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Third generation Toyota Prius
Even mighty Toyota can't escape harsh economic times

The downturn in the economy isn't only affecting the Big 3 as some may wish to believe. The credit crunch coupled with massive job losses has led to a serious downturn in car sales as well. While the Big 3 have definitely been hit the hardest, even industry stalwarts like Toyota and Honda are finding that they can't be as aggressive as they have been in the past with their development/production cycle.

In the case of Toyota, the company has put the brakes on its eighth North American automobile plant. "Due to the uncertainty of the market, it is impossible to say at this time when production will begin," noted the company in a press statement. "Toyota continues to evaluate its operations globally and reduce production as necessary to match the weak market."

Workers at the new $300M Mississippi assembly plant -- which currently stands at 90% complete -- were to build current and future versions of the Prius hybrid. However, even Toyota's fuel-efficient Prius hasn't been able to escape lagging sales numbers. According to Reuters, Prius sales were down 48% for November year-over-year.

The steep drop in Prius sales, along with a 34% decline in automobile sales altogether for Toyota in November, and a 92-day car inventory are all cited as reasons for slowing down its expansion plans.

Reuters adds that Toyota will still complete the outer structure of the Mississippi assembly plant, but will instead wait to install the production machinery at a later date.

Toyota's next generation Prius will makes its official debut next year at the Detroit Auto Show. The vehicle, however, was first leaked on the internet in October.

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So Wait...
By Gzus666 on 12/16/2008 9:53:21 AM , Rating: 5
When there is a recession and car buying slows down, it affects all car manufacturers and they should cut production to match the decreased demand? NO F'IN WAY!!

RE: So Wait...
By TomZ on 12/16/2008 9:55:53 AM , Rating: 5
Actually, this is going to be news to most Americans, who think only the Big Three are having problems due to their own incompetence. The reality is that the automotive industry in general is in the toilet - Toyota and Honda included.

RE: So Wait...
By Gzus666 on 12/16/2008 10:12:17 AM , Rating: 4
I normally lean towards people being pretty stupid, but when an economy is in the toilet, I really don't think anyone is that surprised by it. I have a feeling people assume that cause the news talk about Detroit more, they are somehow more hit by the recession than others. The reality is, they are just poorly run.

RE: So Wait...
By Gzus666 on 12/16/2008 10:18:17 AM , Rating: 3
Just realized this is probably a bit misworded. What I meant was people think that other people think that because the news is always talking about Detroit in trouble, the average person thinks they are the only ones hit by the recession. From what I have encountered, they all seem to realize it was just bad management.

RE: So Wait...
By phxfreddy on 12/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: So Wait...
By Lord 666 on 12/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: So Wait...
By omnicronx on 12/16/2008 11:09:27 AM , Rating: 3
Whats your point here? That all Prius drivers are smug Obama supporting smokers? I guess that means all truck drivers are troop supporting, bush lovers because they all have a 'support our troops' sticker.. Oh and they all listen to country music of course..

You see what you want to see.. just like when you learn a new word, you start noticing it far more while reading, even though you have probably seen it many times before.

RE: So Wait...
By Lord 666 on 12/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: So Wait...
By twhittet on 12/16/2008 11:48:22 AM , Rating: 4
"another milestone in smugness....instead of driving a Prius and its a "I voted for Obama" pin."
"Prius drivers are smokers and Obama is a smoker."
"My wife and I now have a new game while driving in counting people driving priuses and smoking. We went 3/3 with one car having two smokers. Can't tell you how many Priuses I've seen with Obama08 stickers on them"

I think by both the transitive and the associative theory, that yes, you think all Prius drivers are smug, Obama supporting smokers, and that you have difficulty reading your own post.

RE: So Wait...
By Dharl on 12/16/2008 12:28:01 PM , Rating: 2
... or he could be saying that the Flavor of the Month for these mindless people is to now Drive a Prius and Smoke.

Driving the Prius = Attempting to be Greenier
Smoking = Like their Idol Obama

At least that's how I read his post. Then again what do I know... when I see a Prius I think of Jeff Dunham.

RE: So Wait...
By Gzus666 on 12/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: So Wait...
By Dharl on 12/16/2008 2:07:57 PM , Rating: 5
So a Prius brings thoughts of bad comedy? That must suck.

I'll kill you! ~Akhmed

RE: So Wait...
By Lord 666 on 12/16/2008 1:43:35 PM , Rating: 1
Generally speaking, yes.

I find it ironic that certain people who are interested in Priuses also smoke. To me, its an oxymoron as these are the same people who brag they get 45mpg or convert to plug-in thus sticking it to Big Oil. Yet, they do this with a butt hanging from their mouth and are owned by Big Tobacco. If you compare the gasoline savings driving a Prius vs. the overall lifetime costs of smoking (dollar and health), these people are complete morons and hypocrites.

The same for Obama who promised to stop smoking yet dodged questions if he fell off the wagon. For Obama, it is about integrity. If you make a commitment, stick to it.

RE: So Wait...
By Davelo on 12/16/2008 3:47:45 PM , Rating: 4
I don't see what the big deal about a smoking Obama. If the man wants to smoke so be it. Whatever happened to freedom in this country? As long as his smoke is not bothering anybody, so what.

RE: So Wait...
By djc208 on 12/16/2008 3:52:51 PM , Rating: 4
Funny part is Obama drives (or drove) a Chrysler 300C with the 5.7L HEMI. Which is about as far from a Prius as you can get.

Comes in handy for outrunning people in Priuses though.

RE: So Wait...
By Nik00117 on 12/16/2008 4:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
Thats actually a very fun car to drive.

I don't care about fuel effienecy.

My dream car is a Dodge Viper (have plans to pick one up in 3 years)

I sell Chrysler 300Cs which is what your referring too. You hop into one hit the gas and feel the smile go across your face.

RE: So Wait...
By Guttersnipe on 12/16/2008 12:20:27 PM , Rating: 3
basically yea, smug.

instead of doing something like supporting american makes who give their workers things progressives say they are for like healthcare..they'd rather buy foreign and sip on their fair trade coffee like the frauds they are.

RE: So Wait...
By itzmec on 12/16/2008 4:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
nah, i'd say most people buy imports because they still run good after 100,000 mi

RE: So Wait...
By Guttersnipe on 12/17/2008 12:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
no longer true. american makes crept back up the consumer reports reliability reports long ago.

if you want to know what we are up against, the economist had an article a while back that mentioned how nationalistic the car purchasing habits of countries like germany/france/japan are. it goes way beyond any potential quality differences. perhaps we should do the same.

RE: So Wait...
By TomZ on 12/16/2008 12:51:21 PM , Rating: 5
Nah, I look at another milestone in smugness... election of Obama. There is now a new status symbol for these people instead of driving a Prius and its a "I voted for Obama" pin.

I'm proud to say that I voted against Obama. While I of course hope that he does some good for our country - we can use an exceptional leader right now - I'm against the liberal, socialist agenda he seems to support. Hopefully I'm wrong and he moves more towards the center - you know - the center where most Americans are!

RE: So Wait...
By Gzus666 on 12/16/2008 12:57:42 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe you didn't realize this, but the point of voting is to vote for the person you deem best for the job, not against someone you don't like or against a particular party.

RE: So Wait...
By rcc on 12/16/2008 1:07:35 PM , Rating: 2
But sometimes in our system, all you can do is vote for the person you think will do the least damage in the next 4 years. Isn't that sad.

So, while I'd like to be able to agree with you, it's not always true.

And yes, I realize you can vote for anyone you want. But the reality today is that a vote for anyone other than the two major parties is a waste of a vote, a meaningless statement to make people feel better about themselves. Hopefully that will change some day, but for now it's the system we have.

RE: So Wait...
By Sahkuhnder on 12/16/2008 2:45:03 PM , Rating: 5
Once more we voters were stuck having to choose between Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich.

I would love to someday get to vote FOR someone for President instead of having to vote AGAINST the choice that I think will do the most damage.

RE: So Wait...
By FITCamaro on 12/17/2008 8:58:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah and he did that. Voting for McCain wasn't fun. But as far as who I trusted to keep our country safe and not shove a complete socialist regime down our throats, he won the argument.

McCain is far from conservative. But at least he wasn't pushing for massive increases in government spending. And while he believes in amnesty, I don't think he'd pursue it with the same gusto that Obama will. Same with the cap and trade system.

My only hope is that Obama and our new liberal controlled Congress screws things up enough that people realize their mistake but not so much that we can't fix it after they're all gone.

RE: So Wait...
By Felofasofa on 12/16/2008 7:33:26 PM , Rating: 1
I'm proud to say that I voted against Obama.

No doubt you are still wearing your Sarah Palin pin.

RE: So Wait...
By TomZ on 12/17/2008 12:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
In this voter's opinion, the choice of Palin was totally idiotic. The concept of "maverick" never really resonated with voters.

RE: So Wait...
By eyebeeemmpawn on 12/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: So Wait...
By Amiga500 on 12/16/2008 10:47:07 AM , Rating: 2
Hey brain-dead.

Did you not happen to notice the market crashed under a Republican President?

RE: So Wait...
By omnicronx on 12/16/2008 11:17:08 AM , Rating: 5
Nope, its Obamas fault, and Clinton, Kennedy and don't forget Roosevelt.. but I think we all know that we can trace back all fault to Jefferson.. He really should have seen this one coming.

RE: So Wait...
By Expunge on 12/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: So Wait...
By ebakke on 12/16/2008 11:37:04 AM , Rating: 4
Back in the real world, it's rarely the fault of just one person or party. This situation is no different, and the reality is, all three of the aforementioned men share blame in the current economic fiasco. So do others.

RE: So Wait...
By Gzus666 on 12/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: So Wait...
By ebakke on 12/16/2008 11:51:21 AM , Rating: 5
In their defense, it is much easier to be a sheep.

RE: So Wait...
By othercents on 12/16/2008 1:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yup.. a sheep following a wolf. I don't see any problems with that. No wonder the wolf rarely gets hurt.

RE: So Wait...
By rcc on 12/16/2008 1:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of who's majority, etc. The blame lies squarely on those 535 people. Everyone else is along for the ride. Others can influence those 535, but only to the extent that the Senators and Representatives let them. Which is generally entirely too much.

RE: So Wait...
By ebakke on 12/16/2008 1:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the people within the industries that are in trouble. Management in several businesses share some of the blame as well.

RE: So Wait...
By othercents on 12/16/2008 1:54:42 PM , Rating: 2
They are our elected officials and we are their voice. While we like to blame them for making these decisions ultimately we were the ones who decided which decision they should make. This was done by either not voicing our opinion or voicing the wrong opinion.


RE: So Wait...
By rcc on 12/17/2008 4:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'd have to disagree with that to some extent.

While we the peeps did in fact elect them, we did so based on what they told us they would do. What they actually do after getting hit by lobbyists is another story entirely. So, I stand by my original premise.

However, it is incumbent on us to give them immediate and plentiful feed back when they do something we don't like, or do like for that matter. And also to get their asses out of there if their actions are not in compliance with the majority of the people in their areas.

That is the part that we the peeps fall down on most severely.

RE: So Wait...
By Fanon on 12/16/2008 3:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
I agree mostly with you. Freddie and Fannie getting to the point it did is the fault of members of the Democrat party. However, Republicans and Democrats alike voted for the bailout, and the President signed it. So while the initial problem was due to one party, both parties, as a whole, are to blame.

RE: So Wait...
By itzmec on 12/16/2008 4:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
nah, the blame is on the people who voted in the libs and the rightys

RE: So Wait...
By mvpx02 on 12/16/2008 11:24:54 AM , Rating: 4
A president's economic policy is best evaluated by viewing the 5-10 years after his term ends.

Clinton benefitted from one of the greatest technological booms we've ever had (and spent money like it was his job). The economy was destined for a big "reset" well before Bush ever took office.

I've always felt that part of the reason we went to war was to delay and smooth out the fall.

Most of the bad mortgages we're dealing with now were the result of Clinton Administration policies mandating weaker requirements for lending as well as more diversified lending, regardless of individual qualifications.

It's not one president's fault, it's not really any one person's fault, and it's not even necessarily a bad thing. Economics is cyclical.

The best thing is to keep moving forward and let it work itself out. The one thing we don't need is someone to come in and get us tied-into a bunch of socialist long-term spending plans (in attempt to "fix it") which will just hamper the economy in the long run (see Social Security)...


RE: So Wait...
By neihrick1 on 12/16/2008 11:31:13 AM , Rating: 2
pretty much, people that weren't even alive were getting loans. People were lying about incomes without it being checked. and then when banks found that people were unable to pay back, they closed on them, and then raised interest rates on everyone else to recoup. that led to more people being unable to pay, and it just kept piling up. and here we are people in debt, banks in debt, credit is gonna be screwed for a while.

RE: So Wait...
By eyebeeemmpawn on 12/16/2008 12:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the bad mortgages we're dealing with now were the result of Clinton Administration policies mandating weaker requirements for lending as well as more diversified lending, regardless of individual qualifications.

You can't blame Clinton for the greedy, predatory lending. Regardless of policy, if you give some one a variable interest loan based upon their income, then jack up the rate so there is no way they are able to pay, there is going to be a problem.

RE: So Wait...
By othercents on 12/16/2008 2:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
What do you expect people to do something that is contrary to their nature? Tighter controls is better to weed out those people who are greedy and predatory. However that wasn't the only problem. When good lenders were punish for not making enough sub-prime loans then you start to mess with the balance of the system.

However if this was the only problem then we wouldn't have the current housing crisis we see today. It took multiple issues to cause the problem. Greedy lenders, overzealous sales people, uninformed buyers, and an overall financial slowdown.

America has been living on credit and we need to start looking at being debt free with savings to spare.


RE: So Wait...
By Ringold on 12/16/2008 3:21:34 PM , Rating: 3
You can't blame Clinton for the greedy, predatory lending.

What an excuse. We need to make up our minds in this nation if we are adults after age 18 or not. If so, then you need to get over it. If not, then we need to push the drinking age way back, and perhaps not allow "children" to enter in to legally binding contracts of any kind before the age of, what, 30? 40?

There was some acupunturist woman in Miami on the evening news the other night. She'd bought 4 or 5 homes with 'exotic' mortgages during the peak. She straight up admitted she didn't shop around for rates, she didn't even look at loan documents, and she had no understanding of the mortgage products in the least. And yet she went ahead and obligated herself to who knows how many millions of dollars worth of debt repayments. I say she was an irresponsible adult who should be forced in to bankruptcy due to her own idiocy. You apparently feel bad for her because predatory lenders should've, what, held her hand and read her loan documents to her, talking down in language a 1st grader could understand just to be safe?

When did individual responsibility become illegal? Did Carter do that and I didn't notice?

RE: So Wait...
By TomZ on 12/16/2008 6:17:31 PM , Rating: 3
When did individual responsibility become illegal?
I agree with you on this point, but the responsibility (or lack thereof) also has to be shared with the industry. Banks should not have made loans where there was a high liklihood of the lender not being able to keep their obligations. It is very clear that loan standards had become too low - there developed a great incentive for lenders to take on way too much risk.

RE: So Wait...
By Fanon on 12/16/2008 4:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
Greedy and predatory or not, they were forced into that position, or they would've been punished for refusing the loan. The ultimate bad guy in this whole mess is government and its involvement in business.

RE: So Wait...
By Solandri on 12/17/2008 6:47:51 AM , Rating: 2
Regardless of policy, if you give some one a variable interest loan based upon their income, then jack up the rate so there is no way they are able to pay, there is going to be a problem.

That's a really cynical way to view people. I mean the people getting the loans, not the lenders. You seem to be implying that the people getting the loans were incapable of determining for themselves how much they could afford to pay.

There are two parties to any business transaction. It is the responsibility of each party to insure that the transaction meets their needs and capabilities - to look out for their own best interests. The lenders did not raise the interest rates. They fully disclosed (in most cases) that the interest rate was tied to the Fed discount rate. It is not the lender's responsibility to determine if a variable rate can be tolerated by the borrower's future finances. It is the borrower's responsibility.

Where the system broke on the lender's side was that the people making the loans immediately turned around and resold the loans to someone else (sometimes to investors, sometimes to Fannie and Freddie). As long as someone else was buying those loans, that relieved them from any need to properly assess the risk of default. That opened up the door to improper documentation for the loans, essentially allowing them to lie about the actual risk involved - who cares about that if you aren't the one finally accepting that risk?

You can believe both lenders and borrowers made bad decisions and thus both bear blame for the mortgage mess. Or you can believe borrowers were idiots who were incapable of properly assessing their finances, and thus only the lenders are to blame. Personally I prefer the former.

RE: So Wait...
By ebakke on 12/16/2008 11:49:41 AM , Rating: 5
The President controls the stock market?! Son of a! Here I was, buying and selling stocks under the assumption that everyone else was doing the same and that these purchases/sales were what determined the price. I figured if a bunch of people sold, the price would go down and I could buy it for less (obviously hoping to sell it after other schmucks bought, and drove the price up). Man... I'm going to need a new strategy.

RE: So Wait...
By mvpx02 on 12/16/2008 11:51:01 AM , Rating: 2
lol, I'd vote you up if I hadn't already replied

RE: So Wait...
By Amiga500 on 12/16/2008 1:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
According to the person I replied to, the democrats control the stock market...

I was simply pointing out a rather large fallacy in his argument. :-)

RE: So Wait...
By eyebeeemmpawn on 12/16/2008 12:45:24 PM , Rating: 5
We have the infrastructure with the internet to have a noncoercive libertarian democracy yet we have what amounts to a Wall Street / Washington Financial Dictatorship.

The Federal Reserve is a scary thing, but it has nothing to do democrats or republicans. I has everything to do with greed and control.

Thus I encourage any and all economic lessons to be taught. Only when this veil of ignorance and creep towards full on National Socialism will stop.

We've had full blown national socialism for a long time in this country...for the corporations. For everyone else there is cut-throat capitalism. It seems the veil of ignorance enshrouds even you.

NEVER underestimate the collective ignorance of the people. They vote democrat do they not? You know...the party that has not had a single new idea since 1930!

If your still pointing fingers and blaming democrats/republicans you need to wake up. The political system on the national level is horribly corrupt; you and I get to vote for who gets to sell their vote to Washington lobbyists.

We need:

1) Campaign Finance Reform
2) To put the Reins on the profiteer in the Health Care system. Controlling costs, and finding workable solutions for all income brackets is a necessity. Health Care is a huge cost in any business.
3) Lets take care of these and re-evaluate.


Sorry, my position has been eliminated, starting Friday :)

RE: So Wait...
By Amiga500 on 12/16/2008 1:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
The political system on the national level is horribly corrupt; you and I get to vote for who gets to sell their vote to Washington lobbyists.

I would vote you up only I've posted already.

Probably the best line I have seen on Dailytech regarding American politics... ever.

RE: So Wait...
By Hiawa23 on 12/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: So Wait...
By mvpx02 on 12/16/2008 2:15:07 PM , Rating: 3
I get my fill of promises of hope at church every week.

When it comes to elected leaders, I'd prefer a candidate with a solid grasp of the current situation, a strong understanding of economics, and a good, realistic plan for leading our country to better times... unfortunately none of them were on the ballot.

RE: So Wait...
By rubyxc7 on 12/16/2008 10:47:28 AM , Rating: 2
So I'm well aware that the american automakers have been running their companies poorly however Detroit, in my opinion is singled out not because of the car companies directly but because of their direct effect. The Big 3 (2 whatever) are and have been the lifeblood of detroit since the assembly line. Given that Detroit basically runs on these companies, its plain to sight why Detroit has gone to the toilet, more so than most of the other places being hit by the recession.

As an example, a bank which a fair amount of people in the US should know of, Comerica, started off as Detroit Bank and Trust. They've recently closed up shop here in Detroit and moved their offices to Texas leaving virtually all of their workers jobless.
A major Pfizer research lab employing thousands has been shut down and employees were either laid off or had to relocate.

I'm not directly from Detroit but I'm fairly close, about an hour away. I'd say I'm a bit biased but being that my family has been directly effected by the decline of the Big 3, I can't say that you can put Detroit in the same generic 'Hit By Recession' bin as most other places. For Detroit and for Michigan as well, the recession started years ago.

RE: So Wait...
By rudolphna on 12/16/2008 10:55:35 AM , Rating: 3
Same here. I have several family members in Lorain county ohio, who work for the ford plants there. At this rate, they will all lose their jobs, and will be in huge trouble, especially with a job market as bad as this.

RE: So Wait...
By Gzus666 on 12/16/2008 11:02:46 AM , Rating: 2
Let me explain this to you as simply as possible. MOVE THE HELL AWAY FROM DETROIT, IT IS A CRAP FACTORY! My god, how have people not figured this out? Detroit is a living hell, either start new industry that doesn't rely on making things, or move.

Wahhh, the place I live is having economic problems. Detroit has sucked for the last 30 years at least, that should have been indication to get the hell out of its vicinity. It is a nexus of joblessness, just leave. It has held the joy of being the murder capital for years, isn't that enough reason to leave right there?

Anyway, this random rant you decided to do has been met by one of my own. The actual subject of my posts had nothing to do with them and more to do with the fact that a recession is a recession.

RE: So Wait...
By rubyxc7 on 12/16/2008 11:12:16 AM , Rating: 1
Right, where do you live? I'll tell the jobless to move to where you live since you don't seem to be having much trouble where you live.

Michigan, especially Detroit tends to draw you in. I'm not quite sure what it is... stockholm syndrome? :O I like this place regardless of what anyone says of how much of a shithole it is. Theres downsides everywhere you go, but theres few places where you feel like you want to stay because you like the area.

As for your initial point about starting a new industry that doesnt rely on making things, tell me a place that doesn't. Does the area where you live only provide services?

RE: So Wait...
By Gzus666 on 12/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: So Wait...
By mindless1 on 12/16/2008 2:19:05 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, you're not even there and seem to have more of a problem with it than anyone else. Are you just insane?

RE: So Wait...
By Spuke on 12/16/2008 3:13:36 PM , Rating: 1
He makes good points, ranting or not. Why stay in an economic shit house? Why depend on an industry that's been treading water for at least 15 years? I moved to CA from VA for more job opportunities. Miscalculated the competition here and got an education. That turned things around for me big time. Now I'm eying AZ because of the housing market crash and want a cheaper house than the one I'm living in so I can buy a second one and rent it out.

RE: So Wait...
By Suntan on 12/16/2008 1:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Des Moines, Iowa is a reasonably large metopolitan area with very little manufacturing (aside from some small farm related stuff.) The city itself is pretty much full of insurance business and has been for a long time.

It's not nearly as big as Detroit, but it's also not a place where your daily commute will take you past 5 cars littered along the road that have most likely been on fire in the past 48 hours (a Detroit trademark I think.)

Seriously, aside from the Redwings, Detroit sucks.


RE: So Wait...
By rubyxc7 on 12/16/2008 1:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
I used to commute in and out of detroit weekly, never saw cars on the side of the road... burning for that matter... the occasional breakdown though...

I was thinking that you'd have to have a place be driven by insurance and medicine to be moderately shielded from the recession. Although, I work for the insurance industry... and yuck.

RE: So Wait...
By lagomorpha on 12/16/2008 7:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
It certainly doesn't help that GM saves little money by cutting back production because their contracts with the UAW require them to pay laid off UAW workers 85% of what they would get if they were working. Without significant changes to these contracts GM cannot hope to continue operating given the reliability expected of modern cars.

RE: So Wait...
By mikefarinha on 12/16/2008 11:18:32 AM , Rating: 2
It's not that people think just the big 3 are having problems. People are smarter than you give them credit for. What is obvious is the recession is exposing the true legitimacy of each company... last I heard Toyota and Honda weren't asking governments for a bail-out.

RE: So Wait...
By mindless1 on 12/16/2008 2:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
Right, because their government has been subsidizing them all along. We keep reading about "poor management" of the big three because ignorance is bliss. Everyone wants someone to blame instead of considering facts.

RE: So Wait...
By Ringold on 12/16/2008 3:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't have anything to do with much lower labor costs and more efficient businesses from top to bottom. Nope. Nothing at all.

That sounds like the Michigan governor on Meet The Press Sunday. She was trying to say BS like that, and that foreign governments were paying for their workers health care. Mitt Romney kindly pointed out for the uneducated that the foreign governments of Alabama and Texas do not have socialized health care.

RE: So Wait...
By TomZ on 12/16/2008 11:13:28 PM , Rating: 2
Your point would be correct if all the labor costs were at the manufacturing plants, which they are not. The majority of the employees of these companies are located overseas and therefore are beneficiaries of their governments' benefit programs, e.g., government-funded healthcare.

RE: So Wait...
By Oregonian2 on 12/16/2008 4:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
The foreign plants and the US Maker plants are in different states which have different union rules. US Mfgr plants have it a law that requires workers to be part of the UAW. Not so in those states where Toyota, Honda, etc are located (according to news reports anyway). The total cost per hour per employee (including benefits) is extremely higher for the UAW workers (where the benefit parts are more than the wage parts). Shows how effective the UAW is in getting benefits for it's membership. Of course there is the downside of having those great benefits only until the company goes bye-bye. But that's not something of interest to the UAW -- that's the evil company's venue and something for the company to worry about. Or so it appears in the press, not being involved personally I can't really tell (and am not sure those involved know themselves for sure).

RE: So Wait...
By Hiawa23 on 12/16/2008 12:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
I really don't think this is news to most Americans. Most families can't afford to buy jack other than the necessities. The car companies, all of them, like most businesses have had to cut back. The point to this is this. I think most Americans understand that a recession affects all, but Toyota & Honda are not going out of business in a week or two like the American counterpart if they receive a loan due to years of mismanagement.

RE: So Wait...
By walk2k on 12/16/2008 1:20:24 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, it's not news, because Toyota isn't crawling on their knees begging for a handout from the Gov't now are they?

No see, what they do is CUT PRODUCTION when demand slows - something the UAW will not allow the "not-so-big-anymore" 3 to do.

Wake up.

RE: So Wait...
By theapparition on 12/16/2008 3:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it's not news, because Toyota isn't crawling on their knees begging for a handout from the Gov't now are they?


Toyota, Nissan and Honda are all asking the government for help. Thier government. And guess what, they're going to get it too.

No see, what they do is CUT PRODUCTION when demand slows - something the UAW will not allow the "not-so-big-anymore" 3 to do.

Not so big 3, huh. GM is still the largest car manufacturer in the world. We get it, you don't like the american car companies, just don't go spewing untruths.

Be it by loans or bankruptcy, all will be financed from tax-payer money. You're going to pay whether you like it or not.

RE: So Wait...
By Ringold on 12/16/2008 3:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
Provide evidence that Nissan, for example, will receive foreign government money directly sent to its North American operations. Links or didn't happen.

GM is still the largest car manufacturer in the world. We get it, you don't like the american car companies, just don't go spewing untruths.

Toyota sells nearly as many. Compare their financial performance in 2007, a year with a strong global economy. GM lost billions, TM made billions. I love various GM and Ford models, dislike has nothing to do with it for people, only financial realities.

RE: So Wait...
By theapparition on 12/17/2008 11:54:23 AM , Rating: 2
How's this for starters:

But I like how you tempered you rebuke with "directly sent to NA operations". What does that matter? If Opel received an infusion of cash that would directly help GM's NA operations. Nice try.

I'm not going to argue with you on GM's past performance. Clearly they did bad. But fact remains that GM is still the largest automovtive company in the world. 1 in 5 cars still sold in the US is a GM product.

And for the record, I'd hardly call 2007 a year with a strong global economy. In case you didn't notice, gas prices were at record levels in 2007 and the shift from Trucks/SUVs towards cars is the single cause of trouble for the domestic makers.

RE: So Wait...
By MrPoletski on 12/16/2008 2:16:27 PM , Rating: 2
And the DRAM industry, and the Housing market, and the banking industry.

I wonder what industry is next? We are going to end up bailing out the whole of planet earth with money borrowed from the Ferengi.

RE: So Wait...
By eye smite on 12/16/2008 10:32:47 AM , Rating: 2
You're right, they should just stay at full production and go broke like the big 3. lol

RE: So Wait...
By Gzus666 on 12/16/2008 10:55:05 AM , Rating: 2
If only you could understand sarcasm...

RE: So Wait...
By rubyxc7 on 12/16/2008 11:02:48 AM , Rating: 3
If only YOU could understand sarcasm... :P

RE: So Wait...
By The0ne on 12/16/2008 2:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
if only he reads and understand his own words that he shouldn't really be saying anything about others when he "honestly" doesn't care about anyone. A reason why you don't care about anyone would lead someone to believe you should just not have anything to do or say about anyone right? Must be a pretty safe place always escaping to that type of thought process.

Professional Smugness
By Mitch101 on 12/16/2008 10:17:46 AM , Rating: 3

I will be in the market for a car in the next 2 years.

I have been pushing back my purchase until there is more than just a few options like those from FORD, Chrysler and GM. Hoping a little competition will cause price wars and the vehicles like the Prius are even more mature. Not mocking it but I have seen some people claim 100MPG out of modified ones which I felt might be more main stream in 2 years time. Maybe even from the manufacturer. Import them if you must please.

I don't care if gas is 20 cents a gallon I don't want to be caught with a gas guzzler when they pull the price of a gallon going to $4.00+ again in a short time span. I don't need an SUV or Escalade to go to work. I would drive a go kart if it were legal and safe.

RE: Professional Smugness
By Spivonious on 12/16/2008 10:21:40 AM , Rating: 2
I'm waiting for the Fusion hybrid. Should be right around the time we start having kids, so the extra two doors will be helpful.

From all I've heard, Ford is in no danger of going belly up, with or without the bailout.

RE: Professional Smugness
By Gzus666 on 12/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Professional Smugness
By rudolphna on 12/16/2008 11:03:13 AM , Rating: 1
Gzus, I have respect for you, you seem to be an intelligent, knowledgable person. I have no idea what experiences youve had with fords yourself. All I can say, is if you work as a mechanic, then chances are is ALL you see are broken cars..

I mean, I doubt people bring in working cars just for the fun of it, you know? Now, Ive told you this before, I own, and have owned many fords over the years, as has my family. We have never had major problems like the ones you describe. Personally, I love my expedition, and will likely be buying a fusion, because my cousin, and a few of my friends have bought one, and they love them. You are entitled to your opinion.

Im not, nor have I ever said Honda and toyota make worse cars than the Big 3, they do make good cars. I have driven a few as rentals on vacation. A Honda CRV, a Toyota Corolla, as a matter of fact. My point simply is, that Ford makes good, decent cars in my experience. The majority of people dont have problems with their ford or GM car, but the small percentage that do make such a big stink about it that it affects everyone.

RE: Professional Smugness
By Gzus666 on 12/16/08, Rating: 0
RE: Professional Smugness
By rudolphna on 12/16/2008 11:07:11 AM , Rating: 1
I'm not trying to start an argument this time, Im kind of tired of them, as you might imagine. If you dont like ford, fine. But dont go around telling other people ford is shitty, never buy a ford, when you probably havent even owned one yourself. I dont say, dont buy a toyota or honda...

RE: Professional Smugness
By Gzus666 on 12/16/2008 11:12:32 AM , Rating: 1
But Fords ARE junk. Fit and finish is horrid, they rarely fix long term issues within a reasonable time, they rarely issue recalls for their major mistakes, they treat their customers poorly with very little goodwill and proper warranty repairs. The same can be said for GM and more so for Chrysler.

You don't say Toyota or Honda are junk because it is a known fact they make high quality vehicles, the resale value of them alone more than speaks for this.

RE: Professional Smugness
By rudolphna on 12/16/2008 11:19:23 AM , Rating: 2

The Fusion fit and finish is fantastic, as are the edge, and flex (ugh. ugly though). While I may agree on the fix long term mistakes bit, I have had no problems with the dealers. I was in ohio a few months ago, and the #7 Cylinder Ignition coil blew, causing it to misfire. The auto parts stores didnt have any in stock, so I took it to the dealer, told them I needed it fixed by tomorrow morning, and it was done before closing. It was a bit mroe expensive than when I did it myself, but he was polite, and told his mechanics to make it their #1 priority.

Chrysler dealers, however, I agree with you... Good god... I havent been to a GM dealership in some years, but they were polite enough when I went to one.

RE: Professional Smugness
By Gzus666 on 12/16/2008 11:41:55 AM , Rating: 2
You misconstrue what I mean. Dealers and manufacturers are separate entities. While they have a close relationship, they are not directly tied.

What I mean when I say they are poor with warranty repairs and goodwill is as follows: They are poor about helping out the customer with a major problem even a few miles outside the warranty window. This should especially be an issue when it was something they know to be a product problem.

I have seen people get screwed for being a few miles out and have a major known breakdown and they make them pay for it. Toyota on the other hand was great about fixing known or unknown failures if they happened shortly after the warranty period.

RE: Professional Smugness
By rudolphna on 12/16/2008 11:58:44 AM , Rating: 2
Well. that may be, I didnt have any major breakdowns just ouside my warranty window. I can see how people would be upset at that though. I can imagine it as kind of a... money issue maybe? Because if they start doing that, they people will start to think that maybe because they fixed that particular thing, they would do it for everything, and everyone. See the potential problem there? I cant speak for others, but I myself would probably be a little upset with that.

RE: Professional Smugness
By omnicronx on 12/16/2008 11:39:22 AM , Rating: 1
Its all about how you drive your car. I drove my families Camry into the ground when I was younger (bought around the same time), yet my parents Ford still lives on. Toyotas are also more expensive to fix, meanwhile a monkey could fix most Ford models.

I own a Mazda and a Toyota, bought within a year of another. Although my Mazda (which is all ford parts) has had a few more problems than my Toyota, I have spent almost twice as much money fixing the Toyota. This is with no major breakdowns just minor issues.

Also cheaper Honda's (civic) break down all the time, they are just dead easy to fix. Half the parts in a civic are half the size of the exact same part in other cars. I think i read once that the civic repair costs on average are half the price of any other car in its class.

RE: Professional Smugness
By Gzus666 on 12/16/2008 12:05:53 PM , Rating: 1
Toyotas are also more expensive to fix, meanwhile a monkey could fix most Ford models.

Not really, actually Ford is quite a bit more complicated than Toyota.

Repair costs vary by dealer. You may not know this, but dealers can mark up parts to anything they really desire and most do well beyond MSRP. Labor is also dependent on the dealer, they can vary HEAVILY, this includes variances in labor hours as well. Some techs make up their time, some use a published labor manual.

I find the average person really doesn't know jack about what goes on at a dealer, it is a VERY shady business. This was the major reason I couldn't work on cars anymore. I just can't lie, cheat and steal like you have to to make a living.

Also, last thing is you need to get is the tech you get depends on the repair. For instance, Toyota Tacoma starters had a habit of going bad. Now, the actual issue is the brushes would wear. The parts for that repair were about $10, give or take. It paid about 1.3 hours, which our labor rate was about $89/hr at the time. Now, to replace the starter was about $300 or so for the reman starter and .9 or so hours to replace. Which seems cheaper to you?

Now, most techs would just replace the starter. This is usually due to not realizing the parts are available to quickly rebuild the starter. This stems from the fact that most everyone in a dealer works on commission, including the parts guys. The parts guys usually wouldn't tell you a part comes separately because they make quite the chunk of change off the reman, but not the brushes.

This is just one of many scenarios in which you most likely have no idea about, but are a part of. It is very unlikely your Mazda has all Ford parts, it is normally the other way around. Toyota tends to be able to mark their parts up more at dealers because of the reputation they have earned, just more fleecing from dealers. Mazda is not really known for being the highest of quality, similar to Mitsubishi.

RE: Professional Smugness
By Spivonious on 12/16/2008 12:36:32 PM , Rating: 1
I've owned a Ford for 6 years with no major problems. The few minor problems I had were all within the warranty period, and none of the repairs would have cost me over $300 parts/labor if the warranty was out. Best of all, the car was only $12k new. If the bottom-of-the-line model and trim doesn't have any major problems, I'm willing to bet that the top end models don't have major problems either.

Sure, Fords of the late 90s are junk, but they've really turned themselves around since 2001 or so.

RE: Professional Smugness
By Spivonious on 12/16/2008 12:53:42 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and I just remembered - I did have the A/C compressor fail about 1000 miles out of warranty. The dealership faked a deductible of $200 for me, which saved me over $400.

RE: Professional Smugness
By rubyxc7 on 12/16/2008 11:17:39 AM , Rating: 2
My dad worked for Ford as a senior level engineer for 20 years. As much as I don't like the sound of it, he'd bet his life that Ford will belly up in 5 years.

I'm also looking forward to seeing the fusion hybrid though. I like the current fusions, even though its the mazda6 with a Ford body kit. :P

RE: Professional Smugness
By rudolphna on 12/16/2008 11:21:46 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, but its a Ford Powerplant under the hood. Just a mazda body. Chrysler and, I beleive if memory serves correctly, Mercedez share body platforms and chassis.

RE: Professional Smugness
By rubyxc7 on 12/16/2008 11:41:36 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm. You are indeed correct on the Ford powerplant. Thanks for the info.

RE: Professional Smugness
By omnicronx on 12/16/2008 11:45:14 AM , Rating: 2
Focus and Mazda 3 also share many parts. (including the powerplant)

RE: Professional Smugness
By ebakke on 12/16/2008 11:46:19 AM , Rating: 2
Memory fails.

RE: Professional Smugness
By omnicronx on 12/16/2008 12:00:13 PM , Rating: 2
No he was correct, up until last year they were the same company.

RE: Professional Smugness
By omnicronx on 12/16/2008 12:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
The Chrysler 300C for one shares parts with the Mercedes E-Class, including Chassis and suspension.

RE: Professional Smugness
By Gzus666 on 12/16/2008 12:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
That was because Daimler Benz owned Chrysler for a period, till they sold them. The 4.7L V8 is a Mercedes engine and sadly probably one of the best engines they have had in a long time at Chrysler.

RE: Professional Smugness
By rudolphna on 12/16/2008 12:40:42 PM , Rating: 2
maybe the Chrysler 4.0L Inline 6 used in the Jeep Wrangler. That was a fantastic engine.

RE: Professional Smugness
By ebakke on 12/16/2008 12:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
You win. For some reason, I was under the impression that after the split Chrysler vehicles were no longer using Mercedes parts (as Mercedes doesn't want to 'devalue' its image). But after you corrected me, I looked into it again. And, well, I stand corrected.

RE: Professional Smugness
By rudolphna on 12/16/2008 12:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, I knew it was some company. I forget which one it was, it was some big foreign maker though.

RE: Professional Smugness
By ebakke on 12/16/2008 11:56:01 AM , Rating: 2
From all I've heard, Ford is in no danger of going belly up, with or without the bailout.
Ford is probably fine, so long as Chrysler and/or GM don't fail. If either of the other two fail, and they have to liquidate all of their assets you'll see fire sale prices on Chrysler/GM vehicles. And while some people may not be willing to buy a car from a company no longer in business, others wouldn't have a problem (after all, parts will likely still be made as long as there is a market for them, and mechanics will still know how to fix them) given a cheap enough price. And since the goal will be to sell every last one of them, the prices will drop until they do. That event would be devastating for Ford's (and every other auto manufacturer's) sales during that period. Coupled with the ripple effect into their suppliers, Ford may not be able to weather that storm.

RE: Professional Smugness
By TomZ on 12/16/2008 11:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
There is practically no chance of such a "liquidation" of car inventory in the way you describe. These companies are going to just close up and stop operating, even if they were to go through Chapter 11.

RE: Professional Smugness
By TomZ on 12/17/2008 9:09:38 AM , Rating: 2
sorry, I meant "these companies aren't going to just close"

RE: Professional Smugness
By Suntan on 12/16/2008 1:12:54 PM , Rating: 2
100MPG hybrid that nobody can make, or an Escalade...

I haven't been to a car lot for a couple of months, but I do believe one or two manufacturers make sensible options that fall somewhere inbetween these two extremes.


Translation of Toyota announcement
By arazok on 12/16/2008 9:54:30 AM , Rating: 2
“With Peak Oil exposed as a fraud, and economic fear causing consumers to question the economic value of their purchases, our Hybrids have been exposed as the trendy pieces of crap that they are. In response to this realization, Toyota is lobbying the US government to bail out the big 3 automakers, forcing them to manufacture cars based on vote winning politics, and not product selling economics. Toyota believes that by circumventing the rules of the free economy to our advantage, we can pave a path to sustained profitability at the expense of our competitors.”

RE: Translation of Toyota announcement
By Finnkc on 12/16/2008 10:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
yeaaa ....


Get real.

By Finnkc on 12/16/2008 10:51:49 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Translation of Toyota announcement
By Suomynona on 12/16/2008 11:29:26 AM , Rating: 3
Do you honestly think that gas prices are going to stay as low as they currently are? They're only dropping because the economy is in the toilet.

RE: Translation of Toyota announcement
By arazok on 12/16/2008 12:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I do. Oil’s sudden rise was a classic bubble. The only reason people believe otherwise, is because the media indoctrined everyone into the “this time is different” mentality that accompanies *every* bubble that has ever existed. I remember during the .com bubble, CNN running “The New Economy” as it’s banner for any discussion about the economy. I saw one segment where the talking heads were actually debating if recessions were obsolete.

Adjusted for inflation, Oil prices are currently around the historical norm. I’m going to side with historical norms over short term spikes any day. There is more than enough oil in the ground for everyone for decades to come. Commodity cycles tend to last 18 years. I’ll bet that in 15-20 years, we’ll be having this same discussion again.

RE: Translation of Toyota announcement
By walk2k on 12/16/2008 1:29:08 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah right, it was a "spike" - no worries here folks, go out and buy that Escalade!

"The economy is fine" - McCain

"Mission accomplished!" - Bush

By arazok on 12/16/2008 2:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
So I guess you have invested everything you have into Oil, seeing that’s it’s such a sure thing?

“A fool and his money are soon parted” - Thomas Tusser

I don't know...
By whirabomber on 12/16/2008 9:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
...I would still complete the factory sans manufacturing equipment. Toyota should at least get the offices etc ready. The factory should currently be at a state where two other plants could be consolidated there in a pinch. I don't see the current economic situation clearing up in the next 1-2 years so having a readily available space to consolidate north american operations would be a boon.

Plus nothing beats having something to tug states for tax breaks for existing toyota plants. Toyota: "we are going to consolidate two factories into the on we have open..".. States: "oh have a tax break to stay."

Man, it's PATHETIC
By gochichi on 12/17/2008 5:45:37 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, it's not that the market sucks yall. It's that when you give people gas for $1.50 a gallon they totally forget about wanting to have high MPGs.

The other day I went in for service and I saw a couple of Prius on the lot.

It's strange to me how unbeliavably stubborn we are. Because amazingly enough, people are still buying cars.

Used cars are way more affordable now, so I get see that SUV for a dozen thousand dollars less than you expect it and you buy it.

There is zilch demand for fuel thrifty cars right now. As if they had promised YEARS of low gas prices. It's been weeks... and the $4.00 a gallon is forgotten.

Most Americans have no clue
By Beenthere on 12/16/08, Rating: -1
RE: Most Americans have no clue
By Maroon on 12/16/2008 11:21:30 AM , Rating: 2
Lighten up, Francis!

The automakers are gonna get their money, just not from the bailout funds. Yes, we are in a recession, but the sky is not falling.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By ebakke on 12/16/2008 1:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
but the sky is not falling.
BLASPHEMY!! Why, just yesterday, I was hit by a piece of falling sky that fell so quickly I didn't even see it! Damn near knocked me unconscious.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By rubyxc7 on 12/16/2008 11:28:51 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm... I've always thought this national recession gig started when the housing market tanked. Banks going belly up.

As far as the auto industry here goes, the Big 3 have been hemoraging money and cutting jobs since 05.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By Mystery Meat on 12/16/2008 12:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
Hey- won't Toyota (and maybe Honda too) want some of that bailout money? Toyota has over 250,000 American employees. At this point, Toyota and Honda are non-union. Obama says he supports the end of the secret ballot in union elections. Once the UAW gets into Toyota and Honda, they will need a bailout for sure.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By BruceLeet on 12/16/2008 12:01:50 PM , Rating: 1
You hit a nerve with some I see

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By FITCamaro on 12/16/2008 12:25:27 PM , Rating: 4
The only way I'd hate the bailout less is if the Republican senators get what they said needed to be there. The UAW needs to agree to a massive pay cut NOW (not in 2011 as they want) to bring them in line with the foreign makers. And before they get a dime they need to declare bankruptcy. That way they're free of their obligations.

The UAW has clearly shown it cares more about itself than the company its employees work for. They fail to realize that if the company goes under, they're all out of work. Wage concessions or no. They're basically gambling on the fact that they support a lot of high up Democrats and are hoping that those Democrats give the auto makers a bailout. Luckily the Republicans in the Senate (largely) stood up for the tax payers on this issue. Now if they'd only been as adamant with the other bailouts.

We need a guy like Jim DeMint in the White House. Someone who doesn't seek to socialize the country and turn us into EUv2.0.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By Amiga500 on 12/16/2008 1:37:52 PM , Rating: 2
I do agree with FIT to an extent (and as he probably knows - that doesn't happen often).

The UAW does need to take a pay cut. The "big 3" are crippled by having to pay far too much for essentially semi-skilled labour.

But, they have refused, and the sky will fall on their heads when Chapt 11 nulls the contracts.

On the other hand, the companies cannot be allowed to go completely to the wall (different from Chapt 11), there are simply too many people employed by them directly and indirectly. It would simply kill the Detroit local-economy.

So, I think the govt has to push them into C.11, then give them a leg-up after restructuring so they can become competitive.

In other news, I also think that alot of the head honchos (particularly at the financial institutions) should be sued for gross negligence and relieved of their bonuses for the last 10 years.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By Groovester on 12/16/2008 2:07:19 PM , Rating: 1
From Detroit Free Press:(from

"UAW Losing Pay Edge: Foreign Automakers' Bonuses Boost Wages in U.S. Plants as Detroit Car Companies Struggle
February 1, 2007
Toyota Motor Corp. gave workers at its largest U.S. plant bonuses of $6,000 to $8,000, boosting the average pay at the Georgetown, KY, plant to the equivalent of $30 an hour. That compares with a $27 hourly average for UAW workers, most of whom did not receive profit-sharing checks last year."

Unions have been the target of Republican machinations (no pun intended) since the Reagan administration. Sen. Shelby (who, like other southern pols give away millions of their states' taxpayer dollar to the foreign automakers in the form of sweeetheart deals that rob their state tax collectors of what would otherwise be state income) loves to pander to conservatives by identifying union workers (who he claim are overpaid, resulting in The Big3's money woes) as the culprit. In reality, The Big3 have requested a bridge loan, rather than a bailout, because of the credit squeeze brought about by laissez faire Republicans who never saw a deregulation bill they didn't like.

The consumer credit squeeze, combined with the pronouncements from companies like Toyota (that their 2010 Prius will have a major increase in gas mileage) is leading many people to wait for a true PHEV. Regardless of the cost of gasoline, most Americans are fed up with the fact that thousands have died and trillions spent on supporting an unsupportable, and now unnecessary, reliance on oil. If we really want to shove it to the Saudi's, Iranians, Russians, etc., go electric!

Take a look at if you want to see what "thinking outside the box" means.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By FITCamaro on 12/16/2008 2:28:05 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of the cost of gasoline, most Americans are fed up with the fact that thousands have died

No bias there whatsoever....

And the majority of American's don't care. They can't even point out the countries where oil comes from on a map.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By menace on 12/16/2008 3:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
Here is a more factual article about Big 3 autoworker pay and benefits.

I work as a well compensated college graduate at a large aerospace firm. I look up our comp package cost and see roughly $20k in costs for pension, health care, insurance, and the company contribution to social security. According to this article, the average auto worker benefits cost $33.58 an hour. This is nearly $70,000 dollars per year and constitutes 46% of their total compensation (when you add in overtime). Now you see where the problem lies. I'm sure if you looked at the same stats for foreign manufacturers and it's true their base pay is not all that much lower but the amount they pay in benefits is certainly no where near $70,000 per worker. Hell if my benefits were that high I'd say, "hey just give me $50,000 extra in salary and I'll just look out for myself!"

Truthfully, my company also contributes up to 6% salary for 401K (provided I save at least 8%) but even adding in those few thousands of dollars of 401K benefits won't bring it to even half the amount the Big 3 pay out.

My brother works for GM and is getting his normal 2-3 week winter shutdown extended to like 7 weeks. Poor guy. He is only gonna get like 90% of his base pay in SUB pay (Supplemental Unemployment Benefits) and has to suffer sitting at home with his kids.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By FITCamaro on 12/16/2008 4:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I believe at the beginning of this year when I got the little packet explaining my total compensation it was like $80,000 a year. That's at $60,000/yr base salary.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By Boiler99 on 12/16/2008 4:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
SUB (supplemental pay) comes out of a UAW fund that they have paid $0.10/hour into for every hour of work. There is not enough in the fund to pay everyone the full duration of the anticipated layoffs, and as such most UAW members will only get normal unemployment (about $400/week in Ohio). GM isn't the one paying the benefit so as far as they are concerned it doesn't matter.

While the jobs bank was total B.S. in every way shape and form, this event will hurt for real. Most of the labor difference is in the fact that GM alone has over 350,000 retirees they are supporting; GM has cut skilled trades left and right (finally by the way in some cases) and is looking to cut more.

RE: Most Americans have no clue
By TomZ on 12/16/2008 6:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
[The Big Three] need to declare bankruptcy. That way they're free of their obligations.
Am I the only one that thinks that buying goods, services, and labor on credit - and then walking away from that debt through a bankruptcy - is unethical?

The Big Three declaring bankruptcy really only moves the problem from one place to another, i.e., to the automotive suppliers and union labor. It doesn't really solve the problem.

Bankruptcy would also cause the Big Three a very serious cash flow problem, since all their suppliers would insist on pre-payment for any goods and services. The automotive OEMs don't have that kind of cash available. Bankruptcy would have to be combined with a large government loan to allow them to manage cash flow.

This is actually similar to what happened with Chrysler the last time around.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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