GM: dead within weeks?

Posted by Paul Horrell at 3:27 am on Wednesday November 19, 2008

gmc2005110238068_pvThis week it looks like we’ll see whether the American car industry will be thrown a lifeline. GM, Ford and Chrysler want $25billion in soft loans. If Congress doesn’t agree to hand over the dough immediately, GM will very possibly go insolvent in early January. And shut down. Holy cow. Think of the consequences.

Momentous weeks of lobbying and political posturing in America are coming to a head. The Big Three say they are responsible for one in 10 American jobs – either through direct employment, or their suppliers or dealers. As well as a similar proportion of pensions and healthcare. There’s no NHS there, remember, so corporations pay their employees’ health insurance. And if corporations die, it’s jeopardised. Gulp.

It’s GM that is the big worry. Chrysler is smaller. Ford made big borrowings two years ago to put cash in the bank for rainy days like these. But in the absence of either a bail-out or a miracle, GM will simply shut its doors within months or weeks.

Essentially then, the US government is held at ransom. Hardcore Republicans argue they’re being asked to bail out an industry that’s simply uncompetitive.

But realists of all political persuasions point out that losing all those jobs will cause a massive hole in tax revenue. And an even bigger bill in providing at least some sort of safety net in benefits. And finally, the risk of a general slump by putting such a hole in an already critically battered national economy.

Estimates for all those potential costs to the US Treasury vary, but they’re always in the hundreds of billions.

In other words, viewed purely short-term, net-net it’ll be cheaper to save Detroit than let it die.

Of course it isn’t that simple. As the Big Three let market share slip through their fingers these past years, they’ve thrown hundreds of thousands of line workers out of a job. But the United Auto Workers has done a good job of protecting their benefits as part of redundancies. So some politicians are questioning a bail-out on the grounds it would give ex-assembly workers a better future than your average American Joe.

Then there’s the question of whether these companies deserve saving.  Again the right-wingers argue that if they are rescued then the same will happen time and again. In fact it has happened before, with the Chrysler rescue of 1979.

They also point out that this $25bn is in addition to a different $25bn already agreed, which will be loaned to Detroit to fund economies in fuel consumption. The Japanese and Germans building and selling cars in America are well on course to meet those consumption targets without help. 

This argument is backed by the West- and East-Coast chattering classes. The New York Times’s big-shot op-ed columnist Thomas Friedman went so far as to suggest GM’s management should be fired wholesale and Steve Jobs brought in to run the company for a year. ‘I bet it wouldn’t take him much longer than that to come up with the GM iCar.’

Even the most ardent admirer of Apple – or even Toyota, darling of the Friedman tendency – would say, if they knew the first thing about the car industry, that Friedman is talking is utter cobblers here. But that sort of thing sums up the mood: GM, Ford and Chrysler have been broken for years and deserve to be finished off.

Not so fast. Chrysler is probably unfixable, yes. But Ford and also GM were on a well-documented upward path before the general economy went so sour so fast. Their transformation strategies are simple to state, hard to perform. They’re aiming for greater efficiency, more flexibility, and lastly – crucially – better smaller cars.

They were getting there. But the credit crunch exposed the fact that they hadn’t fully turned-around and were still vulnerable. The credit -crunch started by myopic, greedy banks which are getting bailed out, let’s not forget.

The Detroit of today is getting punished for what Detroit was yesterday. At times over the past decades the Big Three’s bosses have been lazy and dumb and they’ve given pointless vehicles to their workers to build and their dealers to sell.

They over-relied on cheaply made big SUVs in the cheap fuel era. But they had to, because that was the way to make the fastest return for the shareholders at quarterly results time. Short sighted management is almost non-optional in the American capital system. European and Japanese shareholders look for longer-term results backed by solid investment.

To be literal, it’s a long time since GM, Ford and Chrysler actually were the Biggest Three. Their declining market share has put them in an impossible bind. They as they reduce their numbers of workers, each remaining employee has to pay the pensions and benefits and healthcare costs of more and more of his or her retired and redundant ex-colleagues.

Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes and the rest, with their far newer American factories, have a younger healthier workforce who don’t demand such an overhead of social care. Not yet anyway.

It’s a tragic irony that if GM goes down, one of the great problems of the car industry will be solved. It’s chronic over-capacity – too many expensive factories across the industry, too many workers. The remaining firms will be able to ramp up production to replace lost GM sales, and run their plants more efficiently. But what a sudden, catastrophic price for GM factory towns everywhere.

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  1. broogler said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 3:48 am Link to comment Report comment

    your article is straight to the point and honest, hope they don’t bail out the old pig.

  2. ad lib said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 4:00 am Link to comment Report comment

    As regards the bailout, I totally agree. Let the market function normally; poor planning leads to business failure, and the more efficient and better run companies will survive, and probably buy up most of the collapsing manufacturers anyway. Let it die already.
    As for the banks, that was also poor management, partially from sheer stupidity on the banks’ part and also hype from opportunistic congressmen who know nothing of economics, or else simply ignore economics principles since they know that when everything goes south they will not be implicated.

  3. Colin Suttie said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 5:00 am Link to comment Report comment

    I beg to differ. GM are likely to become insolvent soon as you say, but shut down? The most likely outcome ($25bn bailout or not) is a reorganisation under Chapter 11 – both Delta and Northwest airlines have done this in recent years, both of them kept operating. This may allow GM to get out of the ridiculous position they’ve been forced into by unions & incompetent management, where each hour worked by a GM worker costs GM about $75 but earns the worker about $25. If their labour costs can be reorganised to be competitive AND they start making decent cars, then they may be a viable business again in the future. I don’t think that’s likely, but I’m 100% sure GM won’t be shutting their doors in January.

  4. Speed trap said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 5:20 am Link to comment Report comment

    Your article hits right on target. The top management of american car makers deserve a special place in the “What were they thinking” board in the show. The world is asking for fuel efficient, greener and more reliable cars and this guys come up with Cadillac Escalates: a monument to american reckless waste. Now, no matter how “well deserved” GM has it, at the end the workers end up paying with their jobs for something that their bosses spoiled and the las ones go to their private house in the bahamas to think what went wrong. It’s just not fair. Let’s hope Toyota buy GM, keep the employers and teach these guys a lesson on how to build cars responsibly.

  5. Ryan said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 6:13 am Link to comment Report comment

    Chrysler is absolutely incapable of making a good vehicle other than the Jeep Wrangler. GM can make an OK car, barely on par with the competition. Then there is Ford, who refuses to sell their good vehicles in the US. Where is the Mondeo, Focus, Fiesta or S-Max right now?
    I live in the US, and I’m entering an already weak workforce. The fall of the Big 3 will hit me hard. Still, I have no problem waiting it out so my children don’t have to suffer.

  6. Paul Horrell said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 6:58 am Link to comment Report comment

    Hello Colin Suttie – while you might fly with an airline under chapter 11, would you buy a car from a bankrupt company? You’ll be facing tragic depreciation and fragile parts supply in the future. That was what finished off Rover really – when they weren’t quite bankrupt people feared they would be and that drove sales through the floor. Paul

  7. catersam said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to comment Report comment

    The big 3 need a complete rethink. New managment, new production lines, new cars, the lot. This could be turned into the most positive situation in the world, if they started from the bottom again, trying to be the lowest CO2 producing car makers in the world. They could make hydrogen, electric, etc. powered cars a reality. Maybe its like the Flood of Noah. But real, obviously. They maybe close to bankrupcy now, but a complete turn around will still be possible. If the analyists are right, we may only have another 12 months in the recession, so that should be the big 3s relaunch target. Obviously, the above won’t happen, but who can blame me for dreaming? Expect more SUVs in 2010.

  8. Portugal83 said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 12:03 pm Link to comment Report comment

    the truth is that a big company like GM can´t simply die, because of the impact it would have on te american and global economy and because of their lobbies strength…
    So one of two solutions have to happen: make GM worth being bought by another company or lend them some billions so they can turn around the situation.
    Of course the end of some of their cars brands and a huge layoff is unavoidable to save GM…

  9. Ben said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 12:06 pm Link to comment Report comment

    What would a GM collapse mean for Holden, Vauxhall, Daewoo, Opel and whatever other companies GM own?

  10. Mineworksfine said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Harsh as it might sound I think it’s time to let the market do what it will do. The profitable arms of GM and Chrysler can be sold off just as with Rover and the gap filled by better made product. VW could easily absorb Opel/Vauxhall in Europe for instance, and Jeep as a brand would do quite nicely in Toyota’s hands Im’ sure. If these were sold off to raise the necessary capital then GM and Chrysler could get back to basics and concentrate on developing better quality products more relevant to their target market while preserving a good percentage of jobs in their own and related factories.

  11. Panos said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 1:03 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Any company that sells cars to the masses that can only manage 20mpg on the motorway and hopes that fuel will be cheap for eternity when everyone says it’s going to run out in 20 years should be let to die. You can get better than that from supercars for God’s sake.

    Let them die and spend the bailout package retraining and finding other jobs for the workers. The higher manangement and board cashed in enough anyway in the last 10 years to last till their great-grandchildren.

  12. Ho Kyung said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm Link to comment Report comment

    If the 1 in 10 jobs number is correct and we assume that because GM is the biggest of the three, they are by themselves responsible for ~2/5ths of that, then there is no way the American government can afford to let GM close it’s doors. Instant 4% unemployment growth nationwide just isn’t worth “letting the market do what it wants”. That’s not to say they have to hand out the 25 billion to the firms as they stand now of course. I think that while “the American government is being held to ransom” is one way to look at it, the other, equally valid side to the same coin, is that the government doesn’t _have_ to do anything. It’s the car companies coming over cap in hand. And while I think it’s true that both GM and Ford at least have cleaned up their acts considerably over the last year and a bit, was it not in Top Gear magazine that I read that GM’s management still commanded totally ridiculous bonus schemes? Let negotiations commence.

  13. luapl said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 3:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I feel bad for the workers who would lose their jobs. But i still think that GM needs to go. They have been making sh#t cars for way too long. The unions have shot it in the foot and management in the other. They could have easily turned themselves around the americans are the champions of selling you anything. They could have focused their energies on smaller cars, more fuel efficient cars better built cars had they just decided to change the american mentality of bigger and cheaper is better. Instead they chose to be lazy and arrogant and as such they deserve to disappear. This is free market capitalism at its best the weaker firm just has to say bye bye.

  14. Tak said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 4:00 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Paul, you obviously read Iacocca’s book. Is is really a bailout this time or just loan guarantees like with Chrysler in the ’80’s? Also the arguments against help are the same that were used against Chrysler in ’79, as are the arguments pro help. The US are quite used to loan guarantees and bailouts, 25b wouldn’t be more than pocketmoney to them. If that’s what it takes to keep 10% of the US-workforce in their jobs, I’m all for it.

  15. sad gm owner said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm Link to comment Report comment

    yes i own a gm car. and i hate it. it’s twitchy, got intrusive traction control, poor crash rating, and useless back brakes. honestly that sounds like a good metaphor for gm. the job loss boom created by Detroit a few years ago can still be felt across America. while they may be helping out ex-factory workers, they didnt help out much anyone else. and honestly it’s that job loss boom that started the real downturn in the american economy. that said, it didn’t push it over the edge. however you said it best, it’s been a long time since those three were that “big”. even here in the states you see more foreign cars than American made almost everywhere. i say let them fail, we need someone to buy gm and turn it around. they’ve been given at least a decade of harsh warnings to turn around. and they were warned before that about the sustainability of the quality of vehicle they were making long before it was actually a problem. think that’s enough time before they’re given up on? most companies engaged in such tom foolery in other industries turn belly up long before that. so why not them? sure it’ll hurt. but it will most likely still be “the big three”. just with a face lift and new driver(s) at the helm(s).

  16. SKUL said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 4:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i hope GM and Ford dont go down cos i really like the american cars
    just look at the new mustang god thats an amazing car
    if GM and ford went down what would happen to muscle cars?

    if they go bust ill have to buy rover and start up my own muscle car manufacturer
    look at it this way how hard can it be?

  17. Freddy said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 4:38 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I think they should just be left to collapse. The whole profit making drive that was behind the boom and caused the crash will never stop until we grow a=up and start thinking long-term and try a bit of forward planning. Let them collapse because whatever comes in to replace them will be stronger and better.

  18. Stars and Gripes said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 5:16 pm Link to comment Report comment

    These are the same companies who sent thousands of jobs to Mexico in the post-NAFTA era. Now they’re worried about the American worker? I think I’d rather watch them suffer than have any of my tax dollars reward their short sighted incompetence.

  19. santiagofdz said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I think your article is right on the money Paul.

    As much as it pains me to say this, the Republicans have a point when they say that the market should decide what these companies fate is. BUT I also think that, at least in GM’s case, it is paying for mistakes it did in the past. GM’s current product range is only going to get better, as will Ford when they get around to putting the products of Ford Europe. Bailing them out will probably be a good investment mid/longterm. Can’t say the same about Chrysler, which I’m guessing will be stripped of useful brands/products and then chucked out the window.

    I strongly feel it’s a problem of the “American style” of big company management/shareholder demands. Having previously worked for a big name American transnational, the enfasis was always to “get results today, right now!”, but I was shocked when a lot of “results” were at the expense of a better result down the line. The pressure for short term return was so great that product plans would be revised endlessly, essentialy crippling the benefits of having a plan in the first place.

    I wrote that and it sounded a lot like Ford killing the Tarus name, only to bring it to life a couple of years later.

  20. Barracuda said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 5:59 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Bail them out… Bail them out…

    I wanna buy a vauxhall VXR next year :'(

  21. Rob said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 6:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Those snobs need a lesson to be taught..this is one perfect situation. Bail them out..but one at a thread at a time..make it slow..

  22. Crash Cash said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 6:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Let them DIE.

    Their cars are crap, and their dealers are greedy lying incompetents who employ monkeys with wrenches. I wouldn’t take an American-made 4-wheeled product if you gave one to me.

    GM especially needs to go casters-up.

  23. xblade said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 6:52 pm Link to comment Report comment

    if GM goes down, will it drag along Opel(Vauxhall/Holden), Volvo, AstonMartin (right?) and the rest of manufacturers which are part of it ?????

    if so, it might be worth saving.

    remember when Fiat almost went down a few years back…? it would have ment really bad news for Ferrari too, and Maser, and AlfaRomeo, and Lancia….

    if GM’s death means AstonMartin’s death, i want GM to keep going :D
    ’cause Astons are so damn pretty (to look at as i can’t afford one :P)

  24. twitch said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 6:52 pm Link to comment Report comment

    this is what i think the bottom line is…

    any car manufacturer (ford, vw, ferrari, honda, lotus, etc…) is in the business of making and selling cars. therefore, no car sales = no money!!

    businesses can and have failed because of any one or a combination of these 3 factors: mismanagement, loss of marketshare, and poor reputation. the detroit 3, have all 3 of those factors.

  25. English Cad said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 7:04 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Gross incompetence at the highest levels, greed, total lack of understanding of the market place…It all goes horribly wrong and you are suddenly found out to be completely inept at what you do….So what to do?
    Blackmail the government! So in essence just like the banks then… Only difference being GM does actually produce something at the end of the day, all be crap….

  26. Veyron said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 7:08 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Let them die. Who’d honestly miss any of their cars?

  27. Morty said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 7:34 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I feel bad for the workers, but a company that can’t swim now will not be able to swim in 12 or 24 month (the economy will not turn around fast enough and even an electic car can’t be sold to people without cash or credit).

    Also they might try to blackmail Congress again in roundabout 22 month (remember: they burn though one BILLION dollars a month!) because the next midterm elections are up and they are “still too big to fail”.

    And the last thing i want to mention: you don’t plan or build for today, you build for tomorrow and plan for NEXT WEEK! Every car company knows how long it takes for them to come up with something new, so the have to factor that in (the Prius came out 1997, WELL ahead of it’s time, but someone was THINKING over in Japan).

    Look at it like this: if you go to a toyshop today you will find THE present for kids for this years christmas on the shelves right now. If the toy industry can do it, and Japan can do it (and Germany, and Korea and and and) why can’t Detroit do it? Sorry guys, but that’s how it is from my point of view…

  28. Bradley said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 7:38 pm Link to comment Report comment

    GM and only GM itself is responsible for the situation they’ve put themselves into. Anyone remember a little documentary movie from 1989, “Roger & Me’? How about something more recent, “Who Killed the Electric Car”?

    Imagine how much GM would be profiting right now if they hadn’t killed the EV1. They could have been seen as a world leader in “Green” technology and decreased the U.S. dependancy on foreign oil.

    How ironic is it that GM finally is going to produce an electric car again with the Chevy Volt. Only now it’s GM, not the car that should be killed.

  29. Tom said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 8:23 pm Link to comment Report comment

    It will be a shame if the 3 go out of business but they didnt change with the times. Ford has been in Europe but sadly not in the US which is what killing them.

    I really hope Ford can be saved I like what they are doing right now which is not what I can say about the other 2.

  30. kay said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 8:56 pm Link to comment Report comment

    seems like any company that was weak before the econimic chrisis happened is going down but sorry you cant give them money GM was always going down all this did is to speed it up. Also giving them money would be a bit like communism wouldnt it?

  31. Phaton said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 9:32 pm Link to comment Report comment

    There are a lot of people that will be affected in GM goes down and I feel for them. That is the american way, the rich get rich and the employees that made them rich are left holding the bag. I wouldn’t wish that kind off hardship on my worst enemy

    With all that being said, if you think of this situation from a car guy standpoint, The average GM or Crysler car is a piece of junk. Not good on fuel, underpowered for that kind of fuel consumption, any of the big 3 couldn’t make a decent interior to save their life, and overall styling of their cars is just sad. I have to admit that they make some good trucks, but once again the styling is average (I have to admit that I like the dodge) the interiors are junk and cheep looking, I have never sat in a big 3 truck seat that was comfortable or even average for that matter.

    Let the big 3 get what they deserve and then have the other companies sell more of their well made european vehicles in the u.s.a

  32. Positronic said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 9:41 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Even if selling off parts of GM, Chrysler or Ford to save the companies were an option, the buyers are more likely to be Samsung, Nokia, Casio, Nintendo or even an unheard of Chinese cheap-chip supplier than Toyota, VW, BMW or any of the other big shots. Well established and doing well car manufacturers have nothing to gain from buying the triaged body parts of the living dead big three.

  33. Ken B. said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 9:47 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The UAW is the main reason GM is in the tank. Big SUVs were a part, but for every GM car sold somewhere between $2500-5000 goes to simply health care and pension for union members. That’s thousands of dollars less to go to towards the initial quality of the vehicles.

    Let them go under. They can reorganize contracts better under Chapter 11.

  34. Gerar 430s said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 10:32 pm Link to comment Report comment

    This money flaw in the american market it´s a big dilema:
    On one hand we have the death of many, many big brands as Aston, Volvo
    Vauxhall, Daewwo and so forth, bringing a bigger financial crisis than before, result of so many job loss not only in america but in the GM factories around the world

    But the other side of the coins is that is can be salvaged by selling this factories to other car manufacturers. I’m from Guatemala, and a year or so ago to Banks Broke here so what they did to stop a financial crisis by all those job losses is to sell the facilities and let the other employees keep their work but in the name of another companie, It’s the same, les the employees keep their work but in name of Fiat or VW or any other car companie.

  35. Henry said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 11:20 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Okay. I admit, with reluctance (even though I’m fourteen) that I am an American. As someone who lives in America currently, I am pissed off at the government (as i have been for eight years), and want Obama in office. Now. but I am also scared. Our economy hasn’t been this bad since the ’30s. And as much as I would love to live in Europe (Isle of Man, here I come) I’m afraid that my family would not be up to it. Paulson has come up with this 750$ billion bailout plan which has received both positive ange negative responses. I think that as hypocritical as the government is: “oh we don’t have enough money to spend on blah blah blah… wait! heres 750 billion dollars! where did that come from?” i still think they should follow through with the rest of it. I dont want to be living in a cardboard box in Brooklyn, I want to be living in my house in Brooklyn. As soon as you actually experience the aura of panic, and see the rich white business executives pissing their pants, then you start to notice whats going on.

  36. Henry said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 11:21 pm Link to comment Report comment

    But I definitely won’t be missing their cars… except for the zr1 and the vipers.

  37. vcjester said...
    Wednesday November 19, 2008 at 11:35 pm Link to comment Report comment

    GREED GREED GREED! Thats all it comes down to. The big 3 ruined themselves by trying to pump out as many sub par machines as they could just to make the biggest profit possible. Companies like BMW, Honda, etc. built cars that grew a reputation as well thought out and assembled vehicles.

    If this bail out doesn’t happen, GM won’t be closing it’s doors. The bail out is just their way of trying to loose the least amount of profits and still survive. They have plan B. and C. sitting on the back burner I’m sure.

    I do agree though, replace the management and the forcasters.

  38. cannonball79 said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 2:29 am Link to comment Report comment

    Did anyone notice the story on ABC news? All of the heads of the Big 3 auto makers flew to Washington in 3 different private jets to beg for money to bail them out. You just can’t make this stuff up.

  39. bobert said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 2:50 am Link to comment Report comment

    This is just sad. the only one of the 3 that’s is actually building more than one model worth purchasing( well us market ) is at the most risk.

  40. ewok said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 4:53 am Link to comment Report comment

    Hey Paul Horrell.

    What you may have missed is that the hardcore republicans that are denouncing the bailout hail from states with car plants owned by foreign automakers. To get these foreign automakers to invest in their states, they handed them generous government subsidies.

    They have a vested interest in seeing that the domestic car makers fail.

    The “let the free market” decide argument is total BS.

  41. trentS. said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 5:26 am Link to comment Report comment

    I personally despise the whole situation. I live in Canada and I’m quite proud to say none of my family’s cars are American-made. I might be tempted by some of the European models if Ford or GM gave us some of their European cars, but instead we get big pickup trucks and crap budget-mobiles that still manage worse MPG than my five-year old Mazda. And even at the Paris auto show, GM showed us another big useless SUV, the Orlando.

    I say let them die. These companies have been doing the same thing for far too long, and it’s time someone put down the old dogs. I doubt they’ll die off completely, the big three are far too much a part of the North American economy, but maybe if they’re forced to take a back seat to the Japanese or European cars on their home turf, than maybe they will get the hint and make cars worth driving. Well, we can hope at least.

  42. nuj said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 6:18 am Link to comment Report comment

    this “ewok” character knows what he is talking about. i was waiting to see who picks up on this republican agenda.

    while there are some very good points on this forum, i have question. would love to hear what you guys think.
    what would happen if the big three had their empire broken into smaller companies?
    like chevy, dodge, Saturn, and such were independent companies without wasteful executive crowns on top of them like “General Motors corporation”?
    could that possibly work?

  43. riar said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 7:15 am Link to comment Report comment

    yes it is true that bailing out the banks is wrong and shortsighted. but it is equally irresponsible to bail out the car makers. and them failing is not all that bad, if they go into administration it will allow them to break the rigid contracts they have with the unions and get the flexibility they need (the unions are their creditors and in administration their rights will be diluted).
    GM and the rest are bound to fail if they get bailed out because the labour contracts and pension liabilities will eventually catch up. bailing them out will be like treating the symptom and not the cause.

  44. Geronimo said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 8:41 am Link to comment Report comment

    I never understood what the point of owning several companies to produce the same car over and over agin in a not so different skin was. Let’s not forget a shameful period in the 90ies when the only difference between a Chrysler and a Dodge was the badge. This is what has been happening to the US automotive industry for decades now. Brands are too afraid of stepping on eachothers toes because they are owned by the same parent company, which rendered US manufacturers incompetitive and unable to respond to threats from the Japanese and European manufacturers. The market has been screaming for ages for high mile per gallon low emission products. The Japanese manufacturers respond with Hybrid cars. The long term environmental effects of these cars might render them not so green due to double production lines and relatively short life span of fuel cells, but as far as eco-marketing is concerned they are a huge success. The big 3 until now responded with ignorance. The only reason anyone should help the big 3 out is to prevent thousands of people losing their jobs, which will sink the market into a worse depression, taking a hell of a longer time to recover from. When this is done it needs to be done with long term business plans or 15, 10 or 5 years down the line they’ll find themselves spiraling down the same sinkhole.

  45. omc said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 10:26 am Link to comment Report comment

    you are saying about saving 10% of the american jobs but who will pay for that ? goverment ? no, the rest – 90% of american workers will have to pay for that in their taxes.

    let them die and let allow market to find useful job for those 10%.

  46. Bailey said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 10:51 am Link to comment Report comment

    Whats this $25billion bail out actually going to do? GM are not going to change anything and just continue to carry on trying to sell cars which are just not a match to its competition. Whats to stop them asking for another loan in the next couple of years when they are back in the same situation?

  47. Geronimo said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 10:58 am Link to comment Report comment

    When GM falls, it won’t fall on a vacant lot. It will fall on the rest of the market, and whoever survives it will have to buckle up real tight to survive the ripple effect. Despite that I don’t see a lot of options other than its assets being sold off. The giant has stumbled and there’s nothing to hold on to.

  48. Fakuryu said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 12:20 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Out of the 3, only Ford has hope of surviving because Ford Europe makes great cars. GM is forgetable since all their cars are, Chrysler never made a good impact with the industry.

  49. Ariel Cinii said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 1:53 pm Link to comment Report comment

    This is me being an Oracle: GM will go like the Titanic. Ford will somehow endure the turbulence and survive in the end. And Chrysler will just disappear; they’ll be bought out by somebody and their components will be assimilated.

    I say let ’em sink. Their business model went out of style in 1980 and they haven’t improved themselves in all this time. They pandered to big, fat Amerikans with big, fat cars to justify their big, fat expense accounts. The laws of business that everybody else goes by say they should fail and be replaced by those who can adapt. Just like in England!

    Oh, wait a minute…

  50. Ameen said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Executives of the “top-3” are traveling around in corporate jets to beg for bail out.

  51. Robert A said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Business is business, let them fall.

  52. RJ said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm Link to comment Report comment

    GM needs to be broken up into separate car companies, and those companies need to survive or fail on their own.

    Cadillac, (US) Chevrolet, and the GM Performance Division are the most successful NA elements of GM, and could be one company while Pontiac needs to go the way of Oldsmobile.

    Saturn/Vauxhall/Opel are selling the same thing in three different markets with three different badges, and need to be one company, with one game plan.

    Saab is better left to its own devices, as is Holden.

    Buick is now a Chinese brand, and there it should stay, while Daewoo needs to develop an environmentally friendly version of the Tata Nano, and sell lots and lots of them into the developing world.

  53. jess said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 3:09 pm Link to comment Report comment

    funny this show makes me laff loads use three do funni bt stupid things al the time n think it funi the way u take the mik out of eachother the show is amazinn

  54. SUTSKI said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 3:16 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Let ’em fail….or make GM promise to re-release the EV1 asap….Rick Wagoner told MotorTrend in 2006 that his worst mistake at GM was “axing the EV1 electric-car program and not putting the right resources into hybrids”. Duh, really Rick, no shit.

    Come on, the EV1 plans must be lying around somewhere ??!!

    With a sub 8 second 0-60mph and a range of 100+ miles, MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WOULD BUY IT!!!! (and I bet even with 1999 battery technology!! If todays batteries were used, it must surely be sub 6 seconds and 250 miles range… iki/General_Motors_EV1

    I look forward to supporting the new car companies that will rise in place of GM and Chysler…Tesla, Fisker, Lightning, Think!, Nice, etc etc…so let these old outdated companies sink and help us pave the way towards an electric powered future !!

  55. mAT said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I would be completely ambivalent if GM and Chrysler went away. But Ford have talent and deserve to survive, as long as they use their brains and sell one range of cars globally. Volvo and Saab can be revitalised if owned separately and not hamstrung by out of data management, but even they need to get with the zeitgeist and downsize their ranges.

    Someone up above said “what will happen to muscle cars?”. Honest answer: they should have died already, and hopefully are about to. To me, they represent everything that is wrong with America – bloated and devoid of thought.

  56. a said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ford deserve to live

  57. Skunkfarmer said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I have a lot to say

  58. catersam said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 4:52 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @ barracuda

    If GM go bust, the depreciation will go sky high. You can get a second hand one. My mates dad got an MG (no, I don’t know what possessed him, either) for three grand, and it was only 3 years old.

  59. Skunkfarmer said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 4:57 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i believe what you folks in GB have for fords are a bit different than what we have here and for good reason. Most all out pickups are overpowered with V-8 305, 350 or 454 cubic inch and are huge…. I am speaking of GM pickups now as in the past I have discovered that Ford Trucks have a lot of issues with electrical, not Lucas bad but bad none the less….. I drive Chevrolet pichups and one of mine is 22 feet long, 8 ft bed, 4 door, and a 454 engine….. they ride wonderfully, plow snow well and are great for a date

  60. Skunkfarmer said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 5:01 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The major automakers should file chapter 11 bankrupcy, restructure and go from there….. they (GM) make great high quality vehicles now but because of the poor quality of the past they have lost a lot to Jap comps and German etc….. now they have great alternatives but lost thier support base (customer)

  61. Skunkfarmer said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 5:08 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I am sure the liberal democrats who are supported by labor unions and now in power with give them billion dollar loans to bail them out as the democrats have almost a ‘supermajority’ in the senate so all US folks will pay for the mis-management of these 3 greedy corp. execs.

    They will not fold but I see them dropping cars like Camaro, saving Corvette, keeping pickups…. most likely dropping brands. GM owns Pontiac, Buick, Cadillac, Hummer, Chevrolet, GMC, and a couple years ago dropped Oldsmobile….. I see Buick and Pontiac on the chopping block as well as GMC. The new HYBRID large SUV’S will remain, the trucks will be fitted and I bet you will see the move to natural gas instead of gasoline starting with large 18 wheelers who need more power than a hybrid setup would ever provide. I believe large trailer trucks should use a nat gas generator to supply power to electric motors that drive the wheels like railroad locomotives have

  62. Skunkfarmer said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 6:07 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Now GM wants to introduce Opel back to the US. They have Saab…..see these board members just do not get it. They need to admit they were wrong in the direction the corp went during the 1980’s – 1990’s with cars that fell apart and accept no pay while the company is losing money. These guys make tens of millions of $$ each year so they can afford to go without pay and private jets for a few years until the company gains support of buyers once again. I have NO problem with these guys in private business making millions but have a probblem when the companies are going under and they refuse to give up their income to bump the budget of the company as well as instill confidence in the union workers that they are not going to lose their jobs at the hands of a group of greedy shareholders.

    Obama will not beat these guys, President Bush has signed laws giving incentives to produce more fuel efficient vehicles but in the end the auto makers have crawled along…… the Smart car is here and there is a new 3 wheller from California out that reminds me of the Robin Reliant……. we want this stuff…… we see the small gas sippers on Top Gear (Pugeot sp?, Reanault, etc)and want them. Big oil is going into solar and wind in a hurry as they see the writing on the wall to they may be willing to fight less and less in years to come for the polititians for keeping the status quo. Pres. Bush should be blamed for not vetoing bad law bills that the liberal democrat controlled congress has put across his desk. Reagan would not stand for this.

  63. catersam said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 6:26 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I’m sorry, Skunkfarmer, you don’t seriously think thius will be sorted out with uncontrolled markets? President Bush and these companies have proved to everyone else that right wing politics, and, by extension, the free market, are useless. Regulation is needed to sort these out. Consolidation is neccesary. If that means a different sign is on the front of red neck mobiles, then so be it. I’m probably what you’d call a ‘namby pamby liberal’, but its not our country, GB, thats messed up the world economy. As so many stock market crashes have proved, Republicans are useless, and may the democrats rule for all eternity. I refuse to accept that ‘interfering is bad for the economy. It has kept it on its feet, and your republicans have messed it up. And I’m amazed I got through all of that without once swearing.

  64. catersam said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 6:27 pm Link to comment Report comment

    BOOm and Bust. Haha, how drole.

  65. Skunkfarmer said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 7:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Good for you on your swearing; now you won’t have to put any 1 pound coins into the swearing box.

    I believe in government regularion when it comes to utilities like telephone, electric and cable but it is not fair to otherauto makers if we bail out/get too involved with the big 3. Shall we have the government manage them all? That is not liberalism you know but marxist socialism.

    You can thank 3 major liberal democrats for starting the whole mess as well as a law signed by Carter and one signed by Clinton.

    Barney Frank – Democrat from Massachusetts has been on the committee that watches over Freddie Mack and Fannie Mae for well over 2 years and told us the mortgage giants were safe and sound investments knowing full well what was going on behind the scenes. His boyfriend is a high official in Fannie Mae

    Christopher Dodd – democrat of Connecticut who leads a finance committee knowingly took ‘special’ motgage loans from Countrywide before they went bust as a personal gain of $75k…. and the remainder of the folks who held mortgage loans with that money were forced to pay for it in the end.

    Harry Reid and Nancy Palossi both had forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack to give loans called NINJA loans to people who may or may not have been able to afford them. NINJA stands for No Job No Income and No Asset loans.

    This goes way back to Jimmy Carter who signed into law the Community Redistrabution act around 1977 and forced banks to give loans (a %) ti low incom neighborhoods. Clinton signed a law that made it mandatory for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to up the % to 25% of al loand handled by these mortgage giants. The last 2 years of the Clinton Admin had a democrat controlled congress so the republicans were unable to stop the law with their vote and it was signed.

    Under Pres Bush, the democrats have controlled congress and have forced his hand to give them what they want if he is to get much of what he and the republicans to be passed…. they forced through legislation to have Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae give NINJA loans and other questionable loans to minorities at a rate of 50% and that my fellow politcaphile (not a word) is how we started to go south and sell bad loans to other countries in bulk to the UK and Japan among others…. yes the US started it… the investors from all over were sold a bill of goods…. See, outside the military, foreign policy etc the republicans and Pres Bush have less power than you folks may know…. domestically the democrats are in control and will be for the next 2 years (Obama 4 yrs.

    I respect very much your passion that the correct choices be made in this situation but please remember that just as there are corrupt republicans, there are also corrupt democrats… the difference is that the democrats have more power, have had more power for the last 2 years and will have the power…. us republicans need to regroup, get rid of our own corruption and go back to true conservative beliefs. Economics 101 will tell you that raising taxes will not stimulate a sluggish economy…. we are seeing free market work here with oil as we have been collectively using less and less and the prices have had to drop…. we needed to hit that $4/gal mark to smarten up and find our limit. Prices and taxes go up and people have less money to spend so they simply curtail spending…. please show us here on this site how increased taxes like Obama wants will help. See, the rich who own businesses will see the increase and simply pass it on to the consumer with price hikes….. the sports and hollywood crowd do not make up enough of the population to have their income taxed, not find a loophole and still make a difference.

    Your heart is in the right place but I need proof as to how your vision would help.

    cheers, Darren

  66. Skunkfarmer said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 7:18 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I spell horribly as I am an impatient typer…. pardon me please

  67. Skunkfarmer said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 7:26 pm Link to comment Report comment

    * correction – Carter signed a law called Community Investment Act or a similar titled law and the word redistribution was my error. The law was well meaning and meant to give money like low or no interest loans to slumlords to improve the communities and also give loans for the poor to have a better chance at home ownership….. a very small percentage of US potential home owners ever successfully utilized this to get ahead….

  68. catersam said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 8:30 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Fair enough, I see what you’re saying, the democrats have made mistakes. But I have two main problems:
    1. Regulation is not communism, communism is total control. I mean government investment to give more jobs, etc. For example, in my opinion, to cut the umemployment in Britain while increasing productivity and reliance on imports, there should be a company set up in the auto industry, 50% government, 50% private. Not only would this decrease unemployment, it would mean that the government could force the issue when it comes to reducing emissions, alternative technology, etc. I’m not saying that it should be a ridiculous bit of force it down their throats, no one cares about profit thing, but just to ensure it goes in the right direction. If its any good, taxes could be cut as well.
    2. There is corruption anywhere, but the problem is republicans have spent so much time in power (only 8 democrat presidents i think, that might be in the last century, not sure), that there ideoligies have been tested. Other nations with further left politics have not had the fall the US has had, but were pulled down after the mortgage crisis in America.

    I dislike GM, Chrysler, and Ford for some of their recklessness, but the simple fact is they need government investment to force them 1. back to safety to ensure those jobs 2. to improve emissions etc. As someone above has said, most US cars can only manage 20mpg on the motorway. Euro cars are much better. The US gov. could become the world leader.

    Even though the democrats may have been in power in congress, they can still lead us out of this mess. Boom and Bust can’t stay as an economic policy: to many people’s lives are at risk. No one is without fault: the democrats themselves are to far right for me. I should point out I’m not a commie. I’m a social democrat. Emphasis on the word democrat. Democracy may have been what got us into this mess, it is also what will get us out.

    Unfortunately, although the politicians all really want the same thing (strong economy, happy people, etc.), their differing ways of doing things are costing people their livelihoods. Hopefully Obama can bring the world through this mess. I do hope it crushes the communists in China, first though.

    Sorry about the rambling, I’m tired from working too long.

  69. Skunkfarmer said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 9:12 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I am worried with the statement that Obama could bring the world through this mess. No US president should have that much power and we have a system of checks and balances in this country to keep it that way. I worry that the hope the world has in this man is too much. He has not the experience that say Bill Clinton had ad Clinton actually ran a state but because of Obama’s shortcommings on the knowledge of how to run this country he is smart enough to be surrounding himself with most of Clinton’s former staff to aid him.

    people here treat him as the Messiah and though he is smart and well spoken I feel the borderline worship of him is dangerous…. he is just a 40 something year old man after all… not Jesus.

    I think you have some great ideas for our auto industry and do agree to an extent….. I still think the extent should be a low intrest govt loan to the big 3 should be it and have them pay the taxpayers back like Chrysler did in the 1980’s under Lee Iacoca. I do think the auto makers need to clean up their act and give us more of a choice like you folks have with your 1.8 liter high mileage cars……. I think that is why so many US folks have gone Japanese or German…. The big 3 should have seen that comming.

  70. My mind thinks... said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 9:19 pm Link to comment Report comment

    if 10% of Americans lose their jobs how many would be able to fnd other jobs??how much would unemployment actually go up by and if the 25bn was used to support the extra unemployed and train them for other jobs how long would that money last??? Letting the big 3 fend for them selfs would be the best way to help Americans, atleast that way the bosses won’t get millions outof it and the government can help the public using the money, the big 3 may fall but the company assets such as buildings, factories and brands will be bought up by private equity firms, investors or maybe other manufactures! The brands have value, history and some good cars(may be a rubish car but I’d love a mustang or corvette or challenger because of the image and the idea of American muscle, just needs hybrid tech) a perfect example is rover, was bailed out for years and nothing changed, when it went bust rover died, bmw bought mini and landrover which was later sold and mg was bought and is coming back after years of planning, we now have a great, reliable, well made selection of cars with new minis, range rovers etc, Aston was sold and they are better for it and jag will soon be back on form. Main problem with big 3 is time taken to push things along, I’m sure the engineers/designers create great cars but never get the green light because of all the people between them and the work force building the cars, smaller companies and individual brands do not have this problem, main reason y euro cars work so well is because most have individual teams taking care of 1 brand look at VAG, they platform share but each brand knows it’s market and builds onto of a platform for there demographic, eg golf/Audi tt and Audi a3, same underpinnings but 3 different markets, the group builds 3 SUVs off 1 platform but each is aimed at different people and the design is created by different teams fairly quickly compared to big 3… Just my thoughts hope you let me know if you dis/agree, that’s y I think big 3 should be left alone

  71. Skunkfarmer said...
    Thursday November 20, 2008 at 10:10 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Excellent take on it; I agree completely

  72. horace said...
    Friday November 21, 2008 at 7:58 am Link to comment Report comment

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned in this debate is what happens to ex-workers of GM and other auto companies if the companies go belly up. It’s very fine to say let the market sort things out, but an auto company is a huge bundle of interests, some well protected, some completely exposed in the case of collapse.

    Under US Chapter 11 bankruptcy law, retirees from a company have no right to continue to get their pensions and health insurance if the company declares bankruptcy. Banks and secured creditors are at the front of the queue, then the workers (who are treated as just another bunch of unsecured creditors). The retirees are nowhere. The pension and health benefits they’ve calculated on getting for the rest of their lives suddenly evaporate, or get cut to a fraction. GM has tens of thousands of these retirees.

    GM has to be bailed out, but with stringent conditions. One set of conditions should relate to workers, another to retirees. The auto workers’ unions will look after current workers in this process, but retirees’ pensions should be protected by the US government.

  73. a said...
    Friday November 21, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to comment Report comment

    dont shoot…

    let them BURN!!

  74. dariniti said...
    Friday November 21, 2008 at 2:25 pm Link to comment Report comment

    why not harness the skills and enthusiasm of young drivers by hosting a competition to find the best “boy racer”my contact no is o1782 502933.

  75. Skunkfarmer said...
    Friday November 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows for restructuring and not a total liquidation od assets….. it is chapter 7 bankruptcy that goes to that drastic measure….. no judge would dare allow chapter 11 restructuring without considering the retirees first of all…. unless he wants to get shot…. even if the judge were to do so it would surely be taken to a higher court and sorted out….

    after all…. the messiah obama promised everything would be heavenly under his watch

  76. Puertorrican! said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 12:11 am Link to comment Report comment

    Did some of the people here has ever ride the Cadillac CTS-V 560hp? is that the car that whoops BMW M5? Have you guys ride de Dodge charger R/T? can BMW give you a car like that for that price? ohh sorry i forgot how comfy is the back seat of the BMW3 series once you put a childs seat in the middle compare to that of the Charger.and other thing try to haul your racing car with a European Pick-up.

  77. Puertorrican! said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 12:16 am Link to comment Report comment

    I forgot!!!! bring to the construction site your six or 7 workers in a Mini cooper!! jajajajajaja

  78. kay said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 1:15 am Link to comment Report comment

    also do you thin GM would ever pay them back what do you think there going to do so much better then toyota thats going to make them the money they need to pay the goverment back. And who is going to be resposible when GM falls on its own accords with the money the goverment gave?

  79. LJD said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 8:12 am Link to comment Report comment

    As I’m an Australian, I love my country and if GM goes under, then thousands of jobs go as Australia has a fairly big manufacturing industry and Holden is part of GM and they buid good car as our economy is NOWHERE near as protected as America’s is. So i think it might be wise to keep GM and the other car firms, BUT once their on their feet again, make the market place more competetive and and force GM, Ford and Chrysler to improve their cars. The American car firms have gotten it to easy over the years and it’s time for them to wake up or DIE!!!!

  80. Bones said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 10:09 am Link to comment Report comment

    Let them die. I heard earlier today about a Forklift driver for GM who gets paid $106,000USD. Those are wages as well, not a salary.

  81. Michael Griffin said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 12:24 pm Link to comment Report comment

    This is far better than any of that beat-around-the-bush crap in the financial times, straight to the point and honest, nice one.

    I hope in one way that GM goes, because the fat cats need to realize that they cannot just throw a car out and expect millins in return, therefore gambling with their entire workforce.

    Ford, I hope they stay, not just because their workforce is generally brilliant and hardworking, but because I am getting a new Fiesta soon…

    Chrysler? Oh, the drug dealers will be desperate to keep them afloat, because the 300C is lovely car for them.

  82. toulousane said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm Link to comment Report comment

    It is a complex picture. The headlines make it seem very convincing: Rick Wagoner gets another payrise despite record corporate losses, the great american love affair with burning oil at whatever cost the future, bailing out Detroit gardners being paid 35 dollars an hour, building cars no-one wants. Oh and the GM Volt years away from production when Toyota and Nissan are into 2rd generation models.

    However, this is what could happen if GM collapses. Its main supplier Delphi already in Chapter 11 in the US will fail, and insolvency will be forced as the money will run out. Delphi is also a key supplier in europe to all the major manufacturers, and will be broken up by the insolvency vultures, sorry, lawyers, maybe affecting many jobs in europe and in the UK. In effect breaking up what is a not such a bad business in europe (because of its relative independence from GM sales). So if you live in Stonehouse, Sudbury, Luton, Gillingham, Liverpool, you are affected. Don’t be so keen to wish the GM collapse.

  83. My mind thinks... said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 1:08 pm Link to comment Report comment

    it sounds like some ppeople think if gm goes bust all gm cars will end, I’m sure somebody or a company will buy the best bits and improve them so they make better reliable comfortable and more economical cars it just won’t be under the gm Corp. N as for the American cars mentioned eariler I’d love a charger but it’s not sold in uk, all we get is a crappy selection which I can’t even name

  84. Skunkfarmer said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 1:13 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I have had the honor of travelling in most of the US high end cars…. they are great…… problem is, so are the European cars…. we have a choice here. As far as the wages, I am a telephone compant worker that has made as high as $114,000/year and it is all overtime that makes the money rack up so don’t pay attention to what washington says union labor makes because it may be a false figure in terms of a 40 hour week….. I have had the honor of owning a Ferrari among other cars thanks to my overtime…… I am just saying that union workers at the plants make money according to what was agreed upon…. they do not rape the company there like the unions may do elsewhere…. the upper level management is out of control…. in my tel co it is a regulated industry (utility) and the ceo makes $5 million with a $40 million dollar bonus…. I am happy for him but if your company does not show a profit then you have no right giving those salaries until the company turns around and makes more prifits…. many high end white collars are just raping over here.

    It is a moral issue…. not class warfare, just personal responsibility

  85. daveman2k4 said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to comment Report comment

    It’s nice to know that the supercilious Brits still have a chance to weigh in and wave their arrogant noses at their younger cousins. Though Jeremy likes to call us the “God Squad” and tell us we’re unable to make good cars for British consumption… When was the last time anyone here bought a brand new BL off the line?

  86. said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 2:25 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Does GM-or any of the Detroit Three automakers for that fact-deserve a rescue bailout?

    Hell no.

    That said, given the current economic crisis-not just on U.S. soil but around the WORLD-can the American economy as well as the global economy afford this kind of shock to the system?

    Hell HELL no.

    That’s why these car companies-and especially GM-cannot be allowed to fail. At least not now, not with the current fragility of the global economy. Here’s why:

    With the size and scope of General Motors alone, their failure would likely take down Ford and Chrysler as well as numerous suppliers around the world. EVERY auto manufacturer; EVERY ONE, be it German, Japanese, British, would see ripple effects that would likely significantly slow or even halt their own production for a dangerously long period of time.

    And then you have the non-auto businesses like the Senate Coney Island on the corner of Greenfield and Rotunda in Dearborn Michigan, sitting in the shadow of Ford World Headquarters that fills up every day with various auto execs, suppliers and local line workers during lunch time. According to an independant study conducted by a firm in the United States, a vast majority of job losses would in fact come from non-auto related businesses like the Senate. The study goes on to estimate a total of 3 million jobs and $400 billion dollars lost in the U.S. alone, not including losses in Canada and Mexico, both of which also rely heavily on the U.S. auto industry. Nor does that include losses in Europe, Asia or Australia.

    In good economic times this would be a bitter pill to swallow. Given the absolute economical mess currently being felt around the world, such a failure has potential to ruin far more than 3 million American lives. That’s not a pill to swallow, that’s a knife in the chest, or more accurately, back.

    No, bad business decisions don’t deserve a rescue package. But we’re not dealing with simple business decisions here, nor are we dealing with a situation that is entirely the fault of the U.S. automakers. It’s not about buzzing around in private jets, which in post 9/11 United States is very much a matter of security for the head of ANY major company. In the end however, it doesn’t really matter. In the end you need to ask yourselves one question. Are you ready to ruin millions of lives just to spite a corporation?

    Since I haven’t seen it posted yet, here’s a link to the study I mention: ocuments/FINALDetroitThre eContractionImpact_3__000 .pdf

  87. toulousane said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 2:25 pm Link to comment Report comment

    For all those incredibly ignorant people who think it is really cool to have 550 bhp at your disposal just so that you can cruise the streets picking up chicks, hauling lumber and shootin beers and racoons….you are irrelevant in this world, and most of the rest of the world thinks so as well. I am probably safe in saying that. The fact that the rest of the world has managed to do the same with diesel engines half the size, twice the economy just shows how you people confuse brawn for intelligence. Maybe the trees are bigger in the US, the chicks certainly are, so I guess perhaps you guys really need all that horsepower to make up for the inadequacies of modern day red neck life.

  88. italian boy said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 3:16 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Unless I am writing to all the ‘Italian or a problem that only you can solve my big brother says that the bmw like’ m6 or m3 and m5 are much faster than lamborbini or ferrari or even the Bugatti Veyron scrvo there because I want to prove that wrong please help me

  89. Skunkfarmer said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 7:34 pm Link to comment Report comment

    It is very cold here in New Hampshire so we resort to big women for warmth, not just to pridefully parade them down main street

  90. me said...
    Saturday November 22, 2008 at 11:30 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I think Skunkfarmer hit the nail on the head, that was well-put. The white collar raping over here is absurd.

  91. Panemera said...
    Sunday November 23, 2008 at 12:23 am Link to comment Report comment

    I really couldn’t give a damn about GM. On another note, there are official pictures of Porsche Panamera floating around the internet. The breaking news is, and Jeremy will be delighted by this, Porsche’s designers have come up trumps again and elongated a 911. The rear end looks like an ever fatter version of the new Megane coupe. Thank you Porsche.

  92. annoy said...
    Sunday November 23, 2008 at 4:26 am Link to comment Report comment

    The big 3 U.S. carmakers on their own truthfully are ill-equipped to build cars, no amount of bail-out package can help these outdated monoliths unless they change their bloody ways.
    In contrast the Asian ( mostly Japanese ) carmakers are well prepared and actually hiring more people.
    Seeing those high flying with their own jets immoral-principled exes asking for bail-out money when it is them who are to blame for all the mess that’s happening just makes me want to fly them off to any of those terrorist-filled countries.

  93. American Stig said...
    Sunday November 23, 2008 at 7:33 am Link to comment Report comment

    Great article and straight to the point, but it’s quite easy to say “bail out GM” when you’re not the one footing the bill. As an American taxpayer, I’m already getting squeezed and am tired of giving my hard-earned money to rich people and corporations, especially the corrupt ones that don’t reinvest it in new jobs for the rest of us. So, the bailout might be necessary (but only with LOTS of strings attached), but in principle I am opposed to it. Long live the free market! If that GM must die, so be it.

  94. i say said...
    Sunday November 23, 2008 at 7:49 am Link to comment Report comment

    that the big 3 deserve what’s happening to them. they have been makin shit cars for years and they’ve always had poor management. it takes an average of 5-6 years for a car manufactur to make a car, from the first sketches till the car is production ready. so for the big 3 to make decent cars to save there arses is impossible. even if the government does bail them out, the same will happen again. they should have seen this coming, and they should have been prepared like the japanese.

  95. RichT said...
    Sunday November 23, 2008 at 9:21 am Link to comment Report comment

    Whilst I do feel sorry for the staff involved if GM were based in the UK they’d already be gone – look at Rover.

    Had a GM car once, a Vectra, total piece of crap, would never even entertain another GM product after that: Sorry, if thats the best they can do they don’t have a future anyway.

  96. Wiffurd said...
    Sunday November 23, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to comment Report comment

    If the big three collapse, so be it. There’s no point in injecting dollars in there without a future. Though I would find it a shame if there were no more American cars. I love the roar of those big V8’s.
    But please, no V6, and no front wheel drive.
    Small fuel efficient cars are abundant, and difficult to improve for a “newcomer”.
    I suggest for the american car industrie to switch over, start building european/jap cars in licience, and only a few -but very beautifull- musle cars.
    But what happens if the americans would have to pay european prices at the pump?
    Here costs a liter petrol about $1.56.
    That should be about $5.95 per gallon.
    That is at the moment, with relative cheap oil.

  97. My mind thinks... said...
    Sunday November 23, 2008 at 12:04 pm Link to comment Report comment

    cars designed by europian branches of gm and ford are great now, only problem is they don’t have the best image in America they have the image but the product is weak, let them die and let’s private investors pick up the pieces and create great cars on par with japs n Germans, if the next Chrysler 300c was as good as a bmw 5, not better or more advanced, just as good I would buy 1 here in the uk n I’m sure millions of Americans would buy 1 aswel, here it would be unique in American it’s American so it would sell

  98. josh hendry said...
    Sunday November 23, 2008 at 9:21 pm Link to comment Report comment

    if gm goes so do 300c new ford gt and lots more. $25 millon dollars thats to much cash for a load of bull s*** but the 300c is a pimp wagon 50 cent has one and the 300c looks great my mum wants one and the 300c is rubbish but its sub zero but if you buy one and you have a lots of cash you can upgrade the brakes and lots more! no body will bale them out or buy gm

  99. josh hendry said...
    Sunday November 23, 2008 at 9:23 pm Link to comment Report comment

    gm can’t go because of the good looking cars

  100. ben said...
    Sunday November 23, 2008 at 10:39 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ford are on track in europ and makeing money so why not show the janks how to build good small cars like the fiessta whaut is going to be on sale their but not till 2010 jeep are stuped build a car that carnt meet us emidhoin lors .
    but their a lot of normle job could go they saved the bank so why not them

  101. ginger said...
    Monday November 24, 2008 at 12:37 am Link to comment Report comment

    the problem is if the big three go under hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs.

  102. spider pig said...
    Monday November 24, 2008 at 12:40 am Link to comment Report comment

    the astra, corsa, zafira, mariva, tigra, insignia, monaro, vxr8, fiesta, focus, c max, s max, galaxy, ford gt these are all good cars, gm europe and ford europe make good cars, its the us market that lets these companys down.

  103. Fakuryu said...
    Monday November 24, 2008 at 10:44 am Link to comment Report comment

    The big 3 does not deserve a bail out. When they were still trying to figure out how to make their SUVs bigger and bigger, the Japanese gave us the RAV4, Forrester and the CRV. It may be smaller but they are way better in terms of quality. When the big 3 were developing bigger, faster, more powerful engines; the Europeans were developing, faster, more powerful and economical DIESEL engines. What I am trying to say is, bailing them out is just a waste of money since they are just too far behind. It takes years to develop a good car and years to perfect an engine. They are so in love with their big V8 while companies like Subaru developed a BOXER DIESEL. Subaru is no where as big as any of them, and their global output just puts them in the middle of the pack but how come they can develop a great engine like that?

  104. MatthewBrewster said...
    Monday November 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    it makes sense for the US government to save these jobs. But just handing over bundles of cash to them to throw away is wrong and i sure hope that if they go through with this package then the consequence is that the government takes some level of control over them, if not total control. Some capacity, and therefore some jobs, need to be axed becuase it’s simple fact there is immense over-capacity. So if they take control of the big 3 auto companies they need to merge them together to take on the foreign brands. And employ someone smart and forward-thinking to oversee the whole thing.

  105. Tim said...
    Monday November 24, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to comment Report comment

    To say that GM will suddenly close it’s doors is incorrect. I think the media and concerned parties have thrown out the 3 million lost jobs number as a scare tactic to pass a bailout. I think it is entirely unfair to use fear to pry money out of taxpayer hands. If GM were to go under, it would re-organize through bankruptcy, meaning that some of it’s assets would be sold off and it’s contracts, including labor contracts with the auto workers union (UAW) would likely be reviewed and re-negotiated.

    This may be the best long term outcome for GM, as the labor contracts it’s given the UAW have been a weight around it’s neck for years (google “UAW Job Bank” for an example). The UAW has been bending the big three over and now it is coming back to haunt them. Some of the most vocal proponents for the bailout have come from the union leadership, who have been completely unwilling to give an inch, even if it means the destruction of Detriot as we know it. To top this, the UAW was a major campaign contributor to Pres. Elect Obama, who had consistently been pro-union. Combine this with his more socialist / anti-free market views, and I would expect a bailout, even though I personally don’t feel it is right

    Democratic Senate leadership has also mentioned regulating how the potential bailout money may be used. I don’t know what is more anti-free market, giving a bailout in the first place, or government telling a public company how to use it’s revenue. One of the things mentioned is more “green” products from Detroit. I’m all for saving the environment, but if these technologies aren’t profitable for the auto makers, these regulations will ensure that we will revisit this whole problem in a couple of years. Instead of a bunch of truck and SUV that Detroit can’t sell, they will have dug their grave with hybrids.

    While I agree that top leadership has been incompetent, they gave the American public what that wanted (trucks & SUVs), while conveniently making a hansom profit for their shareholders. As was mentioned in prior posts, it was a “get while the gettin’s good” attitude. Maybe they should have seen the writing on the wall, but that can be said for a great many financial disasters over the past few years (tech and housing bubble’s for example).

    Bottom line, Detroit’s leadership knew the UAW’s hand was in their pocket the whole time and didn’t care. They both should be ashamed of themselves. They both suck.

  106. Puertorrican! said...
    Monday November 24, 2008 at 2:30 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I just came from a Dodge dealer and one of my friend there tell me that Cerberus told everybody that they will not be a Chrysler Dodge,Jeep shut down. The money they have been asking for, is primary for GM and Ford and that they will recieve just a lesser amount. Now they have to do something about UAW and fire those filthy executives and restart from point B not A but B the new world but keeping history of the company. Example new super efficient cars,better build quality and some of the Damn good beautifull heart pounding muscle cars from each one of them.

  107. meow said...
    Wednesday November 26, 2008 at 10:21 pm Link to comment Report comment

    if (more like when) gm collapse it would do a world of good for the industry but i cant help feeling sorry for all the people being put out of work.

    ford should not die. they did a great job on the mondeo and to be honest they have on most of their other cars. we have had loads of them and all have been really good. i wonder if that money they put away would be enough..

  108. h44r said...
    Sunday November 30, 2008 at 4:30 pm Link to comment Report comment

    All athere cars are rubbish give me an example of a good one

  109. 573W1E said...
    Sunday November 30, 2008 at 9:57 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Saab 9-5 Aero. And thats just one of them

  110. RJP_UK said...
    Tuesday December 9, 2008 at 4:44 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Just returned from my first trip to North America – Maritime Canada- Hired a Chrysler Cebring. Nice car, nice finish, automatic – all the bells and whistles – BUT after one week I wanted my (Diesel) Ford Mondeo back!! Gas/Petrol half the price of Europe but the car used twice as much as my Mondeo. Crazy that in these times of the USA (and Canada?)wanting to reduce dependancy on Oil imports that the potential to produce cars that use half the gas, has not been rammed home by Government OR the big vehicle producers in the states. Are there so many ostriches that no one managed to see what was coming over the horizon?! I don’t think we Brits have much to write about when it comes to producing the cars that people want, however so called Market Forces have resulted in a clear out taking place and dominance by foreign brands that on the whole produce what we want.

    We are ALL however our worst enemies. The Press have been pounding us with bad news for maybe 4>6 months and the more bad news there is the more persuaded we all are to change our buying habits. As pointed out on a programme I was listening to the other day, the vast majority of people have NOT seen anything to effect them yet – so try and watch less TV and read less newspapers – we would all be happier!

    Having said all that the fact is we are in a ‘crunch’ situation. IF a company is needing state support then the current managers at the least should falll on their swords. Happened to one or two bankers here but not enough!

    What do you do with a company that produces something no one wants, would take years to turn the corner but would cost an arm and a leg if allowed to fail, also?

    I think on balance that the big 3 should be allowed funding BUT selective lines should be closed down and they should be managed downwards to a smaller base. Other parts should be sold off and whatever is left should be managed (properly) until self sufficient.

    Jeesh – who would like to make the call?!

  111. Ciaran said...
    Monday January 26, 2009 at 8:29 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Pontiac Solstice

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