Friday, November 21, 2008
Dear GM, Ford, and Chrysler,
You're kidding, right?
You people have been bleeding market share, and money, for years. This is directly due to your chronic inability or unwillingness to get a clue. Toyota and Honda have been eating your lunch since the seventies. This may have something to do with them building better cars.
Now you want a bailout.
Back in your profitable days, I don't recall a great deal of public spirited-ness coming from your corner. I recall aggressive lobbying for protectionism, against mileage standards, against safety standards, and against environmental standards. (I also recall the Bonneville, the Excursion, and the Sebring. Shudder.) Now you want a blank check to sustain you while you burn even more cash building cars and – especially – trucks that...follow my logic here...Americans don't want to buy.
Uh, that would be 'no.'
Yes, Michigan and a few other states would suffer in the short term, and that sucks. I'd be perfectly fine with some relocation and/or tuition assistance for the workers who lose their jobs. And I've gone on record many times favoring single-payer healthcare for all Americans, which would certainly include them.
But to go on building unwanted cars simply for lack of any better ideas? No. If you can't compete, clear out and make room for others who can. It's time to rip off the band-aid.
Dear XM Radio,
I have openly defended the practice of paying for radio, due mostly to my love of “Beyond Jazz.” Now you've dropped the channel, and replaced it with – excuse me, I have to vomit again – new age?
The other day, on the way home from work, I hit the preset for Beyond Jazz, hoping to hear something funky or challenging, per usual. Instead, I heard – and honestly, this should just be illegal – Tangerine Dream?
There is no excuse for Tangerine Dream.
Worse, look at what you kept. “Watercolors?” Kenny *&^%$#@ G? You drop Kenny Garrett, and keep Kenny G?
No, no, no. That's just wrong.
I pay for the #$%^^&* radio, and get Kenny G? Um, no.
Dear Senator Ted Stevens,
Karma is a bitch.
You got a bunch of money from Clinton to convert to more fuel-efficient cars. It isn't our fault that you decided to change those same production lines to make Explorers, Expiditions and Hummers... You had your chance.
b. Most of the XM stations are "still there" they just moved. They sent you an email. Didn't you get it? Or just not read it?
c. Wow... you are just mean.
I'm curious about this: "Michigan and a few other states would suffer in the short term," where are you getting this?
to stop being so greedy.
Not everyone has their health
care and full pension for life!
Shame on those pesky workers for trying to better their lot! It's downright unamerican.
I hope this wasn’t directed at me. Regardless, such sarcasm strikes me as blind. Is the UAW helpful to their workers if their industry ceases to exist? This is no longer a hypothetical.
Me, I'm kind of annoyed they changed the names of "Lucy," "Fred," and "Ethel."
Anyways, GM's been bleeding forever, and Ford's not doing great, but Chrysler was holding its own until fairly recently.
Fuel efficient cars have been in high demand for less than 2 years.
Previously the money was in trucks and suvs, which is why Toyota just built a new plant in Texas to make full size pickup trucks.
The domestics are high leverage companies who were restructuring and updating their product lines for the new demand when the market contracted by 30% (from 17million units to 11 million). The credit markets are closed so they can't get loans
What's the point. People have made up their minds. I agree, they made mistakes so we should let 'em burn. Regardless of the wider effects. In 5-15 years the market will be more efficient. I think we should apply this thinking in more areas. For instance, if you picked the wrong thing to study in college that's your tough luck. My taxes shouldn't help fund your continuing education.
I'm actually asking; GM's decline is precipitous and well predates the runup in oil prices.
First, Ford sells a lot of F-series pickups. Wow. Second, Toyota makes just an absolute pile of money off of its small and midsize cars.
SUVs don't show up until the CR-V. It's all about the pickups and the sedans until then. Hm. Seems like there was a pretty solid market for small and midsized sedans more or less the whole time. On the other hand, there definitely was money being made selling lots of pickup trucks. Hm hm hm.
The other major factor is that a new company in the US is not paying as much in retirement as one that has a huge number of people who retired on contracts (both union and non-union) that were not funded in an actuarially sound fashion. Engineers and managers got a pretty good deal also, but you don't see that analyzed by the pundits. (Back when I was a kid, an auto company VP lived in our neighborhood, the same neighborhood where senior auto workers lived, one where his house would probably sell for $150,000 today.)
You can't entirely blame the UAW, since they agreed to a major deal to take over health costs for retirees. The executives weren't even willing to fly coach (or drive!) to testify in Washington for some bailout money.
B. Just cancel it for breach of contract and become a pod person.
I worked for Toyota for about a year. I had a boss named Johnny, He had a boss namaged greg, he had a boss whose name escapes me and than that guy answered to the plant manager. So there's 4 people and we're not even up to the corporate level yet.
That was the late 90's so maybe Toyota added a few, or you're wrong, or the paper was wrong.