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Print 112 comment(s) - last by BansheeX.. on Apr 13 at 9:24 AM


Chevrolet Volt

Opel Ampera

Cadillac Converj
General Motors wishes to expand the reach of its Volt platform

It's not exactly been an easy few days for General Motors. Late Sunday, news that Rick Wagoner had been forced out as GM's CEO by the Obama administration leaked to the press. The very next day, President Obama revealed that the government would not provide GM (or Chrysler) with additional long-term federal bailout money.

Instead, GM was told that it would be given 60-days to turn the boat around or it would face bankruptcy.

With the clock ticking on GM's plan for action, the company is now asking for more money according to Reuters. This time around, GM is asking for $2.6 billion USD in low-interest loans to develop more vehicles based on the Chevrolet Volt platform. GM is already seeking $7.7 billion USD from a U.S. Department of Energy program to aid automakers in the development of fuel efficient vehicles.

Interestingly enough, President Obama's automotive task force has already noted [PDF] that the Volt isn't enough to save GM and that the company has bigger issues that need to be resolved. The task force cited GM's continued reliance on profits from large trucks as a sticking point.

"GM earns a large share of its profits from high-margin trucks and SUVs, which are vulnerable to a continuing shift in consumer preference to smaller vehicles," noted the task force in GM's viability summary. "Additionally, while the Chevy Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term."

Criticism of GM and the viability of the Volt program continued. "GM is at least one generation behind Toyota on advanced, ‘green’ powertrain development. In an attempt to leapfrog Toyota, GM has devoted significant resources to the Chevy Volt. While the Volt holds promise, it is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable."

It is likely that the call for an additional $2.6 billion USD might be frowned upon by the government. Currently, there are only two other known variants of the Volt in existence with only one of them being production-ready. The Opel Ampera is a production-ready rebadge of the Volt and features differing front and rear bodywork while retaining the same interior.

The other Volt-derivative is the Cadillac Converj concept car that was unveiled during the Detroit Auto Show. The sleek, two-door coupe is sure to turn many heads, but its price tag is sure to eclipse that of the Volt which is expected to retail for around $40,000 or more before a $7,500 tax credit.

In order to get platform costs for the Volt down, GM is going to have to come up with a way to spread the development costs across a large number of vehicles. Toyota realized this when it developed its third-generation Prius. The Prius went from using its own platform to sharing a platform with the more plebian Toyota Corolla and Matrix.



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GM isn't as bad as people think
By TA152H on 4/2/2009 12:21:22 PM , Rating: 3
People are always jumping on the bandwagon, and overreacting to things. This is a perfect example.

First of all, GM has so much good, even now, that they aren't going to disappear off the map, and that's a good thing. They have a lot of good technology, are still the second largest maker of autos in the world, and have a lot of brand loyalty. They have made a lot of good moves the past several years, no one even doubts that, the only thing they are criticized for is not making them fast enough. It's a valid criticism, but, by the same token, they were not completely oblivious to reality, and were moving the right direction, but focusing more on smaller cars, by investing in "green" cars, by reducing headcount and by closing some plants. No one predicted the severe downturn, no one.

Their biggest mistake is they didn't have the financial reserves to weather the storm. That's mainly it. If Toyota or other makers were selling like crazy, I'd agree with everyone that said how badly they predicted the market, and what a horrid job they did managing their business. Except, even the great Toyota is losing massive amounts of money, and their sales are way down. To their credit though, they have the financial resources to weather it.

GM has so much good, but also they were shackled with UAW and very high labor costs. This lodestone around their neck presented huge problems in low cost vehicles, and let's hope they get more concessions from the UAW so they can get their labor costs in line with Toyota's. If they do, this company will come out of this fine.

Obama is all for political theater, and for placating the masses, and his firing of Wagoner was pure theater. The new CEO is not changing course.

With regards to rebadging, I find the previous posts bizarre. It's exactly what they must do to keep costs down. Not necessarily rebadging, but using the technology and platform on numerous types of vehicles so the research costs per vehicle is much lower. Sharing platforms is a very good way to saving money, and is certainly not why they are in trouble.

By all accounts, this is a very good technology, and should be in multiple vehicles. I'm inclined to agree with those that believe this is another roundabout way for GM to get more loan money, but, still, overall I think they are doing what they must.

When you think of how much money GM has paid the government in taxes, and also those downstream from it have paid (employees, car dealerships, etc...), it makes it a little easier to stomach these loans. They have contributed a lot in taxes, and also have created a lot of vehicles when we were at war.

Does anyone really think we're better off without them? I still think there's a lot of good there, and while they'll suffer for a while, they will come out of it. I'd hate to see them completely disappear. I think it would be a great loss.





RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By ccmfreak2 on 4/2/2009 1:08:34 PM , Rating: 5
First of all, when a company is only worth 1.3 Billion (according to their market cap) and they owe the US tax payers billions of dollars, and now they are asking for $2.6 Billion more - twice what they are even worth! - I believe I, as a US Tax payer, have the right to be upset. This emotion is hardly overreacting.

Second, I don't care how much "good" a company does if they are squandering away tax money and can't make a freakin' profit. They need to use the products they already have and make a profit. Restructure and cut staff. WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK! After all, what good is it to keep staff for the sake of a contract if you end up going backrupt anyways. If you break the contract, yeah, you'll be fined, but at least you can fight another day.

Third, I don't care how much "good" a company does if they are squandering away MY tax money and can't make a freakin' profit with the products they already have!

Forth, I don't care how much ... oh, you get the idea.

Are we better off without them? That's for the market to decide. If we lose them, other companies will fill the market share. I see Ford taking most of that marketshare (due to market substitution) with Toyota and Honda picking up some of it. Yeah the union workers will lose there jobs (God forbid another Union actually go under!), but their markets will reover. No one ever said it would be easy. But I can't stand to watch Billions be thrown down the toilet to a company that can't manage itself. It's just delaying the inevitable.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By TA152H on 4/2/2009 1:25:10 PM , Rating: 3
There are a number of fallacies in your argument that you'd have to address before I could agree with you.

Being upset, and saying GM should be left to die are too different things. It seems everything they do now is viewed negatively, and that's the overreaction. When you have people saying they were a good company, but should go away, that's overreacting. Being annoyed at them because they are costing tax payer money, well, that's appropriate, I think. But, emotion is often the enemy of intellect, and it can't be the guiding factor in this.

You say they can't make a profit. That's fallacy number one. Why can't they? They AREN'T making a profit, but does that mean they never can? That's the issue, I think. By your logic, no car company can make a profit, so they should all go out of business? Clearly, it's a very bad environment, and no one can say GM can not make a profit when car sales go back up. I think that's really the main issue, how to make it so they can make a profit. It's not a foregone conclusion they can't.

My main issue with your argument is the really short-sighted view that they should stop investing in future products. If that's what you think they should do, then I would agree with your first premise, that they'll never be profitable. You can't stop investing in R&D, or new products, and hope to become healthy. That's a death spiral. This is really good technology, and they need to get it out there, and attract and excite buyers. This is exactly what they need to do, not rely on old products that don't suit the market, or people are bored with.

They ARE cutting staff, and lowering their labor costs. I agree completely, they need action there as well. I think the UAW is a curse for them, and it's got to be addressed. They can't keep paying more, and considerably more, for labor than Toyota does. It's got to change. The problem is Obama is very pro-Union, as any proper socialist would be, and he keeps saying that labor isn't the problem. How can it not be? When you're paying a lot more labor than your competitor, how can you sell low priced cars equally well?


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By BansheeX on 4/2/2009 2:45:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You say they can't make a profit. That's fallacy number one. Why can't they? They AREN'T making a profit, but does that mean they never can?

What kind of screwed up logic is this? What does the capacity to do the opposite of what you're doing have anything do with anything? If you are spending more money than you are bringing in, you will run out of voluntary funds. You apparently are heavily invested in them because you believe in their strategy and ability to succeed. That's fine, because it's YOUR MONEY and your valuation. The market is supposed to work like this, and others refuse to invest with them because they are not convinced. That's why they're trouble, they cannot get voluntary funds because people refuse to give it to them, it doesn't even matter what their reasons are, it's their property. You do not have the power to vote someone else's money into that company by force, which is what a bailout is. Got it? That's not what the government is for. You don't dictate where another man's earnings go in the marketplace. Okay? Is that clear?


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By TA152H on 4/2/2009 2:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
What post did you read? To be patronizing and idiotic, together in one post, is really irritating.

He said they can't be profitable, I said they aren't now, but certainly they have the possibility to be in the future. Get it? Do you understand it now? I don't know where the rest of your rubbish comes from, that's all I was saying.

Actually, your ignorant rantings about what is possible and what isn't possible are way off. Whether you like it or not, it's the reality of life. On a purely theoretical basis, I'm much more inclined to agree with you, but in a realistic basis, you're a fool. So am I, because I don't like the idea of government bailing out companies either on a visceral and purist level, but luckily, they do. If they didn't, there would be chaos right now, and things would be a lot worse. Since government does do bailouts, and since GM has given a whole lot of money to our government over the years, I think they're worth the effort. In the long run, it should pay off.

I'm not going to argue whether government should or shouldn't. They do, period. When theory and reality clash, reality needs to win. GM is worth the effort, because the country is worse off with them gone. If we never bailed out companies, I wouldn't make an exception, but since we do, they're certainly worth it.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By BansheeX on 4/2/09, Rating: -1
By rudolphna on 4/2/2009 4:49:18 PM , Rating: 1
Wrong! They have a HUGE impact on our economy. We get billions upon billions of our annual tax money from GM.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By TA152H on 4/2/2009 5:15:26 PM , Rating: 4
GM has not been making profits? The last few years haven't been kind to them, but they've made a lot of changes, although not fast enough. Before that, they were very profitable, and paid enormous amounts of money to the U.S. government, and contributed more to that with the companies they bought off of, the car dealerships, the income tax from employees, and also their contributions to our war efforts. They deserve no consideration for this? How about they are still the second largest selling car company in the world? Still nothing? How about the number of jobs that will be lost, not just from their direct employees, but from related industries? Still nothing, huh?

This is the first time they've asked for help, and they're asking for loans, not bailouts. They have very good technology, a lot of brand recognition, and some pretty serious problems to go with them.

Considering what they have, and what they have been, I think they're worth the effort. And since I didn't get to decide where my money went with regards to wars, or welfare programs, etc..., I don't see how other people can complain about actually attempting to prop up a company that has given massive amounts of money to our government, and has the real possibility of doing it in the future.

Being short-sighted isn't the answer here. I don't like giving money up to companies that screwed up either, but, when that company has contributed so much to us in the past, I think they deserve a chance.

I think the UAW has to be broken though. I don't think GM can be viable as long as this cancer demands so much money for its employees. So, in that sense, we agree. If they can't get the UAW to concede on some issues, and have a level wage pay scale, then by all means, make them go bankrupt. It's amazing GM did as well as they have been with the cost of labor. It's unsustainable.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Chaser on 4/2/2009 9:48:25 PM , Rating: 4
This entire policy of propping up companies is ridiculous. Profit, share holders, market demand and competition should be the only driving force for ALL corporations. But our brilliant politicians, many that don't have experience even running a coffee shop have decided they are better to pick the winners and losers in our country.

It's absolutely insane for a capitalistic country like ours when our politicians arbitrarily prop up companies with tax dollars plucked from the hands of a majority of people that don't want it going to them (GM).

It's unfair to other companies that are working hard to play by the rules and it also creates a dangerous precedence and incentive mind you for large companies to fail.

I hope that most Americans vote with their pocket book and support those automobile manufacturers that made wise choices and managed themselves properly and didn't ask for money from the public that none of us will ever see again.

If I were considering a car today I'd buy anything but Chrysler and GM. I wouldn't want to buy a car I have already partially involuntarily paid for.


By Mojo the Monkey on 4/3/2009 12:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Has anyone ever stopped to think how these companies would be acting if they were making RECORD profits? Would they be "kick down" some of those profits to you? NO!

GM DOES NOT EXIST FOR THE PUBLIC BENEFIT. It is a private corporation. you can bet they would take every advantage to fleece you out of any extra dollar you can spare (and, of course, do just that). This one-sided relationship and the logic behind it make me sick.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By mindless1 on 4/3/2009 1:53:24 PM , Rating: 3
This entire policy of propping up companies is good business. You are thinking only in terms of competing companies in a single market, not global GDP as it effects the country of origin.

Money we pay comes back to us/US in tax revenue, it is not like burying the money never to see it again.

You seem to assume other competitors aren't in trouble. That is an error in understanding the problem. Other automakers are also losing revenue and would collapse so the question is who is left standing when the economy improves, whether the US has a permanent reduction in GDP because we were greedy in the short term.

Voting with your pocket book does not mean not giving the bailout money, remember that you are not going to see a tax reduction if there is no bailout, the money will just be spent on something else which in the long term is not as beneficial as keeping a major industry running!!

If you were considering buying a car today you would have to do considerable research to find one that was not only what you wanted but also did not ask for financial assistance, and of the few that haven't yet many of those will have to before long.

Of course you would want to buy a car you had "involuntarily paid for", since the opposite is paying and getting nothing in return going with a company that had foreign bailout money spent to keep it alive instead and this doesn't even account for artificial devaluation of certain countries' currency to keep automakers afloat in the past which is why some had cash reserves.

Quite simply you know little about the auto industry and have only a greedy knee-jerk reaction without understanding cause or consequence.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By MrBungle123 on 4/3/2009 2:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This entire policy of propping up companies is good business.


WHAT!? are you out of your mind? Its "good business" for the American tax payers to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to pad the pockets of a company that can't turn a profit because they have an unsustainable business model...? Since when has bad business (losing money) become "good business"? GM in its current form is a bottomless pit. If we give them 8 trillion dollars all it will do is delay the inevetable they lose money on their cars because their labor costs are too high. Plain and simple, any money that we give them only allows them to run an operating loss longer before they get right back to where they are now.

quote:
Other automakers are also losing revenue and would collapse so the question is who is left standing when the economy improves


who is left standing? The companies that werent just a giant house of cards. The strong companies will survive and see a big jump in their sales as a result of a competitor failing, in GM and Chrysler's case the biggest likely benefactor of their demise will be Ford.

quote:
If you were considering buying a car today you would have to do considerable research to find one that was not only what you wanted but also did not ask for financial assistance, and of the few that haven't yet many of those will have to before long.


If that happens it is only because the politicans continue to medle in the industry, the market will fix itself. There are currently not enough customers to support the number of companies of the current size that they are in the auto industry today. If one of them goes down the number of customers will remain the same and the remaining auto manufacturers will see a rise in their sales. GM goes down and a customer that needs a truck who would have bought Chevy Silverado will buy a F350 or a Tundra instead. Ford and Toyota will get an increase in sales. They will begin to turn profits and since they were in the best condition to weather the recession will be rewarded with an era of high prosperity and growth on the other side.

IF we continue the bailouts and don't let the bad companies fail then it hurts us all, the best companies that may be losing money now will eventually reach the end of their slush funds and will fail. Then we the consumers, investors, and tax payers lose because we are subsidizing failure and effectively adding thousands of auto workers and union bosses to the government payroll. The auto industry grew into a bubble, artifically high sales driven by an artifically profitable housing industry. The quickest way out of this recession is to let it happen, we can either take our medicine now let these companies fail and be done with this in 6 or 8 months or we can do these bailouts and extend the pain by piling enormous debt and inflation on top of our bad situation and be stuck in a global recession for the next decade. You decide.

quote:
Quite simply you know little about the auto industry and have only a greedy knee-jerk reaction without understanding cause or consequence.


please for the sake of us all, get your bailout buddy friends together and go take a macro-economics course at a local college.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By mindless1 on 4/3/2009 9:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
You are making the same mistake as many others, you keep thinking in terms if individual investment and individual cost, both of which are invalid.

It's a United States investment, that they will find a way to spend your tax money no matter what, so the question is do they waste it away on pork projects that do not keep major industry productive, or do they keep our GDP higher which is very important in our long term economic needs? Remember, they are monitoring and insisting GM restructure.

Individual cost comes back to the prior paragraph, but your overly simplified economic math is not including the cost of layoffs, welfare, medicare, other industries failing. If the government wants to raise X amount of dollars then they find addt'l expense after the industry collapses, AND fewer taxpayers, it's fairly easy to see where the math leads us.

You are treating this as an individual business while I see it as an economic plan because there is not just one business involved. Do you realize that all the supporting businesses in the industry that could fail make up a larger lost value than GM itself?

You wrote "if we give them 8 trillion" when you have no idea what would happen. The fact is, until the recent surge in gas prices and downturn of the economy, the restructuring currently being planned would have been enough to keep them profitable until about 12 months ago, give or take. To prematurely jump on the bandwagon based on only a few months of terrible performance when other automakers are also having terrible performance is not seeing the bigger picture.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By MrBungle123 on 4/3/2009 9:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's a United States investment, that they will find a way to spend your tax money no matter what, so the question is do they waste it away on pork projects that do not keep major industry productive, or do they keep our GDP higher which is very important in our long term economic needs?


The government does not produce anything, you can think of any money they spend as redistrobution of wealth, not an increase in GDP... GDP (Gross Domestic Product) Implies that there is a product. Half of what they are proposing is defecit spending... (1.8 Trillion dollars they (we) don't have) Its insane, no matter how much money the government spends it is not going to help us in the long term, at best it has no effect, at worst it will be detremental to our survival. All this money has to be paid back someday. At the rate they are going they will have 2 choices; 1. they can levy crushing taxes which will send us into a depression, or 2. they can print the money and turn us into another Zimbabwe with run away inflation.

quote:
You are treating this as an individual business while I see it as an economic plan because there is not just one business involved. Do you realize that all the supporting businesses in the industry that could fail make up a larger lost value than GM itself?


Yes I do and there is simply not enough money to keep this bubble inflated forever. We are far better off letting the thing deflate, GM collapse, AIG go belly up, and any one else that is over leveraged go down the toilet then we are to dump whats left of the treasury into companies that were relying on a bubble for their survival to stay in business.

Yes it will mean milliions of lost jobs, rampant bank failures, and fiscal pain on a grand scale but unless we get to where we are rebuilding on a solid foundation of companies and people that are responsible and that have real substance to their finances we will be right back where we are in a few months when the bailout money runs out for the 3rd time.

Make no mistake, its going to happen eventually. We can keep feeding these people money and rack up untold trillions in debt that will take half a lifetime to pay off or we can let the recession take its course and be done with it much sooner. This pain is not avoidable, the sooner people figure that out the less it will cost us in the long run and the sooner we can rebuild.


By traitor21 on 4/3/2009 10:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Make no mistake, its going to happen eventually. We can keep feeding these people money and rack up untold trillions in debt that will take half a lifetime to pay off or we can let the recession take its course and be done with it much sooner. This pain is not avoidable, the sooner people figure that out the less it will cost us in the long run and the sooner we can rebuild.


Yeah, why loan them billions to fix the problem when we can just incur trillions in expenses to not fix it!

It's thinking like this that costs us tremendous amounts of money - "Building levees and dams for New Orleans is too expensive -- hundreds of millions of dollars! Let's cheap out and not pay for them....." [fast forward a few years] "Oh my gosh, this is completely unforseen, the flooding has cost our economy BILLIONS in damages!!!"

Ever hear the phrase 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure'?

Letting GM die now would cost us FAR greater.

quote:
All this money has to be paid back someday. At the rate they are going they will have 2 choices; 1. they can levy crushing taxes which will send us into a depression, or 2. they can print the money and turn us into another Zimbabwe with run away inflation.


We've already got crushing debt and a depression... your solution does nothing to fix either, and just makes the depression worse and kills any sort of way of getting out of the crushing debt.
(Unemployed people don't pay taxes, and having a huge tax contributor -- GM -- go out of business kills tax revenue as well, and our GDP plunges tremendously).
So, your suggestion just makes things WORSE.


By traitor21 on 4/3/2009 10:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
WHAT!? are you out of your mind? Its "good business" for the American tax payers to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to pad the pockets of a company that can't turn a profit because they have an unsustainable business model...? Since when has bad business (losing money) become "good business"? GM in its current form is a bottomless pit. If we give them 8 trillion dollars all it will do is delay the inevetable they lose money on their cars because their labor costs are too high. Plain and simple, any money that we give them only allows them to run an operating loss longer before they get right back to where they are now.


Blah blah blah.
Go actually how long ago GM was profitable. It's not like they've been unprofitable for a long time, so this "OH MY GOSH THEY'LL NEVER RECOVER" is stupid.
It's like saying "Oh my gosh, he broke his leg and is out of work, might as well shoot him because he'll never work again, loaning money for medical bills would be throwing money away! Better just put him on welfare and pay welfare for the rest of his life rather than send him to the hospital to get fixed up!"

It's stupidly short-sighted.


By SignoR on 4/3/2009 2:59:51 PM , Rating: 2
Sure GM loses money with every sale, but its OK, they make it up with volume!

^ Unsustainable


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By traitor21 on 4/3/2009 10:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hope that most Americans vote with their pocket book and support those automobile manufacturers that made wise choices and managed themselves properly and didn't ask for money from the public that none of us will ever see again.


Actually, GM's largest cost is currently healthcare.
Their competitors have SOCIALIZED health care, which is why they can have lower costs.

All these people that want GM to go under so their SOCIALIST competitors can take over are all essentially voting that the US socialize our healthcare, too.
-- American companies can't compete against these socialist countries that have distributed healthcare costs --

This is actually why the automotive industry is FOR nationalizing our health care - it will lower their costs and make them more competitive.

Letting GM fail is a race towards socialism in the US.


By MrBungle123 on 4/4/2009 10:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
Right, So cars cost less but I get to pay an extra 5 grand in taxes every year so nancy pelosi can pick my doctor. Sorry for not being so enthused about this idea.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2009 11:58:37 AM , Rating: 2
Traitor, that is the most backwards, most draconic, most WRONG line of thinking and argument I have ever seen on this issue. I won't even use the word logic, because that certainly isn't it.

quote:
This is actually why the automotive industry is FOR nationalizing our health care - it will lower their costs and make them more competitive.


Wrong. This is why the UNIONS are for it. Because it will allow them to continue status quo without any actual restructuring or disbandment.

quote:
Letting GM fail is a race towards socialism in the US.


Moron. What kind of argument is this ? You are advocating the USE of socialism as a means to prevent socialism, in one industry. When the use of it will effect ALL of us, not just GM. Wtf kind of position are you taking here !?


By traitor21 on 4/3/2009 10:22:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's why they're trouble, they cannot get voluntary funds because people refuse to give it to them, it doesn't even matter what their reasons are, it's their property


Yeah, it's not like there was some "financial crisis" or anything that would prevent them from going to someone that could loan them that sort of cash....
oh wait.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2009 12:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The market is supposed to work like this, and others refuse to invest with them because they are not convinced. That's why they're trouble, they cannot get voluntary funds because people refuse to give it to them, it doesn't even matter what their reasons are, it's their property. You do not have the power to vote someone else's money into that company by force, which is what a bailout is. Got it?


Well said, you nailed it.

Ironically enough, the same people supporting Government bailouts are the ones calling them loans. And they are the SAME who bring up that we're in trouble because banks made bad loans to homeowners who shouldn't have gotten them.

Folks, if GM isn't the WORST and highest risk loan you have ever seen, it's time to reevaluate your stand on things. We're not talking about a 200k$ house here. We're talking tens of billions of dollars. That you actually believe will be paid back ?!?

No private institution in the world would back GM right now. And it's no secret why.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By ccmfreak2 on 4/2/2009 3:12:08 PM , Rating: 2
I never said they were a good company, and you didn't either in your first argument. You said they have "so much good." Doing good and being a good company are two different things. DOING good and BEING good are not the same. One is not necessarily tied to the other. Whether or not they are a good company is a matter of opinion.

And just because you can make a profit for a few months, but are in the red for years at a time doesn't mean you're worth keeping around. I don't care if you CAN make a profit. If you can't DO what you SAY, then it's just more hot air - they might as well be congressmen.

My main issue with your argument is that you desire to have a government that believes it can solve the problems of the world by throwing more of MY money at it and taking it over one company at a time (<sarcasm>because obviously efficiency is something that Washington specializes in!</sarcasm>).**

I'm not against companies investing in future products. I AM against companies investing MY money in future products when they can't make a profit on products they have already developed (which were future products at one time). I am also against others investing MY money in a company that I believe won't survive, which classifies the spending as wasteful.

As for your last paragraph, I agree with you entirely.

**I know Washington hasn't taken over GM, but I don't see why the wouldn't/haven't given their track record. They pratically could given the current market cap and amount GM is asking for.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By TA152H on 4/2/2009 5:26:29 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think GM is a good company right now, so let's clear that up.

I do think they can be, and I think they've done a lot of good things recently, and have good technology. I personally don't like their cars at all, and I don't own any. But, that doesn't mean I think they're a useless company.

I think the UAW is their biggest problem, and the high labor costs.

When you say it's your money, what happened to all the money GM poured into the government in taxes? Did you ever feel any gratitude towards having their money used? Did they get upset with personal income tax cuts that were partially paid for with their tax dollars?

I mean, the way you guys talk is like this company never contributed anything to the U.S. economy, or ever paid taxes. Or ever created vehicles we used in war. Or ever did any useful R&D that helped people. You just act like they are a beggar who's never done anything but ask for money out of your pocket. Well, if they weren't around, the dramatic contributions they made to our economy and budget, directly or indirectly, would probably have come out of your pocket.

I guess I disagree that they don't deserve some consideration for this, and the fact they have a lot of good parts in them that could make for a successful company. They are bogged down with problems though, and I think we agree they need to fix those. I guess you don't think they can, but I do. Or, at least, I'd like to see them given the chance. 15 Billion is chump change compared to the impact of a dead GM vis-a-vis a GM that turns it around. I think it's a worthwhile risk, and since my tax dollars always get spend in ways I don't want, it's about time other people's get spent in a way I want :-P .


By EglsFly on 4/2/2009 8:07:20 PM , Rating: 3
You need to understand what the purpose of the US Government is. I wish some of our founding fathers where here today to see this situation and provide guidance. It certainly would not be involved with buying up companies and dictating how they run business and whom will run these companies.

You need to watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By BansheeX on 4/2/2009 11:45:34 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I do think they can be, and I think they've done a lot of good things recently, and have good technology.

If what you say is true, they should not be having problems getting people to voluntarily buy their stock and their products in amounts that allow them to operate at a profit. They're more recognizable than most companies, and they still can't do this. Why is this so hard to accept? Everyone else in the market makes or breaks based on voluntary transactions. When you can no longer convince people to voluntarily loan you money in the market, you should not have the capacity to tap into forcibly appropriated funds from government. Those funds are supposed to go towards legitimate government functions that have to do with protecting rights: courts, police, national defense. This is not the USSA, we don't centrally plan exceptions to private failures. It's not the referee's job to redistribute points based on who he wants to win, he's only there to penalize and deter infractions.
quote:
When you say it's your money, what happened to all the money GM poured into the government in taxes?

It was spent on consumption, and then money was borrowed ontop of it from the future to the tune of $12 trillion. You are blissfully ignorant to how our bond market operates, how our welfare schemes operate. We are Madoff with a printing press, there is no difference. We've made unlimited promises to an aging society that doesn't have the productive capacity to produce anywhere near what it consumes.
quote:
I mean, the way you guys talk is like this company never contributed anything to the U.S. economy, or ever paid taxes.

No, we talk like we want fairness. Guess who else pays taxes? Everybody else, including competing companies who are operating more efficiently and are effectively subsidizing any money GM receives under your too big to fail umbrella. What freaking chance do they have with your mindset? What incentive is there now, knowing that for as well as they manage their companies, it will simply be redistributed to GM's failures because GM is bigger and has been around longer? I'd be stark raving mad if I was paying my percent and a central planner came in and started dishing out my tax dollars to my competitors at their discretion. That is not how the god damned economy is supposed to be run. Subsidies are just as bad.
quote:
Well, if they weren't around, the dramatic contributions they made to our economy and budget, directly or indirectly, would probably have come out of your pocket.

The government doesn't contribute anything to our economy, they are $12 trillion in debt and run our bond market like a ponzi scheme. They monopolize debt-based currency, they price fix interest rates, they backstop fractional reserves, they claim to referee the markets and don't (SEC was informed of Madoff's scheme 9 times in 10 years), they use the income tax to socially engineer certain legal behaviors over others. They are an enormous drain on our economy, anything that we accomplish with regards to producing products or services is done in spite of them. When China and Saudi Arabia can no longer afford to buy our debt, the results of what they've done will become painfully obvious to you. Do yourself a favor and watch these videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgMclXX5msc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS2fI2p9iVs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh-NqdmEDq4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AoHBl5MeXI


By SignoR on 4/3/2009 11:45:05 AM , Rating: 2
FA Hayek much?
And Schiff's speech at the Austrian scholars convention was one of the best ever.
"You know what we're going to tell the Chinese? We're going to say, 'You guys are predators! Predatory lenders! We need a modification program! You never should have lent us all this money, you know we can't pay it back. It's not our fault!'"


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By traitor21 on 4/4/2009 3:20:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No, we talk like we want fairness. Guess who else pays taxes? Everybody else, including competing companies who are operating more efficiently and are effectively subsidizing any money GM receives under your too big to fail umbrella. What freaking chance do they have with your mindset?


The only flaw with that reasoning is assuming that GM's competitors are paying the same amount of taxes to the US government, which is *NOT* the case.

In a global world, you have to consider that GM's competitors might have most of their headquarters, high paying executive jobs, high paying R&D jobs, etc, etc all based in a DIFFERENT country OTHER THAN the US. This, in turn, may greatly affect tax redistribution.

For example, if Toyota is spending billions on R&D into electric cars, that doesn't necessarily mean that Americans are doing that research - it might mean that 90% of that money is staying in Japan.
All those high paying jobs would be created in Japan; all that extra tax income is going to the Japanese government; all those hefty bonuses are staying in Japan...etc.

In that regard, those two companies paying taxes is *NOT* the same.

Oh, and consider this: Do you think for one second that the Japanese government would refuse to loan Toyota a loan if they ran into financial difficulty?
Do you think they'd let them go belly up, and let GM, Ford, etc, come in and dominate the Japanese automotive market?
Do you think they'd be happy to see all that money flowing to Detroit, Michigan -- that had previously been flowing to Japan?

I didn't think so.

Whether you like it or not, if the US government doesn't "Go to bat" for American companies, those American companies are NOT going to be around anymore -- but their foreign competitors WILL be around, because their governments WILL "Go to bat" for them.


By BansheeX on 4/13/2009 9:24:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only flaw with that reasoning is assuming that GM's competitors are paying the same amount of taxes to the US government, which is *NOT* the case.


Aptera, Tesla, and Ford don't pay taxes? Who the hell said GM is the only domestic auto manufacturer? They will be soon enough if you keep redistributing funds from successes to failures.

quote:
Oh, and consider this: Do you think for one second that the Japanese government would refuse to loan Toyota a loan if they ran into financial difficulty?


Who the hell cares what foreign countries do? Whatever they give to an ailing Toyota would come from competent companies in other sectors, which would make those sectors less competitive with ours. You don't freaking understand this dynamic, the government is incapable of improving anything with transfer payments. It's a pure transfer of wealth and competitiveness from domestic successes to domestic failures. In order for the government to make GM competitive, they have to make everyone else less competitive. This theory does not work, Soviet central planning does not work. It never has and it never will.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Verran on 4/3/2009 11:46:30 AM , Rating: 2
The concept of being thankful to GM for the taxes they pay to our government (large or small) is absolutely absurd to me.

Should we have a big party with hats and balloons and streamers when I drop the check in the mail for my property taxes? NO. I'm not doing it out of benevolence. I'm doing it because I friggin' have to. And I wouldn't if I didn't. Just like GM wouldn't if they didn't.

I'm not going to start making huge economic compromises just because GM finds themselves in the not-so-unique position of having paid their fair share of taxes. I'm not going to thank them for their R&D because their thanks is the profit they make off of it. Again, it's entrepreneurship, not benevolence. Big difference.

Currency is a loop and if I had to thank every person who's held every dollar I spend before me every time I spent it... well again, that's just ridiculous.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By traitor21 on 4/4/2009 2:26:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Again, it's entrepreneurship, not benevolence. Big difference.


And yet it seems you have difficulty grasping the difference between a loan and a bailout...


By Verran on 4/6/2009 3:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
What's funny is that I never used either of those words, but as long as we're on the subject...

You say 'potato', I say 'bailout'. Call them 'loans' if that helps you sleep at night, I really don't care. But implying that these are the same type of loans you or I might get for a car or boat is extremely disingenuous. If these were regular loans they wouldn't be coming from the government because that's not what the government is for. The reason the government is involved in these 'loans' is because no bank manager of sound mind would give this kind of money to companies in these positions. If that weren't true then GM wouldn't be begging on capital hill.

Let me ask you: Are these 'loans' available to all troubled businesses? Nope, just the ones the government deems worthy. Yet again, not just a straight up loan, but a political favor.

You can call these 'loans' whatever you want, but what they really are is the government playing favorites. They are legislators deciding what businesses can fail and what businesses can't. That's not a 'loan', that's circumventing economic survival of the fittest.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Funksultan on 4/2/2009 3:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
You make some legitimate points here, but IMHO, it's much like having an old car that's constantly breaking down, and that you've poured tons of money into. Do you...

A. Put MORE money into it, hoping it'll finally be fixed.
B. Abandon it, and start looking for a new car.

Everyone has their choice. The biggest cloud that most people can't see through is that, yes, it is YOUR money that they are considering pouring into this "car".


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Reclaimer77 on 4/2/2009 3:23:19 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Everyone has their choice. The biggest cloud that most people can't see through is that, yes, it is YOUR money that they are considering pouring into this "car".


Not only is it OUR money, but it's money that hasn't even been created yet.

Please all you Obama supporters and people on the fence about this, take this to heart, Obama is literally spending money that we have NOT created yet.

That never has, and never WILL, anywhere in the world, lead to a prospering and healthy economy.


By FITCamaro on 4/2/2009 4:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
Trillion is the new billion dude.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By WTFiSJuiCE on 4/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Reclaimer77 on 4/2/2009 5:00:09 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
That's what governments do.


???? Is this meant to just be dismissive of the issue, or deflective or just plain ignorant ? With all due respect, Obama is projecting spending plans that are greater than the combined sum of EVERY PRESIDENT WHO EVER LIVED. This is not business as usual.

quote:
...or at least that's what our gov't has been doing for quite some time.


Not even close. Are you that in the tank, or just completely ignorant to the massive scale of debt that we are talking about here ? TRILLIONS. Even saying the numbers of these huge sums like they are as common as bottled water seemed ludicrous !!

quote:
And btw, both Repub n Dem Presidents have enabled and kept this line of thinking going so lets not even think about starting up th blame game here.


You know what, I will fully give you that the last administration and Republican congress wasn't as fiscally conservative as we would have liked. But that time is over now. And with all due respect, the irresponsibility of the Bush administration and members of Congress seem like meer drops in the bucket compared to what Obama is proposing.

And not just spending. Make no mistake about it, Obama and the Liberals are fully intent on federalizing every last aspect of our lives, our businesses, and our healthcare. Folks, this is NOT something to cheer at. And for you to say this is the same " line of thinking " as the past 8 years shows you are either totally biased or just not understanding what's happening here.

Even the MOST optimistic figures on Obama's Cap and Trade policy, the ones he himself uses, detail debt and loss of GDP that this country simply cannot, and will not, overcome ! Do you understand what is happening !?

Our way of life, the very ideals and freedoms and rights that we hold dear, are being bought - traded - and bartered away from us. All to voracious applause by you guys !

This is not business as usual. These are not the same old policies we see year after year that really don't impact our lives. Obama's plans and vision will make a very REAL, and negative, impact on ALL of our lives. Not just the "rich" that he keeps bringing up to get you guys to go along with his rhetoric.

We are facing the biggest threat to our way of life, and it's coming from within. And you guys are still bringing up Bush !!??


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By JediJeb on 4/2/2009 6:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
"This is how Liberty dies—with thunderous applause" Senator Amidala

I guess George Lucas saw this coming, and it seems a very accurate description of just what the new administration is doing.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/2/2009 6:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
Well except Lucas was an idiot trying to tie the war in Iraq into George Bush somehow becoming a dark overlord mad with power like Palpetine. Just another reason why his new trilogy is garbage like most of Hollywood.

Hollywood, we don't come to see movies for your "messages" about our country and it's social issues.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By WTFiSJuiCE on 4/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Reclaimer77 on 4/2/2009 8:10:47 PM , Rating: 2
You are completely in the tank. There's no point in taking this any further. It's just going to get ugly and , believe it or not, I don't want that.

You believe recessions needs to be "spent" out of. And you believe Obama is just "trying to help". How can I possibly bring forth an argument that would matter if you are actually THAT in the tank for whats happening ?

I like your style and use of sarcasm and humor, sorry I just can't reciprocate. I'm very sad and upset for what I see coming to this nation, and if I'm wearing a 'tin foil hat' then a lot of other people must be. Because if you stopped and looked around, you will notice a lot of people are angry and scared right now.

I'm just tired of fighting liberals while standing on THEIR false premises honestly. If you can't accept the simple truth of what is going on, then have a nice day.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By WTFiSJuiCE on 4/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By FITCamaro on 4/2/2009 10:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
You make some good points but that isn't a reason to support spending like this. Your kids will be the ones paying for it. And their kids....And their kids....

That's assuming we last that long.


By WTFiSJuiCE on 4/2/2009 10:40:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not disputing that one.

The problem is that no one can see a clear way out of doing anything but more borrowing. It'll be a great thing when we figure out a way to stop.

Also, I hope GM doesn't completely fail. The Volt technology sounds very promising and hopefully in a couple years its 3rd gen. tech will be profitable for them and affordable for us...and hopefully in a better chassis design >_<.


By MrBungle123 on 4/3/2009 11:35:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
2: No I'm not seeing how the gov't is trying to nationalize or as you said, "Federalize" businesses. Please explain this one to me in a calm manner, thank u. /genuine


The government "bailouts" are really purchases of large quantities of common stock in the companies. The federal government now owns 80% of AIG, which 2 years ago was a private company. It has now been "nationalized" since the US government owns controlling interest.

AIG is just one example under Bush they spent $700B for "bailouts" and now Obama is doing more. When the president can tell a supposedly private company like GM that they need to get a new CEO and they do it immediately without any questions we have a serious problem.

quote:
Yes, national health care is completely taking away my freedom to...do what exactly?


National health care takes away your freedom to choose where and what kind of health care you are going to get and puts the choices in the hands of bureaucrats. If the government pays the bills they choose the service... I don't know about you but after going through the public education system, the DMV, and dealing with the Post Office, I really don't trust these people with my health and well being... but then again given their track record with social security how could you not trust them?

I mean look at these promises from 1936 when they set the thing up!

quote:
"After the first 3 years -- that is to say, beginning in 1940 -- you will pay, and your employer will pay, 1.5 cents for each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. ... Beginning in 1943, you will pay 2 cents, and so will your employer, for every dollar you earn for the next 3 years. ... And finally, beginning in 1949, 12 years from now, you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. That is the most you will ever pay."


and as we all know they've been responsible with the money and have never used it for anything other than paying social security benefits.

Yeah... Call me paranoid if you want but I have absolutely no faith in any politician who says that they are going to start some new program which will make my life easier. They have been lying and screwing things up for their own gain and political ambitions since before I was born, why should I suddenly expect them to change now?


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Spuke on 4/3/2009 7:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We are facing the biggest threat to our way of life, and it's coming from within. And you guys are still bringing up Bush !!??
You could play a pretty good chicken. In reality, life is much more mundane. We'll all live with even more debt than we have now or we won't. Some future president may decide to embark a plan to reduce our debt or add to it. The choice is ours to make. But people, like yourself, will simply continue to vote for Republican or Democrat, instead of voting in the persons (like Congressman....Presidents have virtually no power) to do the best job. So we get what we ask for and I find it amazing that we continue to be surprised at the outcome.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/3/2009 7:21:11 PM , Rating: 1
Pfft you know fuck all of my voting history Spuke. Keep pulling at strings buddy.


By mindless1 on 4/3/2009 2:07:54 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the idea of having an old car that constantly breaks down and has a lot of money poured into it is nonsense.

The absurb idea comes from a closed scenario where someone is trying to spend no money at all on a car versus paying several thousands on car payments if not outright, on an old car you can literally replace all major subsystems over and over and still have it cost no more than a new car would if you shop around for reasonable repair rates just as you would shop around for a reasonable price on a replacement car.

Most people understand this, the yearly TCO for an older car is far lower on average past a certain point, and this is why you see mostly older cars in lower income neighborhoods and why middle income families tend to keep an older car as their 3rd vehicle for their children to drive when they turn of legal driving age.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Steele on 4/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Steve1981 on 4/2/2009 4:40:54 PM , Rating: 4
Don't forget their liabilities of 177 billion. That puts their stockholders equity/net worth at negative 86 billion.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=GM


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Spuke on 4/2/2009 5:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't forget their liabilities of 177 billion.
I don't think he nor anyone has forgotten. His point is that they brought in a LOAD of money. Whether or not they are profitable or can be profitable in the future is another matter and the subject of a continuous, beating a dead horse discussion.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Steve1981 on 4/2/2009 5:23:12 PM , Rating: 2
Could have fooled me.

It would seem somewhat disingenuous to say how GM is worth far more than its 1.3 billion market cap because it holds 90some billion in assets and had revenues of 150 billion without mentioning that those impressive sounding assets are balanced by nearly twice the amount of debt, and the company isn't profitable nor expected to be profitable in the immediate future. 150 Billion in revenue is indeed impressive. However, a company that spends 160 billion to generate 150 billion in revenue isn't worth a heck of a lot. When they return to profitability, then we can talk about revising how much they're worth.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By mindless1 on 4/3/2009 2:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
They are worth the goods they produce. Everyone seems hung up on numbers without seeing that producing a lot of automobiles is a productive end that benefits our GDP.

The shell game of shifting around money and laying blame ignores reality, that of all the lost value in our economy some businesses are worth more than others regardless of the revenue because in the end they are producing something of value instead of just seeing the money vanish into thin air.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By Steve1981 on 4/3/2009 3:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They are worth the goods they produce.


Uhh, no.

A company's value is ultimately based on its ability to generate return on investment, aka profit. If the company loses money, you're better off sticking your money under a mattress. As it stands now, GM is losing money. They are expected to lose money with no real end in sight. As such, investors aren't rushing to buy the stock, which means its value drops. What about this escapes you?

quote:
Everyone seems hung up on numbers without seeing that producing a lot of automobiles is a productive end that benefits our GDP...because in the end they are producing something of value instead of just seeing the money vanish into thin air.


Unfortunately, numbers are important.

By your logic, the government paying homeless people ten billion dollars a year to produce five billion dollars worth of goods would be fantastic for our economy.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By mindless1 on 4/3/2009 9:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
No, company value based on investment return is only valid from an individual investment perspective, while I am talking about a national GDP and employment investment, and investment in our future instead of sending more money overseas. Don't you see that no matter how the market readjusts, for the country to remain prosperous we have to continue actually producing things instead of just being greedy? Remember, GM is 2nd largest global auto manufacturer, this is no small change in US economy to lose them.

You keep thinking "lose money" which is incorrect. THe money is coming from the government and returning back to the government from taxable income, goods and services, in addition to reducing government payout from unemployment and other services.

Further, if the goverment budget was not spent on this, it would still be spent! The contrast is spending this money and ending up with money returning and goods, or blowing it all on projects like bridges to nowhere.

By my logic, if the government paid people on welfare the same that they already do, but required them to produce 5 billion dollars worth of goods, then instead of nothing from the money we have 5 billion dollars worth of goods AND taxable income, purchases, etc., returning.

Like it or not, the former is far worse than the latter.


By Steve1981 on 4/7/2009 10:21:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You keep thinking "lose money" which is incorrect. THe money is coming from the government and returning back to the government from taxable income, goods and services, in addition to reducing government payout from unemployment and other services.


Problem: The government doesn't actually have the money to give out. It has three options: borrow (with interest), significantly raise taxes on those who are making a profit, or just print new money (which causes inflation).

Lets say the government borrows the cash; its probably the best option, unless you'd like to pay $100 for a loaf of bread, or unless you think lots of rich people are going to stick around when the government starts hosing them on taxes. The question is can the government get enough return on its investment into the economy to repay its debts with interest? If it invested in areas that actually had high payoffs, possibly.

By investing in dying car companies? Thats a lot more iffy. Yeah sure, the economy gets stimulated just like it would be if you handed everyone $50000. The problem is, the economy only remains stimulated as long as the government keeps pouring in more money and borrowing more and more cash. Unless we build companies that can sustain themselves without government intervention, we're just digging ourselves an endless hole.

quote:
By my logic, if the government paid people on welfare the same that they already do, but required them to produce 5 billion dollars worth of goods, then instead of nothing from the money we have 5 billion dollars worth of goods AND taxable income, purchases, etc., returning.

Like it or not, the former is far worse than the latter.


My problem with this argument is that it doesn't actually let the market adjust, which it desperately needs to do. GM is not sustainable now, nor is it anticipated to be anytime soon. They're already in the hole nearly a hundred billion dollars. If they can't produce cars profitably, they need to either restructure such that they can, or they need to die and let someone else take their place. Simply propping them up is an inefficient use of resources in the long term.


By SignoR on 4/3/2009 11:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
and now they are asking for $2.6 Billion more - twice what they are even worth!


Where is the Collateral for that loan? Oh right, we the US Government doesn't care about making a profit so all is good right?
The government cannot do things productively because they have no cost-benefit analysis structure.


By FITCamaro on 4/2/2009 2:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well said.

I would say one reason why the domestic automakers are hurting in sales more than imports is partly due to fear that they'll collapse and people will be left without a warranty. Not because people don't want their cars.


By Roy2001 on 4/2/2009 5:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
So, what is your point? To give more loan to GM, aka, UAW?


By SignoR on 4/3/2009 11:32:40 AM , Rating: 3
Since you are into identifying fallacies I'll take a stab at yours

To start small..
quote:
No one predicted the severe downturn, no one.

Wrong - Peter Schiff (I cant actually watch this video at work so forgive me if its the wrong one)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f9h7OcOf-Y Schiff has been saying its been coming since 05 IIRC, and has obtained the title of Dr. Doom in the process, but he was still DEAD ON ACCURATE.

quote:
GM has so much good, but also they were shackled with UAW and very high labor costs. This lodestone around their neck presented huge problems in low cost vehicles, and let's hope they get more concessions from the UAW so they can get their labor costs in line with Toyota's. If they do, this company will come out of this fine.

The initial statement in this is 100% true there are some good aspects. However, and this ties in with a later argument, why not let them go into insolvency and liquidate the good assets and terminate link to the bad? By liquidating GM any entrepreneur or other existing company could come in and buy their assets for bottom dollar prices. They then could turn it around and begin producing again. Sure letting them go under will, for some time, cause the unemployment of GM's employees. But with the good capital reallocated into profitable hands the new owner of their assets can rehire all productive employees and, without the UAW, hire more employees albeit at a lower wage. Partial employment for less money is still desirable to unemployment.

quote:
When you think of how much money GM has paid the government in taxes, and also those downstream from it have paid (employees, car dealerships, etc...), it makes it a little easier to stomach these loans.


So, by this logic, consider the following(fictional, but plausible) circumstance.
-Exxon mobile makes huge proffits and pays huge amounts of taxes
http://www.economistblog.com/2008/08/28/exxon-mobi...
-The government bases policy decisions on a supposed 'scientific consensus' and subsidizes the green sector to hell and distorts the demand in the markets.
-Once the green tech is in place people no longer have need for oil at the CONSUMER level. (This is NOT plastics and the other uses of oil for production) Profits go down at ExMobile because they failed to adapt to the distorted market demand.
-ExMobile starts losing thousands of dollars per second due to a lack of demand.

Will you still advocate a bailout on the basis that they paid taxes in the past?
If your answer is no you are a hypocrite.
If your answer is yes you are still supporting a non profitable company. Given that the market has no demand for the consumption of oil with no turn around in sight how much should we give them to keep them in the 'suffering' phase?
quote:
I still think there's a lot of good there, and while they'll suffer for a while,


quote:
My main issue with your argument is the really short-sighted view that they should stop investing in future products. If that's what you think they should do, then I would agree with your first premise, that they'll never be profitable. You can't stop investing in R&D, or new products, and hope to become healthy.


Ideally you would invest in future products while you are still making a profit, not when you are losing money financing R&D with loans. But, I do understand we don't live in an ideal world. The big problem I see with this argument is that you assume by letting GM go under their R&D and Intellectual property just goes POOF! During insolvency and liquidation another company, say Ford, goes and buys the entire Volt project. R&D Continued! That is of course if anyone is willing to buy a project that the even the GOVERNMENT says can't be short term viable.

My other thoughts:
Anyone who says we should give them tax payer dollars to stay afloat because they paid taxes in the past and might pay taxes in the future is just naive. Demand is demand, if you need a car and really like GM cars, you can go buy one. If you like GM cars and need a car but GM is out of business what do you do? Not buy one? You buy something else. Taxes are still paid assuming the car is still made in the USA. Even a foreign company making cars in US plants have to pay income taxes in the US.I'm not up to speed on cooperate taxes but I assume only way out is to manufacture the cars offshore and ship them here, which means higher prices, and therefore a smaller value for your dollar.

What is the incentive to be productive nowadays? The past 2 administrations have been in the business of minimizing risk. People are always greedy, but the prevailing fear of loss will dissuade acting on such greed. But government bailouts and (real)negative interest loans don't do the economy any good. They dissipate the risk and the inner greed comes out. The only way our economy can truly be sound again is to reallocate(by natural market processes) capital from unproductive hands to productive hands and start producing to export and reduce the trade imbalance.

No situation is so bad that government intervention cannot make it worse

cudos if you stuck with that whole post.


RE: GM isn't as bad as people think
By 16nm on 4/3/2009 3:52:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When you think of how much money GM has paid the government in taxes, and also those downstream from it have paid (employees, car dealerships, etc...), it makes it a little easier to stomach these loans. They have contributed a lot in taxes, and also have created a lot of vehicles when we were at war.


Profits are taxed and GM have had trouble making those for a while thanks to the Japanese, and their profits have been shrinking for a very long time. But forget all that. I pay a lot of taxes; who is going to bail me out when I need it?? No one.

GM should fail or start talking to Chrysler, whom they could benefit from. You know that they were choking before the recession, and besides, other car makers, like Ford, would be stronger. As far as the dealers are concerned, most have several dealerships and won't lose many customers. People will still need cars, just fewer American made ones so less production is needed. We are not talking about the entire auto industry failing! Our money is being wasted with GM. Either they figure out how to get out of this situation on their own or they don't.


By tallcool1 on 4/2/2009 11:54:22 AM , Rating: 2
An example of typical GM waste. GM more than any other company can take one car and try to resell it under multiple badges with different trims. A buick version, a olds version, a pontiac version and a chevy version all of the same freaking car!




By chmilz on 4/2/2009 11:57:11 AM , Rating: 4
The new GM: constantly rebadging their demand for money the same way they rebadge their cars.


By MrBungle123 on 4/3/2009 11:39:17 AM , Rating: 3
so what you're saying is that nVidia and GM share the same marketing department?


By FITCamaro on 4/2/2009 12:02:25 PM , Rating: 4
A lot of car companies don't sell the exact same car from one country to the next.

They're not talking moving it from Chevy to Pontiac. They're talking move it from Chevy(US) to Opel(Europe). And a Cadillac version would be a luxury version the same as Toyota has Toyota and Lexus. Or is that dumb too?


By MozeeToby on 4/2/2009 1:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's kind of disappointing if you're right. I was hoping the money was to produce spin offs of the power train, not just re-branding and re-trimming of the Volt.

I wonder what the actual drive away cost of the Volt power train is now that the primary engineering has been done. If Chevy were to write off the R&D expenses as sunk cost and sell the Volt based on the cost of production, what would the price be? Anyone have any guesses?


By Spuke on 4/2/2009 2:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was hoping the money was to produce spin offs of the power train, not just re-branding and re-trimming of the Volt.
It may just be moving the powertrain to other platforms but frankly, creating an all new platform would be stupid and a waste of money. Better to create a new shape on the same platform with this powertrain. This would lower overall costs in the near and long terms.


By TA152H on 4/2/2009 12:07:37 PM , Rating: 3
Buick is going nowhere. Didn't you read the news they won the award, with Jaguar, for the most reliable car made? Buick and Oldsmobile were too close, but with Olds gone, and Buick having a good reputation, which just got better, I don't see any reason why they would get rid of Buick. It's a good brand to keep.


By ICBM on 4/2/2009 12:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
Who actually buys Buicks? Seniors. They are marketed towards one group of people thats it. One trick pony.

I don't buy that a Buick is any more or less reliable than a Chevy, GMC, Pontiac, etc. They just got lucky, thats it.

Cut them.


By TA152H on 4/2/2009 1:15:06 PM , Rating: 2
Can you image what people would say if they cut the brand that just won the award for most reliable?

On top of that, the baby boomers are getting older, and having a car seniors like is a really good thing. It's already a good demographic, and getting better. Why would you want to cut them?

I think Buick is safe, and should be, with Oldsmobile gone. The difference between those two wasn't really obvious. But, someone looking for a Buick is not generally going to buy a Chevy, or Pontiac, since they've got different brand images, and aren't the same anyway. They might be interested in a Cadillac, but that's a pricey car, and it might not work well for them.

I don't see them dropping Buick. It's just won an award, it caters to a growing demographic, and it's got a good reputation (deserved or not).


By rudy on 4/2/2009 2:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
Also seniors and older people tend to be more stable financially, many of them on retirement are not effected by the economy. This is a great market to target at a time like this. Olds was just to close and no one with any other company really had a competitor in this market. So they needed to get rid of one of them.


By ICBM on 4/2/2009 3:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
How many seniors out there would buy a Toyota or Honda? Some maybe, but not many. They want to stay with the good old American brands they have known. Cut Buick, and they would naturally make the move to Chevy. The idea is to cut overhead, and Buick is overhead. GMC first though, then Chevy. Sure you can argue and say "but GMC is selling well, why cut them?" Because it costs money to run GMC, when they are already spending that money on Chevy which sells the EXACT same thing, minus the front grill and steering wheel.


By mindless1 on 4/3/2009 2:01:19 PM , Rating: 3
False, not only seniors but many people buy Buick because they want more *luxury* than a Chevy offers but not so much as to pay a Cadillac, Toyota or Honda premium for a larger-midsize automobile.

Buick isn't overhead, it's quite on-target for what the average person wants if they don't like or physically can't fit into a small automobile.

Chevy isn't exactly the same thing. Chevy is always targeted towards the low-end in any size of car besides the sports car models and trucks so it would make as much sense to either get rid of Chevy trucks or GMC trucks, one or the other. Besides those, we might say Chevy is the least desirable major brand of American car after Chrysler.

However, the whole concept of doing away with car brands because they are the same thing is a bit beside the point, when cars share a common platform there isn't as much overhead as you might think, how much overhead is there really in making a differently styled grill, remembering that GM is the 2nd largest automaker so the volume is there to do this moreso than two different automakers having entirely different cars with more overhead than that.


By FITCamaro on 4/2/2009 2:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Buick is also incredibly popular in China.


By FITCamaro on 4/2/2009 2:10:04 PM , Rating: 5
And I'd buy a Buick if they brought back the Grand National.


By Doormat on 4/2/2009 12:20:22 PM , Rating: 3
The problem with bankruptcy is that GM's suppliers will stop being paid immediately. At lot of the suppliers are also close to bankruptcy. Those suppliers also provide parts to Ford and Chrysler. As desirable it might seem for many of the posters here to shred union contracts under bankruptcy, there are many undesirable side effects to filing for bankruptcy.


Bias much?
By FITCamaro on 4/2/2009 11:59:34 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
"GM is at least one generation behind Toyota on advanced, ‘green’ powertrain development..."


Really? So a power train that offers better potential fuel economy and is more modular than Toyotas is behind? The thing that makes the Volt's system so great is that it isn't based off the gasoline engine. You can easily exchange the gas engine for a diesel engine, natural gas, a fuel cell, etc. The Prius though can't function without its engine. Sure you could swap it to diesel but thats it. The Volt is ready to go with whatever source of power generation GM chooses.

But yes, its expensive.




RE: Bias much?
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 4/2/2009 12:15:27 PM , Rating: 3
Well actually, the quote says that GM is one generation behind. This is first generation technology, so not proven. Who wants to buy a first gen anything from GM? Toyota is on its third generation hybrid drive, and it has been selling them since the mid-1990's. That is a longer track record as well.

In any event, they made this a $40K hybrid when Toyota's average is in the low-20's. Honda already went bust on the Accord hybrids because no one bought them in that segment. So I think there was a marketing mistake here.

I don't think they actually cost this much, though. There is a $7,500 tax credit on them in the US, which equates to the buyer giving GM $7,500 extra, and the government giving it back to the buyer... or a reach around hand out to GM!


RE: Bias much?
By Keeir on 4/2/2009 12:31:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
In any event, they made this a $40K hybrid when Toyota's average is in the low-20's. Honda already went bust on the Accord hybrids because no one bought them in that segment. So I think there was a marketing mistake here.


You can usually tell those that are at least mildly anti-GM/Volt by the price they give the Volt. GM has never once given an estimate for the price of the Volt. They have made vague statements Mid to High 30,000s.

My guess is they will try hard to get the base price to be less than 37,500 so they can claim the overall car is less than 30,000 with rebate... Left-Number Syndrome being what it is..

It also makes a huge difference based on the warranty testing of the batteries. Since they are required in to be giving a 10 year battery warranty on a potential high failure item that will probably cost 3-6,000 (if you believe Telsa this number could be as low as 3,000)...


RE: Bias much?
By WTFiSJuiCE on 4/2/2009 4:26:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You can usually tell those that are at least mildly anti-GM/Volt by the price they give the Volt. GM has never once given an estimate for the price of the Volt. They have made vague statements Mid to High 30,000s.

My guess is they will try hard to get the base price to be less than 37,500 so they can claim the overall car is less than 30,000 with rebate... Left-Number Syndrome being what it is..


Did you really just micro slam him for relying on virtual estimates and then give your own after the fact? And then to make it that much more hilarious, only differ in virtual pricing by around 2500$?


RE: Bias much?
By Keeir on 4/2/2009 6:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. The important difference is that I clearly stated my was a guess and the source of that guess, IE the desire for the marketing material to say "less than 30,000 dollars".

The "facts" on Volt Pricing

* No one, even GM currently knows the MSRP of the Volt. GM will have difficulty setting a reasonable MSRP before long-term durability testing of the most important component has been "completed".

* All pricing guesstimates (they have never been given in a form that is based on a clear engineering estimate) from GM "big wigs" since the introduction of the production prototype Volt has been "Mid to High 30,000s"

* An analyst somewhere commented that the price could be as high or higher than 40,000 and the negative press has jumped on that number like crazy. I find this similar to the negative press around 1,000 dollar per KwH battery replacement costs.

When you see someone say the Volt is "40,000 or more" then you know its a GM pessimest. Its no different than when you see someone compare a Prius/Insight to the absolute base model Corrola/Civic. These people have a slight bias against hybrids since they often try to compare apples to oranges in terms of features to develop a "hybrid cost premium" that is larger than it really is...

Your right in that the end difference is only 2,500. But large numbers of studies have shown the very real effect of the change of the left most digit. The change from 39,000--> 40,000 is a more negative change than 38,000 --> 39,000.

My post was clearly ment to remind people that the Volt is not -yet- a 40,000 hybrid. Its a car with no MSRP which the best guesses (which are total guesses) by the company building it is between 35,000-40,000. It could easily be the 37,500 hybrid. Dailytech and the majority of posters have been unreasonably negative about the Volt since they saw the fancy concept body go away... If I were to say the Telsa Model S was a 60,000 dollar electric car that got only 150 miles of range, I would be corrected in a heartbeat. Yet, I only only rounding up the 57,400 some original guess and down the range very slightly.


RE: Bias much?
By Doormat on 4/2/2009 12:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
I would have assumed the government document was talking about the following setup..

GM Hybrid Tech First Gen (GM Today) --> Synergy Hybrid 3rd Gen (Toyota) --> Voltec (GM Future)

GM is expected to debut their 2nd generation hybrid technology in 2010, so they're a little more than one generation behind (1.3 generations?).


RE: Bias much?
By MozeeToby on 4/2/2009 1:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
Actually if you read the next line it says something about how GM is planning on leapfrogging the competition with the Volt power train.

It says that their current line of cars is at least one generation behind, which is true. Most of the GM hybrids have their electrical components bolted on almost as an afterthought.


RE: Bias much?
By Spuke on 4/2/2009 3:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
It's not an afterthought, it is that way by design intent. GM thought that consumers would be more apt to purchase a less costly hybrid, hence the "mild" hybrids in their vehicles. Turns out GM was incorrect and the consumer would either pay the full price for a hybrid or simply buy another car.


RE: Bias much?
By WTFiSJuiCE on 4/2/2009 4:33:03 PM , Rating: 2
GM's intent in developing the Volt PT was a good, but their problem was that the Volt is, thus far, going to come out in a time of economic crisis.

This is a great time to announce that you've been researching and developing such a technology, but to be actually bringing it out and hoping it revives your franchise at the cost of what first-gen technology will be priced at was and is a huge mistake and miscalculation.


RE: Bias much?
By Keeir on 4/2/2009 7:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is a great time to announce that you've been researching and developing such a technology, but to be actually bringing it out and hoping it revives your franchise at the cost of what first-gen technology will be priced at was and is a huge mistake and miscalculation.


So what is a good time to develop a 3-5 year car (volt) in the past 2 decades?

Early 1990s we had a terrible economy. Sure in 1992-1997 it picked back up again, but then we had the Dot.com burst and the Asian meltdown. 1999-2001 was okay but then 2001-2003 was pretty bad economically as well.

When the Volt program started the economy was roaring and gas prices were sky high... it was the "right" time to start the program and probably a little late. Abandoning the program now during the economic downturn is probably a bad choice for the company.

Don't delay developing the technology you believe will be the future of your company because you might have trouble selling 10,000-25,000 units a year! The Volt was not intented to and will not revive GM as a company. The lessons GM learns from building the Volt, market testing the car, and having fleet data may give them a fighting chance at developing a line of Autos that can revive GM. The original Toyota Prius was sold for 4 year only in Japan and had very poor sales in the US for a number of years before the NWH20 Prius arrived. The NHW20 Prius was the car that pushed Toyota into the "Greenseat" in the United States...


RE: Bias much?
By WTFiSJuiCE on 4/2/2009 8:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When the Volt program started the economy was roaring and gas prices were sky high... it was the "right" time to start the program and probably a little late. Abandoning the program now during the economic downturn is probably a bad choice for the company.


If that's what you got out of my statement, then I suggest you read more carefully since there was nothing in my words that stated GM should completely abandon the Volt or it's technology.

quote:
Don't delay developing the technology you believe will be the future of your company because you might have trouble selling 10,000-25,000 units a year!


I didn't say delay development, I said delay selling the first-gen technology since they have parallel projects in which they are developing 2nd and 3rd gen. versions OF this tech which will be able to be produced at lower costs.

http://earth2tech.com/2009/03/18/gm-volt-viability...

quote:
The Volt was not intented to and will not revive GM as a company.


If it wasn't, then it shouldn't be a problem to hold it back until the 2nd/3rd gen vers. are ready. Instead, they are going to push it out there and try to sell it as a loss despite having little to no cash reserves. They had better hope this economy brightens up some by the time it starts selling it.

GM is having tremendous trouble staying afloat as it is and it is not a good time to be bringing out expensive first-gen technology that hardly anyone can afford to take a chance on despite the large tax credits. Fuel efficiency is the name of the game more than ever, but only if the car is affordable to begin with.


RE: Bias much?
By Keeir on 4/2/2009 9:25:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I didn't say delay development, I said delay selling the first-gen technology since they have parallel projects in which they are developing 2nd and 3rd gen. versions OF this tech which will be able to be produced at lower costs.


2nd Gen and 3rd Gen products are sigificant better because they relay on the data that comes in from 1st Gen products. Not selling/producing the 1st Gen will lead to weaker 2nd Gen and 3rd Gen. Not producing a sellable Volt in significant quantities -IS- abandoning the program. That the purpose of the Volt. Take the technology, put it into consumer hands, get actual data.

As to being too expensive, etc etc

http://www.gm.com/corporate/investor_information/s...

GM sells in the US ALONE, 150,000 cars a month in a terrible month. Usual figures are more like 300,000 cars a month. The Volt will be a sub 25,000 units a year for the whole world project. We are talking about .1% or less of GM cars sold in 2011, 2012, etc will be Volts. IE 1/1000. The Volt can not save GM.

The Data from the Volt could save GM. GM will have the experience to build Serial Hybrids. GM will have the service data to price Serial Hybrids to make money. GM can not get this data without building and testing a large number of cars.

Since GM needs to build a -fully- functional production line, produce several thousand cars, and run tests of them for years and years in real usage condition to get useful data for Gen 2 and 3... why not sell Gen 1 at a premium to the 1/1000 person who is willing to pay a premium for the car? GM gets people to -pay- them to test thier car...

Overall, your post rings of "penny-wise" and "pound-foolish". To save a few billion dollars in getting the Gen 1 to market, you want them to spend a few (though smaller) billion of the money running the Gen 1 through interal tests and add additional risk to the billions spent developing Gen 2 and Gen 3... Let alone giving up a potential 35,000 * 25,000= 875 million dollar revenue stream.

In conclusion, I will repeat the Volt that was never intended to be a money making cash cow car for GM. It is a HALO project meant to bring people to the Showroom and hopefully rub some "greeniness" off on the real future cash cow of GM. The Chevy Cruze. It is intended to provide the feedback that let Toyota turn the lackluster NWH10/11 Prius into the blockbuster (whether you like the Prius or not, the 2004-Current Prius sell well and provide the intended experience) NWH20 Prius


No, god damnit!
By iFX on 4/3/2009 1:33:24 PM , Rating: 2
No more bailouts or loans for Christ's sake! Start selling off business units if you need the cash, General Morons.

FFS people, this socialist bullsh!t has to end at some point!




RE: No, god damnit!
By mindless1 on 4/3/2009 2:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, let's let the entire economy collapse because it seems cheaper in the short term. If we kill off all these businesses then when the economy gets better... OOPS, it won't get better if we kill them all off because we dug ourselves a deeper hole.

It's not a question of how much it costs, it's a question of whether we want loss of GDP, collapse of more than just the automaker itself including all associated businesses to the auto industry, then the reduction in tax revenue from that, then the unemployment and welfare, and further reductions in other industry wages.

Keeping GM operating is the least expensive proposition. You've been brainwashed into thinking anything which could randomly be similar to socialism is automatically bad, while what is really bad is throwing around stereotypical labels instead of taking a frank look at what the government should do to benefit citizens, keeping in mind that nobody thinks bailouts can go on indefinitely AND that other automakers are in the same boat, just a few quarters behind GM in their financial troubles.


RE: No, god damnit!
By iFX on 4/3/2009 2:49:50 PM , Rating: 2
You're out of your simple little mind. General Morons should enter bankruptcy and reorganize. During that process some jobs may be lost, but business units will be sold off, labor contracts renegotiated and things will get better for the brand. Pumping billions and billions of dollars into General Morons is NOT the answer, obviously, it hasn't worked. Now that they have the American tax payer buy the balls their other hand is ready to be filled.

Look at the UK's 40 years of socialistic, government run and subsidized auto industry - they made crap products the entire time and now those companies are gone completely along with the jobs they provided. We do NOT want to go down that road.

Get a clue you brainless taffard.


RE: No, god damnit!
By mindless1 on 4/3/2009 9:09:20 PM , Rating: 2
So without any rational thinking all you're left with is insults. Obviously you have no insight into the situation. What is "hasn't worked"? It does not have to immediately turn the entire company around, this is where your fundamental mistake is. All it has to do is spur changes, which it is, and keep them afloat until better economic times which not so coincidentally happen to come from keeping businesses operating instead of MAJOR industry collapse.

Where is this nonsense about "taxpayer by the balls" coming from? You still don't grasp reality, that there will be MORE taxable income, goods, services, with the industry including GM intact, and LESS expenses when we avoid the government programs that will end up bailing out individuals left impoverished after such a collapse.

Look at it a different way. Is your kitchen faucet profitable? If it doesn't work so you pay to fix the problem doesn't it still make sense to do so because you need it? Same with the auto industry, the products and jobs.


Ummm...
By Motoman on 4/2/2009 2:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
...I am just curious, because I don't honestly know...

Has anyone engaged in a study to determine whether or not we can really support large numbers of electric cars and/or hybrids that need to be plugged in to recharge?

I'm guessing that you'd want 220v lines at the house to recharge from...or is the 110v good enough to recharge in acceptable time frames? And will the grid support the movement of that much more amperage?

...I'll leave discussions as to how we're going to generate that power (coal, nuke, whatever) off for now.




RE: Ummm...
By Spuke on 4/2/2009 5:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Has anyone engaged in a study to determine whether or not we can really support large numbers of electric cars and/or hybrids that need to be plugged in to recharge?
No study that I know of has been done but I know for sure CA doesn't have the capacity for large electric car usage. We don't have enough capacity to run everyone's A/C units in the summer. And before someone chimes in with off-peak crap, if a few million people charge their cars on off-peak hours then demand does up during off-peak hours eliminating the off-peak hours. Do you really think that the energy companies are going to keep the same rates with that increased demand? I know I wouldn't.


RE: Ummm...
By Keeir on 4/2/2009 7:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
I have not seen an actual study paper either

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120969297862161675...

refers to two studies... One study, probably very optomistic, estimates Electric demand would rise only ~15% if all light duty cars became electric. My personal rise would be around 55% per car, but I use incredibly small levels of electricity at home. If I add in my work and entertainment electricity the percentage might fall significantly.

Another study, by an institute that is anti-plug-in, says electrical prices would double if everyone used plug-in automobiles. The Oak Ridge Lab. I refer to as "anti-plug-in" because they have used figures such as 1,000 dollar per KwH replacement costs for batteries and assumed 100% coal power supply to say plug-in autos give off more C02 than "Traditional" hybrids and cost significant more.


$10.3 BILLION for the ******* Volt?
By thornburg on 4/2/2009 2:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This time around, GM is asking for $2.6 billion USD in low-interest loans to develop more vehicles based on the Chevrolet Volt platform. GM is already seeking $7.7 billion USD from a U.S. Department of Energy program to aid automakers in the development of fuel efficient vehicles.


So, how much does it cost to develop AND produce some very fuel efficient cars, anyway? What has the TOTAL BUDGET for Tesla motors been, since inception? I doubt it is $10.3 BILLION.

This is completely ridiculous. I wonder how much it cost VW to develop their super-efficient compact cars they sell in Europe? I highly doubt it was $10 Billion for one platform.

GM has been mismanaged and ended up on the wrong side of some risky decisions. It's time to stop propping them up. If the US Goverment has $10 Billion to throw at the problem, offer the money to Ford & the foreign manufacturers if they hire the GM employees who lose their jobs. $10B will pay for a LOT of workers for a long time.




By Darkskypoet on 4/2/2009 3:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
One platform??? Umm. Sorry. but no. You should do some checking on their already developed and currently (publicly / military) testing Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles, you know the one that went to the Darpa challenge? The Volt is a bid to get into a platform that can be spread over a number of vehicles. Don't think Cavalier / sunfire... Think Cavalier, Malibu, Impala; all using much the same drivetrain, but Battery cap and size reduced or enlarged as needed. GM is wanting to have a line of Serial hybrids, as the standard arguments about Electric cars (like they had over 10 years ago) are not applicable with the addition of an alt fuel power source (gas , diesel, propane, LNG, CNG, etc). As well it combats the issues with a parallel system (engine needs to be running to do almost anything involved in getting the car moving at speed). Which means real driving on a solely electric system. Added to that, is the exceptionally simple ability to DRASTICALLY increase range, with the simple upgrade of a battery pack. (IE Scalable for years and years to come)

We're not talking about a Pontiac Volt, a Chevy Volt, a buick volt, etc. For the 2.6 billion, we're talking different platforms in different market segments using volt tech.

For the 7.x billion, we're talking about capitalizing on the billions they've already spent on Military / Commercial / Civilian R&D for products already working in limited numbers in various applications. Hydrogen Fuel Cells, advanced batteries, cooling systems, chemical catalysts, etc etc etc. The sheer amount of IP that GM holds is astounding, never mind the patents. The main reason GM deserves to sticks round, in a sense, is that it is THE major brain trust of manufacturing anything to do with Motorized vehicles in North America, including a crap tonne of Military projects.

Its sad though... I mean you people do realize GM isn't just a car company right? I mean it owns stakes (or as subsidiaries) satellite companies, military equipment manufactures, sensitive tech, and IP?

If you really want GM gone, Just walk over and give it to the Chinese. Cause if it goes up on the Auction block, no one else has the capital to buy them. Kiss any manufacturing R&D, and technical advantage the U.S Might still have over the Chinese good bye. They'll own it lock stock and barrel.


By Spuke on 4/2/2009 3:37:47 PM , Rating: 2
Where are you getting 10B from? Ford spent 1B on the original Focus. Starting a particular car line from scratch is indeed expensive. Tesla is a VERY small, niche car company that's only sold 300 cars. LOL! And these cars are toys, not commuters, grocery getters or long distance family haulers. That's a FAR cry from the MILLIONS of cars that GM, Toyota, and the like sell in a month. There's no comparison here.


By Chudilo on 4/2/2009 11:59:32 AM , Rating: 2
Having similar competing cars across multiple brands is one of the big reasons of how they got into trouble in the first place.
Are they seriously this detached from reality? And if so, perhaps splitting them up is the right thing to do.




By Jalek on 4/3/2009 1:00:05 AM , Rating: 2
Opel's apparently going ahead, unless the administration steps in there too. It depends on what specifically GM owns I suppose.

With Obama's plan to be able to tell the Sec Treas to liquidate companies at will, it's only a matter of time anyway. He gets displeased with them and he can shut down the company and liquidate it's assets.

Anyone that wants GM cars can get Opel imports then.
Manufacturing's a dirty job, one Americans probably aren't willing to do anyway.


Is this new money?
By Doormat on 4/2/2009 12:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
If I recall, GM asked for billions of dollars for Volt development within the last month. Is this the same request or an additional one?




RE: Is this new money?
By Spuke on 4/2/2009 5:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
Same one.


Volt Newsflash
By donjuancarlos on 4/2/2009 8:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
Hello, people, can't anyone see that the Volt is a pie-in-the-sky idea that is not going to work? It's a great feel-good concept, but if a $22000 Prius is becoming a tougher sell in a tough economy, what is the Volt? A PR stunt. A "Please, we are a well-meaning forward-thinking enviro-conscious American company" PR stunt. It's the Moller Skycar of GM. It's an idea well ahead of current technology.

I would bet my life savings that this car will never ever be available for sale at a car lot.




RE: Volt Newsflash
By Jalek on 4/3/2009 12:53:05 AM , Rating: 2
It's pretty much dead, though it's what I originally thought when I first heard the term "hybrid".

Even the Prius can't touch a Geo Metro for mileage. It's too bad those were made illegal by politicians.


GM's problems
By texbrazos on 4/2/2009 8:18:19 PM , Rating: 4
Hi,
I worked for a Chevy Dealer for 6 years up until about 3 months ago. GM's problems go alot further than you all may realize. I was involved with ordering the vehicles for the dealership and websites. I worked very close with the people at GM.
First, GM's vehicle ordering systems are a complete mess, it is like the staff that originally developed the program was fired or quit. It is very bad, I cringed every time I had orders to place, because I knew something would get screwed up and it would be my butt, not the people at GM.
Second, GM has Alot of people that have jobs that are not needed and people in those positions that were not qualified. Such as the area sales managers. They go from dealer to dealer trying to sell the dealers inventory and telling them how good or bad they are doing. Hell, GM even has people on staff that go take vacations to test out the places before others go there. That is all these staff members do!!! I was also aware of a person that was going to be put in charge of the internet sales for GM, and this person was a 50 year old that knew nothing about internet sales. At best they knew how to buy something online. It's pretty sad, these people used to come to me for their computer and internet problems. To boot the problems were almost always minor, something that a 10 year old today knows how to fix.
GM's incentives try to confuse the consumer and their own dealers, they change them many times a month and make them very difficult to understand. How about this, price the products right in the first place.
GM's has a lot of lip service going on, it is a broken company. In essence one hand does not know what the other is doing, to sum it all up.
Take the GM Hywire, When I stated 6 years ago I had hope for this product. 6 years later and billions and billions of dollars later they show it again I believe at a Car Show in France. There have been no advancements. It's the same information I saw years ago. It's too bad GM doesn't step up and become an innovator and a mavrick. I believe hydrogen powered vehicles are the future, GM acts like they are going to produce them but that is just an act. If GM and let's say Exxon got together to make this happen they would make money hand over fist. I am not sure why they don't just do it. Most major cities have a hydrogen production facility in place, it can also be made on location at a gas station. There are many answers to their problems, but it seems they just don't know what direction to go. I think they are just followers, with out any real innovation or intellegence. Take this bright idea, GM came out with the hybrid tahoe at $51,000 or so. They stepped outside the normal allocation process, which is where dealers tell GM how many of these they want. GM decided to go ahead and build lots and lots full of them. What do you think happened? They did not sell. We sold 1 in a year. They were priced wrong, if they would have been priced at $35,000 they would have sold like hot cakes. There was alot of interest in the product but no one could afford one. I wonder if the person with this bright idea still works there? To top it off, a friend of mine bought a $300 hydrogen converter online and installed it on his tahoe and gets about 5 mpg better.
Here is something else to think about. Have you seen a Chevy Colorado or Trailblazer, Isuzu also have these versions with different badging and front clips. The potiac torrent is a chevy equinox. There are a couple of saturns that are really Chevys. These are just a few of the cloans. Also, why do you need GMC when you have Chevy? As you can see GM's problems run very deep. They need a new start and emerge as a solid company with solid values. You know they intentionally built inferior products to boost parts and service sales??? What a bunch of crap. Wagoner admitted this recently. We don't need companies we can't trust? GM is one of them, they mislead and are taking the American people for a ride. I wouldn't doubt they are close in bed with the big oil companies.




The Problem Here
By clovell on 4/2/2009 1:03:37 PM , Rating: 3
The problem here is one that I'm keenly aware of, as I work in pharma R&D. R&D of a new new product often takes not only a significant outlay of funds, but also time. In the time it takes to go from concept to prototype to test-type to market, the market changes.

With an average development time of 8-10 years in the pharma industry, you have to be smart about this. You can't gear your R&D towards the consumer demand of today - you have to base it off your project's timelines. This drives at the heart of GM's issues.

Lack of proper planning is what has put GM in the hole they're in now. They have busied themselves with only addressing the demands of the present.

Ironically enough, our government is doing much the same thing - not in this issue, but others like repaying our national debt, fixing social security, etc. Not that I have some sort of magic bullet for any of this, but as the old adage holds, so does it's inverse: "If it is broken, then fix it". Nobody seems to want to tackle these issues.




Correction to Article Title
By Aeonic on 4/3/2009 10:32:32 AM , Rating: 3
General Motors Asks You for $2.6B USD for Volt Spinoffs

That being said, I think the Volt is a good idea, but I don't think even a successful Volt platform is going to save GM. I think their problems require a significant restructure and change of culture from a bloated, inefficient, and arrogant 1950's company, to a shrewd, streamlined, and smart company that can compete.




Gotta love it
By PitViper007 on 4/2/2009 1:08:46 PM , Rating: 2
Here we have a story about GM and its trouble and woes, and the ad to the side of the story, for me anyway, is one for Ford. You just have to love that.




By kilkennycat on 4/4/2009 3:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"GM earns a large share of its profits from high-margin trucks and SUVs, which are vulnerable to a continuing shift in consumer preference to smaller vehicles," noted the task force in GM's viability summary. "Additionally, while the Chevy Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term."


Nail hit on head. Other than myopic US "patriots", how many are going to buy this inflated-price ($35,000 and rising) piece of junk, with the huge selection of reliable hybrids ranging from ~ $17,000 (Yaris hybrid) upwards that are going to be available when (er, if) the Volt hits the market. Certainly, little or no sales outside the US, other than to car-geeks looking for future rarity "collectors' items". The task force has it right --- where are all the GM and Chrysler hybrid cars that are going to head-to-head compete with the hybrid offerings from Honda and Toyota in the AFFORDABLE mass-market price ranges? GM has been flogging this one-horse pony/"green"-elephant as hard as possible to con the government (er, taxpayers) out of even more money than has been already thrown down this particular rat-hole. The sooner GM and Chrysler are pushed into bankruptcy the better. They will get there anyway, short of a 3rd-party acquisition miracle, taking even more taxpayers' money with them if their death-dances are allowed to continue.




GM = Government Motors
By Machinegear on 4/2/2009 12:02:30 PM , Rating: 1
I like Toyota's and Audi's, only a personal preference; however I find it sad to see GM ask permission from government on their business decisions. Can we please put this poor, once grand company, out of their misery?




Bankruptcy = Good!
By Smokey48 on 4/5/2009 10:44:44 PM , Rating: 1
Literally hundreds of U.S. automakers have gone out of business in the U.S. over the past century. Remember Nash? American Motors?

Bankruptcy allows a company to reorganize -- and if possible to stay in business. But the politicians are scared shitless of losing votes, so they take actions that stick it to every American in the 49 States that are not Detroit, MI.

The America I loved is gone, replaced by the George Soros/Nancy Pelosi/Barry 0bama contingent. So sad.




"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation














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