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Posts Tagged ‘Detroit

Let’s Try Again on…GM

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G is for Gigantic M is for Meltdown

G is for Gigantic M is for Meltdown

It’s got to the point where all you have to do is ask, and the billions come flying your way just because “you’re too big to fail”. It’s not a lesson any of us mere mortals can use, but if you’re a great big dinosaur of a car company, go right ahead.

General Motors we’re told by their auditors is at substantial risk of bankruptcy. That is not news. But it’s a useful little nugget to use if you happen to be GM looking for more cash to delay your collapse. Everyone knows the Obama administration is going to pay up, because the alternative is just too bleak to consider. GM goes under, and takes down the entire supplier structure which would be a body-blow to the rest of the world car industry, not to mention the hundreds of thousands added to the unemployment rolls in states that are already on their knees.

It’s a forlorn hope, but at least we should be a little imaginative in how we hand the money out this time. After all, we’ve kind of got these guys by the short and curlies. All we have to do (on behalf of the taxpayer of course, is twist). Here’s how… Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by coolrebel

March 5, 2009 at 11:07 pm

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 »

What’s Good for America is Good For GM

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Is this the future of the Big Three?

Is this the future of the Big Three?

David Brooks in today’s NYT suggests that bailing out the Big Three US car companies is a bad idea. While I have some doubts about his ideologically driven “creative destruction” thesis, the notion that some US Government Car Czar is going to be able to prevent these monoliths from going over the precipice is absurd. They are beyond recall in their current form. I come from the UK and back in the seventies we experimented with nationalizing the once glorious British car industry. British Leyland was the result and it was a national joke.

There are many well documented reasons that the Big Three can’t be saved; ranging from massive legacy costs, onerous union agreements, byzantine, slow moving management, being enslaved by short term stock prices, outmoded technology, and of course bad, boring cars. These companies as they are now are from another era. They are inherently dysfunctional, and need to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

November 14, 2008 at 10:26 am