay a guy to stand around and do nothing but make sure the union contact is enforced. They are not supervisors you have to pay those guys 2.

The union does not let you promote the best people for the job but the ones that been there the longest, It does not let you fire a incompetent worker but instead you have to pay the worthless worker.

And the union demanded health care is killing them. If they did not have to pay for that the union would demand that money be given straight to the worker.

Kwill
Nov 11, 2008, 08:49 AM
As is the case with the housing market, the price of cars has spiraled out of control without addressing the needs of the consumer. Wages have not kept up with the inflation of these premium commodities. Until the average price of a 2-bd home drops to $150K and entry-level new car prices range from $5K to $10K (without being a piece of junk) this economy will continue to decline.

Have you driven a Ford [into the ground] lately?

NT1440
Nov 11, 2008, 02:13 PM
What do you propose to do with the roughly 3 million that would be jobless as a result of the deaths of these companies?

drossad
Nov 11, 2008, 02:14 PM
As is the case with the housing market, the price of cars has spiraled out of control without addressing the needs of the consumer. Wages have not kept up with the inflation of these premium commodities. Until the average price of a 2-bd home drops to $150K and entry-level new car prices range from $5K to $10K (without being a piece of junk) this economy will continue to decline.

+1 on this too. Cars and houses are ridiculous compared to average wages.

drossad
Nov 11, 2008, 02:18 PM
What do you propose to do with the roughly 3 million that would be jobless as a result of the deaths of these companies?

These companies could survive if their executives took huge pay cuts and stopped all these enormous bonuses. Who needs that much money anyway?

NT1440
Nov 11, 2008, 02:20 PM
These companies could survive if their executives took huge pay cuts and stopped all these enormous bonuses. Who needs that much money anyway?

While I agree 100% that they are grossly over paid, its not going to make up for the billions of dollars needed for healthcare and such (the main reason they need the money right now).

Just like cutting earmarks isnt going to fix the damn economy.

These are just parts of the problem

trule
Nov 11, 2008, 04:22 PM
you have the taxes and heath care part of everyone cost. It the retirement benfits that are killing the big 3. They are quickly approaching a 1 to 1 ratio of works to retired workers and lets face it that is not profitable. That above is the same reason why SS is failing. There are to many taking out and not enough putting it in.

Most companies do not have to pay the health care cost of their retired workers.

Actually in Germany essentially everyone has health care so actually the companies are paying the health insurance for retired workers via the insurance premiums for workers. Someone over here in Deutschland told me that for each worker there are 2 non workers being supported...and with negative birth rate it will only get worse.

So why is it a problem for US manufacturing, car makers in particular? Well, its probably easier for the Auto execs to stiff former workers their benefits than it is to actually change their business model...this is what they have been doing the past 30 odd years, works fine for them, and congress is to scared to actually do anything about it.

The big three are well known for their attempts at preventing any form of innovation in the automotive industry. That is, after all, how and why they created the loop hole in the fleet milage requirements for "small trucks"...and then proceeded to flood the market they created with cheap, low tech, crap - sold at a wonderful profit to buyers with finance from non other than...the automakers.

The perfect manufactured market.

Cheaper to buy a congress man and make a market for SUV's than it is to build a better car.

LethalWolfe
Nov 11, 2008, 05:26 PM
What do you propose to do with the roughly 3 million that would be jobless as a result of the deaths of these companies?
What happened to the people left jobless over the past few years as casualties of the US auto industry? What's going to happen to the soon to be jobless even if Detroit does get all the money it wants? Do you think a GM/Chrysler merger/consolidation would actually create more jobs? What happened to the employees of companies like DHL, Circuit City, and Linens 'n Things? If Home Depot or McDonald's, companies bigger than GM, start to hit the skids does Congress pass special legislation to bail them out too?

It's been said before but I'll say it again. 25-50 billion dollars can go a long way w/regards to finical assistance, education and job training/placement assistance.


Lethal

theBB
Nov 11, 2008, 05:36 PM
What do you propose to do with the roughly 3 million that would be jobless as a result of the deaths of these companies?
GM employs 266,000 people and sells tons of cars and trucks. If GM goes bankrupt, GM may end up a smaller company after wiping out the pension plans, shareholders and some bondholders, but it certainly would not cause all of the factories to close. Even if it were to close all of its factories, other companies would start manufacturing more cars to make up for the supply short fall. They are trying to scare people into thinking there will be a lot more job losses than there actually would be, so that they can get government hand outs. By the way, they already got $25 billion, now they want $50 billion more. It would be cheaper if we just pay the workers unemployment benefits until the economy recovers.

By the way, even when SUV sales were strong, GM was not doing all that well. GM did not make that many models that sold very well in the past let's say two decades. Face it, if you cannot come up with good looking reliable cars, no matter what union guys get paid, your company is doomed. Who is GM's CEO blaming for Pontiac G6 or G8? Is the failure of those cars the union's fault as well? How about Cobalt being the most unreliable small car in its class when it first came out? How about it being less efficient than almost all other cars in its class? Was it also the union that bet the whole company on SUVs and low gas prices?

quagmire
Nov 11, 2008, 05:42 PM
GM employs 266,000 people and sells tons of cars and trucks. If GM goes bankrupt, GM may end up a smaller company after wiping out the pension plans, shareholders and some bondholders, but it certainly would not cause all of the factories to close. Even if it were to close all of its factories, other companies would start manufacturing more cars to make up for the supply short fall. They are trying to scare people into thinking there will be a lot more job losses than there actually would be, so that they can get government hand outs. By the way, they already got $25 billion, now they want $50 billion more. It would be cheaper if we just pay the workers unemployment benefits until the economy recovers.

By the way, even when SUV sales were strong, GM was not doing all that well. GM did not make that many models that sold very well in the past let's say two decades. Face it, if you cannot come up with good looking reliable cars, no matter what union guys get paid, your company is doomed. Who is GM's CEO blaming for Pontiac G6 or G8? Is the failure of those cars the union's fault as well? How about Cobalt being the most unreliable small car in its class when it first came out? How about it being less efficient than almost all other cars in its class? Was it also the union that bet the whole company on SUVs and low gas prices?

Fact Check: Yes, GM employs 266,000 people, but there is such thing called the ripple effect. GM, Ford, and Chrysler go bye bye. Since they are the big customers for suppliers, they lose money and they go bye bye, etc. While 3 million maybe wrong, the job losses due to the ripple effect will be huge.

Fact Check: The Cobalt XFE gets 25/37 which is one of the best in its class if not the best( I believe the Civic does 36 and Corolla does 35).

Fact Check: The Pontiac G8 is a pretty damn good car. Just not for the times. Although the best selling trim is the GT which is the V8 equipped model. The V6 is the slow mover.

rdowns
Nov 11, 2008, 06:42 PM
It's been said before but I'll say it again. 25-50 billion dollars can go a long way w/regards to finical assistance, education and job training/placement assistance.


Lethal

I've seen reports that GM failing would cost the US $195 billion in lost wages and taxes.

LethalWolfe
Nov 11, 2008, 07:17 PM
I've seen reports that GM failing would cost the US $195 billion in lost wages and taxes.
Care to share or are your sources top secret?


Lethal

rdowns
Nov 11, 2008, 07:24 PM
Care to share or are your sources top secret?


Lethal

I saw it on ABC News tonight.

EDIT: I was wrong, it's $175 billion. Here's a link. (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=6231133&page=1)


The Center for Automotive Research estimates that the failure of a major U.S. automaker could cost the American economy $125 billion in lost annual income, and $50 billion in lost tax revenue, totaling $175 billion in the first year alone.

LethalWolfe
Nov 12, 2008, 01:29 AM
I saw it on ABC News tonight.

EDIT: I was wrong, it's $175 billion. Here's a link. (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=6231133&page=1)
From a little later in the article
But skeptics ask: What's to ensure that car companies, who are burning through more than $2 billion in cash per month, won't blow the bailout money?

Some argue that bailing out the car companies puts the government on a slippery slope, having to rescue all industries; if you bail out car companies, opponents say, what's stopping the government from rescuing U.S. steel companies or airlines, which have also suffered formidable losses?
"Where are we going to draw the line? We don't have all these blank checks to write out to every industry that's hurting because, certainly, everyone is hurting," Farzas said. "There's the issue of fairness."

Critics also wonder if the government should save companies that have made costly mistakes, such as depending on gas guzzlers and agreeing to bloated union contracts.
So we have a request for 75 billion in tax payer dollars (I originally thought it was 25 billion more for a total of 50 billion but it was actually an additional 50 billion on top of the original 25) to cover the cost of R&D for greener automobiles, retooling factories for greener automobiles, and to cover the healthcare and benefit costs of former employees. At least those are the things I've seen talked about. We pay for their R&D. We pay for refitting their assembly lines. We pay for their employee benefits. And in return we get what? We get the same three auto companies that ran themselves into the ground and will continue to lay-off workers, lobby against CAFE standards, and anything else that they perceive as a threat to their bottom line, while lobbying for tax loop holes so they can horde as much profit as they possibly can. We keep the debt, they keep the profit. Joy of joys. IMO the only thing worse than loaning them 75 billion is loaning them 75 billion w/o any strings attached. Where is this money coming from anyway? As we all know our national debt is already out the window so which Peter gets robbed in order to pay Paul? Which foreign country do we become even more indebted to in order to pull this off?

And it's not like this black hole in the market would persist indefinitely if these automakers went bankrupt. Other car manufacturers would expand to fill the void. Also, who knows, someone might buy up what's left of the Detroit Three for cheap and create a new American car company that, you know, would be run in a sustainable manor.


Link to another story at ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/WireStory?id=6231143&page=2).

The U.S. retail industry alone shed 38,100 jobs in October, bringing the total since January to 297,000, according to Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers
Where is the government bail-out for the companies that laid off all these people?


Lethal

EDIT: Just wanted to add that, and this goes w/o saying, the situation is totally screwed up and complicated and no one knows for sure what the best course of action is. My opinions on this matter are just that, opinions. I don't know if I'm right or wrong, but seeing nearly a trillion taxpayer dollars worth of bail-outs on the horizon gets me unnerved and wondering where this money will come from and what the long term fallout from it will be. Are we actually fixing anything or just putting off the Piper for a few more years?

dXTC
Nov 14, 2008, 04:11 PM
What about this?

(several GM cars snipped...)

or this? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9a/Saturn_Sky.jpg/800px-Saturn_Sky.jpg



The Saturn Sky is the only GM product nowadays that piques my interest. If the Saturn brand has to go, I would hope that Cadillac absorbs the Sky (perhaps adding a touch of Cadillac bling).

quagmire
Nov 14, 2008, 04:35 PM
The Saturn Sky is the only GM product nowadays that piques my interest. If the Saturn brand has to go, I would hope that Cadillac absorbs the Sky (perhaps adding a touch of Cadillac bling).

No matter Saturn's fate, the Sky is dead. The next gen Kappa's have been cancelled. GM just can't afford them anymore as they would lose $10K per vehicle.

sangosimo
Nov 14, 2008, 04:46 PM
make better cars. American autos need to take this hit. It is annoying how American autos are always the butt of a bad joke. Maybe they will get their act together after this. take the best of european and japanese cars and make that the american standard.

Eraserhead
Nov 14, 2008, 05:01 PM
Speaking as a Brit, where we have already experienced what you are experiencing now (i.e. former largest car maker Rover Group going into receivership in 2005), I say it doesn't matter who is making the cars, as long as somebody is. If GM collapses and Toyota thrives, so be it. As long as they are employing American workers, why should it matter?
At the end of the day any profits (or losses) go into the pockets of shareholders, who could be from anywhere on the planet. The origin of the company is irrelevant.
We had demonstrations in the 80s to try and stop Land Rover being taken over by a foreign company. Now it's owned by TATA, an Indian Company. That's business.

I can't believe this hasn't been raised before, I'm sure it was painful in the 80's but now our foreign owned car companies have some of the worlds most efficient factories in the UK.

If Ford/GM go under then Toyota/Honda/Whoever will sell cars instead and they will probably be built in the US, maybe in the same place as the skilled labour is already in place.

iJohnHenry
Nov 14, 2008, 05:05 PM
Perhaps, but the Golden Days of the UAW/CAW are behind them now.

Foreign manufacturers, although paying fair wages and benefits, do not want Unions in their shops.

dXTC
Nov 14, 2008, 07:12 PM
No matter Saturn's fate, the Sky is dead. The next gen Kappa's have been cancelled. GM just can't afford them anymore as they would lose $10K per vehicle.

Why does this not surprise me?

...sigh...

Oh well, I'm not yet in the market for a midlife-crisis toy, anyway.

(yeah yeah, sour grapes and all that...)

ryannel2003
Nov 14, 2008, 08:23 PM
I work at a GM dealership. I can tell you the quality of the newest GM vehicles nearly equals or goes beyond what I have seen on the latest japanese competitors. Has anyone sat inside a new Toyota Camry? The interior is full of cheap, unattractive plastics, the seats are uncomfortable and the handling more or less is similar to a '60's era Lincoln. The new Chevrolet Malibu also has some ugly surfaces, but impresses with its style and decent drivetrain options. GM needs to kill Pontiac; it's worthless as a brand and the G8 could be moved to Chevrolet and be renamed Impala SS. Saturn is also a dying breed, though the Aura is an attractive vehicle. Cadillac needs to stop relying on the CTS, re-design DTS and STS (was originally going to merged into one vehicle; now cancelled due to money issues). XLR is good as dead.

Chevrolet is improving, with products like Aveo, Malibu, Silverado, Traverese, Tahoe/Suburban. I agree with Erik though, why does GM need 4 or 5 of the same vehicle? This killed them in the 80's, and was the reason why (along with quality) the japanese have gained so much ground. The 80's stigma still hurts GM badly, and now that they relied on SUV's and Trucks for so long, is the reason why they are loosing this battle. Had money been invested in cars to begin with, I highly doubt this situation would be as dramatic.

I fear coming to work one day and seeing the doors locked with a large "Closed" sign on the door. If GM can't pull through this, the US will not recover for quite some time.

Eraserhead
Nov 14, 2008, 10:09 PM
Foreign manufacturers, although sometimes paying fair wages and benefits, do not want Unions in their shops.

Fixed it for you.

jecapaga
Nov 15, 2008, 02:16 AM
I work at a GM dealership. I can tell you the quality of the newest GM vehicles nearly equals or goes beyond what I have seen on the latest japanese competitors. Has anyone sat inside a new Toyota Camry? The interior is full of cheap, unattractive plastics, the seats are uncomfortable and the handling more or less is similar to a '60's era Lincoln. The new Chevrolet Malibu also has some ugly surfaces, but impresses with its style and decent drivetrain options. GM needs to kill Pontiac; it's worthless as a brand and the G8 could be moved to Chevrolet and be renamed Impala SS. Saturn is also a dying breed, though the Aura is an attractive vehicle. Cadillac needs to stop relying on the CTS, re-design DTS and STS (was originally going to merged into one vehicle; now cancelled due to money issues). XLR is good as dead.

Chevrolet is improving, with products like Aveo, Malibu, Silverado, Traverese, Tahoe/Suburban. I agree with Erik though, why does GM need 4 or 5 of the same vehicle? This killed them in the 80's, and was the reason why (along with quality) the japanese have gained so much ground. The 80's stigma still hurts GM badly, and now that they relied on SUV's and Trucks for so long, is the reason why they are loosing this battle. Had money been invested in cars to begin with, I highly doubt this situation would be as dramatic.

I fear coming to work one day and seeing the doors locked with a large "Closed" sign on the door. If GM can't pull through this, the US will not recover for quite some time.

I agree with much of your post. While I'd never consider an american car because there really isn't anything interesting about them. Body styles are cookie cutter and bland to say the least. Even if, as you say, they compare favorably to the Japanese market. It's LOSING and not LOOSING. Learn it. American car manufacturers haven't heard the msg for the last 20 years.

takao
Nov 15, 2008, 05:18 AM
Perhaps, but the Golden Days of the UAW/CAW are behind them now.

if unions are the problem for car manufacturers then the european car industry would not exist

let's say it's not surprising that the most troubled german car company is owned by GM

that the should have been clear where the chrysler, gm and ford were heading once Mercedes bailed out of chrysler voluntarily losing billions in the process

danny_w
Nov 15, 2008, 10:53 AM
I agree with much of your post. While I'd never consider an american car because there really isn't anything interesting about them. Body styles are cookie cutter and bland to say the least. Even if, as you say, they compare favorably to the Japanese market. It's LOSING and not LOOSING. Learn it. American car manufacturers haven't heard the msg for the last 20 years.
That is where I take exception, at lest when compared to the uber-bland Japanese cars. American body styles are certainly not the best, but they lose nothing against the spartan Camry and Maxima body styles.

Rodimus Prime
Nov 15, 2008, 11:51 AM
make better cars. American autos need to take this hit. It is annoying how American autos are always the butt of a bad joke. Maybe they will get their act together after this. take the best of european and japanese cars and make that the american standard.

really American cars are really step up in quilty just they are still dealing with an age old reputation. Since the mid 90's American cars where on par with their foreign competitors in reliability. Just they are still dealing with that crappy reputation from back then.

Honda and Toyota quality and reliability has dropped some but still very good and they have the reputation they build during the 80's and early 90's.

Remember the reputation last a very long time long after the truth changes.

Lastly please note I drive a Nissan and my next car will more than likely be either a VW or a Honda. Though a few American cars are on my radar for next year when I plan on replacing my Sentra. I just have an year to look around and decide on what I want.

rdowns
Nov 15, 2008, 12:47 PM
Since the mid 90's American cars where on par with their foreign competitors in reliability. Just they are still dealing with that crappy reputation from back then.

Honda and Toyota quality and reliability has dropped some but still very good and they have the reputation they build during the 80's and early 90's.

Remember the reputation last a very long time long after the truth changes.



Nonsense. I worked for an auto extended warranty company for 10 years. The vast majority of American cars still trail the Japanese in reliability by a pretty wide margin.

quagmire
Nov 15, 2008, 03:22 PM
Nonsense. I worked for an auto extended warranty company for 10 years. The vast majority of American cars still trail the Japanese in reliability by a pretty wide margin.

Those people who buy the extended warranty buy it so they can neglect maintenance on their vehicle, but still be covered. ;)

Seriously, my experience of GM's late models beg to differ.

danny_w
Nov 15, 2008, 03:50 PM
Those people who buy the extended warranty buy it so they can neglect maintenance on their vehicle, but still be covered. ;)

Seriously, my experience of GM's late models beg to differ.
So does my experience with Ford (Lincoln). I have had many cars over my lifetime (some 37 at last count, including a VW, Mazda, Nissan, and other foreign cars) and my 2001 Town Car is overall the best car I have ever owned. Of course my next car is going to get better mileage (much better I hope) but I always wanted a Lincoln ever since I was a kid in the 60's.

ryannel2003
Nov 15, 2008, 09:20 PM
I own a '90's era Cadillac Seville (2000 to be exact) and the build quality is disgusting. For what was once a $53k vehicle, my old '00 Toyota had a much higher quality interior. It's not uncommon for plastic pieces to pop off, rubber door molding to fall off, and misaligned doors on the body. Reliability has been on par for what an 8 year old Cadillac would need; blown speakers, ignition switch, steering shaft, trunk seal. The only major issue with my car is a 60MPH+ vibration, which is extremely common in most all K-body Cadillac's. I do love it though.

Get inside my Cadillac, and then go sit inside the new '09 CTS. You'll see how much improvement has been made. Same with all GM vehicles.

iAthena
Nov 15, 2008, 11:02 PM
One thing they could do NOW to dramatically improve fuel economy would be to bring over all the diesel engines being used in European Ford and GM vehicles. Modern turbodiesels are very fuel efficient and emissions are not at all bad, though hybrids are of course better (except for the pollution from making all those batteries!). Big SUVs are an especially good candidate for torquey, fuel-efficient turbodiesels. It's a sad fact that all of those turbodiesel Mercedes/Dodge vans driving around in DHL or Fed Ex livery get better fuel economy than most big SUVs and trucks.

Amen to that. I keep reading about the 40-50 mpg diesel versions of just about every car made by the big three, but they won't import them here.

Government doesn't have to bail out these companies. They just have to adjust the diesel standards now instead of waiting the next two years for the big three to add the gadgets that VW, Mercedes and soon Subaru and others use to bring their diesel here.

Mr. Giver '94
Nov 15, 2008, 11:28 PM
The only GM or Ford product I'd ever buy is the Cadillac Escalade. All of Ford's vehicles SUCK and GM is fine, but not up to my standards. I'll stick with Lexus and Mercedes.

SactoGuy18
Nov 16, 2008, 11:25 AM
GM also has their Opel's to bring over. They brought the Astra over and there is the new Insignia which is a pretty awesome car( I was in London and went to the British autoshow when it debuted).

Problem is, GM seems to be more interested in saving cash than investing for the future like Ford is. As such, Congress may view a bailout to GM dimly while they'll be more receptive to a Ford bailout, given Ford's clear plan to essentially produce their European Ford line in the USA by 2012. And Ford's plan is a very smart idea, given that European Fords are highly regarded in Europe.

quagmire
Nov 16, 2008, 11:42 AM
Problem is, GM seems to be more interested in saving cash than investing for the future like Ford is. As such, Congress may view a bailout to GM dimly while they'll be more receptive to a Ford bailout, given Ford's clear plan to essentially produce their European Ford line in the USA by 2012. And Ford's plan is a very smart idea, given that European Fords are highly regarded in Europe.

No argument from me. Ford has really benefited under Alan Mullally. He seems to get what needs to be done to turnaround Ford. While GM is giving up on things after it failed on the first go around. Prime example is Saturn's turnaround. The Aura, Vue, and Astra are great products, but due to lack of advertising, lack of dealers, etc it hasn't taken off. So now they are redesigning the Aura to look different from the Insignia mainly citing that the Insignia rides on the short wheel base version of the Epsilon II platform and now designing it to be on the long wheelbase version. So in a time where we should be downsizing our vehicles, GM still ops to make the Aura a big mid size sedan. What Saturn needs to be is Opel's arm into the US like how Pontiac is(was) being used to bring Holden into the US.

ryannel2003
Nov 16, 2008, 10:00 PM
I have always thought either Saturn or Pontiac need to go, with me leaning towards the latter. If Oldsmobile was still around, I'd say kill 'em both. With the new Malibu taking over the spot were the Aura was, I don't see the need for both vehicles. I've never sat inside an Aura, but I have been in a Malibu and from pictures the Malibu has an edge in all things, including interior design. Don't know about handling or power.

GM's future at Cadillac looking bleak. The Escalade is possibly moving to Lambda, a move that will shock most current Escalade owners and possibly going away in droves. The current RWD SRX is being replaced by some rebadged FWD Saturn Vue-like vehicle; the STS replacement has been cancelled until further notice, and we're stuck with the DTS until then (I like it, but it's old), no Northstar replacement at all (it dies within the next 2 years). XLR is dead; no replacement after 2012. The only bright spot is the '09 CTS-V and the '10 CTS coupe. As you can tell, I'm very concerned about Cadillac.

quagmire
Nov 17, 2008, 06:36 AM
I have always thought either Saturn or Pontiac need to go, with me leaning towards the latter. If Oldsmobile was still around, I'd say kill 'em both. With the new Malibu taking over the spot were the Aura was, I don't see the need for both vehicles. I've never sat inside an Aura, but I have been in a Malibu and from pictures the Malibu has an edge in all things, including interior design. Don't know about handling or power.

GM's future at Cadillac looking bleak. The Escalade is possibly moving to Lambda, a move that will shock most current Escalade owners and possibly going away in droves. The current RWD SRX is being replaced by some rebadged FWD Saturn Vue-like vehicle; the STS replacement has been cancelled until further notice, and we're stuck with the DTS until then (I like it, but it's old), no Northstar replacement at all (it dies within the next 2 years). XLR is dead; no replacement after 2012. The only bright spot is the '09 CTS-V and the '10 CTS coupe. As you can tell, I'm very concerned about Cadillac.

Pontiac might be killed as it as no future products past 2012.

As for Cadillac, the new SRX isn't a rebadged Vue. The Vue rides on a mix of Theta and Theta II. The new SRX rides on Theta-Epsilon which is a mix of Epsilon and Theta. The 9-4 will also ride on this platform. True, the DT7 has been shelved until further notice. There will be a DOHC version of the Small Block V8 to replace the Northstar.

WilMac
Nov 17, 2008, 07:08 AM
GM is scaling back. They are shutting down 4 SUV and truck plants.



Long term reliability experience with my GM's have been outstanding. If you're basing your opinion on experiences 10-20 years ago, they are outdated and need to be updated.

Maybe you're the exception to the rule. I purchased a new '05 Chevy Colorado, and 18 months later couldn't wait to trade it in. Everything was cheap and of poor construction, including the body panels which didn't even line up. The gaps on one side of the hood were twice as wide as on the other side, and neither were straight. Half the time it wouldn't start on the first try, and this was during the first 30k miles! New Chevy's are worse than than ever.

Driving a GM or Ford product is similar to using a PC...it just doesn't make sense. I traded my Colorado in on an '06 Honda Civic and absolutely love it. Great quality, ride and mpg.

Regarding the bailout, I oppose it. We need to stop fooling around with the economy and let it self-correct. Survival of the fittest is the name of the game, and if Gm or Ford or AIG or whomever made bad business decisions then they shouldn't be in business. If you or I operated like those guys we'd be bankrupt...why should my taxes pay for their bad decisions?

Screw 'em! Make a quality product we want, or we'll find someone who will.

quagmire
Nov 17, 2008, 07:45 AM
Maybe you're the exception to the rule. I purchased a new '05 Chevy Colorado, and 18 months later couldn't wait to trade it in. Everything was cheap and of poor construction, including the body panels which didn't even line up. The gaps on one side of the hood were twice as wide as on the other side, and neither were straight. Half the time it wouldn't start on the first try, and this was during the first 30k miles! New Chevy's are worse than than ever.

Driving a GM or Ford product is similar to using a PC...it just doesn't make sense. I traded my Colorado in on an '06 Honda Civic and absolutely love it. Great quality, ride and mpg.

Regarding the bailout, I oppose it. We need to stop fooling around with the economy and let it self-correct. Survival of the fittest is the name of the game, and if Gm or Ford or AIG or whomever made bad business decisions then they shouldn't be in business. If you or I operated like those guys we'd be bankrupt...why should my taxes pay for their bad decisions?

Screw 'em! Make a quality product we want, or we'll find someone who will.

Or maybe you're the exception to the rule. Why are bad experiences taken as fact, but a good experience taken as a blip? Sure before my Aura, the interior was cheap in my GM's, but they have been reliable. Considering GM's trucks are one of their best products out there, you're the blip most likely as their trucks are generally reliable.

PS: Don't you love the forums double standard. Here anyone with a bad experience with an Apple product is brushed off as having bad luck and say Apple's products are generally reliable. But, when it is something outside of Apple and has a negative perception, the people with the good experiences are the blips and the people with bad experiences is added to the facts that the company make POS products. :rolleyes:

quagmire
Nov 17, 2008, 10:30 AM
On another note, if this isn't enough to convince GM to bring the Insignia over as the next Aura, nothing will.....

http://www.worldcarfans.com/9081117.020/opel-insignia-wins-european-car-of-the-year

Muncher
Nov 17, 2008, 08:59 PM
Wait, so we buy the cars we like, then blame the companies for not turning on a dime and producing fuel efficient cars when our bill goes up?

No, they don't deserve our money. Not at all. But then, thousands of employees don't deserve to be fired. I wonder, say, if we limited the top salaries at these companies to 10x base salary pay, and the rest in stock, what would happen. :p After the bailout, that is.

ayeying
Nov 17, 2008, 10:31 PM
I've always found GM and Ford vehicles to be unreliable after a while. I'm not saying its a 100% sure thing, but I've never had any good experiences even at their dealerships.

Me and the rest of our family switched to Honda cars. I even have a Honda bike. I never had any problems with them. Dad's 98 CR-V runs like new despite hitting 6300 rpm (redline) every day he drives it to work. That thing has 170k miles and all we had to change is oil, add gas, change tires at 50k-ish miles and the spark plugs went out at 165k the very first time. None of the plastic interior or exterior is falling apart either. Except for a few road chips and dents, the car is virtually brand new in every way.

quagmire
Nov 17, 2008, 10:48 PM
I've always found GM and Ford vehicles to be unreliable after a while. I'm not saying its a 100% sure thing, but I've never had any good experiences even at their dealerships.

Me and the rest of our family switched to Honda cars. I even have a Honda bike. I never had any problems with them. Dad's 98 CR-V runs like new despite hitting 6300 rpm (redline) every day he drives it to work. That thing has 170k miles and all we had to change is oil, add gas, change tires at 50k-ish miles and the spark plugs went out at 165k the very first time.

Just a FYI, the dealerships are independent of the automakers.

ayeying
Nov 17, 2008, 10:55 PM
Just a FYI, the dealerships are independent of the automakers.

well, their dealerships should have some niceness also and not charge 100 bucks fee for telling where the ECU is located.

ryannel2003
Nov 17, 2008, 11:04 PM
Pontiac might be killed as it as no future products past 2012.

As for Cadillac, the new SRX isn't a rebadged Vue. The Vue rides on a mix of Theta and Theta II. The new SRX rides on Theta-Epsilon which is a mix of Epsilon and Theta. The 9-4 will also ride on this platform. True, the DT7 has been shelved until further notice. There will be a DOHC version of the Small Block V8 to replace the Northstar.

The only Pontiac product worth anything, G8, could easily be rebadged as a Impala SS. I'm sure sales would go up with that rebadge.

As for the SRX, that's what I mean instead of the Vue. I just don't like how it's going from RWD to FWD. I'm sure sales will be better, but I love the current SRX, especially with the redesigned interior and tight handling. DT7 cannot come soon enough. STS is a great car, but the sales have never been where GM wanted them to be; even less than the Seville that came before it. The DTS is also suffering, though I still think it's a decent vehicle. The overall platform is 10+ years old, and it shows. The interior shares too much with Buick Lucerne and Chevy Impala. XLR should've been designed from the get-go with a better interior. The exterior is stunning; get inside, and it just "ehh". Absolutely no competition for the Mercedes SL.

Northstar has been run it's life. It's a great motor, but has had more than its share of problems. From oil leaks to headgaskets, it's time to move on from it. I have not heard of the latest on the replacement though; last I heard, the Ultra V8 had been cancelled due to CAFE restraints and GM not having the funds to build it.

dukebound85
Nov 17, 2008, 11:07 PM
Wait, so we buy the cars we like, then blame the companies for not turning on a dime and producing fuel efficient cars when our bill goes up?

No, they don't deserve our money. Not at all. But then, thousands of employees don't deserve to be fired. I wonder, say, if we limited the top salaries at these companies to 10x base salary pay, and the rest in stock, what would happen. :p After the bailout, that is.

just like people dont deserved to be laid off but it happens ALL the time.... its a part of life in this country. what about when hp lays people off for buget reasons? i mean seriously, the big 3's arguemnt is bunk imo

these companies deserve to go under for being unable to compete with other auto companies. would there be an outcry if circuit city went under? oh wait they did. oh how about enron? oh waaaaaait. there are countless examples

point is that many people have to suffer in terms of being laid off as a result of bad management of the companies. what makes GM so different? where do you draw the line?

the big three's arguement can be summarized by these 2 points
1) the industry supports many other industries ( i heard up to 4 million jobs)
2) vehicle sales would plummet as cars are a long term buy

to address point one: many industries create jobs in other industries. its a fact of life. for instance apple doesnt make the lcd screen so it outsources those jobs to compaines that do make lcd screens. see what im getting at? what makes GM and them so special? nothing at all

to address point 2: well thats been known as long as the industry has been aound and yet many other car manufactueres have gone away

the only reason we are considering this bailout is to keep workers from losing thier jobs. i dont agree with that at all tbh

to make matters worse, i dont think this bailout would work. these companies have been struggling for some time now even when the economy is GOOD. this bailout would just be wasted money at our expense.

just let capitalism run its course is what i say. i for one do not want to help out yet another company who privatizes gains and wants my money to bail them out

oh btw, this is an interesting article as well from december 2005:cool:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_50/b3963114.htm

Rodimus Prime
Nov 18, 2008, 12:38 AM
I've always found GM and Ford vehicles to be unreliable after a while. I'm not saying its a 100% sure thing, but I've never had any good experiences even at their dealerships.

Me and the rest of our family switched to Honda cars. I even have a Honda bike. I never had any problems with them. Dad's 98 CR-V runs like new despite hitting 6300 rpm (redline) every day he drives it to work. That thing has 170k miles and all we had to change is oil, add gas, change tires at 50k-ish miles and the spark plugs went out at 165k the very first time. None of the plastic interior or exterior is falling apart either. Except for a few road chips and dents, the car is virtually brand new in every way.

Just though I would point out that you took the spark plugs WAY past their usable life and starting causing emission problem and fuel economy problems. Spark plugs are supposed to be replaced around 30-60k some more modern cars can go to a 100k when they are platinum tipped. But this is honda and they tend to lag a little in those areas so they should of been replaced at the latest at 60k.... It there is one complaint I have about honda is they are the slowest at moving into the technology direction in things like that and a few other fancy gizmos like temperature sensor, gas mileage indicator in the car ect.

That being said honda reliability has always been impressive.

Rodimus Prime
Nov 18, 2008, 12:44 AM
just like people dont deserved to be laid off but it happens ALL the time.... its a part of life in this country. what about when hp lays people off for buget reasons? i mean seriously, the big 3's arguemnt is bunk imo

these companies deserve to go under for being unable to compete with other auto companies. would there be an outcry if circuit city went under? oh wait they did. oh how about enron? oh waaaaaait. there are countless examples

point is that many people have to suffer in terms of being laid off as a result of bad management of the companies. what makes GM so different? where do you draw the line?

the big three's arguement can be summarized by these 2 points
1) the industry supports many other industries ( i heard up to 4 million jobs)
2) vehicle sales would plummet as cars are a long term buy

to address point one: many industries create jobs in other industries. its a fact of life. for instance apple doesnt make the lcd screen so it outsources those jobs to compaines that do make lcd screens. see what im getting at? what makes GM and them so special? nothing at all

to address point 2: well thats been known as long as the industry has been aound and yet many other car manufactueres have gone away

the only reason we are considering this bailout is to keep workers from losing thier jobs. i dont agree with that at all tbh

to make matters worse, i dont think this bailout would work. these companies have been struggling for some time now even when the economy is GOOD. this bailout would just be wasted money at our expense.

just let capitalism run its course is what i say. i for one do not want to help out yet another company who privatizes gains and wants my money to bail them out

oh btw, this is an interesting article as well from december 2005:cool:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_50/b3963114.htm

problem with your attach on point one is yes industries create jobs in others but the problem with one of the big 3 going under is it is such a HUGE company removed at one time the market just can not adjust to prevent a huge domino effect. I read that if GM goes under it will take ford with it because Ford and GM both have a lot of the same supplier. GM goes under a lot of the big supplier for ford will go under as well. That cause Ford to not have supplies to meet demand and they start falling to.


There is a reason why the big 3 going out all at once would mean over 3 mil jobs in less than a year.

It is thin line they have to tread. We know doing nothing will cause a uncontrolled collapse aka great depression and doing to much does the same. The trick is to make it a softer landing. I do not think the economy today could absorb one of the big 3 going out. When Enron when bust over all the economy was doing just fine and could absorb the lost. Houston had no problem keeping all those jobs. With in a matter of a few months almost everyone who lost there jobs with Enron in Houston found new jobs in Houston.

ayeying
Nov 18, 2008, 01:17 AM
Just though I would point out that you took the spark plugs WAY past their usable life and starting causing emission problem and fuel economy problems. Spark plugs are supposed to be replaced around 30-60k some more modern cars can go to a 100k when they are platinum tipped. But this is honda and they tend to lag a little in those areas so they should of been replaced at the latest at 60k.... It there is one complaint I have about honda is they are the slowest at moving into the technology direction in things like that and a few other fancy gizmos like temperature sensor, gas mileage indicator in the car ect.

That being said honda reliability has always been impressive.

Modern Hondas, like my RSX and my mom's 08 Civic states, Spark plugs should be replaced at 110,000 Miles for the first change under "Normal" conditions. I changed mine at 50,000 miles because I do floor it a lot, even took it over redline many times, revved at 6.5k down the freeway for about 3 miles, yadada. The spark plugs Honda uses are Iridium, which are good for 85k miles and beyond. Platinum spark plugs are good for 50k miles average.

For fuel economy and emissions, it passed SMOG here in california and at a 25 mpg w/ redlining, dad didn't see much difference in fuel economy.

WilMac
Nov 18, 2008, 07:03 AM
Or maybe you're the exception to the rule. Why are bad experiences taken as fact, but a good experience taken as a blip? Sure before my Aura, the interior was cheap in my GM's, but they have been reliable. Considering GM's trucks are one of their best products out there, you're the blip most likely as their trucks are generally reliable.



Anything is possible, but I have purchased a wide array of vehicles and can attest that Honda has proven superior. I'm not saying all American vehicles are crap, just most of them. I owned a 1995 Camaro Z28 which I loved (though the transmission went out at 65K); next I bought a 2000 VW Jetta which was abysmal and in the shop every other week; then the 2005 Colorado which as I said was by far the worst in terms of quality; Now I finally bought a Honda Civic and have NO complaints. My best friend liked it so much he just bought an '09 Civic. My mother recognized the superior quality and is in the process of purchasing a Honda Pilot (My brother currently owns a Pilot too).

And this is NOT normal for us. Currently my mother drives a GMC Envoy and my father a GMC Sierra. Our family has always bought American vehicles in large part due to family members working for Chevrolet, but the lack of a quality product (and the past 10 years of crap products) has led us all to jump ship.

So you could be right, perhaps I am the exception to the rule. All I know is that we basically vote with our dollars and the world is resoundingly saying no to inferior American vehicles. They're going out of business because we don't want what they have to offer.

I am all for American made cars/trucks and I desperately hope they can turn their business model around, but I am against bailing them out. It's survival of the fittest and if our companies are too slow or out of touch to keep up with what we want then we'll find someone who will. In any case I don't want my money bailing out Wall Street or GM/Ford.

Sun Baked
Nov 18, 2008, 07:06 AM
GM is starting to put out all the usual signs of filing for BK now, the withholding of payments to dealers for reimbursements of rebates/incentives is under normal circumstances the sign that they may be drawing up the paperwork as we speak for a normal company.

Conserving cash at the expense of their dealer/sales network isn't a good sign.

Tick .. tock

Rodimus Prime
Nov 18, 2008, 07:11 AM
Modern Hondas, like my RSX and my mom's 08 Civic states, Spark plugs should be replaced at 110,000 Miles for the first change under "Normal" conditions. I changed mine at 50,000 miles because I do floor it a lot, even took it over redline many times, revved at 6.5k down the freeway for about 3 miles, yadada. The spark plugs Honda uses are Iridium, which are good for 85k miles and beyond. Platinum spark plugs are good for 50k miles average.

For fuel economy and emissions, it passed SMOG here in california and at a 25 mpg w/ redlining, dad didn't see much difference in fuel economy.

right that the more recent ones. It was more on the 98 one that would lag like that where it but either way it clearly went way past it design life.

rdowns
Nov 18, 2008, 07:27 AM
Ford abandons Mazda control with 20 percent stake sale (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081118/bs_nm/us_ford_mazda;_ylt=AqrBIkWfbGcDBbNBA6ioLD.yBhIF).


Ford Motor Co, scrambling for cash as the U.S. Big Three automakers struggle to stay alive, will end 12 years of control of Mazda Motor Corp through the sale of a 20 percent stake in the Japanese carmaker for around $540 million.

Ford will remain Mazda's top shareholder with a stake of just over 13 percent.

Mazda, in which Ford first took a stake in 1979, said on Tuesday it would buy back 6.87 percent of its own shares from Ford for up to 17.9 billion yen ($185 million), keeping them as treasury stock. More than 20 undisclosed business partners will purchase the remaining 13 percent, Mazda said.


A day earlier, GM said it would sell the remaining 3 percent it held in Suzuki Motor Corp for $232 million.

takao
Nov 18, 2008, 07:35 AM
good god the need of liquidity has to be absurd that Ford/GM are now throwing their shares on the market in this economic situation

rdowns
Nov 18, 2008, 07:51 AM
3% of Suzuki is worth $232 million.
20% of Mazda is worth $540 million.

Is Suzuki that big outside the US?

x86isslow
Nov 18, 2008, 07:59 AM
3% of Suzuki is worth $232 million.
20% of Mazda is worth $540 million.

Is Suzuki that big outside the US?

They're huge in the world's largest democracy: http://www.marutisuzuki.com/

Ironic
Nov 18, 2008, 09:23 AM
dont worry, Obama will take care of it all :rolleyes:
Best answer yet!LOL

gkarris
Nov 18, 2008, 09:28 AM
Fact Check: Yes, GM employs 266,000 people, but there is such thing called the ripple effect. GM, Ford, and Chrysler go bye bye. Since they are the big customers for suppliers, they lose money and they go bye bye, etc. While 3 million maybe wrong, the job losses due to the ripple effect will be huge.

Fact Check: The Cobalt XFE gets 25/37 which is one of the best in its class if not the best( I believe the Civic does 36 and Corolla does 35).

Fact Check: The Pontiac G8 is a pretty damn good car. Just not for the times. Although the best selling trim is the GT which is the V8 equipped model. The V6 is the slow mover.

Fact Check: Capitalism. Companies that stink should go under in a free-market society... :rolleyes:

quagmire
Nov 18, 2008, 10:14 AM
Fact Check: Capitalism. Companies that stink should go under in a free-market society... :rolleyes:

Even if the fall of the company brings down the economy even further?

ayeying
Nov 18, 2008, 11:25 AM
Anything is possible, but I have purchased a wide array of vehicles and can attest that Honda has proven superior. I'm not saying all American vehicles are crap, just most of them. I owned a 1995 Camaro Z28 which I loved (though the transmission went out at 65K); next I bought a 2000 VW Jetta which was abysmal and in the shop every other week; then the 2005 Colorado which as I said was by far the worst in terms of quality; Now I finally bought a Honda Civic and have NO complaints. My best friend liked it so much he just bought an '09 Civic. My mother recognized the superior quality and is in the process of purchasing a Honda Pilot (My brother currently owns a Pilot too).

And this is NOT normal for us. Currently my mother drives a GMC Envoy and my father a GMC Sierra. Our family has always bought American vehicles in large part due to family members working for Chevrolet, but the lack of a quality product (and the past 10 years of crap products) has led us all to jump ship.

So you could be right, perhaps I am the exception to the rule. All I know is that we basically vote with our dollars and the world is resoundingly saying no to inferior American vehicles. They're going out of business because we don't want what they have to offer.

I am all for American made cars/trucks and I desperately hope they can turn their business model around, but I am against bailing them out. It's survival of the fittest and if our companies are too slow or out of touch to keep up with what we want then we'll find someone who will. In any case I don't want my money bailing out Wall Street or GM/Ford.

I agree. My family also have owned American made cars, such as Ford or Chevy and while they are good cars, their quality just sucks comparing to japanese automakers. We have no complaints what-so-ever on our Hondas while our Ford had a bad transmission 3 times in less then 15k miles, our chevy broke down every other week for problems such as engine mount, oil leak, exhaust leak, etc.

Survival of the fittest is in play here. American car makers creates one car but rebrands them to many different ones. It doesn't work especially when that model has issues and now you have 5 different vehicles having the same issue cause you just rebranded one car into 5. Look at Honda and Acura, they have virtually no similarities between the two brand of cars made. Sure they share parts and structure, but they are not the same, not even close.

quagmire
Nov 18, 2008, 11:43 AM
I agree. My family also have owned American made cars, such as Ford or Chevy and while they are good cars, their quality just sucks comparing to japanese automakers. We have no complaints what-so-ever on our Hondas while our Ford had a bad transmission 3 times in less then 15k miles, our chevy broke down every other week for problems such as engine mount, oil leak, exhaust leak, etc.

Survival of the fittest is in play here. American car makers creates one car but rebrands them to many different ones. It doesn't work especially when that model has issues and now you have 5 different vehicles having the same issue cause you just rebranded one car into 5. Look at Honda and Acura, they have virtually no similarities between the two brand of cars made. Sure they share parts and structure, but they are not the same, not even close.

What MY were your American cars?

As to the Acura thing, you're half wrong. Acura's here are Honda's in Europe except for the CUV's which are based on the Pilot.

ayeying
Nov 18, 2008, 12:41 PM
What MY were your American cars?

As to the Acura thing, you're half wrong. Acura's here are Honda's in Europe except for the CUV's which are based on the Pilot.

Acuras here in the US/Canada are just Hondas in the rest of the world.

For the model/years, one was a 89 ford taurus, 91 chevy caliver, 92 chevy lumina, 01 escape, 06 focus. All of them had major problems (problem w/ Engine and/or Transmission)

quagmire
Nov 18, 2008, 12:52 PM
Acuras here in the US/Canada are just Hondas in the rest of the world.

For the model/years, one was a 89 ford taurus, 91 chevy caliver, 92 chevy lumina, 01 escape, 06 focus. All of them had major problems (problem w/ Engine and/or Transmission)

Damn that is bad luck especially on the '06 Focus as I have heard while incredibly outdated and uncompetitive it was due to Ford neglecting it, it was at least reliable.

TheMonarch
Nov 18, 2008, 05:08 PM
As others have said, Acuras are Hondas to the rest of the world, and Acuras and Hondas share plenty between them.

The Acura TL is based on the Accord platform, while the MDX is based on the Honda Pilot.


The US auto makers are dinosaurs. I say out with the old, in with the new.

KingYaba
Nov 18, 2008, 10:41 PM
Take the money and consider your soul forfeited. You are now owned by Congresswoman Pelosi. Yep... don't do this Ford, GM. Ford should move its headquarters and all factories south. South to right to work states.

rdowns
Nov 19, 2008, 06:14 AM
So we have the CEOs on Capitol Hill yesterday before the Senate Committee. Nardelli seemed to be the only one who didn't evade questions. Probably because he's not a career car guy. After watching for like 2 hours, I'm of the opinion that a management change is needed. These guys don't get it.

2 things that bother me. When asked if they would accept a $1 salary, Nardelli said yes while Mulally and Wagoner avoided the question.

Was also thrilled to see a report on ABC this morning that Wagoner and Mulally are flying to the hearings in private jets.

rhett7660
Nov 19, 2008, 09:42 AM
I haven't read the whole discussion here, but has the loan option been brought to the table? ALA Chrysler in the 80's. Instead of just giving them the money?

quagmire
Nov 19, 2008, 10:48 AM
I haven't read the whole discussion here, but has the loan option been brought to the table? ALA Chrysler in the 80's. Instead of just giving them the money?

It is a loan, but the media is painting it as a bailout.

takao
Nov 19, 2008, 11:09 AM
It is a loan, but the media is painting it as a bailout.

how much does GM+ford+chrysler have already in debt already ? (since debt = loan more or less)

LethalWolfe
Nov 19, 2008, 01:21 PM
It is a loan, but the media is painting it as a bailout.
It's a low interest loan that, to date, has no restrictions, conditions and/or equity stake similar to what Chrysler had in '78 or '79 or the airlines had after 9/11. So it's basically taxpayers footing the bill for inept corporate management. These companies are lining up for a sweetheart deal where they get all the profits and we, the taxpayers, get all the debt.


Lethal

dukebound85
Nov 19, 2008, 01:24 PM
It is a loan, but the media is painting it as a bailout.

a loan is LOST money if the companies fail lol. where is the evidence that this bailout will do anything other than keep them afloat a little longer?

these companies have been struggling for quite some time now

bradl
Nov 19, 2008, 01:29 PM
I was initially feeling sympathetic to them as far as the job losses are concerned.. Then I read about How they got to Capitol Hill (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/WallStreet/story?id=6285739&page=1) to testify before the Senate.. Then hear that their financial woes are not based on their business model, but based on the economic crisis going on around the world.. And want their failed models bailed out by somebody else.

Let 'em cook. They need a lesson in humility.

BL.

jbrenn
Nov 19, 2008, 01:57 PM
first off i want them to go under. The uaw contract is unbelievable. If the cars are not selling and they close the factory the companies have to pay the employees 95% of their pay for 6 months. that is real ensentive to build quality cars. next is the gas milage i had a 79 civic that got 43 mpg. why are the new cars estimates only 29-35mpg? next if i am going to spend $20000+ on a car i want one that is actually built in the usa. so that eliminates every car ford gm and chrystler makes all built in canada or mexico. So i will be buying a camry that is actually made in the usa.

Don't panic
Nov 19, 2008, 02:10 PM
Ford makes some great and truly groundbreaking vehicles.

agreed ;)

http://www.planet-trucks.com/imgs_base/3/1/965303.jpg

danny_w
Nov 19, 2008, 02:45 PM
first off i want them to go under. The uaw contract is unbelievable. If the cars are not selling and they close the factory the companies have to pay the employees 95% of their pay for 6 months. that is real ensentive to build quality cars. next is the gas milage i had a 79 civic that got 43 mpg. why are the new cars estimates only 29-35mpg? next if i am going to spend $20000+ on a car i want one that is actually built in the usa. so that eliminates every car ford gm and chrystler makes all built in canada or mexico. So i will be buying a camry that is actually made in the usa.
Cars are bigger and heavier (and arguably safer) now than they were in 1979, partly due to more safety systems such as airbags. The Honda Civic may have gotten 43mpg in 79, but the 2009 Civic is rated at 26/34mpg. So it is not just the American car companies that don't get great mileage, because the Japanese don't do much better.

LethalWolfe
Nov 19, 2008, 03:09 PM
Cars are bigger and heavier (and arguably safer) now than they were in 1979, partly due to more safety systems such as airbags.
Have you seen cars from the 70's? Generally speaking they are bigger, heavier, and not as safe as modern cars.


Lethal

gkarris
Nov 19, 2008, 03:17 PM
Even if the fall of the company brings down the economy even further?

GM and Ford going away won't bring down the ENTIRE economy. Nissan, Toyota, and others that assemble cars in the USA will pick up some of the slack...

I was initially feeling sympathetic to them as far as the job losses are concerned.. Then I read about How they got to Capitol Hill (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/WallStreet/story?id=6285739&page=1) to testify before the Senate.. Then hear that their financial woes are not based on their business model, but based on the economic crisis going on around the world.. And want their failed models bailed out by somebody else.

Let 'em cook. They need a lesson in humility.

BL.


We all saw this coming. When the Government bailed out Wall St., the execs of the Big 3 Automakers now want some of that too...

danny_w
Nov 19, 2008, 03:17 PM
Have you seen cars from the 70's? Generally speaking they are bigger, heavier, and not as safe as modern cars.


Lethal
Yes of course, I grew up in the 60s so I now all about those land yachts. I should have been more specific in that I was referring to economy compacts such as the Civic, a VERY small car when it came out. The new Civic is both larger and heavier, and gets nowhere near the mileage. Of course it is also far safer and more comfortable.

quagmire
Nov 19, 2008, 03:55 PM
first off i want them to go under. The uaw contract is unbelievable. If the cars are not selling and they close the factory the companies have to pay the employees 95% of their pay for 6 months. that is real ensentive to build quality cars. next is the gas milage i had a 79 civic that got 43 mpg. why are the new cars estimates only 29-35mpg? next if i am going to spend $20000+ on a car i want one that is actually built in the usa. so that eliminates every car ford gm and chrystler makes all built in canada or mexico. So i will be buying a camry that is actually made in the usa.

My Aura was built in the US and our Suburbans were American made. The only vehicles in my families garage that was built out of the US is the Equinox(Canada) and the BMW(Germany). I recommend to actually look up the information you are going to post next time before you actually post as 95% of that was all BS and lies.

Rodimus Prime
Nov 19, 2008, 07:10 PM
GM and Ford going away won't bring down the ENTIRE economy. Nissan, Toyota, and others that assemble cars in the USA will pick up some of the slack...

While that is nice in theory you need to remember GM alone is 22% of the US market. The other companies do not have the production to meet demand. Mix that with the fact that those other companies are going to have huge problems getting supplies from their suppliers because a lot will go under with GM.

You can not remember that much of the market and not exect a huge domino effect. If GM left you could easily expect a 10-15% increase in the price of cars, Fewer discounts, and replacement parts jumping up a lot in price.

GM going under screws over the consumers pretty badly as well.

Yes they will pick up some of the slack but they can not pick up that much of it.

gmecca2
Nov 21, 2008, 08:40 PM
I own a Ford but the reliability of most models is poor except the trucks. Would I buy a Ford again, Nope, not unless it was an F-150.

juanster
Nov 21, 2008, 08:45 PM
I can't stand american cars, except for the top of the line ones.. but i don't want gm or ford to go down taht would leave less choices..options are good...

jeffy.dee-lux
Nov 23, 2008, 02:35 PM
I own a Ford but the reliability of most models is poor except the trucks. Would I buy a Ford again, Nope, not unless it was an F-150.

that's not true anymore, look at an up to date quality survey such as Consumer Reports or JD Powers. Ford cars are well above industry average in terms of quality.

Ford currently also builds some of Americas most fuel efficient vehicles.
Ford's reputation (GM's too) lags far behind their actual product, which is really too bad.

danny_w
Nov 23, 2008, 02:54 PM
that's not true anymore, look at an up to date quality survey such as Consumer Reports or JD Powers. Ford cars are well above industry average in terms of quality.

Ford currently also builds some of Americas most fuel efficient vehicles.
Ford's reputation (GM's too) lags far behind their actual product, which is really too bad.
I agree that the American car manufacturers have made tremendous progress in quality lately, in some cases out performing Toyota in the last 2-3 years, but they ahve 2 major jurdles to overcome:

1) Reputation for poor quality junk that continues to haunt them, and
2) A dealer network that, for the most part, refuses to embrace modern sales concepts.

The 2nd issue to me will be even harder to overcome than the 1st. Even if I wanted a new American car I shudder at the mere thought of having to deal with a dealer network that is still stuck in the 50's. I just hate dealing with high-pressure car salesmen that want to make a guessing game out of the real price of the car. To me the difference in how car dealerships are run is the biggest difference between American and foreign makes.

EDIT: I have made it a rule to not play the game. When I first walk into the showroom I ask for the best cash price that they can give me, and tell them up front that if they are too high I will walk out. I have actually had several dealers quote the window sticker price, and I waled out and let their jaws dropping.

quagmire
Nov 23, 2008, 03:30 PM
I agree that the American car manufacturers have made tremendous progress in quality lately, in some cases out performing Toyota in the last 2-3 years, but they ahve 2 major jurdles to overcome:

1) Reputation for poor quality junk that continues to haunt them, and
2) A dealer network that, for the most part, refuses to embrace modern sales concepts.

The 2nd issue to me will be even harder to overcome than the 1st. Even if I wanted a new American car I shudder at the mere thought of having to deal with a dealer network that is still stuck in the 50's. I just hate dealing with high-pressure car salesmen that want to make a guessing game out of the real price of the car. To me the difference in how car dealerships are run is the biggest difference between American and foreign makes.

EDIT: I have made it a rule to not play the game. When I first walk into the showroom I ask for the best cash price that they can give me, and tell them up front that if they are too high I will walk out. I have actually had several dealers quote the window sticker price, and I waled out and let their jaws dropping.

That is why I love Saturn so much. The buying process was painless and as simple as, " Sign here please" because of no haggling.

When I buy something non-Saturn I will look for dealers that pay salary and no commission as those tend to be low pressure as well.

Rodimus Prime
Nov 23, 2008, 03:40 PM
I agree that the American car manufacturers have made tremendous progress in quality lately, in some cases out performing Toyota in the last 2-3 years, but they ahve 2 major jurdles to overcome:

1) Reputation for poor quality junk that continues to haunt them, and
2) A dealer network that, for the most part, refuses to embrace modern sales concepts.

The 2nd issue to me will be even harder to overcome than the 1st. Even if I wanted a new American car I shudder at the mere thought of having to deal with a dealer network that is still stuck in the 50's. I just hate dealing with high-pressure car salesmen that want to make a guessing game out of the real price of the car. To me the difference in how car dealerships are run is the biggest difference between American and foreign makes.

EDIT: I have made it a rule to not play the game. When I first walk into the showroom I ask for the best cash price that they can give me, and tell them up front that if they are too high I will walk out. I have actually had several dealers quote the window sticker price, and I waled out and let their jaws dropping.

man that is the reason I am going to miss the supplier discount I would of gotten though my father. No haggling price below what you could haggle for. It is a price set in stone by the manufacture.

But I have found it varies from dealer to dealer. I have seen some honda dealers behave like the american dealers you described. Very high pressured compared to the one 4-5 miles down the road that was much more layed back.