MSNBC just reported that part of the GM restructure includes a deal with EBay so that people can buy cars online. Who in their right mind would make such a major purchase without the human interaction of a sales rep and dealership to return the vehicle to if there is a problem, let alone being able to test drive your desired vehicle? This part of the plan sounds like a major failure already.
There has been all this talk from the fat of how he wants “Obama to fail”. Well now that the government has such a large stake in General Motors, the fat one is calling for a boycott of General Motors. Bob points out the irony here:
Just a couple of weeks ago, the wingnuts were crapping their cages over the fact that a suspiciously high number of soon-to-be closed GM dealerships were owned by Republicans. The "conspiracy" that President Obama was taking out some political revenge on McCain supporters made it all the way to Fox News Channel. It turned out that the political party affiliation of dealership owners was merely reflective of the fact that 86 percent of all car dealerships are owned by Republicans.
And now they want to boycott GM, a move that will surely hurt all the dealerships.
To the educated this can only be seen as a flip-flop, as John Cole points out:
These idiots can’t even keep an internally consistent wingnut meme going for a couple weeks. No wonder the rest of the country has no clue what the hell they are talking about.
To me it takes me back to my original point. This is Rush’s plan to try and get our government to fail. And you thought that was talk you would only hear from people like Osama bin Laden, Kim Jong-il or Ahmadinejad.
Bloomberg has an article quoting a bunch of different senators and their opposition to the closing of Chrysler and GM dealers. While there is justification to this concern, there is also a need to ask why there are so many dealerships.
Let me explain this. Here in Cincinnati it used to be you had certain areas that had dealerships. If you wanted a new car or to get dealership service then you had to venture out to one of these areas. Of course they were never more than thirty minutes away. In the last twenty years that has changed, and now auto dealerships are as common as Wal-Marts.
Should buying a car really be as convenient as buying a gallon of milk? Of course not. There is only one reason you really need a dealership more often and that is for service. That’s where we really need more intuitive thinking. That’s where the calls for a new business model really should be heard.
Instead of having these huge dealer lots with big show rooms and tons of new cars just sitting there, why not just open up manufacturer service centers, or even contract it out? Service is the most common need for a dealership, and also its the point when proximity is more of a necessity for the consumer.
What the auto makers can do is develop a strict certification program. There are also requirements, like the use of genuine manufacturer parts. Then Jim’s auto shop down the street can spend a little money and time, then become a certified service center. They also can provide warranty and recall work, in which the manufacturer would pay them for the service. The program should be strict, but not a deterrent to enter it.
Michael Moore has written a goodbye letter to GM:
I write this on the morning of the end of the once-mighty General Motors. By high noon, the President of the United States will have made it official: General Motors, as we know it, has been totaled.
As I sit here in GM's birthplace, Flint, Michigan, I am surrounded by friends and family who are filled with anxiety about what will happen to them and to the town. Forty percent of the homes and businesses in the city have been abandoned. Imagine what it would be like if you lived in a city where almost every other house is empty. What would be your state of mind?
It looks like GM employees are going to get that perk that is usually limited to those in the teaching profession:
General Motors Corp. is planning to temporarily close most of its U.S. factories for up to nine weeks this summer because of slumping sales and growing inventories of unsold vehicles, three people briefed on the plan said Wednesday. Analysts say the company could be seeing sales decline because of talk about a potential bankruptcy.
The exact dates of the closures are not known, but the people said they will occur around the normal two-week shutdown in July when changes are made from one model year to the next. None of the people wanted to be identified because workers have not yet been told of the shutdowns.
Of course its not really a perk, but rather a sign of our troubling economy. I am wondering though how the auto industry would look today if the credit markets flowed better. If people can’t get loans then they can’t buy cars.
That’s what Coulter thinks:
If Obama can tell GM and Chrysler that their participation in NASCAR is an "unnecessary expenditure," isn't having public schools force students to follow Muslim rituals, recite Islamic prayers and plan "jihads" also an "unnecessary expenditure"? Are all those school condom purchases considered "necessary expenditures"?
Coulter was going by the big news yesterday reported by Car and Driver that Obama ordered the two ailing auto-makers to pull out of NASCAR. Now remember what yesterday was? I would love to show the actual article, but now you just get told “April Fools”! Coulter bought into it hook, line and sinker.
(h/t Media Matters)
Looks like the well is dry for GM and Chrysler:
The White House says neither GM nor Chrysler submitted acceptable plans to receive more bailout money, setting the stage for a crisis in Detroit and putting in motion what could be the final two months of two American auto giants.
The Obama administration, however, has decided not to require the automakers to immediately repay government loan money they previously received, since that would force both companies into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
I really want to hear some explanations on these decisions. We could be looking at the end of a major American era, one that is responsible for America’s position as a global leader today. It’s also not going to help the job numbers in the foreseeable future.
Still, I can’t stop and wonder how much of the auto problems are still the side effect of the much larger illness of frozen credit markets. If that’s the case, then why have we dumped so much more money into the banks and seen no cure yet?
It also makes me wonder about the decision for the administration to force Rick Wagner out as CEO of GM. There appears to be a major double standard here. We force out the CEO of GM, yet our tax dollars go to bonuses of bank execs that helped put GM, Chrysler and the whole nation in this mess. I got a feeling a bunch of Democrats on the hill will be asking the same questions today.
Ford’s CEO agrees to a paycut:
Ford Motor became the first of the three U.S. automakers to unveil its turnaround plans to Congress Tuesday, but the plan contained little in the way of new cost cuts or other changes beyond what the company had previously announced.
The company announced that the salary of Ford CEO Alan Mulally would be cut to $1 a year if Ford (F, Fortune 500) actually borrowed money from the government. When Mulally appeared before the House Financial Services Committee last month, he said he would not agree to a paycut.
Ford also announced that it would sell its five corporate jets. Mulally and the CEOs of General Motors (GM</a>, Fortune 500) and Chrysler LLC received great criticism for each flying their own corporate jets to Washington to ask for help last month.
If you missed Morning Joe, Mort Zuckerman was on and had a very grim outlook for our financial future. The Freddie and Fannie bailout, while necessary, will cost tax payers millions. Detroit is worse off. He is predicting GM and some other manufacturers like Chrysler to merge, and maybe a foreign automaker to buy out Ford. He actually said if things aren't done right we could be heading towards another depression and in the end all this will cost American taxpayers upwards of half a trillion dollars.
That's OK though, Americans see a "pit bull with lipstick" that they like, so our economy no longer matters.
While we hear reports of our economy doing good, we are presented with a
harsh reminder of what outsourcing has done to our nation. This from the
General Motors Corp. said Tuesday it plans to nearly triple the number of
cars it produces in India to meet growing demand in the South Asian country.
The announcement came just weeks after the company said it would slash
30,000 jobs and scale back production in the United States.
GM previously had announced plans to increase production in India from
more than double the 25,000 cars a year it currently produces in the
country. Lawrence Burns, vice president for research and development, said
Tuesday that the number of vehicles made in India would eventually reach
However, Burns provided few details of GM's plans for India, a country of
1 billion people with a fast growing economy that many Western manufacturers
have long viewed as a potentially huge market.
Burns insisted jobs were not being moved from the United States, and said
much of the new production would come from increasing the hours of workers
already employed by the company, although he did say that some new jobs
would be added. GM currently employs about 2,000 people in India.
Read complete article
This is a harsh blow to the American worker. While workers suffer here to
feed the family or keep a roof over their heads, other nations flourish from our
losses. This is an example of how free trade is hurting our nation rather than