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Thread: Running on fumes: GM could soon run out of cash

  1. #16
    Elite Member CherryDarling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Authority View Post
    It's pretty bleak here in Michigan. Few friends and loved ones lost their jobs or had their pay slashed. Plants closing all over the state (and nation) everywhere. I don't know what the government can do for the industry if the same people who fucked up i nthe first place are still running the Big 3. I don't see any hope in sight.
    I hear you Mr.A. Michigan is getting sadder and scarier by the minute. My BFF's hubby is going to be laid off in this latest set of cuts by GM. They have 4 children, a mortgage, etc. Just another story in this crisis, but it sure hits home.

  2. #17
    Elite Member B.C.'s Avatar
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    This really hits home for me. The plant I work at is closing in less than a month. I have a plant to go to and hopefully will be going within the next month. I worked at a GM plant for 11 years that closed in '87. I've been with Ford for 18 years and hoping some day to be able to retire. Most of my family are retired from Ford and most of my friends and family are Ford employees. The businesses in my small town have felt the impact of the plant closing. Many of the businesses around the GM plant I worked at couldn't stay open after losing us as customers. When GM closed my plant they also closed 6 others, 4 in the southwest Detroit which was already suffering. I have been looking ahead for this time since the last time I lost my job. I will make it if the industry goes under but many of my friends won't.
    Last edited by B.C.; November 9th, 2008 at 12:42 PM.

  3. #18
    Gold Member memebot's Avatar
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    If the american auto industry had been paying attention, they could have spent more resources developing vehicles that people wanted to buy, instead of lobbying for tax incentives to make SUVs and trucks more attractive to buyers. They drove their own businesses into the ground by trying to tell the market what they should be buying and not listening to what the market was asking for: economic, reliable, fuel efficient vehicles. Foreign car makes were paying attention and moved in to fill the void.

    It's not the fault of the people who worked for these companies, it's the fault of those at the top, who made the wrong decisions and will bring all those hard working people down with them.

    Hopefully they can turn things around and find their place in the market again, but it's going to take significant changes. They can no longer just try to catch up, they have to completely reposition themselves to find their place in the current economy.

  4. #19
    Elite Member B.C.'s Avatar
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    I agree with you memebot. I did read last night that Ford kept building the trucks because they were selling. I wish they had looked ahead and built more fuel efficient vehicles. Hopefully Obama will level the playing field with the imports coming in.

    My daughter just bought a Focus that gets around 36 mpg highway/31 avg. I'd love to be able to buy one but may not be able to.

    I just read that the bush is signaling they won't be helping the automakers. The repugs hate the union. Like I said before millions will be out of work if we go under. I hate that bastard idiot.
    Last edited by B.C.; November 9th, 2008 at 02:11 PM.

  5. #20
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Maybe if they didn't sell a shitty product nobody wanted, they would do better.

    Also, maybe if foreign markets would open up to them (cough, JAPAN/China) instead of being ridiculously protectionist, they'd do better.

    But come on.. not even americans buy american anymore. They're crap cars.
    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    American cars aren't better/worse than any others in terms of quality. I think the problem lies in the fact that they aren't making the kind of car people want these days. It's not just eco-warriors and hippies who want to give up their gas guzzlers and swap them for smaller more fuel-efficient cars. Toyotas, Hyundais, Hondas etc are popular because they are cheaper to run and in these hard economic times that's important to a lot of people. The US manufacturers need to wake up and give people what they actually want, not what they THINK they want.
    agree with both of you.
    the age of the big ass cars and trucks is over. they had years to see it coming but they did nothing about it. and now they're paying the price. or rather, all their employees are.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  6. #21
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    I am a Ford retiree and I had a blast for 29 years - then last year we were all offered a buyout and I took it. Why? Handwriting on the wall -I still have friends there and in other parts of the Detroit auto industry and I fear for them every single day that this downturn goes on. They don't know if they're going to have jobs by year end - one of them definitely won't. The US auto industry has suffered from a congenital condition of management extreme arrogance - "This is what we build - buy it." They were NOT interested in what people wanted; management paid themselves large salaries, collected great bonuses, got their Lincolns serviced every day, had personal drivers and numerous other perks, and patted themselves on the back for their great success. Not only did they not listen to what was wanted and needed by the public, they didn't bother to ask. While I loved working for Ford, remain loyal (they pay my pension) and met some great friends there, most of us questioned the logic and validity of many of the product decisions made. Turns out, they weren't so hot. It makes me sad to see this company in such disarray and panic.

  7. #22
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    I don't think it's a quality issue; the quality gap has been shrinking for some time now.

    They are paying the price for their greed and stupidity.

    They pushed SUVs because the profits are higher and to heck with any of the numerous and dire consequences for which they are now paying dearly. I don't think they deserve a bailout, they should not be rewarded for their negligence.

    Asian automakers were not so short-sighted. They sold SUVs as well, but remarkably efficient cars, too.

  8. #23
    Elite Member qwerty's Avatar
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    I hate to say it, but I'm not impressed with American cars at all. There are exceptions to the rule - Cadillacs seem decent all around for example. But...the styling is boring and gauche on many of the vehicles, the one American car I had visited the mechanic too often and their resale value is shit. If I buy a Japanese car for example, at least I know I'm not pouring money down the drain.

    As I said earlier, my grandfather worked for GM for 40 years. He drove a late model Cadillac company car yet could not convince my father (his son) to buy an American car although my father made great efforts to buy American everything else.

  9. #24
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yes, the styling IS hamfisted isn't it.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  10. #25
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookie View Post
    I am a Ford retiree and I had a blast for 29 years - then last year we were all offered a buyout and I took it. Why? Handwriting on the wall -I still have friends there and in other parts of the Detroit auto industry and I fear for them every single day that this downturn goes on. They don't know if they're going to have jobs by year end - one of them definitely won't. The US auto industry has suffered from a congenital condition of management extreme arrogance - "This is what we build - buy it." They were NOT interested in what people wanted; management paid themselves large salaries, collected great bonuses, got their Lincolns serviced every day, had personal drivers and numerous other perks, and patted themselves on the back for their great success. Not only did they not listen to what was wanted and needed by the public, they didn't bother to ask. While I loved working for Ford, remain loyal (they pay my pension) and met some great friends there, most of us questioned the logic and validity of many of the product decisions made. Turns out, they weren't so hot. It makes me sad to see this company in such disarray and panic.
    This is exactly how I figured it happened. I hope everyone at the top gets some kind of steep penalty over this. No one is in a mood to see a golden parachute here,either.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  11. #26
    Elite Member B.C.'s Avatar
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    It would be a loan, not a handout. It will be a huge blow to the US/world economy if any one of them go out of business. All the suppliers from tooling inserts manufacturers, uniform suppliers, the list goes on and on. It's not like just the autoworkers will be losing their jobs, it will effect millions of people. I hope the powers that be take a good hard look at what they are building and get into smaller more efficient vehicles.

    Brookie, congrats to you for being able to retire.
    Last edited by B.C.; November 9th, 2008 at 10:30 PM.

  12. #27
    Elite Member qwerty's Avatar
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    ^A Big 3 failure would essentially be like a permanent strike for many communities. Local businesses unrelated to the car industry but servicing the auto employees (i.e. - dry cleaners, grocery and other retail stores) would be devastated as would the housing market. Government intervention is critical.

  13. #28
    A*O
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    I'm not sure that effectively nationalising every industry that runs itself into a ditch after years of mis-management is the answer though. The UK had a nationalised car industry (remember British Leyland?) and it was even more inefficient than the private operation. The difference was that the unions ran everything so yes, jobs were protected but it was a total disaster otherwise.

    We seem to agree that US car companies just aren't making a product that anyone wants any more. I'm sure if a visionary CEO started to think outside the box and give people a good quality US-made product that people want they will support that company rather than a Japanese maker.
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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Yes, the styling IS hamfisted isn't it.
    that's another huge issue i have with american cars - the ghastly design.
    well, not to be a bitch but american brands in general have no clue about design, whether it's furniture or cars. the only exception i can think of is apple.

    but it's especially glaring when it comes to cars. oh my god, those big ass trucks and suvs are so fucking ugly and clunky and, like grimm says, ham-fisted. and even when they try to be innovative and trendy, they end up with butt ugly weird aberrations like those nasty chrysler cars:



    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  15. #30
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I actually like the design of the 300M... it's got a lot of references to the 30's, when it isn't all tricked out rapper style. It's a definite AMERICAN look, but it's not ridiculous.. like say..



    I hate this fucking thing. I dunno why, it's totally irrational, but I hate it. It's so.. OBVIOUS and dumb looking, like it was designed by a 3 year old. All it needs are tailfins and a bubbledome.

    This thing isn't any better:



    I hate that grill. I hate the headlights. It's like the WAL MART of cars. UGh!

    Here, here's good design:





    That's hot, and it's a family car!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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