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Posts Tagged ‘Car Industry

The Definition of Normal by George W. Bush

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normal is just a word

It’s more than a tad ironic that one of the last and most important acts of the outgoing Bush administration will be to attempt an end-run around Republicans in Congress and allow a bridge loan to the US automakers from the the $700 billion set aside all those months ago for the purchase of “toxic securities”.

The White House supported this turnaround with a fabulous piece of Bush logic. To wit; In normal times, the Bushies would have much preferred that the market decide the fate of the automakers, but these, it suggests, are not normal times, and therefore extraordinary measures are needed.

Not a bad version of the West Wing Shuffle, one might think. Except the logic has one drawback. It is as a result of years of allowing the market to take its ‘normal’ course that we are in the mess we are in now. One doesn’t test the beliefs of true free market ideologues during normal times. The only time they can be truly tested is in extremis. Read the rest of this entry »

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“We Simply Cannot Ask The American Taxpayer To Subsidize Failure”

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Study the words in the title, and take a think. Haven’t we already subsidized failure to the tune of hundred of billions in the last three months?

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i speak with forked tongue

Before Mitch McConnell uttered the phrase above, he made sure to try to separate the bailout of the auto industry from the bailout of the financial industry. The financial bailout he said, was to shore up the entire economy. The auto bailout would support a single industry.

But McConnell’s cries of selectivism should fall on deaf ears. The US Auto Industry is no ordinary industry. It represents a big chunk of our albeit shrinking manufacturing output. It’s not as if the aluminum siding, or the garden furniture industries were looking for federal handouts. We’re talking about cars here. You can’t walk five yards in this country without seeing fifty. If the US car industry were to fail it would impact millions of Americans, would crush a thousand companies that rely on the Big Three, would severely impact the world auto industry, and would dig us deeper into recession.The truth is that sometimes principles have to suffer. But it’s not as if McConnell and his fellow Republicans can make any claim on ideological purity when it comes to subsidies. Read the rest of this entry »

Ford + GM Have Been Making Small Cars For Years. In Europe.

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Recognize these?

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2au_largeThe one on the left is a Ford Ka, the one on the right is GM Vauxhall Corsa.

Small, good-looking, low cost, not at all thirsty, and sold in Europe for years.

Ford and GM during their latest congressional grovel sessions, said they’d tool up to produce small cars in the US. Great idea, except they’ve been making small cars for decades. Good ones too.

Here’s the rest of the Ford Europe Range, and here’s the GM Europe Range (brand name Vauxhall). Take a look. Would they be able to take on Toyota and Honda in the US? Definitely.

They both have great well designed ranges that could be really competitive in the US, with low emissions, great gas mileage (almost as good as a hybrid for way less money) and far better European styling than we’re used to here in the US even from the Japanese.

So why weren’t they for sale here? Read the rest of this entry »

The Idea That America Won’t Make Cars. Ridiculous.

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leo4b1

america the proud

The Auto Industry defines America. There is hardly a major part of recent American history that isn’t profoundly influenced by cars, socially, economically, and politically. As the nation debates the future of its manufacturing heart and soul, it’s worth looking back a few decades in the shape of a list of manufacturers and their slogans or ‘taglines’. It wasn’t always the “Big Three”.

The list speaks for itself about the how much the nation’s vibrant multi-faceted, innovative car industry has been laid low in the past few decades.

The name of each manufacturer (and there are many) is followed by their slogan. Full of pathos, a vigorous, often naive optimism,  and an odd polite dignity, they tell of a time when American manufacturing ruled the world. Some of the lines are truly priceless. Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

November 29, 2008 at 1:15 pm