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GM's CEO Rick Wagoner is doing his best to keep his company in business, taking a massive paycut to $1/year and dramatically restructuring his company. However, he says if the company runs out of cash it will be forced to go out of business -- permanently (though some brands might survive through sales).  (Source: Jalopnik)
GM says some sobering words about its financial despair

Regardless of the restructuring plan, the auto companies -- in particular GM and Chrysler -- may be in serious trouble within the next few months.  GM would be unlikely to be able to file Chapter 11 according to some analysts, so the company would be forced to liquidate all its assets to pay off parts suppliers whom it has been borrowing from and then exit the market in a worst case scenario.  Such a development would be devastating for the already struggling U.S. economy.  It states, "Failure by GM will likely trigger catastrophic damage to the U.S. economy."

And failure may indeed come if GM does not get the $4B USD loan it’s requesting.  It says it will go out of business by the end of the year, otherwise, as it will run out of cash.  It's saying that it will need to borrow $18B USD over the next year in order to stay in business and restructure.

GM's CEO Rick Wagoner came to Washington yesterday along with the CEOs of Ford and Chrysler to try to convince the government to give it an emergency bailout loan.  He drove a test mule of the Chevy Volt for part of the trip, one of the most anticipated vehicles in GM's upcoming green lineup.

Congress has already received GM's plan and it details some big changes.  While GM says it won't go for a "quick fix", it says it will largely move out of the truck and SUV market and produce primarily small vehicles, as well as continuing to invest in alternative energy.  The company will also now focus almost exclusively on Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

GM's Saturn, Saab, and Pontiac brands will likely be cut in the near future.  Pontiac, already down to five vehicles, is being designated a "specialty brand" which could lead to an eventual phase out.  GM is looking to sell Saab.  GM is going to "explore other options" with Saturn, presumably either a sale or a phase out.

While not getting into detailed specifics, GM, unlike Ford, has pledged to cut deeper into its salary load and manufacturing, indicating that many more job cuts are in store.  Even CEO Wagoner is taking a paycut to $1/year total compensation and the company has pledged to sell or lease all seven of its private jets.

In its eleventh hour, GM is drawing some criticism from some analysts.  They say that CEO Rick Wagoner, after serving for eight and a half years should resign.  They suggest COO Fritz Henderson as a more aggressive successor that could turn the company around.  They also suggest that the company change its name to Chevrolet Motors, as the fact that no cars are sold under the GM brand name is cited as a cause of customer confusion.  They also argue that GM should reorganize into a holding company to soften the blow of bankruptcy.

Additionally the majority of the public was found in a recent opinion poll to be opposed to the bailout, with the primary reasons being that they did not feel the collapse of GM or Chrysler would affect them directly and that they felt the auto executives were irresponsible in receiving perks such as private jets.



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Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2008 9:10:37 AM , Rating: 5
While my feelings on GM getting rid of Saab are meh, them losing Saturn would suck. They have some excellent cars in Saturn. The Vue is my favorite smaller SUV. I like the styling of the Sky more than the Solstice. And the new Aura is a great car.

As far as Pontiac, it'd be awesome if it became GMs performance arm (except the Vette). Similar to Ford's old SVT program.

I don't see how they say they're going to pull out of trucks and SUVs if they're keeping GMC around. That's all GMC is. And the fact is, people still want trucks and SUVs.




RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Ralos on 12/5/2008 9:19:34 AM , Rating: 5
I was under the impression that Saturn was selling substantially more vehicles than Buick so this surprised me too. Might be a matter of margins.

Reminds me of that joke:

What's the average age of the Buick's buyers?

Answer: Dead.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By austinag on 12/5/2008 10:16:03 AM , Rating: 2
I'm still pissed at GM for choosing to close up Oldsmobile over Buick. I know marketing was all bent out of shape about having to sell cars that actually had the word "old" written on them, but come on, Buick is just a punch line to a joke.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Smilin on 12/5/2008 11:29:19 AM , Rating: 2
You're probably still pissed about those darn kids on your lawn too you old far.

Buick has the stuck turn signals and 35mph governors built into them just like the oldsmobiles. What are you complaining about?


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By austinag on 12/5/2008 11:35:42 AM , Rating: 4
There are kids that walk across my front yard, and I do yell at them.
Damn.
I am old.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By erikejw on 12/7/2008 4:21:12 AM , Rating: 2
It is okay as long as you don't shoot them ;)


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By 16nm on 12/9/2008 2:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
If he's in Texas then even that's OK :)


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By 16nm on 12/9/2008 2:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
If he's in Texas then even that's OK :)


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By oab on 12/5/2008 11:56:59 AM , Rating: 4
You don't even need the joke with Buick, just use it as the whole joke/punchline. Doesn't matter what it is, just say "Buick", same with using "Michael Jackson".


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By s12033722 on 12/5/2008 1:11:42 PM , Rating: 3
The 2000 Buick Regal GS I had until a couple years ago was the best car I owned. Reliable, good mileage (upper 20's to low 30's) and ran low 14's in the 1/4 mile. The supercharged 3.8 was a great engine. What made it even more fun was racing mustangs, older camaros, most cars with the hemi (a big engine strapped to 4500 lbs = slow car) and spanking them with a buick.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By zombiexl on 12/5/2008 1:24:29 PM , Rating: 2
I dont race much, but...

You must have been racing base model mustangs or horrible drivers. The mustangs I have owned/driven would blow away that 3.8 suercharged like nothing.

I crushed a pontiac GTP (same 3.8 supercharged) in a 300C (thats the one with the HEMI).


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By zombiexl on 12/5/2008 1:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
Hit Post too quick..

My wife's 97 eclipse gsx has blown away Supercharged 3.8's (and thats with her driving).

But I agree the 3.8 is a solid engine, too bad they replaced it with that new POS. I had one (GTP) over 200K when I sold it to my uncle who had it until it was totaled.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By s12033722 on 12/5/2008 1:54:20 PM , Rating: 3
It depends on the year and type of mustang, although I will say that mustangs and camaros seem to have the most crappy drivers per capita by far. It also depends on the type of race - stoplight races 0-60ish were where I could crush them largely due to low-end torque. Above 60 the V8s would quickly catch up.

And yes, I know about the 300C - it's a whale with crappy gearing. Give it enough distance to run, and yes, it would catch up, but off the line they are just SLOW. Same with the Magnum. They could be fast but the need better gear ratios and less weight.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By seamonkey79 on 12/5/2008 8:32:20 PM , Rating: 3
Mustangs and Camaro's tend to, anymore, have the kids that think that the car makes the driver.

I remember taking on Mustangs in my Escort GT :-D


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By lagomorpha on 12/5/2008 9:18:20 PM , Rating: 3
Eco cars aside, V6 Mustangs are among the slowest cars on the road. A new V6 Mustang has similar acceleration to a Scion tC. Putting a 210hp engine in something as heavy as a new Mustang and trying to sell it off as a performance car is a pretty good joke, I have to admit.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FITCamaro on 12/8/2008 8:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah and I'll crush your heavy 300C. You're comparing a 350 hp V8 to a 240hp V6.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By sprockkets on 12/10/2008 4:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, if you are referring to the 3.8l Supercharged GM engine, that pathetic thing puts out only 190hp, and it's supercharged! Maybe when it first came out that was something, but an Honda naturally aispirated 2.4l 4 cyl putting out 205 is more up to date.

Btw, I've pulled away from 300's with a Mazda3s, and a Mazdaspeed3 will pull away from a 300 with the Hemi C.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By stryfe on 12/11/2008 6:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know where you get your numbers but it's time to find somewhere else. The supercharged 3.8l V6 in the '00 Buick GS he's talking about makes 240hp. The normally aspirated 3.8l probably put out 190hp in some model at some point but not the supercharged engine.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By deadrats on 12/7/2008 5:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
i couldn't agree with you more, i drove more than one of those bad boys, it had style, nice interior (really loved the seats), comfortable, and that supercharged 3.8 v6 had some set of balls.

reliable as hell, could take a mother of a beating, reasonably easy to work on, definitely one of the better cars available at the time.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By GlassHouse69 on 12/5/2008 10:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
I liked oldsmobile too. im only 33.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By brandonicus on 12/5/2008 12:47:48 PM , Rating: 3
Have you ever driven a buick?, it's like driving a cloud. Unfortunately, it is a rather hideous large cloud.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Ringold on 12/5/2008 3:11:17 PM , Rating: 4
Buick is, I've read, highly regarded and well selling in China. GM won't sell off its future.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Chernobyl68 on 12/5/2008 5:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
I like my 2001 Olds Intrigue. I like the fact that it has bigger driver and passenger side mirrors than similiar Chevys. I love the 3.5L DOHC engine. transmission, on the other hand...


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By ThisSpaceForRent on 12/5/2008 10:51:24 PM , Rating: 1
There are hundreds of Buick's across the street not selling in Shanghai. Every night they drop more off. I have yet to see a car actually leave. GM is screwed.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By porkpie on 12/5/2008 10:59:26 PM , Rating: 4
I got a great idea! Let's give the company billions of dollars, so they can continue to make more cars no one wants to buy.

Yeah, that's efficient! Your gov'mint dollahs at woik!


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Ringold on 12/6/2008 2:39:47 AM , Rating: 4
That apparently wasn't the case earlier in the year; CNBC had a reporter over there, and the Chinese were circling Buick's salivating and paying in cash.

I take your word for it, though. Sad to hear, though, it was one of the last things going well for them.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Fireshade on 12/9/2008 6:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
[..] the Chinese were circling Buick's salivating [..]
Of course those Chinese would, otherwise they would be standing there. You could say the same thing about Chinese wanting to buy a car at a Mazda dealer or any other dealer.
quote:
[..] Chinese were [..] paying in cash.
Most Chinese would, so there's nothing special in that. Paying with plastic is usually too exotic for most.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/5/2008 9:19:41 AM , Rating: 5
Saturn hasn't proven themselves. Just look at the sales numbers -- the brand is dying.

The Vue AWD V6 is shorter than the RAV4 AWD V6 by less than two inches, but has less passenger room, less max cargo room (by 17 cu ft), weighs 370 pounds more and gets worse gas mileage for similar money.

I mean, what the hell. Are they even trying?


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Spivonious on 12/5/2008 9:25:21 AM , Rating: 5
All Saturn sells these days are rebadged Opels anyway. Just bring the Opel brand to the U.S.


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/5/2008 9:27:44 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, let's add a NEW brand to a dying company -- heh. The Opel brand has no significance to American buyers. Chevrolet and Cadillac, however, do.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By strikeback03 on 12/5/2008 9:41:49 AM , Rating: 2
So long as all they are is straight rebadges the cost is minimal. Just don't do stuff like the current Aura, which looks like an Opel, but isn't

Using Pontiac like Ford used SVT would be weird as well, are they going to have all the base Cobalt models then the turbo model be badged a Pontiac? The V6 G8 a Chevy Impala, but the V8 a Pontiac?

I agree on Buick - throw Buick badges on Chevys for China, but don't bother actually designing special vehicles for them anytime soon.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 9:52:34 AM , Rating: 2
> "So long as all they are is straight rebadges the cost is minimal."

The engineering cost may be minimal-- but you have to distribute, market, and sell those vehicles. You also wind up overlapping your other brands, cannibalizing their sales further.

One of the major problems with GM is the brand proliferation. They don't need *more* cars to sell. They need less.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By strikeback03 on 12/5/2008 11:53:49 AM , Rating: 3
Except most of the vehicles they would be bringing over are the kind of thing they need to be selling here. The Ion is certainly a better small car than the Cobalt. Their midsize car is smaller than our Malibu class vehicles. Both probably have diesel available, and should be reasonably fuel efficient regardless. I'd like to see more hatchbacks, which Europe has lots of, but small sedans traditionally sell better here.

IMO GM spends too much trying to market the same vehicle as different. They really don't need the Traverse, Enclave, Outlook, and Acadia, one or two of those would do. At least the Caddys are now different than most of the lineup, giving them a reason to exist.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Jimbo1234 on 12/5/2008 2:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. How many other manufacturers have so many of the same car? Ford has 3 versions (Ford, Mercury, Lincoln) and Chrysler now has 2 since dropping Plymouth.

Let's see, I can't think of any that make more than 2 and some of them are not badge engineered either, just their plain vanilla brand and their luxury brand. Well I guess MB / Maybach is a little stretch.

Toyota -> Lexus
Honda -> Acura
Nissan -> Infinity
MB -> Maybach
VW - Audi (Porche as no equivelant and only the R8 resembles a Lambo)
Jaguar -> Aston
Kia -> Hyundai


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Totally on 12/5/2008 3:11:41 PM , Rating: 1
umm..it's pretty typical

Ford Motor Group
Ford
Lincoln
Mercury
Mazda
Volvo

before mid 2008 included

Jaguar
Land Rover
Aston Martin

General Motors
GMC
Chevrolet
Cadillac
Hummer
Pontiac
Saab
Buick
Saturn
Opel
Daewoo

Volkswagen Group
Volkswagen
Audi
Bugatti
Lamborghini
Bentley
Seat

Bavarian Motor Group
BMW
Rolls-Royce
Mini

Daimler AG
Mercedes-Benz
Maybach
Smart
Freightliner
Mitsubisi(Fuso)
McLaren

Fiat S.p.A
Fiat
Maserati
Ferrari
Alfa Romeo
Lancia

Chrysler LLC
Dodge
Chrysler
Jeep


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Trippytiger on 12/5/2008 10:20:49 PM , Rating: 3
I believe the point was that most other manufacturers don't make the exact same car and sell it under five different brands, not that other car companies don't own a number of other brands.

Also you forgot Skoda under the Volkswagen Group. ;)


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Penti on 12/6/2008 11:04:39 AM , Rating: 2
"Also you forgot Skoda under the Volkswagen Group. ;)"

I was about to say the same thing, great cars.

But now I also see that PSA Group - Peugeot and Citro├źn is missing and so is Renault. Now they are both European companies and brands but they do have a global impact as they are licensed manufactured (under other brands) and assembled in countries like China, Brazil and Iran. Renaults Dacia and licensed manufactured versions of it is popular in the developing world. Peugeot also has operations in China. So they do have a global presence.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Screwballl on 12/6/2008 10:38:51 AM , Rating: 2
Also remember that some of those are actually partnerships, but not actually owned or wholly made/sold under the company you have listed... for example Daewoo is made and sold overseas under its own company, plant and parts with a partnership with several automotive companies (not just GM) for SOME parts.

There was a website that had a line chart of the connections between the different automotive companies...


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Screwballl on 12/6/2008 10:40:20 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Screwballl on 12/6/2008 10:44:26 AM , Rating: 2
sorry... hate the lack of an edit button, this is a much more expansive listing (click an area to see the connections):

http://www.toomanycars.info/CarRelationship/Car_Re...


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Totally on 12/7/2008 2:09:07 PM , Rating: 2
I left out citroen and peugeot because i couldn't remember renault, I don't have anything against the french. Skoda is brand that apparently flies well below my radar.

I took the same stance until someone pointed out in a car and driver article that the Chevy aveo was a rebadged Daewoo.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By JonnyDough on 12/5/2008 3:39:18 PM , Rating: 4
A good product sells itself. GM's marketing division is one of the largest, yet they're going under. What does that say? Toyota barely even marketed in the first few years the Camry got popular. In fact, the old Camrys turned to rust buckets pretty fast - yet they sold due to being cheap compacts. Once they made some drastic improvements they sold like hotcakes.

GM execs are used to rolling in dough, what they don't realize is that America has a very large group of paycheck to paycheckers. They failed because at a time when they should have been paying attention to what the competition and market was doing, they were banking on marketing and their name.

I'm sorry, but today's consumers don't really give a damn if it's American made or if it's a Chevy or a Ford. Today we just want quality cars at a decent price that get decent gas mileage. GM and Ford failed in the early years, and they thought they could turn it around with cars like the Focus and Cobalt. They couldn't, it was just too late.

Foreign cars became popular and everyone wanted one. You start cutting jobs to make up for it, and you lose investment. You lose investment, and you have to cut more jobs. This is economics 101, and it isn't just happening to Ford and GM, it's everywhere.

As the economy slows, everything slows. We're headed into depression, we knew this years ago. The auto industry is just one possible reason for all of this, albeit they are definitely a contributing factor.

The economic analysts are getting paid for nothing. Who cares if they call this a recession, I knew it was happening five years ago. BUSH knew it was happening five years ago. I will never know what the hell America and it's president were thinking all this time, I for one did NOT support a money drain occupation of some desert dump country overseas. We could have used that money here, and we needed our Rio Grand border patrol training people HERE training people to patrol.

Our hope lies on Obama, but despite anything he does it will eventually balance out. As demand for Chinese made crap weakens, their economy slows. As their economy slows they get new problems, and have to deal with old ones finally. Eventually they can't produce quality goods at lower cost, and America gets a reboot. There isn't anything made in China that we can't build here.

Next time anyone wants to herald the Clinton Administration for the great boom of the 90's think again. They caused the current slump by allowing U.S. companies to move jobs to China. Reasons NOT to allow our businesses to move operations to China: Cheaper labor, less taxation, no costly environmental regulation, lead paint on our toys for our kids, no copyright/patent regulation. The move to China was in a word, stupid. How could someone with the resources of the American President have an EPIC FAIL in foreseeing the long term effects?

Leave it to politicians to want to make a name for themselves, make decisions and policies that benefit themselves through back door business dealings (such as Bush and government contracts and OIL), and offer short term solutions to long term problems. This is where Obama might actually shine, and it's where guys like FDR (environmental policies) did actually make some damn difference in the long scheme of things.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By MadMan007 on 12/5/2008 4:45:23 PM , Rating: 3
Perhaps Hillary's close ties to Walmart, she had a board position, had something to do with it. Their post-presidency overseas business dealings have made them a lot of money too, lots of those deals involve China. Yeah I hate the Clintons and think they are supersleazy, I was incensed when Obama nominated her for Sec of State and can only hope it's some Machiavellian political master move to destroy her career once and for all.

Good to see someone else realizing that economic ebbs and flows take time to play out and Presidents can catch flak for predecessor's mistakes or take credit for their success once it plays out.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By JonnyDough on 12/6/2008 6:40:05 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly. Politicians like to pocket money, and people thinking it's a short term gain thing are just ignorant and short-sighted. Bravo for another American being able to see what's actually at play in the top offices. I commend you as well good sir.

American propaganda is rampant. Politicians gladly use words like "evil, terrorist, urgent, freedom" just to motivate the mass public into doing their bidding and making personal gain. If only America was comprised of more analytical thinkers and less patriotic followers. The power belongs to the people, but only if they're intelligent enough to question the authority they elect into office.

Bush should have been impeached, as he was pulling strings and keeping secrets, as should have Clinton. Clinton blatantly got caught in a lie to the public (does it really matter that it was his personal life?), and he was our LEADER. I need/want a leader with integrity that I can respect. I think America needs and deserves that.

The fact that the government can have secrecy at ALL from the public that elects it is insane. My hope in some amount of correcting this lies in Obama, until he too gets caught in a lie. He shows promise of making the system more transparent, we'll see if it happens.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Reclaimer77 on 12/8/2008 1:42:36 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Bush should have been impeached, as he was pulling strings and keeping secrets, as should have Clinton.


Keeping secrets and pulling strings isn't grounds for being impeached. Especially in time of war, where keeping secrets is often a necessary thing.

And by the way Mr. history expert, Clinton WAS impeached.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By JonnyDough on 12/9/2008 5:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
Clinton was impeached? Really? Why do I get the feeling you're not American? Keeping MILITARY secrets is fine, but keeping secrets from the American public about non-military action is insane. WE THE PEOPLE. gg.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By killerb255 on 12/10/2008 5:10:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, he was impeached.

A lot of people don't know the definition of "impeach."

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/impeach


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By JonnyDough on 12/11/2008 1:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, except he was never ousted from office because his term ran out. So the American public still saw him as an ok President. Partly because the 90's were booming and the after-effects of his China deal made Bush look so bad.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By JonnyDough on 12/10/2008 2:52:28 AM , Rating: 2
You wouldn't happen to be down rating me with your other account, would you Reclaimer77 7 ?


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By porkpie on 12/5/2008 5:41:01 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Our hope lies on Obama
Obama, you mean the man who not only voted to pressure banks to make sub-prime mortgage loans, but before he was a Senator, actually SUED one of them for not making enough risky loans to low-income people? Obama, the man who received more campaign funding from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other politician in the country, besides Chris Dodd (D) and John Kerry (D)?

If he's our only hope, let's just hope he learned his lesson.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By William Gaatjes on 12/6/2008 8:17:09 PM , Rating: 1
You sound like Obama cooked it all up as some grand masterscheme. Do you really think Obama is some all knowing entity. He is just a man. The same goes for Bush or Clinton. With the difference being the bush administration blatantly lied to the public and the world. Obama will be an improved president. Way to smart to follow his primitive instincts like Clinton did or to be haunted by fears as Bush jr is. Obama is a politician. No doubt about it. But i do think he has more principles then Bush or Clinton.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FITCamaro on 12/8/2008 8:02:14 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
But i do think he has more principles then Bush or Clinton.


Yeah he'll stick to his principles of turning the US into a socialist wasteland. Of that I have no doubt.

Gotta move back to Texas ASAP so I can be there before they secede. As they have the legal right to do. People say Texans are stupid but we think ahead. Hopefully those native born will be able to get in if I don't manage to. Especially when your family has over 150 years of history there.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FATYugo on 12/8/2008 12:35:14 PM , Rating: 1
Please succeed in your secession. Maybe you can get training from Tod Palin on how to run the movement.

But seriously please take your border wall and ring yourself and your entire state. If only it had been done years ago then our nation wouldn't have had to suffer through Bush, Tom Delay, Karl Rove, Enron, El Paso Gas, Mormon Polygamists, Waco, frequent White-Power truck-dragging dismemberment(s), Phil Grahm, ZZ Top, and of, course you.

Of course your economy would be entirely based on truck repair, longhorns, the few drops of oil that remain to be drilled, Texas pride, and meth.

Austin, "The City that Makes you Forget It's Texas!", of course, would end up like Berlin...


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Headfoot on 12/7/2008 3:10:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah FDR left a legacy of Social Security, the biggest drain on the US budget that is unsustainable and will rob millions of young people of their earning for absolutely nothing.

FDR did nothing but push the problems of the time to the future.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By MadMan007 on 12/7/2008 4:57:08 PM , Rating: 4
Social Security would be completely solvent forever if the politicians hadn't borrowed (read: stolen) from the SS trust fund for short-term spending. They just couldn't stand seeing that big pile of money sitting there 'doing nothing' as in not being used to buy favors.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Hiawa23 on 12/5/2008 11:28:40 AM , Rating: 5
I watched 6 hours of coverage yesterday of the hearings & I must say, based on what the car companies laid out, is a step in the right direction, but even if they loan em the money it will not fix the problem they have, & the Union guy basically was just looking out for his own interest, & it's going to be hard to get everyone at the table to make concessions. I know something needs to be done, but I don't think giving them the loan is it. Alot of their projections for paying back the money hinges on them selling a certain amount of vehicles, but honestly with the economy, I don't see them hitting these numbers. Many keep saying, people will not buy their cars if they are in some sort of retructuring chapter 11, but let's be honest, many have not been buying the cars which is why they partly find themselves in this situation. I really liked what the economist guy said which was even in the best time, with the labor cost, legacy cost, he thinks they will be back for another loan, & that he thinks the number they need is closer to $75-120bill, & he felt they would not be able to get suppliers, union, dealers, all involved to make the needed concessions. The thing that bothers me is that these guys, & many others get on TV & bash Americans for running up debt they can't pay, credit cards they can't pay, but in another breath say we need to bailout, loan, money to the car industry who has had years of bad business models, & our governent themselves are doing not but borrow money, & some sit on their holier than thou perch. There seems to be no accountability. Look at the $700bill bailout part went to the banks to free up credit for consumers, which has done the opposite. It's scary times right now & I really don't know the answer but there must be accountability, & in a capitalistic market govt should not decide who wins who looses.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By fflintstone on 12/5/2008 1:43:48 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think it would be hard at all to get union concessions. The feds can simply offer their loan conditioned on union concessions. The union then has only two options: make the required concessions or lose all of their jobs.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Oregonian2 on 12/7/2008 8:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
make the required concessions or lose all of their jobs.


Which would they take? My WAG would give the first option maybe a 20% chance of acceptance.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Kougar on 12/5/2008 1:21:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure nobody can do a straight rebadge of a car anymore. There are governmental regulations and mandates on everything from the shape/contour/softness of the hood (So when you hit a person they are supposed to absorb the impact, or roll the person over/away from the windscreen/car) to other pedestrian oriented regulations that affect the entire shape of the car from bumper to bumper.

Then there are the differences in impact testing between US and European cars and differences in safety regs, they would still need to redesign the body and the probably the structural support to meet regulations before they could rebadge and import most vehicles. This was one of the big reasons the Big Three gave for not directly importing current European car models to the US.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2008 9:54:49 AM , Rating: 2
The AWD Vue likely gets worse MPG because its an AWD system. Not 4WD like the RAV4 which disengages 4WD above 25 mph (as per their website).

And the passenger room in the Vue is 1.1 inches less at the worst case. I've sat in a Vue and it had plenty of interior space for me at 6'1". Yes more space is always better. The Vue actually has more front legroom than the RAV4 while the RAV4 has more rear legroom. Obviously Saturn put the focus on the front passengers(which I'd prefer if its my car). I'd buy the Vue because I like its styling way more. And looking at the dimensions of each, the differences correspond about to the differences in size of each vehicle. Not to mention the Vue holds two more gallons of gas. That can affect interior room. Especially cargo and rear seat room.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/5/2008 10:28:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not to mention the Vue holds two more gallons of gas.


The difference is 1.1 gallons for the V6 models and the RAV4 STILL has a greater range thanks to higher fuel economy:

RAV4 V6 AWD range: 302/413 city/highway
VUE V6 AWD range: 272/391 city highway

And I'm sorry, but your wrong on front leg room as well. The RAV4 beats the Vue in EVERY passenger space measurement except front hip room. Check here for yourself:

http://i38.tinypic.com/4rzupd.jpg


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2008 10:43:08 AM , Rating: 2
You're right. That's the problem with looking across two websites.

As far as fuel economy. I'm betting the Vue still gets better mileage than is advertised as every GM vehicle I've ever driven has. At least regarding city mileage. Comes down to how you drive the car. And a difference of 22 miles less while spending $2-4 more on the highway for mileage really doesn't bother me.

Again. I like the styling of the Vue. The Toyota not so much. If I got a Vue, it'd be the Redline model anyway.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By strikeback03 on 12/5/2008 11:55:58 AM , Rating: 2
C&D test said the VUE was overweight and too thirsty as well. Their tests generally tend to be a worst-case fuel economy scenario though.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FITCamaro on 12/8/2008 8:09:02 AM , Rating: 3
I respect Car & Driver's opinion about as much as I respect Obama's.

Car & Driver once did a review of sport compacts. The Ion Redline, Cobalt SS S/C, Acura RSX Type-S, WRX, and SRT-4. The RSX won none of the categories but they gave it the win in the article on the grounds of "It's cool to have an Acura." Was the exact words in the article.

They're so blatantly biased it's not even funny.


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/5/2008 10:32:24 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Not to mention the Vue holds two more gallons of gas. That can affect interior room. Especially cargo and rear seat room.


The difference is 1.1 gallons for the V6 models and the RAV4 STILL has a greater range thanks to higher fuel economy:

RAV4 V6 AWD range: 302/413 city/highway
VUE V6 AWD range: 272/391 city highway

And I'm sorry, but your wrong on front leg room as well. The RAV4 beats the Vue in EVERY passenger space measurement except front shoulder room and rear hip room. Check here for yourself:

http://i38.tinypic.com/4rzupd.jpg


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By BWAnaheim on 12/5/2008 10:42:53 AM , Rating: 2
Do not forget that the RAV4 stores its spare tire on the cargo door. The VUE stores it under the floor. That greatly affects cargo space, but it improves rear visibility and prevents expensive damage when you accidentally tap that rear tire on an object while backing up.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By HeavyB on 12/5/2008 10:52:45 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong, the RAV4 is AWD, and has the potential for 4WD with the push of a button. The 4WD mode is designed for slow speeds and will disengage at 25MPH. I should know I have one, and the 269hp V6 under the hood shocks the crap out of most people the 1st time they drive it. It regularly gets 30 MPH on long distance trips at freeway speeds, too.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Dianoda on 12/5/2008 11:10:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It regularly gets 30 MPH on long distance trips at freeway speeds, too.


Wow, 30mph on the freeway? Slow down a bit, speed racer. And can I has edit system plz, DT?


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By HeavyB on 12/5/2008 12:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'd vote you up if I could for catching my typo. To be clear, my V6 RAV4 gets 30 MPG going 70-75 MPH on long trips. Unfortunately, it does lack the 6 speed that the VUE has, but its overdrive cruising gear has the engine running at about 2K RPM at 70 MPH.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By ChickenMcTest on 12/5/2008 1:11:16 PM , Rating: 3
I am calling shenanigans on your claim of 30mpg highway at 70mph. There is no way an SUV that weights nearly 2 tons and has a 270hp V6 is going to get 30mpg on the highway. You would have to be going downhill or drafting behind a semi to get that kind of mpg.

I can believe high 20's but often times my Ford Focus does not get 30mpg.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By HeavyB on 12/5/2008 1:55:28 PM , Rating: 1
Call shenanigans all you want, but its a regular occurrence, once in the Rockies when we made the drive from Leadville to Telluride, although much of that trip was 60 MPH driving, but we also had a big Thule box on top. Here in the midwest, when I can set the cruise at 70 on flat roads, I can almost guarantee 29-30 MPH like clockwork for long trips. You can actually search the RAV4 forums online and find many other RAV4 V6 owners with similar results. In the city where most of my trips are less than 5 miles the mileage sucks bigtime (18-19 MPG). Its all about how often you tap into the powerband vs cruising at low RPM.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 2:07:29 PM , Rating: 3
> "once in the Rockies when we made the drive from Leadville to Telluride"

I won't comment on the 30MPG claim because I just don't know, but the trip you describe is a downhill ride, with a difference of what, about 1500 feet in elevation? With the right car, if the road was straight enough, you could make it without any gas at all.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Eris23007 on 12/5/2008 4:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
Not if you're going over a few mountain passes on the way down... (e.g. Monarch Pass, Dallas Divide, or if you go I-70, Vail pass)

You're never going to coast up one of those! :-)


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By HeavyB on 12/5/2008 4:30:07 PM , Rating: 1
Please tell me how my RAV4 could climb the 2000+ feet or so to cross the continental divide with no gas? I eagerly await your answer.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 5:24:50 PM , Rating: 4
Conservation of energy. For every foot you climb, you regain that energy on the other side. And, if your final destination is 1500 feet lower than your origin, your 2 ton car gains about 30 million joules in kinetic energy...no matter how much it goes up and down during the trip.

Obviously a normal car is going to need gas (or a really big spring) to climb 2000 ft...which is why I specified the road to be 'straight enough'.

The point is that calculating MPG on a trip that is heavily downhill is going to give very misleading results. Your trip in the other direction is going to give a substantially lower value.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By TheOtherBubka on 12/5/2008 8:27:12 PM , Rating: 3
In all honesty, I could believe this guy. In Colorado, I also got better mileage than at lower elevations with the same vehicle with the same driving styles (after all, I was the one driving). I could squeeze 33 MPG at 70-75 MPH out of a Ford Contour V6 5 spd in CO whereas on the East Coast with the same vehicle, it was 30 MPG with less altitude changes. The same held true with my old Saab 9000 Turbo. The only conclusion I could come up with is drag effects. At 10,000 feet, there is less air density to move and since drag goes as speed squared, the energy required to overcome drag losses is less.

But as masher points out, a 1500 foot elevation decline is also a significant help.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2008 7:58:17 PM , Rating: 2
My Cobalt SS 2.4L with 5-speed got 31 mpg highway with the AC on. 32 with it off. This was at 80 mph.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Smilin on 12/5/2008 11:57:05 AM , Rating: 2
All other factors aside:

The Rav is a better looking car and it's made by Toyota. The Saturn is a GM which like it or not means people often consider it a piece of sh*t.

GM doesn't need to just make better vehicles they need to do it for a couple decades until their reputation is fixed. As a taxpayer I don't feel like forking over umpteen billion/year to keep them afloat until they can do this.

It's time to start thinking about that "plan B"...how are we going to best help our fellow citizens after this crappy company goes under. We're going to need a buttload of jobs that don't suck.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Masospaghetti on 12/5/2008 10:11:01 AM , Rating: 2
Based on reviews of the Vue, while it is overweight, it has better handling and ride quality than most of not all small SUVs.

Not saying its amazing, but its not completely inept.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 11:03:14 AM , Rating: 2
"I mean, what the hell. Are they even trying?"

No, they are not. GM stopped trying in the 1960's.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Spuke on 12/5/2008 11:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No, they are not. GM stopped trying in the 1960's.
They've been trying for the last few years but given their circumstances (unions, job bank, etc.), I'm not surprised that it's taking them a long time to change.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 9:40:35 AM , Rating: 2
> "losing Saturn would suck. They have some excellent cars in Saturn..."

Saturn wouldn't vanish entirely. The idea is that Saturn/Opel/Saab/etc would be sold off, to generate cash and to allow GM to focus on its core brands.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Gzus666 on 12/5/2008 9:44:24 AM , Rating: 1
I feel sorry for whoever ends up with Saab, clunky piles of crap.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By foolsgambit11 on 12/5/2008 10:23:19 AM , Rating: 2
I owned a '96 Saab 900 and it was great. I don't know about now - GM could have driven the brand into the ground. It was a little expensive to repair, but you'd expect that from a European car.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By mmeytin on 12/5/2008 12:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
I drive 2003 9-3 and I love the car. Saabs in general do have a loyal following - judged by the audience of the automotive online forums that I occasionally visit. They did make some bad decisions with regards to Saabs - I mean launching 9-7 which is a re-badged Chevy Tahoe? At a time when SUVs were clearly loosing popularity... Maybe the brand will benefit from some fresh non-GM thinking...


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By haukionkannel on 12/5/2008 4:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. The Saab was one of the pioneers of turbo-motors in "normal" cars. They have been very stabile and may I say sports like family cars for some time.
The problem with Saab has allways been relative high price and relative small customer base. In europe Saab has quite good reputation as an muscle car with some high tech and luxury status. Not bad actually.
The bad thing is that because of these things the spare parts have allways been quite expensive. And allways when you take out a lot of power from relative small engine, there are some risks and need for carefull maintainance. But that is more like a problem with any muscle cars you can think. Saab just seems to be relative normal family vehicle from the look of it. Ofcource there are Saabs with normal motors out there, and they are relatively reliable cars, but low production amount hinderes the development some what. Most cars that are imported to USA are from the upper part of Saabs motors, because high horsepower raitings have been essential when selling cars in USA.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By TheOtherBubka on 12/5/2008 8:38:56 PM , Rating: 2
GM killed Saab even further. Saab was always a smaller brand but GM tried to take them upscale, make them 'mainstream,' and make them compete with BMW, Audi, MB, etc. by making them sedans. Saabists have always loved the practicality of a Saab 900/9000 with their hatchbacks. Now with people needing more practicality out of the same vehicle (hence the rise in hatchbacks like the Mazda 3, Matrix/Vibe,...), Saab is in no position to fill those needs.

It is a tough position as to what Saab should be. They don't sell enough to be inexpensive hence GM's desire to move them up. But they were 'changed' only to find out that what they were, is exactly what people need in general. I used to love my 2.0 L 168 hp '86 9000 5 spd that got 33 MPG highway. Enough power. Plenty of torque. Drove it to 250k thanks to a good mechanic and proper maintenance. Not once did I ever have turbo problems.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By BikeDude on 12/6/2008 6:38:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe the brand will benefit from some fresh non-GM thinking...


First of all, SAAB has a lot of great technology that GM are benefitting from. Flex-fuel (E85), small and efficient turbo-charged engines, the world's most advanced AWD system (XWD in the TurboX and MY09 9-3) plus...

SAAB 9-3 and 9-5 are the safest cars of their class. If you plan on a head-on collision with a moose, or getting hit in the side by a car, a 9-3 or 9-5 is the thing to drive. They don't roll over easily, but if they do you won't end up with a squished roof. Your chances of survival with a SAAB is much better than with any other car out there. Plus it is a very nice car to ride. Especially on treacherous snow laden roads. (as someone once observed: There are a lot of SAAB on the roads when the first snow fall comes -- the other cars tend to stay at home or in a ditch somewhere)

SAAB adopted the common GM platform for the newest 9-3, but before they did that, they made sure to tell Opel and GM what things were necessary in order to make that platform _safe_. GM has learned a lot from SAAB, and when GM produced cars gain five stars in NCAP collision tests, they have mostly SAAB to thank for that.

For their entire history, SAAB has been all about R&D. R&D costs. People prefer german death traps over expensive and safe swedish cars. After all, who is stupid enough to crash their car anyway? Or get crashed into by some drunk driver. Or not drive faster than 20mph on roads where large animals (i.e. moose/elk) have been known to roam?

Most people rarely think ahead. Even being told up front that they are buying a coffin on wheels do not make them think.

But yes. SAAB failed to find a good home within GM, so probably better for them to move on. Hopefully they will retain their R&D department. I fail to see how this move will help GM make more attractive cars though.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Headfoot on 12/7/2008 3:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
This sounds like an advertisement....

Whats the low, low price I can get one of these INCREDIBLE vehicles for?


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By oab on 12/5/2008 11:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
Unlike the rest of the GMs product division, Opel has actually made some decent cars that sold reasonably well in Europe recently, and didn't loose several billion dollars a quarter for the past few years.

If anything, GM should just re-launch Chevy as an Opel re-badge until they sort everything out.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Spuke on 12/5/2008 9:42:12 AM , Rating: 2
If the Vue is a good seller then rebadge it as a Chevy and call it a day.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By joemoedee on 12/5/2008 10:12:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the Vue is a good seller then rebadge it as a Chevy and call it a day.


Saturn Vue = Chevy Equinox = GMC Terrain = Opel Antara.

4 of essentially the same thing. Pick the best design, and sell it.

Chevy Malibu = Saturn Aura = Opel Signum = Pontiac G6. Same thing.

Offering one version, or two tops? Not bad. But 4? That's quite dumb.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By mdogs444 on 12/5/2008 10:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Saturn Vue = Chevy Equinox = GMC Terrain = Opel Antara


= Pontiac Torrent

Don't forget that one.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Sulphademus on 12/5/2008 10:37:55 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Having 3 or 4 of the same thing is retarded and just increases costs.

Axe Pontiac and Saturn. Sell Saab. Take any good (and unique) models under those brands and move them to the new structure which I see as:

Chevy - Small Cars, 'Normal' Cars, Vette [Put up against Camrys, Fits, Jettas]

Buick - Big quiet cars for the AARP crowd [Where Caddy used to be]

Cadillac - Luxury and Luxo-Sport cars [vs BMW, Mercedes]

GMC - Trucks, just trucks (theyre not in style as a form of personal transit right now but theyre always going to be needed.)


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FITCamaro on 12/5/08, Rating: 0
RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 11:07:16 AM , Rating: 3
Oh please... You cannot compare your GTO to an M3... They are in a totally different class. It like comparing a Toyota Corolla to a Mercedes.

Granted, BMW are overpriced, but on the other hand your Pontiac will be almost worthless in 6-7 years... If its running at all.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By theapparition on 12/5/2008 11:42:52 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Granted, BMW are overpriced, but on the other hand your Pontiac will be almost worthless in 6-7 years... If its running at all.

Once again you just showcase your lack of knowledge on this subject.

The Pontiac GTO is made in Austrailia and is a Holden Monaro clone. The Monaro has been one of the country's best sellers for many years, with countless numbers on the road. The use the LS series of engines which are virtually bulitproof, as well as great transmissions.

Your lame "Pontiac sucks" comment won't fly here. My 8 year old TA is still running perfectly, with no leaks and no issues. The GTO is by far even nicer. Get with the times, late model GM is just as good as the import competition, a fact that GM and Ford are tied at frst for JD Power's latest initial quality survey bears out.

BTW, go price yourself a 2000 TA and compare that to the resale value of a 2000 Camry. You'll be surprised by the results.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 12:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I stand corrected - I wasnt aware of the fact that the GTO was Australian made. Honestly, I stopped looking at any GM car in 2002, when my freinds brand new TA WS6 took 7 trips to the dealer in the first year.

As for your 8 year old TA, hey congrats... you got a good one. They arent all piles of crap, but FAR too many of them are, and even if they run well, the resale value sucks, because too many of them fall apart.... and you know that is true.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2008 1:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Get with the times, late model GM is just as good as the import competition


Hey maybe you aren't up on current events, but late model GM needs zillions of tax dollars just to stay afloat.

The only money Honda, Toyota, etc etc took out of my pocket was money that I was all too willing to give to them.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Obsoleet on 12/8/2008 2:01:16 AM , Rating: 2
Cool, so they don't need loans to stay in business now because you refused to buy your neighbors product and chose to buy a Japanese product instead. Good work Benedict.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Spuke on 12/5/2008 11:48:04 AM , Rating: 2
Actually he compared it to the 335i NOT the M3. But, as you said, they're not in the same class. The G8 would be a more accurate comparison but there's on G8 coupe to compare to the 335i coupe. The G8 does get great reviews though. I'd rather have a Infiniti G37 myself if I was in the market but would look at the G8 just in case it is really that good.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 12:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not much difference to the point, but he compared both the 335i and M3 " It'd be about a dead heat between me and a new M3 too"

YA, the G35/37 are really nice.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By s12033722 on 12/5/2008 1:25:04 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 2004 G35x. I replaced my 2000 Buick Regal GS with it. That was a poor decision. I still have less miles on the G35 than I did on the Buick, and have had the cam position sensor fail, the airbag sensor fail, and the tire pressure sensor fail. These all started just out of warranty, too... All failures betwen 72k and 83k miles. The only issue I had with the Buick at the same mileage was a wire to a tail light that came loose in the trunk.

In addition, the Infinity costs me double per month what the Buick did, has less power where I live (6000 ft altitude), has about 30% worse gas mileage, and is much more expensive to insure. The only nice thing I have to say about the Infinity is that the traction control system is very good.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 1:39:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, when you hear everyone going on about the Japanese cars having far better queality than American, its always Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus, you never hear Nissan/Infinity in that group.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Jimbo1234 on 12/5/2008 2:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
But the G35 is a helluva lot of fun to drive. Can't say the same for the Buick.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By whirabomber on 12/5/2008 2:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
I had a 2k1 Honda Civic EX coupe that had a self chemical fogging rear window (in Louisiana of all places), a gas gauge that would randomly peg on empty that was a "known issue" and Honda wouldn't fix, and a manual transmission that never felt the same 2 drives in a row - drive to work the third gear "catch" position would be X, drive home the third gear "catch" position would be X+1". Add the fact that it was under powered $ for $, got miserable gas mileage (24highway vs. the claimed 26ish), and 2d interior design (heaven forbid Honda made an effort to give the dash character) and I had the most disappointing car ever.

My first new car was a well made, fun to drive, reliable 96' Sunfire GT that got better MPG than the Civic, had 40 more HP, a much better interior, and was more fun to drive. My first X made me trade it in on a new 98' Dodge Dakota that my dad is still happily driving.

I currently drive a 05 PT Cruiser that shocks folks with the storage, gives me 26-30 mpg on my rural trips home, and aside from plug (had a miss) and brake replacement (got a stone between a caliper and a pad) hasn't let me down yet.

I've been to a lot of states, known a lot of people, and not hear any horror stories about any big 3 autos. The only place I see horror stories are online so I am left thinking one of 2 things - 1) the Japanese have folks posting made up stories about how crappy American cars are (for those conspiracy theorist), or 2) folks who bought ricers are ashamed because the car buyer were scammed into buying a car that doesn't offer as much as a big 3 does and now want to make everyone think that the car buyer was right by saying how lousy big 3 cars are. Really. I don't know anyone burned by the big 3 nor have an feeling of impending doom if I bought a big 3 car. I've owned several of them.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 2:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
"I've been to a lot of states, known a lot of people, and not hear any horror stories about any big 3 autos"

You may have experienced it that way, but you are just one person... There is a damn good reason American cars lose their resale value at a vastly faster rate than their Japanese counterparts and it ISNT because of being slandered on the internet - its because of poor quality. Of course its not every car. Most big 3 cars are OK, and some Honda's are lemons. The point is that the Big 3 make FAR more lemons than the Japanese cars and the reputation for poor quality was earned, not given.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 3:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is a damn good reason American cars lose their resale value at a vastly faster rate than their Japanese counterparts and it ISNT because of being slandered on the internet - its because of poor quality
That's only part of it. The larger reason for faster depreciation is that American automakers change their body styles much more often, and more dramatically when they do. That gives them a temporary boost in sales for the new body style...but long-term it hurts them, as the short-sighted policy ultimately gives their models image problems.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 6:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
I dont think so... Other cars change just as often and just as dramatically and dont drop like that. Not even close.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By masher2 (blog) on 12/7/2008 1:10:07 PM , Rating: 1
> "Other cars change just as often and just as dramatically and dont drop like that. "

Such as what? Look at a 1994 Camry...the body is nearly identical to the 2006 model (2007 started a new style). Or a 1991 BMW 3-series, compared to one from 2004. 13 years, and the final version is still readily recognizable as the same vehicle.

US automakers, though, tend to make radical style changes every 5-10 years.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By retrospooty on 12/8/2008 9:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
Accord, Civic, any Nissan Model, most Toyota's except Camry, most any car from ANY maker changes dramatically over 2,3 model changes, American and Japanese. Your smokin crack.

There are some American models that changed alot, but that was BECAUSE sales suck, so they redesigned. You have a point, its just that you have the cause and effect backwards.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Headfoot on 12/7/2008 3:30:36 PM , Rating: 1
I'm glad you think your bullshit anectdotal evidence counts for the whole of all imports.

You're just simply wrong. Look up the statistics, Big 3 cars break more often than Honda/Toyota cars. It's just how it is. I don't care that the one single car you owned broke. That's insignificant. But when lots and lots of the same car break, that IS significant.

I always see this. Some "OMFG AMERICAN CARS" guy posts his anectdotal time when his Pinto was "WAY BETTAR" than a Civic/Corolla/Camry/Accord because "OMG I GOT LIKE 400K MILES ON MY MALIBU AND MY ACCORD BROKE AT 10K WTF". If it's true it's EXTREMELY atypical.

Google the stats. Look at how many 1990-1994 Toyota/Honda's you see still on the road and look at how few 1990-1994 GM/Ford/Chryslers you see still on the road. There's a huge gap.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By strikeback03 on 12/5/2008 12:47:29 PM , Rating: 2
GM is in more trouble if they try to sell Pontiac against 3-series and C-class. Regardless of how good the cars are, Pontiac just don't have the image to compete with BMW and Mercedes, and GM doesn't have the time for them to gain that recognition.

And while most BMW owners don't visit any tracks, I'd imagine far more that do visit autocross/road courses than drag strips. Judging by your statements, I'm guessing you are thinking dragging.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2008 1:00:49 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And my GTO will kick the crap out of even the 335i.


This statement has lost you sooooo much respect. Man, come on.

quote:
It'd be about a dead heat between me and a new M3 too.


Thanks for enforcing the stereotype that Americans are all a bunch of rednecks who throw V8's on crap cars and only care about straight line performance.

Reading this hurt my soul.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By s12033722 on 12/5/2008 1:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
Thus speaks someone who has never looked at autocross results from a GTO or Vette...


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2008 1:38:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thus speaks someone who has never looked at autocross results from a GTO or Vette...


What class and club ?

I happen to autocross my friends STI part time, and hang out with a lot of " in the know " autocrossers. And I can tell you Vette's and GTO's , when they show up which is rarely, do horrible.

Gto's are just pigs. Vette's just have WAY too much power for autocross. Man, we're talking a parking lot, sometimes small, with traffic cones.

AWD turbo cars like the Evo and STI dominate in our club. M3's, however, in nationals and more serious clubs are absolute MONSTERS.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2008 8:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I don't have the money to autocross a car. It burns up tires, wears out suspension, and burns up gas. Guess I should kill myself huh.

So yes I care about what my car is gonna do in the occasional race against a car at a stop light or pulling against someone on the highway.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By ChickenMcTest on 12/5/2008 1:25:57 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It'd be about a dead heat between me and a new M3 too.


Yep, neck and neck, right until you try and take the first turn.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Titanius on 12/5/2008 9:47:57 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with all that. Saturn should go back to what their element is, and that was for 10+ wonderful years the S-series cars. They are cheap, efficient, reliable and they have a plastic body so you still see a lot of them around and they look great. I have one, a 1996 SL1 with over 300,000 KM on its body, and it still looks like it did when it was new, still handles that way too.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Mitch101 on 12/5/2008 10:14:25 AM , Rating: 2
I kind of feel ever since GM acquired Saturn the whole vision of what made a Saturn an attractive car company has been lost in GM corporate.

I also liked the concept of not having to negotiate the price.

What keeps me from buying a new car are mainly dealerships and skeezy sales people who I have to bother speaking/negotiating with. One of these days I will just punch the sales person who tries pulling the if my manager approves this do we have a deal line. Ranks right up there with the reverse payment scam of how much are you expecting to pay each month. The fact that I have excellent credit and have to send a sales person back 3 times to get the lowest interest rate possible disgusts me especially when they know first hand I qualify for the lowest rate. I cant help but feel a bit of karma is being served to them.

We need a Walmart auto dealership. Stack of cars with a price over top next to a big smiley face. Thats the price no need to negotiate.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By schwinn8 on 12/5/2008 10:27:51 AM , Rating: 2
Umm... Saturn was never "acquired"... it was created in 1985 by GM as another brand name, wholly owned by GM.

The non-negotiated price was a nice idea, but now with the internet, it's very easy for people to find out the real price of a vehicle. Armed with that information, even an incompetent negotiator like myself can come up with a fair figure very easily... as I did with my last car.

For this reason, I think the novelty of no-negotiations is kinda lost.

I like the idea of selling Opels as Saturn here in the US. If only they would stop castrating the Euro designs in the process, you'd have a winning solution there. I mean, look at the Ford Focus - it's essentially a small Euro-car, and it does well here when they don't "americanize" it.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Mitch101 on 12/5/2008 10:42:00 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks I didnt know that about Saturn. I always thought GM aquired them.

They should return Saturn to the roots of its original concept. I certainly feel its a brand worth saving.

As for the sales person stuff. Tell that to the sales people. No matter what the offer is I still go to other dealerships and negotiate with a starting point. That so called "The best I can do" "Your $100 over our invoice" and interest rate always gets beat walking into the door of another dealer. When I make the call back to the original dealer I get the "They must be losing money on that deal but let me talk to my manager again BS and somehow come back with a slightly lower price" Freaking amazing.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2008 10:46:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah if you're stupid enough to pay the price of the vehicle without negotiating, then you deserve to get ripped off.

Carmax does that no-negotiation BS. I tried to trade in my Cobalt there and get a GTO. They wanted me to take $8500 for my car($2000+ below KBB) and pay them $23,000 for one with 35,000 miles on it. Gave them a flat no and walked out.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Mitch101 on 12/5/2008 11:17:09 AM , Rating: 2
I dated a girl who did registrations for new car sales in a dealership and the horror stories she would tell me should make everyone realize that dealerships don't have nice showrooms, on prime real estate, or stay in business because they are only making $100.00 over invoice on each car. There is a large amount of room for negotiation. More than the KBB tells you. Often there is kickbacks/incentives from the auto manufacturer to the dealership.

If a sales person approaches me wearing a $700 suit I know I am in for a load of BS. I don't want a hobo either but there is conservatory and I'm a good scammer with a line of BS. Yup tell me I deserve it.

Some of the horror stories from knowing someone in the dealership.

1-Wheel alignments like when new tires are put on and if they test drive the car and it runs straight you get billed for one but they never do it.

2-Clerical over billing happens all the time. Motor vehicles will return an over bill to a dealership but they don't return that over bill to you.

3-Extended Warranties cost the dealer about $200.00 when I was dating her. They sell this to you for around $800.00 or more.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By BWAnaheim on 12/5/2008 11:15:34 AM , Rating: 2
Not having to waste my time dickering with multiple dealers over the same car is what makes Saturn attractive. I used to have the time to cross-shop dealers, but I just do not anymore. If Saturn goes away, hopefully they can roll the strategies into Buick.

What else I like about Saturn? I have never heard, "So, what will it take to get you into a car today," or, "You look great in that car. That car is all about you." No pressure purchasing, letting me browse and ask questions. Letting me look inside and out. Letting me order the car I want if it is not on the lot (I was a a "T" dealer once that told me if the car was not on the lot, that I could not get it. That attitude turns me off. I did not buy). Without a promising buying experience, I may find myself walking to other brands until I find one. Many others could be in the same boat.

The plastic cars were a neat idea, particularly for people in the Rust Belt. However, as car buyers coveted more refined cars (read quiet with tight-fitting body panels), the plastic panels just could not meet the demands. Too, bad, because I still see plenty of them here in Southern California.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By oab on 12/5/2008 11:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
The Saturn Astra is identical to the Vauxhall/Opel Astra. It is even made in Belgium.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Lord 666 on 12/5/2008 9:48:24 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed, Saturn should be kept as the "foreign" car brand; both the Japanese and European flavored cars.

Completely dump Saab; maybe even sell to Ford.

Aura would be even better if they put their diesel in there.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By bdot on 12/5/2008 11:41:52 AM , Rating: 2
Yes GM should sell Ford.... I think you should write them a letter with your suggestion.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By AMDfreak on 12/5/2008 12:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
He said sell to Ford, not sell Ford.

Reading comprehension FTW.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Ardan on 12/5/2008 1:11:52 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you. I'm indifferent as far as Saab being sold off, but I would hate to lose Saturn. I especially like their new cars and that would definitely suck to lose them. My brother and his wife have a..2006? 2007? I can't remember which year, heh, but its the last model year before they redesigned the Vue. They have one of those and its pretty good. Plus, like you said, I like the styling of the Sky more than the Solstice. A relative of mine has an Aura and I've driven it at times and it is definitely a great car.

I prefer my 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx LTZ, though. That has a LOT of room in back for passengers, has great mileage and good power. Sure, it doesn't go 0-60 in 5 seconds or something, but do I need that? No, I don't. It does, however, pull just fine when I need the power. I love the handling, ride quality, etc. It has never had any trouble and the only con I can find for it is a lack of an aux input :(. Everyone that has driven it has raved about it to me, as well. I have neighbors that have cars from Chevrolet, like Impalas bought in 2000-2002, and they have lots of miles racked up on them at this point and they also have had no troubles from them. I could understand why they got rid of Oldsmobile, though. Every Oldsmobile that relatives or friends of mine had was nothing but trouble. I put way too much work into keeping a 1994 Olds Cutlass Ciera running, and my sister had a '99 Intrigue that was trouble from about 2003 and up.

From my listed personal experience (*yours may vary*), I think that would be great if they changed the name to Chevrolet Motors because I think they are going in a good direction with their cars, nevermind about that everyone knows Chevrolet. I am not biased (I hope Chrysler and Ford start moving in the right direction too) and its just my opinion. I'm sure all of you knew this, but I thought I'd reiterate that.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By Headfoot on 12/7/2008 2:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
Driving a Buick is like driving a couch


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By mxnerd on 12/7/2008 9:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
I don't even know GM owns Opel & Daewoo.

GM should only keeps GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac & Saturn and cut it loose for all others.


RE: Saab = meh Saturn = :(
By piroroadkill on 12/12/2008 3:57:50 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, cut loose Opel, one of the most popular brands in Europe, that sounds like a really solid business plan


Good riddance...
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 9:03:50 AM , Rating: 5
WE need to let them file... It wont cost too many jobs, its too much money to just throw away. If they file they will be bought out by another entity that can take the equipment and the IP and set up a profitable company.




RE: Good riddance...
By Spivonious on 12/5/2008 9:24:17 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly. This is how capitalism works. If no one is buying your product, you go out of business.

I don't buy the "3 million jobs lost" that GM is claiming would result from them going under. Dealerships would switch to different brands, parts stores already sell other company's parts, and the UAW workers would have to realize that what they do isn't worth $35/hr.


RE: Good riddance...
By Spuke on 12/5/2008 9:44:15 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the dealerships would sue GM like they did when they killed Oldsmobile. Then they would open up new dealerships.


RE: Good riddance...
By gerf on 12/5/2008 9:45:07 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is not the UAW people losing jobs, it's also all the people that work for companies that do work for the Big Three, suppliers of machinery and parts, and general communities with UAW workers. Doctors, lawyers, tax attorneys, restaurants, etc, will all lose their clientele as well. Local communities will lose ungodly amounts of tax revenue, as will state budgets.

Basically, if the Big Three are gone tomorrow, then unemployment will jump anywhere from 4 - 5% almost immediately, nationwide. It might be near 20% in states like Michigan, Ohio, Indiana. And right now, no one is hiring in general, so all of those people will be first of all collecting unemployment for x months, then they'll still not have a job, and will be forced to go to drastic measures to keep their families fed, clothed, housed. House prices will be nil in those areas worst affected, so there goes a big chunk of collateral, and with no one buying in general, selling off a boat or car won't help much either.

Basically, the country would be f'd for a long while.

As for a fix, the UAW will need to make enormous concessions even more than they already have. Management will need slashed, but still be able to make not just decisions, but better decisions, and improvements will be on hold simply to save money in the short term. That's one tall friggin' order.


RE: Good riddance...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 9:58:42 AM , Rating: 5
> "The problem is not the UAW people losing jobs, it's also all the people that work for companies that do work for the Big Three..."

But if the Big 3 ceased operation (which would take decades, even if they all filed Chapter 11 tomorrow), people who would have bought their cars would instead buy more Toyota, Honda, and others. Those companies would buy more parts, hire more workers, etc.

Fear-mongering about "millions of lost jobs" is nonsense, unsupported by reality.

The real issue is that tens of thousands of UAW workers -- now making $150K/year + tens of thousands more in benefits, for doing a poor job of assembling vehicles -- would have to go to work for a different manufacturer, one who would pay them appropriately and require them to work harder.


RE: Good riddance...
By spluurfg on 12/5/2008 10:18:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But if the Big 3 ceased operation (which would take decades, even if they all filed Chapter 11 tomorrow), people who would have bought their cars would instead buy more Toyota, Honda, and others. Those companies would buy more parts, hire more workers, etc.


Nah, if they hit bankruptcy 'ceasing' operations would happen pretty quickly. The subsequent administration would take up to years, with liquidation longer. But you can count on the fact that the employees would be instructed not to turn up to work the next day.


RE: Good riddance...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 10:36:46 AM , Rating: 4
> "if they hit bankruptcy 'ceasing' operations would happen pretty quickly."

Worldcom filed bankruptcy 6 years ago. They never ceased operations, they simply merged with MCI (later Verizon).

United Air also filed bankruptcy 6 years ago. They're still the second largest airline.

Texaco filed bankruptcy in 1987 -- never ceased operations.

Large corporations don't shut down quickly, if at all. In bankruptcy, their operations either get cleaned up and survive, or are sold off.


RE: Good riddance...
By Spuke on 12/5/2008 12:00:21 PM , Rating: 2
This is true. I heard this morning that if GM filed C11, the bankruptcy itself would take 2 to 3 years to complete. Right now, some Congressman are considering a pre-packaged bankruptcy that would shorten the time to 6 months or so (or was it 2 months). And while GM is in bankruptcy, give them the loan.


RE: Good riddance...
By zombiexl on 12/5/2008 1:07:58 PM , Rating: 3
Dont forget K-Mart filed and pretty quickly bought Sears.


RE: Good riddance...
By Durrr on 12/6/2008 10:08:59 AM , Rating: 2
other way around...


RE: Good riddance...
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 10:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly... Also, its not like it all disappears... There is billions of dollars worth of equipment and intellectual property. It will be bought out by another company, or investment firm, re-organized and producing cars, in GM, Ford and Chrysler plants using most of the same employees and vendors... After trimming alot of fat of course.


RE: Good riddance...
By acer905 on 12/5/2008 10:44:52 AM , Rating: 2
The one problem with the idea of Toyota and Honda taking up the slack of lost jobs is that, Toyota in particular, simply refuses to work with US suppliers. I've had three jobs in as many years, each struggling because of the declining US auto industry, and the inability to get any work from Toyota and Honda


RE: Good riddance...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 11:17:19 AM , Rating: 5
> "Toyota in particular, simply refuses to work with US suppliers"

Toyota uses many American suppliers. Fewer than the Big 3 true...primarily because it has much stricter requirements on defects, costs, and time-to-supply. Many US suppliers are fat and complacent from dealing with companies like GM.

Toyota is far more 'in bed' with its suppliers; it demands much more, but also works more closely with them to ensure its needs are best met. Many suppliers don't want to follow that model.


RE: Good riddance...
By The0ne on 12/5/2008 12:52:24 PM , Rating: 3
You are correct sir. Many US companies become too complacent in their daily activities and responsibilities and could care less about changing themselves to meet the requirements of a potential customer. It's on when things turn dire that they suddenly open up or are "in" the mode. Unfortunately, relationships don't work this way nor this quickly.

Just to explain a bit about the customer/supplier relationship from Toyota or any "good" six sigma company, you just don't use your supplier like a supplier. You treat them as part of your company, helping them if they need the help. That means you send your team of experts to the supplier with minimal fee, or in all my cases, no fee to help them change. This works out for the customer and the supplier and ultimately relations moving further has less hiccups.

I've already done my share of this with our new China contract manufacturer. They are six sigma and iso certified but that's all just paperwork. The team is so young (half my age) they don't have the experience yet even if paperwork shows that they do. But I tell you the time you spend showing and explaining how things should be done and the benefits gained from it, it's very rewarding. It truly is.


RE: Good riddance...
By Andrwken on 12/6/2008 9:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
North American built vehicles by Toyota are 75% sourced in North America with many of the same suppliers that GM, Ford, And Chrysler use on their list as well. Toyota will lose a large majority of its suppliers as they slide into bankruptcy and can't manufacture their parts as well. If you think your car quality is sucks now, wait until 2 or 3 of these large car manufacturers file and watch the remaining companies scramble for parts from new suppliers. You think your repair bills are high now?


RE: Good riddance...
By Chudilo on 12/5/2008 11:53:20 AM , Rating: 2
And the reason for the declining US auto industry is it's inability to compete with foreign automakers.
Let them fail, and restructure and get sold off.
American cars are still respected abroad, because they realize the competition there and take an extra effort to make better cars. It's about time they opened their eyes in their home as well.


RE: Good riddance...
By clovell on 12/5/2008 3:03:29 PM , Rating: 1
It's not that simple, Masher - the transition will hurt, and we're already hurting badly enough now as it is. Give them the money they've already been promised, I say.


RE: Good riddance...
By Ringold on 12/5/2008 3:28:17 PM , Rating: 3
Where in the constitution does it say American citizens will be protected from pain?

Allowing these problems to fester will only make them become worse in the long run, and politicians will never suddenly decide "Okay, times are good, now it's time to deal with this." Better to get it over with now.

The0ne's post above regarding suppliers was great, btw. It also ties in to your post, as evidence that only pain can cause the long run change necessary for the improvement of the manufacturers themselves and the economy as a whole.

Softies interested in only perpetual harmony and stability may not think so, 533k net lost jobs in a month may be causing some people to feel ill, but in the long run I'd say almost all economists would agree that recessions (and the pain) is good for the economy, just so long as the government doesn't do something stupid in the middle of them.


RE: Good riddance...
By clovell on 12/5/2008 4:11:09 PM , Rating: 2
> Where in the constitution does it say American citizens will be protected from pain?

A rhetorical question, to be sure, as it doesn't speak to what I said.

> Allowing these problems to fester will only make them become worse in the long run, and politicians will never suddenly decide "Okay, times are good, now it's time to deal with this." Better to get it over with now.

That is, of course, only if you think that giving these companies an advance on money that we've already approved for their use four months ago is paramount to 'allowing these problems to fester'. You also presume that this is an eventuality that can't be avoided.

> The0ne's post above regarding suppliers was great, btw. It also ties in to your post, as evidence that only pain can cause the long run change necessary for the improvement of the manufacturers themselves and the economy as a whole.

Yes, well, fortunately for me, I'm not basing my arguements on doomsday predictions of any sort, but rather the idiocy of how government intervention helped bring on this mess, and is now refusing to make the easy fix.

> Softies interested in only perpetual harmony and stability may not think so, 533k net lost jobs in a month may be causing some people to feel ill, but in the long run I'd say almost all economists would agree that recessions (and the pain) is good for the economy, just so long as the government doesn't do something stupid in the middle of them.

Whatever. It's too late for that - it's already done something stupid by passing the latest round of CAFE standards. The government has already intervened and put these companies in a tight spot, which has been further exacerbated by the current economic climate.

I'll say it again. Congress approved this money back in August, before any of this bailout mess, to give to the Big 3 once they became CAFE compliant. Unfortunately, this required them to shell out a significant amount of money to ahead of time, and now they're in a bind. We helped put them there by manipulating the free market via legislation. The money is sitting there waiting on Congress give them an advance on it.

This isn't a case of softies or the hard-nosed - it's a case of making the prudent decision to correct retarded government intervention in the free-market while we have the means and the opportunity to do so.


RE: Good riddance...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 5:31:31 PM , Rating: 3
> " You also presume that this is an eventuality that can't be avoided."

That's pretty much what history shows us. Every company that's received a government bailout has eventually either failed or come back for even more money later. Usually both.

It's easy to understand why bailouts are a bad idea. A company that's losing money is destroying assets. A bankruptcy or sale forces them to stop that behaviour -- a bailout allows them to continue it. It prevents them from having to make the hard choices needed to become profitable.

In extreme cases, government bailouts become a crutch, with the company coming to depend utterly of them. They become, in effect, a quasi-public entity, owned and run by the government.

> "The government has already...put these companies in a tight spot, which has been further exacerbated by the current economic climate."

If that was the only reason, why are Toyota and Honda -- both who are bound by the same CAFE standards and economic downturn -- not on the verge of bankruptcy?


RE: Good riddance...
By foolsgambit11 on 12/5/2008 7:59:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Every company that's received a government bailout has eventually either failed or come back for even more money later. Usually both.
Quite possibly true, especially since it makes sense. First, given a long enough time frame, every business fails - therefore, every business that receives a government bailout will fail, unless propped up again by the government. Not only that, but if you received the bailout from the government, it's frequently (not always) because you're in an industry that is seen to have special value, and to be worth maintaining, despite not being economically viable. The auto industry may not seem to fit that definition, since at least some companies are currently surviving this downturn. But if what you're trying to maintain is the U.S. manufacturing base for 'national security' reasons, then foreign-owned plants in the U.S. are of little consolation. (I personally don't buy that national security reasoning, but it holds weight in the political discourse none the less.)

Although, all this bailout talk is ridiculous anyway. This is a one-time loan being debated. In the mean time, we bail out our farming industry to the tune of $16 billion every year, for instance. I guess if the government gives you a tax break or a hand out annually, that's okay; a one-time thing, that's a no-go.


RE: Good riddance...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/7/2008 1:12:41 PM , Rating: 1
> "if what you're trying to maintain is the U.S. manufacturing base for 'national security' reasons, then foreign-owned plants in the U.S. are of little consolation"

Why not? In time of war, if you're willing to seize a Ford plant and use it to build tanks or missiles, why wouldn't you do the same to Toyota or Honda?


RE: Good riddance...
By foolsgambit11 on 12/8/2008 8:54:17 PM , Rating: 2
Did they seize Ford plants? I know the Nazis seized Ford's plants in Germany, but I thought the federal government in the US hired Ford to produce war materiel.

Although, your point would still stand, since, if we went to war against Japan, for instance, we would almost certainly seize Toyota and Honda plants, and the workers there, being skilled American workers, would stay on to retool and help the war effort.

So I stand corrected. I didn't think things through completely in my original comment.


RE: Good riddance...
By andrinoaa on 12/6/2008 3:58:43 AM , Rating: 1
I see your humanitarian streak has returned. Firstly, substanciate your claims about $150k for thousands of workers. I suspect the majority are really on about $50k. It may very well cost GM more, but thats another issue.
Poor job of assembling vehicles? It implies shit cars.
As for the poor worker, he can only put the sqaure peg into the round hole the engineer designed, lol. Work harder? I come from " a fair pay for a fair day's work". You can push the "slave/surf" only so much. However, I agree with your other postings .
If GM is in such peril, why have they not slashed and burned? I suspect they thought they would get a hand out and everything would be fine. In business, if it starts to cost, your suposed to stop the bleed. GM have been bleeding for 5 years yet still cannot see whats hitting them in the face. I think if they get money, they will be back for more. They are very poor business people!


RE: Good riddance...
By Headfoot on 12/7/2008 3:46:56 PM , Rating: 2
Whoa man, since when do Surfers have, like, slaves man?


RE: Good riddance...
By andrinoaa on 12/7/2008 11:15:20 PM , Rating: 2
Someone with a sense of humour, I see. Well off with his head! ha ha ha ha


RE: Good riddance...
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2008 10:09:44 AM , Rating: 2
You already can't sell your home in Michigan.


RE: Good riddance...
By buckao on 12/5/2008 11:57:58 AM , Rating: 3
No, you can't. And if GM goes completely out of business, all of the auto workers, engineers, and managers wouldn't be able to sell their homes and relocate to another state to get a job with another auto company. The state of Michigan is in pretty bad shape already, and all those people going on unemployment at once would also probably bankrupt the state. If they all were to leave for greener pastures, lots of Michigan businesses, from dealerships to parts suppliers, and even restaurants, would also go out of business. The snowball effect would probably ruin the state for generations. On top of that, if all of the GM retirees were to lose their pensions and health-care, they would all have to go on Medicare. If the government hands out the loans that the auto industry asks for, with a lot of strings attached of course, they at least have a chance of recovering their money. If they let them go under, the taxpayers will have to pick up all of the associated unemployment, Medicare, Medicaid, and welfare costs, the money for which will never be recovered, not to mention all of the lost tax revenue.


RE: Good riddance...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2008 1:19:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't give a shit out Michigan. Yeah, I said it.

ALL Americans are feeling the crunch right now. And ALL Americans will pay for the bailout, sooner or later. Why is your select smaller group of people more important than the greater good ? Why should we ALL pay for your burdens ?

Besides, be honest, Michigan has already been a shithole for years now anyway. And Detroit... god lets not even go there.


RE: Good riddance...
By clovell on 12/5/2008 3:04:50 PM , Rating: 1
It isn't. The greater good is best served by giving these companies the loans that were approved for them by the government back in August.


RE: Good riddance...
By Ringold on 12/5/2008 3:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
Eh? That's already a done deal. Congress is talking about more money, not whether or not to retract the original bond insurance deal. (It was a privately funded bond with the tax payers insuring against default)


RE: Good riddance...
By clovell on 12/5/2008 4:13:10 PM , Rating: 2
You mean to say they've already blown through that $25 billion? I think I'd have read about that somewhere...


RE: Good riddance...
By Spuke on 12/5/2008 7:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
They haven't gotten the 25B yet.


RE: Good riddance...
By Ringold on 12/6/2008 2:53:43 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't know advancing the date they'd receive those bonds was such a big deal. I wouldn't mind that, that horse has already left the barn anyway.


RE: Good riddance...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2008 10:38:35 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The greater good is best served by giving these companies the loans that were approved for them by the government back in August.


Wrong.


RE: Good riddance...
By MamiyaOtaru on 12/6/2008 5:50:28 AM , Rating: 2
or Dearbornistan :(


RE: Good riddance...
By rdeegvainl on 12/5/2008 10:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I plan to buy some land there. Only cause it's cheap, and has alot of nice scenery.


RE: Good riddance...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2008 1:09:05 PM , Rating: 4
It wasn't too long ago when American textiles was a HUGE industry in this country. People said the same crap about American 'dying' along with that industry.

Stop the fear mongering. Believe in this country and believe that capitalism DOES work here.

quote:
Basically, the country would be f'd for a long while.


And we're NOT going to be " f'd " when we continuously hand over billions, and eventual trillions, of tax payer dollars to the treasury secretary, as if thats somehow going to fix everything ?


RE: Good riddance...
By strikeback03 on 12/5/2008 9:45:31 AM , Rating: 2
Most dealerships would not switch to other brands, unless new brands come to market. Not exactly a lot of demand for new dealers for any brand. Suppose some could become Tata dealers, and some already do plenty of business in brands other than GM, but no doubt a decent number of dealers would be done.


RE: Good riddance...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 10:02:14 AM , Rating: 3
> "and the UAW workers would have to realize that what they do isn't worth $35/hr. "

Eh? The Big 3 are paying UAW workers closer to $73/hour, rather than $35.


RE: Good riddance...
By Entropy42 on 12/5/2008 10:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
One of the other articles here said that the *total compensation* was $71/hr, and only for the top tier of union employee. That guy is not receiving $71/hr as salary. That includes the cost of health care and unemployment benefits for all union employees.
I still agree UAW is a big problem for the Big 3, but your salary estimate ($150k) seem way out of line with everything else I've read.


RE: Good riddance...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 10:43:17 AM , Rating: 1
My figure was the total cost per labor hour, yes -- the actual price GM pays. In 2006, the total cost ran from $71/hr (Ford) to $75/hr (Chrysler). I think GM's most recent UAW contract cuts that somewhat...but they have yet to see most of the benefits from that.


RE: Good riddance...
By Penti on 12/6/2008 11:58:44 AM , Rating: 2
Hum, I guess that's the cost of living in a low tax society. That's more then twice what a Volvo Cars and Saab Automobile worker costs. In one of the most unionized countries in the world! It's just normal industry pay there. We're taxed for health care, schools, streets, old folks homes, unemployment benefits (workers have to contribute a few tens of dollars on top of that though), social security / welfare, pensions (we contribute privately/via bonds too), we even has state student loans and student grants that cover some of the cost (loans pay for the rest) as well as free university studies without tuition fees. Plus much more like subsidies for day care.


RE: Good riddance...
By foolsgambit11 on 12/8/2008 9:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
Not just somewhat. It cuts it to about $45-$50/labor hour, effective 2011. Which is within a couple of dollars of non-US manufacturers costs per labor hour at their US factories. Assuming they're still in business in 2011.

The difference is entirely in legacy costs. There are something like 300,000 retired UAW workers for the Big 3, all receiving pensions and health care from the auto companies. Toyota has about 700 retirees on their payrolls in the US. That's how it works when your plants are only 25 years old, instead of 75+. But once the 2007 agreement is brought into full effect (by 2011), the legacy costs will become the responsibility of the UAW, not the Big 3.

When you take the soon-to-be figure of $45/labor hour and break it out into taxes, wages, and benefits, it starts to look less ridiculous. For instance, a new worker coming into a Chrysler plant gets $14/hour. Before taxes.

So enough with your misinformation. We don't have to chant 'death to the unions', because the unions are already dead.


RE: Good riddance...
By Spivonious on 12/5/2008 10:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
I got that figure from the UAW website. It was the average for the lowest tier of worker, "unskilled assembler".


RE: Good riddance...
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 10:45:27 AM , Rating: 2
Its not a straight salary, its burdened salary including vacation, medical, dental, life insurance etc etc...

Damn, if Auto workers took home $70 per hours its a 150K per year job.


RE: Good riddance...
By retrospooty on 12/5/2008 10:47:38 AM , Rating: 2
LOL - imagine a getting paid 150k per year to strip screws and fix your mistakes with glue.

=) the big 3 need to die first in order to revive the American auto industry under a different management/power structure


RE: Good riddance...
By Spivonious on 12/5/2008 11:15:16 AM , Rating: 2
I know that even at $35/hr it's a lot more than I make, and I've got two college degrees!


RE: Good riddance...
By The0ne on 12/5/2008 12:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
It's funny but when you're in the thick of employees behaving like this it's becomes a real pain. I can't even imagine handling problems like with the UAW involved.


RE: Good riddance...
By Andrwken on 12/6/2008 9:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
$73/hr is cumulative cost with benefits I believe. Real hourly compensation is around $35/hr. Generally speaking, if you make $20/hr and have health insurance benefits amidst some other 401k type benefits, you are costing the manufacturer $40-45/hr. While they are somewhat higher than a lot of manufacturing sector jobs, I think some people here are getting the wrong impression with the way these wage numbers are being thrown around. I think some people here are trying to distort these numbers to make a point as well. The legacy costs are a huge reason for the competitive disadvantage. Back in 2000 I read an article that if GM could stay afloat until 2010, they would finally be at the break even point in pension and retirement costs (pensions kill you when your workforce is 1/4 what it used to be). This is a perfect storm killing these companies a few years ahead of their timetable, with Toyota, Honda and a lot of other car companies worldwide heading for the same situation and they openly have said this will put them in the red as well if it continues for long. I wish people here would stop using this as a podium to beat their anti-union drum. It does play into this problem to some degree but it's a little bit larger scale than just that.


RE: Good riddance...
By jmn2519 on 12/5/2008 9:26:20 AM , Rating: 2
+1


RE: Good riddance...
By gstrickler on 12/5/2008 2:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

The solution is simple (but not easy or fast): Build reliable cars that people want to buy, get competitive fuel economy, and sell them for a competitive price.

GM spent 15-20 years making "lots" of money on trucks and SUVs and spent that money unwisely paying their executives and overpriced UAW workers. They want to blame their current position on gas prices and the economy.

Gas prices didn't really "suddenly" rise and kill the truck/SUV market, gas prices have been on the rise since 2002. Yes, there was a definite spike this year, but they've gone over $3.30/gal before this year and you have to go back to 2005 to find lower prices than the current price. Also, gas was over $1.25/gal in 1981, which is about $3.30/gal in today's dollars. This was no real surprise.

The economy: We've been at "war" in Iraq and Afghanistan for 7 years. We've spent hundreds of billions on increasing security at the airports, borders, etc. Analysts have been saying for years that stocks and housing were overpriced.

Did anyone listen? Is it really any surprise that the economy is "crashing"? It's a normal periodic adjustment. Yes, it's a recession. Yes, it'll be challenging. Yes, it may take a few years to recover.

GM and Ford have improved their quality a lot in the last 20 years. Chrysler did for a while, but lost it the last 6-10 years. They've all proven that they can build quality products that are competitive with the European and Japanese brands.

GM, Ford, and Chrysler spent years ignoring reality and not planning for the future. Then, when times get tough, they fly their private jets to DC to ask for billions in loans from the government? Only after a senator publicly pointed out the absurdity of that did they even consider that doing so might make them look "out of touch", be a bad idea, etc.

Want to save American jobs? Buy a car/truck that's actually built in the US. Which manufacturers' have the largest percentage of their vehicles that are sold in the US are built in the US? It's not GM, Ford, or Chrysler.

Why is it that Honda, Toyota, etc. can build better quality, more fuel efficient cars and trucks in the US, using US workers, and sell those cars at competitive rates? That's what GM and Ford need to answer if they want to survive. Until they can provide a reasonable answer and a plan to get there, we shouldn't even consider a "bailout".


**Shakes Head**
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/5/2008 9:08:17 AM , Rating: 5
I still don't get General Motors. Even the reduced portfolio of Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac makes little sense to me.

GMC is nothing but a bunch of rebadged Chevrolet trucks/SUVs with slightly higher equipment levels. OK, kill GMC and make a higher trim level for the Chevy trucks/SUVs. I know it's probably easier said than done, but there's no need to have so much overlap with your OWN products.

Buick is pretty worthless too. Their only competitive model is the Enclave. And the last time I checked, they only have three models total, two of which (the Lucerne and Lacrosse) aren't really competitive within their respective classes -- not to mention they're built on ancient platforms.

They should just do a Chevrolet + Cadillac two-pronged attack. It seems to work for Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infiniti, Honda/Acura, and VW/Audi. Let Chevrolet handle the mainstream cars and trucks and let Cadillac handle the luxury stuff. Anything else is just redonkulous.




RE: **Shakes Head**
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2008 9:13:53 AM , Rating: 4
I agree with Buick. It doesn't sell here. Sells great in China. But drop it here.

I also agree that Chevy/GMC is pretty redundant. Just offer the GMC stuff under the Chevy name. GMC offers better interiors but also better transmissions than Chevy's. No reason you couldn't offer that as an option on the Chevy though.

I think it should be Chevy/Pontiac/Cadillac. Chevy for mainstream. Pontiac for performance. Cadillac for luxury.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/5/2008 9:24:39 AM , Rating: 2
The only thing "performance" about Pontiac now is the G8 and the Solstice. The other rebadges are wortheless excess.

Kill Pontiac, rebrand the G8 as a Chevrolet and call it the Imapala. Take the Kappa plaform used by the Solstice/Sky and give Chevrolet a de-contented, uber-cheap roadster (or that wicked Kappa-based Nomad concept from a few years ago). Boom, done!


RE: **Shakes Head**
By andrinoaa on 12/6/2008 4:17:55 AM , Rating: 2
How about the G8 being imported as a Commodore with original Commodore face and sell it as a new car called "Commodore", thats what its called in its country of origin.! It wouldn't look barstardised (from an Austalian perspective)The original look is a very balanced sexy car, but your version is god damn "americanised MEGAFUGLY"
It should cost less because it would come straight off our production line without having a face change!
Also, I don't get this silly situation were you have 15 differnt brands all selling the same car with a different badge. They are all GM cars, doh.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By DigitalFreak on 12/5/2008 10:11:32 AM , Rating: 2
I think the only reason the GMC brand has been kept around is so that Pontiac / Buick dealers can sell trucks without putting Chevy in the mix.

Dump GMC, Buick and Pontiac.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By Mitch101 on 12/5/2008 10:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
I had the GMC equivalent to my buddies Chevy.

My GMC was indestructible while his Chevy went to for repairs what seemed like all the time and we pushed my GMC much harder and farther than his Chevy toward the end almost daring it to break. He eventually traded in his Chevy for a GMC when it was time and hasn't had a problem since. Could have been luck of the draw but his new GMC hasn't given him any trouble either.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/5/2008 10:37:14 AM , Rating: 2
How is that even possible (give if they are both of the same year/classification)? They are the same dang trucks with a different grille. It's just a fluke. Hell, I think they're built side by side in the same plant.

That'd be like saying that a Mercury Mariner is more reliable than a Ford Escape.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By Mitch101 on 12/5/2008 11:38:31 AM , Rating: 2
Supposedly they are built nearly side by side and only cosmetic differences should be between the two. Both of us just have better luck with GMC. Who knows why. I hear you don't want a car made on a Monday or Friday either. His was probably a drunken stooper Monday morning after the super bowl build.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By werepossum on 12/5/2008 12:59:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How is that even possible (give if they are both of the same year/classification)? They are the same dang trucks with a different grille. It's just a fluke. Hell, I think they're built side by side in the same plant.


Maybe the Chevy suffered from repeated grill problems?


RE: **Shakes Head**
By The0ne on 12/5/2008 12:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
Although I haven't research the numbers to say much I personally haven't seen many US made vehicles in China, particularly Xiamen where I conduct most of the business. And most of the people, including dealerships, agree that US cars are just not up to par with European, Korean and Japanese cars. However, all of them agree that US cars are way better than Chinese made vehicles hahaha


RE: **Shakes Head**
By Ringold on 12/5/2008 3:36:48 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
However, all of them agree that US cars are way better than Chinese made vehicles hahaha


I saw a crash test video of a Chinese made car on CNBC a week or so ago.. By far the most horrendous such thing I'd ever seen in my life. The passenger compartment folded in on the test dummy like a lawn chair! Certain death. The whole car was a crumple zone. :P


RE: **Shakes Head**
By Andrwken on 12/6/2008 9:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
Show me a transmission in a GMC that is different than it's Chevrolet cousin. Or an options for that matter.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By isorfir on 12/5/08, Rating: -1
RE: **Shakes Head**
By amanojaku on 12/5/2008 10:22:42 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree completely. I think that deserves a 6 just for having the balls to write "redonkulous."


RE: **Shakes Head**
By amanojaku on 12/5/2008 10:24:22 AM , Rating: 2
It just occurred to me that you might have been joking, seeing as how "redonkulous" was the last word in his post. Taking that into consideration your post was "redonkulous!"


RE: **Shakes Head**
By isorfir on 12/5/2008 11:15:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I was failing at being funny. I thought people would get that it was a joke since it was the last word :)


RE: **Shakes Head**
By bribud on 12/5/2008 9:15:27 AM , Rating: 2
Well, from the sound of the article, they are moving the Chevrolet name to more regular cars and getting rid of the Truck/SUV line. That would force them to keep the GMC line for the Trucks/SUVs.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By RamarC on 12/5/2008 9:26:30 AM , Rating: 2
it'll never happen with the current idiots in charge.

there were rumors a few years ago that GM owns up to 30% of toyota stock. since they're selling off other non-US brands, i really can't believe they're as cash poor as they claim.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By d0gb0y on 12/5/2008 9:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
a few years ago...


Exactly... that was a few years ago. This past year was such a dramatic drop, they did not expect it (good, bad, or indifferent).


RE: **Shakes Head**
By mherlund on 12/5/2008 9:33:32 AM , Rating: 1
I agree with getting rig of GMC, it is just a duplicate of chevy trucks/SUV's. Even after this statement of them phasing out trucks/SUV's why would they keep GMC???

quote:
While GM says it won't go for a "quick fix", it says it will largely move out of the truck and SUV market and produce primarily small vehicles, as well as continuing to invest in alternative energy. The company will also now focus almost exclusively on Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By joemoedee on 12/5/2008 10:06:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree with getting rig of GMC, it is just a duplicate of chevy trucks/SUV's. Even after this statement of them phasing out trucks/SUV's why would they keep GMC???


Well, GMC tags along with Buick/Pontiac for the most part, there are few, if any, GMC only dealers out there.

Also, it's typically GM's second best selling brand behind Chevrolet.

The problem isn't the vehicles, the problem is the union contracts in place.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By Spuke on 12/5/2008 9:40:14 AM , Rating: 2
GMC should be the commercial only side of the house. Kill the Chevy duplicates. Pontiac is supposed to be the niche brand so keeping it doesn't make much difference but, again, kill the Chevy duplicates. Sell or drop Saab, Hummer and Saturn. Drop Buick in the US.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By marvdmartian on 12/5/2008 10:48:57 AM , Rating: 2
With the better quality associated with GMC trucks, verus those badged as Chevy, they'd be smarter keeping the GMC brand as a truck/suv only brand, Chevy as a car-only brand, and Caddy as a luxury car only brand.

Pontiac is a brand that should have died when they stopped making the Firebird/TransAm, and (as others have said here) the Buick name can live on as re-badged Chevy's in overseas markets.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By oab on 12/5/2008 11:54:28 AM , Rating: 2
Chevrolet: Cars only. Mostly re-badged Opels re-sold in the US at first. Don't let the product line get gigantic however.
Cadillac: Luxury cars/suvs only.
GMC: Trucks/SUV's only.

As little duplication as possible along product lines, and shared R&D across the Atlantic.

Bringing Diesel cars over will also not hurt either. Especially touting their large fuel efficiencies. You can't sell them in California, but you can sell them everywhere else.


RE: **Shakes Head**
By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2008 1:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Buick is pretty worthless too. Their only competitive model is the Enclave. And the last time I checked, they only have three models total, two of which (the Lucerne and Lacrosse) aren't really competitive within their respective classes -- not to mention they're built on ancient platforms.


Yeah and how much money did they give Tiger Woods to try and make the brand seem more hip and young ? And still, years later, nobody under the age of 55 buys one !

All GM knows how to do is piss away money and opportunities. I hope the few decent Republicans we have left are enough to drop the line and represent the vast MAJORITY of the country who say NO to a bailout.


AS much as this pisses me off...
By Pneumothorax on 12/5/2008 9:20:23 AM , Rating: 2
While I don't really support the bailout for the big 3, I'm still kinda surprised at the vitriol being laid on these guys. As much as we bitch about their (auto-execs) 10-20mil per year salary, there is no where near the amount of outrage being levied on a%&holes like countrywide's mozilo, hedge fund/derivatives managers, AIG CEO's, Fannie/Freddie mac, citigroup punks who took home WAY more money than the big 3 ceos, took a major part in bringing down the economy and took in WAY more bailout cash. These guys are probably now drinking a mai-tai in tahiti as we speak.




RE: AS much as this pisses me off...
By armagedon on 12/5/08, Rating: -1
RE: AS much as this pisses me off...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 9:44:57 AM , Rating: 3
If you believe capitalism is such a poor generator of middle-class wealth, happiness, and standard of living, I suggest you check out the booming economis of Cuba, North Korea, and a few former Soviet Republics.


RE: AS much as this pisses me off...
By xsilver on 12/5/2008 9:57:12 AM , Rating: 3
pointing out the fallacies of other economies doesnt prove the benefits of capitalism.

I think what the OP was trying to point out is that capitalism can be and should be so much better than this.


RE: AS much as this pisses me off...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 10:10:13 AM , Rating: 5
> "pointing out the fallacies of other economies doesnt prove the benefits of capitalism"

It most certainly does. You have to choose one economic system; the key point here is that capitalism beats all known competitors. Perhaps a better system is possible. But if so, we haven't found it yet.

The fact that GM is floundering is actually a plus for capitalism, not a negative. It's very strength is that inefficient companies either die, or are forced to correct their errant behavior. Under other systems, such entities can last forever, continually sucking resources out of the system.

One thing people forget is that GM -- like any company losing money -- is consuming more goods and services than it generates. Right now, it's a black hole, destroying both wealth and resources. Propping it up is a bad move economically. Propping up a nation of big corporations -- under the misguided idea that "they employ people therefore they can't fail" would force Soviet-style conditions upon us all -- enormously high prices, and shops filled with nothing but long lines and empty shelves.


RE: AS much as this pisses me off...
By xsilver on 12/5/2008 10:37:43 AM , Rating: 1
I agree with you on that GM floundering is a good thing but I think what people are afraid of is that the government is going to bail them out anyways even though they shouldnt. (This being that people get to keep their jobs in the short term as most people dont have enough foresight to see the big picture)

quote:
"pointing out the fallacies of other economies doesnt prove the benefits of capitalism"

It most certainly does


Sounds like a cheap lawyer trick, dont need to prove you're right, only that they're wrong. What I'm saying is that rather than being so busy saying you're the best and ragging on the damn commies - why not make the best even better?


RE: AS much as this pisses me off...
By masher2 (blog) on 12/5/2008 10:46:53 AM , Rating: 3
> "dont need to prove you're right, only that they're wrong."

More accurately, it's saying you're the best product on the shelf. If all your competitors are worse, you're obviously the appropriate choice.

> "Why not make the best even better?"

Sounds good to me. What do you suggest?


By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2008 1:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sounds good to me. What do you suggest?


Removing governmental controls that started this whole mess would be a good move IMO :D


RE: AS much as this pisses me off...
By The0ne on 12/5/2008 1:05:07 PM , Rating: 2
Companies will only be truly afraid and commit to real significant changes if there wasn't this option that the Government will bail the big 3 out. Now if you didn't have that, most of these companies will really have to tighten up the belt and make changes to save money. I'm not talking about just laying off employees too but becoming lean.

When you have this option out there most companies will simply lay off workers and do the waiting game, hoping that it things work out they don't have to change a thing.


RE: AS much as this pisses me off...
By andrinoaa on 12/7/2008 2:44:20 AM , Rating: 2
I have to point out to you masher2, that your take on Capitalism is almost as loopy as communism. You seem to imply that it was set in stone many, many years ago and cannot be improved. What "others" have been trying to tell you for ages is that there are other ways of doing things. Some better and some worse than capitalism. Stop being blind to the fact. Capitalism is truly a "work in progress". It needs to modernise, just like GM. If it doesn't, you get economic disasters happening left, right and centre. So don't be so zealous. I agree with your basic tenants on how the market works, but please, we all live in a society and it serves no purpose to needlessly scar people just to be pure. After all , the market is a tool for society, not the be all and end all.


By andrinoaa on 12/7/2008 2:58:17 AM , Rating: 2
PS, I agree GM should be left to sink. Too many poor decisions by management. Plus as I said earlier, maybe the market has reached a natural saturation point on top of a recession.