Auto Bailout: Live Blog III

Posted by: David Kiley on December 4, 2008

Senator Jon Tester: Expressed frustration and disbelief that the TARP money was supposed to free up credit, and that the biggest thing killing auto sales is the inability of consumers to get loans. Tester said about the bankers who have gotten TARP money: “I’d like to get those birds back in here.”

GM’s Wagoner: We are not going to use any of this govt. money to invest in jobs overseas, or even in Mexico and Canada.

3:04 PM: Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) is proposing that the government loans be contingent on forcing GM to merge with Chrysler, because of the enormous cost savings going forward—$8-$10 billion a year. The UAW doesn’t like it. BUt the UAW is losing leverage in this discussion by the minute.

3:36 PM: Senator Bob Corker is getting a lot of traction in a proposal that the UAW must by March 31 agree to wages that are equal to foreign-owned transplants, take half their healthcare payments from GM in stock and not cash, and that bondholders take 30 cents on the dollar.

Corker is also an advocate of GM and Chrysler merging and he has been tough on Nardelli to say that Chrysler has no future as a stand-alone company.

Reader Comments

russ

December 4, 2008 8:10 PM

I think anyone who purchased an import should have a tax or import fee imposed on them. e.g. when you go to renew your license you should have to pay a much larger fee because those buyers actually have created the problem. This problem started years back, not recently. Also another thought would be to give anyone who buys a big three auto a tax credit...

Paul (Vw)

December 4, 2008 9:45 PM

>>> GM’s Wagoner: We are not going to use any of this govt. money to invest in jobs overseas, or even in Mexico and Canada.

That doesn't necessarily mean they won't invest in job overseas...they may just shuffle money around to claim that the bailout dollars were solely spent in the US...but that would allow them to allocate other dollars overseas.

kate

December 4, 2008 10:31 PM

i am furious with the audacity of the automakers and the Democrat form Pennsylvania tryinto snow me as a consumer. I was against the bailout of the banks and I am against the bailout of the GM Clowns!
I am furious that they expect ME to pay for their employee pensions and wave these letters in front of the media to gain sympathy! They are a bunch of horribly dishonest men and need to lose their jobs, their pensions, and all the damage they have done they are accountable for. I am beginning to regret voting to Obama because i am beginning to see the fallacy that we can continue to bailout htese people.
Are they going to ensure MY retirement? NO they are not!
This is an insult to my education and my intelligence.
They are flush with cash through their other counterparts who will not loan them anything! That should say allot.
This needs to be done.
They need to s ink and fail and I dont care if they go bankrupt! They made a mess and they get to live with it.
ENOUGH!!!!

Simran Wadhwa, SG Analytics (Serving the global community)

December 5, 2008 7:02 AM

Detroit’s big three automakers who have come second time for a government bailout are definitely going to require more than the $35 billion they are currently pleading for. The impact of the embarrassment they faced last time can be clearly seen in their agreement to cut down their salaries to $1 a year if the federal loan is approved. GM which is currently in desperate need of $4 bn will surely run out this emergency fund also in a blink. Merger of two firms sounds far better!

Uncle Sam

December 5, 2008 8:58 AM

Russ, Russ, Russ

Opinions are like navels in that everyone has one.

Some opinions are based in history and have the benefit of being thoughts that are solidly rooted in fact. Others are the fruit of dreams and are rooted in the disciplined iterations of logic. Alas, some are just plain stupid.

Those opiners with thoughts that fall within this third kind are better served by just being quiet.

Uncle Sam

Lewis

December 5, 2008 12:02 PM

Two commnts:
1) I believe GM and Ford should consider each creating two companies, one a domestic company and one an international company. Since they are both profitable overseas, they could liquidate the domestic companies, thereby allowing them to operate profitably and export vehicles to the U.S.
2)Nobody has mentioned,for example the $150 billion given to AIG, while the auto companies are asking for $34 billion, and possibly more later. But my point is that the auto manufacturers represent a much greater risk to our economic stability than did AIG
3)A good part of the auto companies' problem is the UAW, and although the UAW has reduced their take they have the Congress strongly on their side, so the auto companies are fighting an uphill battle which is why I favor #1

Common Sense

December 5, 2008 7:22 PM

It makes me extremely upset and angry when I start thinking what mismanagement and bad bets Citi Bank have done when they needed $300 billion with almost no supervision how they are going to spend them!!?? $300 billion. I will repeat one more time, $300 billion. + $150 billion for AIG + other thief that should be in jail how for making millions of American families living life worst then in third world countries.

Why they are not lending that money back to tax payers, small business? Are they sending our money outside of country?

Why we don't have $450 billion to stop foreclosures and get the economy out of this pit and we have $450 to donate to Citi and AIG? Why they are so much important then American people?

What our president is doing letting car makers going of the cliff in situation when is very difficult to sale any car even for Honda and Toyota?

Every lost job in one of Big Three's will consequently lead to loosing 10 more jobs all around the country.

They are not asking for bailout they are asking for loan.

I wonder are those people who are making decisions really believe in what they are saying? and are they saying truth.

Common Sense

December 5, 2008 7:24 PM

I believe that no one company should outsource jobs anymore to anywhere. It is really common sense. If American people don't have jobs and don't earn money they will not have money to buy imported things.

I wonder where American patriotism is these days to stand for the country.

Common Sense

December 5, 2008 7:26 PM

I belive a lot of Japanise are writing on these blogs these days.
They are just stiring the pot and making us confused.
Think about that.

John

December 5, 2008 9:26 PM

The Big three knew this time would come sooner than later due to several factors, labor too many product lines and greed. In my opinion they do not have a back bone when it comes to labor and negotiations with the union. The legacy cost of health care, pensions, etc before they made a deal with the UAW several years ago had a significant impact. But more importantly had working in the auto industry as a supplier the arrogance of the Big three was and still is out of control. There demands that they have put on suppliers and terms that they have put on suppliers are extreme. So if they (the big three) go under it will have a massive impact on the suppliers. By stretching them financially and expecting them to absorb massive losses.

The hammer should be dropped on management, and the unions. If a bail out occurs I feel that the same behavior will continue with the Big three and they will be back in several months or maybe several years for additional funding. If some sort of financial help does not occur there will be a massive tail spin of unemployment and hardship for not only people who work directly for the Big three but there suppliers. So it is a double edge sword, give them the bailout with massive milestones to reach and remove management and bring in a team that is not driven by greed. Or let them fall and have the recession last years.

I am not in support of giving them a bailout, it is the principle and example that it will set, if it done. But on the other hand it will have a significant economic impact if they do not receive help.

pjkPA

December 5, 2008 9:51 PM

If our government would be half as efficient as GM ... GM would be doing fine. Fact is our US market is rigged against our own US companies. Toyota Honda Nissan etc have NO COMPETITION in Japan. A Chevy Cobalt costs $45,000 IN JAPAN. How many Camrys would sell for $45,000 in the US? Try to sell a US car in Korea or Germany... by the time you add taxes and other fees it will cost twice as much. Do you call this "competition"?
It's time to fix the problem .. level the playing field... our companies will do fine... just give them a level playing field.. right now it's rigged against them.
And overturn the lawsuit Toyota won against GM .. which states that GM will have a unfair advantage if they advertise that they build cars with stainless steel exhaust and galvanized steel.
Our government and lawyers made this mess they have to fix it.

Dave Yox

December 6, 2008 12:53 PM

Maximum wage
There are no foreign cars, just foreign Jobs, that don’t pay taxes here!
Who What When Where How much & Why = USA JOBS
GM Ford & Daimler Chrysler Products are full of foreign (not made or assembled in U.S.A.) Parts. The steel & everything is ordered from the lowest Bidder as it should be. Foreign car makes have good JOBS HERE to.
All Autoworkers Industry Sales & Service Jobs paying good wages with benefits, USA Jobs. Lets temporarily Help Them compete with the WORLD.
How, if The Job is here, lets kick in there. By a Maximum wage
(No Over-time No Bosses No Executives No Lear Jets No Bonuses No shift differential & No New Employees).
Union Hourly - Not To blame them, But to Honor our Country.
In The United States and its Territories only. My Load Lets build plants here!
Lastly Retired Auto Worker From any company that pays pensions
For an hourly job finished here.
Minimum wage of $7.15 hr. helps new workers Starting out.
Maximum wage of $45.00 hr. including benefits costs will helps old companies compete with the new companies all over the world now.
A bridge Investment purchase of new common stock, will work with reasonable conditions of change. The United States Government aid to all auto companies here, sales, & service hourly and hourly retired employees.
Help to retool unions from a thankful people and nation.
Over The Next score (20 Years) as union contracts expire and change, As Jobs in other Countries pay better wages with benefits. I know this will faze away,
I Sincerely hope new auto jobs here don't lose the hope of a good living wage.
Also this will begin to move new jobs here now and later.
Stock prices will fly so high you won’t believe it…
From an Ex Steel Worker, plant closed 1981.
Dozervice@msn.com

gerard duchene

December 7, 2008 2:06 PM

I am so sick and tired of Americans bashing other American workers! Why are our auto companies in trouble? well,, first we are in a deep recession. second, this the only country in the world that lets other countries dump their cars over here to keep their economies rolling. By dumping I mean you can buy these foreign cars here cheaper than you could if you lived in the country where they came from. In 2007 our second biggest import was foreign cars 134 billion dollars!! How many troops do these foreign countries have helping us in Afganistan ? Countries like China, and Japan buy up US debt securities then control us like so many puppets on a string! WAKE UP AMERICA!!

George Lilly - Stimulous vs Bailout

December 8, 2008 10:33 AM

Why are there no economists speaking on either side of this issue? The Auto companies don't need money to pay down debt - they need to sell some cars!!
Hows this for an idea that kills two birds with one stone - give everyone a $3000 tax credit if they buy an American built car (>50% US content)that has 10 mpg better fuel consumption than the one they trade in. This would stimulate sales as well a make a big dent in the oil issue. Let's fix the problem, not apply bandaids!

wehofx

December 11, 2008 5:31 PM

The Republicans want the UAW to reduce their hourly wage to the same amount as the Japanese car companies pay their workers in the US. I agree but what is typically Republican is not addressing the over paid executives in the Big 3. Compared to Japanese car companies the Big 3 executives are paid significantly more - not to mention there are also more executives in the Big 3.

JK

December 11, 2008 10:45 PM

There are a few way to help the big 3 to recover:
1. I think we need to give incentive to autoworker to make better cars to be more competitive. One way is to give low interest loan to auto workers who will buy their companies stocks. It is like a cash infusion, but we'll make all auto workers the owner of the business and they will work harder to make a better product.
2. Reduce cost of production by creating a organization to propose standard. It is like IEEE which made standard on ethernet and WIFI. For example, if they standardize the size and connector of a blower, many smaller business can produce it with a minimal cost. As a result, auto make can concentrate on the high tech.
3. Use personal computer parts:
There are many PC parts can be use for cars such as DVD Rom, MP3 player, PCMCIA card, USB and FireWire ports. Even the computer for the car can use Intel or AMD chips which is a lot more powerful than theirs.
4. Use USB port for all car computer diagonasic. They currently have many different modules for different cars. If they use USB, they don't have to make the modules anymore. All they have to do is make service center subscribe their software and they provide update. They'll be able to make money with software with very little overhead.

help

December 12, 2008 12:04 AM

I do not see how the Congress can leave for the holidays without providing some aide to the auto companies. Everyone in Detroit, who has a job, is working way overtime to stay afloat. How can Congress just give up? Come up with a solution!Everyone else in Detroit with a job is working round the clock to save their companies and their jobs.

Our Auto Companies and manufacturing built our country and made it powerful. We can not let it flounder and go under. It is incomprehensible to me that our country has the ability to help, but wont.. . .they can't agree on what pot of money to tap.

Senator Shelby should be identified as the poster child of personal greediness, for wanting to grow his foreign (Toyota) jobs in his state at the expense of the country. . . and trying to shoot down the Bailout bill of the domestic auto industry. Oh, that's right, I believe his state helped build the plant for Toyota...what about helping the domestic industry?

Congress needs to become far more fiscally responsible so we can reduce our taxes on cars so that we can be on an equal footing with foreign auto makers in sales.

Banks need to offer credit and somehow calm fears of a depression.

As a republican living in the Detroit area, I have a sour taste in my mouth for my country after the failure in the senate of the Auto Bailout. I am quickly becoming a Democrat as they have showed more support than the Republicans.

As for Detroit, individuals with white collar jobs are losing them daily. There just are not enough jobs here to support the educated work force. People can't move becuase no one can sell their house. We will all soon be on the government dollar because no one can get a job. Michigan will become an economic wasteland.

Get to Work Congress and Do Something Fo r ONCE!!!

jacked

December 12, 2008 12:53 AM

It is absolutely great. About time the handouts stopped. Screw the auto industry from bloated CEOs to lowly overpaid workers. Welcome to the real U.S. manufacturing forge. Everything must go. You people in the auto industry are about to learn the real meaning of capitalism. I know, lets pass a bill in Congress to expedite the dissection of businesses so I can buy a part of what is left of the big three. This is a great day, and I hope all those in the auto industry are in a lot of pain.

Rick Walter

December 12, 2008 12:54 AM

Why should we be forced to pay for a uncompetitive series of company's that are bloated with wasteful spending and over paid employees (80 dollars per hour)?? edumcate me on this

Chris Smith

December 12, 2008 7:59 AM

This is blatant union busting by mostly southern Republicans. They have non-union foreign car makers in their states and they could care less if the the Big Three survive. They are angry because they gave a blank check to Wall Street and they are taking it out on the UAW. Why didn't they ask for concessions from Wall Street's white collar workers.. Why don't they demand that the Big Three white collar workers take pay and benefit cuts. The difference between the pay of executives of the Big Three and the foreign car makers is much greater than that of the blue collar workers, but you don't hear congress say a word about that. That is why this is just union busting. On one hand they don't want the government involved and then they want to tell the UAW how much money they can make.

Alan Mueller

December 12, 2008 8:46 AM

I see many people making concessions to keep the car companies going. The only ones who kept it from happening were the UAW. By not making concessions they are forcing the companies into bankruptcy. The auto companies won't stand up to the UAW, I only hope the rest of us continue to. Why should us ordinary Americans making 10-12 bucks an hour have to bail out union jobs? Let them compete like the rest of us do. If the company can't make it, let it start over in bankruptcy and renegotiate from a position of strength. Once we have taxpayer dollars in these companies we will have to continue to throw dollars into them, over and over again.

Charlie Miles

December 12, 2008 8:57 AM

Organized labor is the primary culprit of the Big 3's inability to change and significantly above-market costs per vehicle. The only way for the Big 3 to survive in the long-term without a government GIFT (i.e. they wouldn't have to pay taxpayers back) is to utilize market-rate labor (NO UNION LABOR) with domestic manufacturing or utilize their production facilities overseas.
I am hopeful domestic production is a plausible option but am fearful that the unions have too big a voice in Congress. Their anti-competitive voice is unfortunately loud when they misrepresent the loss of 3 million jobs. Yes, jobs will be lost if the companies reorganized, but one must not protect the typewriter industry against the computer! Free-market competition is the fabric of our nation's economy. Let's not change that fact in favor of pro-organized labor ideology (i.e. a socialistic principle).
A consumer-driven approach must be taken; if vehicles can be produced most efficiently via overseas production facilities, lower vehicle price tags will be seen in fewer Big 3 showrooms.
The reorganization of the Big 3 is far more likely to promote innovation that "preserving the status quo". We ask "what happened to the electric car"? A decision to save the Big 3 for the benefit of organized labor (i.e. the UAW) is nothing more than promoting the stagnation of the auto manufacturing industry.

imgibson

December 12, 2008 10:30 AM

The Republicans would like to see this country fall into a depression so they can somehow blame the Democrats come election time if everything is not fixed quickly enough. They are jealous, vindictive, small minded people, elitist who are not capable of rational thought. It's O.K. to bail out Wall Street and pay it's Execs millions but the average man who dared to vote against them now has to suffer as payback. They are truly scary people and the irony is I've been a Republican for 30 years and after this election will never vote republican again.

Jan

December 12, 2008 12:14 PM

Is it the loans, the banks? No. I'm against any auto company that spent huge advertising $$ to create a market for "big cars" rather than being cognizant of economy, "green", etc. The big 3 ignored market sense and continued their pursuit of American spend, spend, spend. A bailout will not help them, they had warning years ago their cars & trucks were too big, yet did nothing. They need to reorganize if they hope to survive. The bailout is not for them. I don't pay enough in taxes to support their poor management.

Jim in Oregon

December 12, 2008 1:40 PM

George Lilly

Totally Agree. You can't save the country by giving banks automakers etc billions in cash. It does nothing for the economy and does not help Americans. The old saying is Crap flows downhill, not money it always has and always will flow uphill. Give it to the average american in any way, stimulus refund cash whatever and it will make it's way to the stock market, banks, automakers and everything else on its way to the top of the corporate ladder. It sure as hell does not take a financial genius to figure that out now does it. political backrubbing has ruined this country and brought us to this point. Do away with lobbying and jail some of these problem creators in gov't and corp America and get on with it.

The Political Stray

December 12, 2008 1:45 PM

Toyota spent 3 million dollars lobbying Congress in 2007. One of the issues: currency balance in trade.

Why do we allow politicians that favor importers over American products stay in office?

The Senators working against this bailout and working to breakdown unions are:
Sen Vitter Louisiana
Sen Shelby Alabama
Sen Ensign Nevada
Sen Coburn Oklahoma/Nevada (very active)
Sen DeMint So Carolina
Sen Corker Tennessee

Careful observation tells us that almost all of our economic problems come back to about twenty senators and small unknown Congress members that slip through legislation.

Check it out at the Library of Congress.

Bill Ludwig

December 12, 2008 3:28 PM

Here's my thought. If the Big 3 workers are so sure these companies are viable, have them invest in them. Redirect union and pension funds to create liquid investment funds for the automakers. The "investors" would have a real interest in making the companies viable.

From Kiley---I like it!

Craig Renck

December 13, 2008 12:12 AM

Someone please tell the UAW that this deal is not negotiable. If this bail-out is passed, I; a loyal tax paying consumer, will refuse to buy any "big three" products!! Just say NO: To bad business practices; to corporate greed; to business as usual!

Tom Worsley

December 15, 2008 12:17 PM

I am a 41 year old auto parts worker from Ontario and if the Government's of both USA and Canada plan on letting the auto industry fail then what they need to do is. "BAIL THE WORKERS OUT NOT THE CEO's"

Yes that means bailing me out and all my co-workers. Because if the auto industry goes bust I go bust and millions of other auto workers along with me. I truly think that we are living out the great depression of the 21'st century right now as we speak. The only way it can be stopped is with a bailout of the working class and not industry. But does the gov of USA and Canada have enough money to bail out millions of people.

Gary Frame

December 15, 2008 5:14 PM

I think that if Bob Corker and his GOP "good old boys" want to bust the union, they should start by giving up the same portion of their Congressional salaries, health benefits, retirement pension, etc.

scott B

December 15, 2008 9:26 PM

I guess republicans think all wages should be based on a Alabama pay scale.

E'Trigan

December 15, 2008 10:42 PM

Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages. TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results: TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses. AND, what about big OIL? Anyone care to go on the record as to how much of the Auto Business they own in stock? They don't want Detroit to go under - that's why gas prices are so low. As soon as the bailout goes through - $4 a gallon!

Martin

December 17, 2008 4:35 PM

8% of a car's cost is due to an American UAW....42% is management! Case closed...I'm for the American average Joe..Hey Joe the American Worker...

Dale

December 19, 2008 3:36 PM

I am having a very hard time determining why an auto worker is more important than say a Retail worker or any other factory worker for that matter. All year retail workers have been loosing their jobs; its approaching 1,000,000 US retail workers that have lost their jobs and NO bailout. A skimpy $165B Stimulus package that lasted about 3 months worth of Retail gains too basically buy HD TV's. Can someone please tell me why auto workers are so important to America's future when the rest of us workers are cast aside and told well we are in a Global Economy and there is tough competition?

I guess I would support a bailout if Honda, Toyota, and Nissan needed one to! But they are not asking for one nor getting any 'free' government loans yet they employee American autoworkers just like the Big 3 do? What am I missing?

Last I knew we live in a market based economy and the market is saying no thanks to the Big 3 based on their car designs, quality, and cost. So based on Customer demands our government has decided that Customers don't know anything and the Big 3 must keep making car, trucks, and Super Undervalued Vehicles(SUV) for the American people. WOW!

Jerry

December 20, 2008 12:28 PM

I believe the loss of interest in buying from the top three auto makers in America has a lot to do with their own behaviour over the past many years of screwing the purchasing public. I personally was turned off when a ford ranger I owned shed over 80% of its factory paint down to the primer and still under three years old. When Five Star Ford near Fort Worth turned the claim over to a district ford representative who admitted the bad lot of paint at the factory was to cause but I would still need to pay for replacing the defective paint, in his own words he was unwilling to work with me because he could not tell if I was truely a Ford customer since I had gotten this vechile second hand from my friend deployed to the middle east. To state my side I truely had bought more than 5 american cars 4-ford and 1-chevy up to that time. Using Ford financing two times and I could not belive he would make that statement. I swore off any american made vehicle after that year. I currently have 3 Toyotas two are paid off with over 200,000 miles I personally put on them and the newest Trundra has 20,000. I also have six kids and twenty grandkids of which none will buy american brands. My extended family alone has over 2 dozen autos worth several hundred thousand dollars. Ford caused a bid loss by dishing me in the past.

Carbon 12

December 20, 2008 3:45 PM

Dt-toilet made their bed, now we have to supply them a new matteris. If my company made junk noone wanted would Uncle Sam bail me out? Im a vet and they wont even supply decent health care for us even though they are the reason for many of the situations vets are in health wise. The government cant afford to help the people who work for them, and now a gang of greedy SOB's who run the financial and car makers want tax money to help support their free spender lifestyles. Go figure. Only in the good ole' USA

HondaGirl

December 22, 2008 8:21 AM

Dear readers,

Lets face it american's have made a choice.
They prefer foreign cars. They are better built cars.

Would you if had a choice invest in a bankrupt company?
That is exactly what we had shoved down our throats.

They are not viable,they will fail and already have.

What a joke,we the taxpayer just got taken for a ride.
In a gm car mind you,that will fall apart anyway.

Dont you think we should have the right to choose where we as americans want are tax dollars to go. After all we work for the money.We should all boycott,just think if we all stopped working for a month and had a strike.
Maybe then we can choose where we want our money to go.

President bush made a mistake that will never be forgotten
This will go down in History as one of the biggest waste of money.

Gm will need much more money,in a month. They failed
they should not be allowed to continue to produce products that americans do not want on our expense mind you.

Joseph J. Smith Jr.

December 22, 2008 1:09 PM

Monday, December 22, 2008
Auto Bailout, Do You Wonder Why?
Do you wonder why after so many spoke out against the Detroit bail out George Bush did it anyway?
I wonder if it was because a company named Cerberus; Chaired by old Bush insider and former Secretary of the Treasury, John W. Snow owns 80.1% of Chrysler. That in it self may stink a little until you dig deeper and find that Global Investments, Chaired by another Bush crony former Vise President Dan Quayle and led by Cerberus management purchased 51% of GMAC finance in late 2006 at which point it begins to stink a lot. Just who is really getting bailed out? Quayle is also on the board of IAP, and their bread and butter comes from, you guessed it, Gov Contracts. By the way, look the word Cerberus up and you will find it is the name from Greek mythology of a 3 headed dog that guarded the underworld. Sweet!
As far as I can tell Ford Motor who opted out of the bail out doesn’t have a dog in the hunt with regard to these Bush connected investment groups which makes me want to hold my nose even harder than the last time I had to vote for President Bush.
Are you asking yourselves some hard questions right now? I am. I learned of this from Michael Savage on one of the talk radio shows that may soon be silenced by the so called "Fairness Doctrine". I did some research myself as well, links provided below.
http://www.cerberuscapital.com/news_press_release.html
http://www.vicepresidentdanquayle.com/biography.html
J. J. S.

James

January 4, 2009 1:32 AM

I understand that the auto makers were in trouble as is most of the nation as well as the world. I think the government went about this whole situation wrong though. The everyday taxpayer is footing the bill for everything and not getting anything in return. Sure it saves a percentage of jobs so there are less unemployed but we are still experiencing massive layoffs and numerous other companies are going out of business with no bailout. They just are not as big or have the politicians ears the way the auto industry or the banking industries do. Why couldn't the government had issued out vouchers to the taxpayers to purchase a new car from one of the big three. That would have stimulated their segment of the market and gotten a lot of vehicles off the car lots and put American made vehicles back on the roads. By moving the vehicles off the car lots that would have made it possible for the auto makers to produce more vehicles and not flood their car lots. This would have also given a lot of Americans the opportunity to own a new car and for many their first new car ever. By empowering the taxpayers to go out and get a new vehicle it would also ensure that they have dependable transportation to and from work or to go out and look for work. I just don't think it is fair to just give hand outs to a few and let the rest fall to the side. The company I work for is still surviving but it is just barely hanging on. They have closed plants cut the work force in half and imposed pay cuts. Numerous companies in the same field have already closed their doors for good and the government is not helping us out at all. So the government is going to keep the ones with all the money in money and let the ones trying fall to the side and go broke.

B Daniel

January 22, 2009 4:31 PM

let them fail now ,not "later" sue the top people for stupidity ! good companys will grow from the wreckage it is " NATURES WAY " p.s. getting mad at japan for building smart cars is old sad thinking

Steve Butler

February 18, 2009 4:42 PM

The housing crisis and the auto industry problems are related. I just bought a house and I had more than one realtor tell me the reason the sellers are upside down in their mortgage is they took home equity to buy fancy SUVs. The housing cash was an artifical demand that car companies thought was real and scaled up to supply. The reason they have never seen the car demand fall so fast and so far is that it was artifically inflated for years. Car companies banked the profit and built plants like it was real. It wasn't real like the housing growth wasn't real. Don't bail them out. There isn't enough money in the world and no need to support that much supply and capacity. Combine the big three into a smaller domestic two like someone else said. If the auto workers won't deal, go through bankrucy and let the judge decide.

John N

February 19, 2009 9:30 PM

I don't feel compassion for the auto industry whose employees make twice as much (or more) than the average hourly worker. They have given us the choice: support their high labor costs or face the consequences of bankrupcy. I want the american auto industry to be successful, but continued financial support is not an option.

Jane Bova

February 22, 2009 11:19 PM

We should not bail out the big three

Companies like toyota, honda, nissan, Hyndai all doing fine and build better cars

Why we bail out companies - Ford GM Chrysler who make poor cars and that too with my money

Let these losers crash and close the shop

Peter , Bethpage, NY

March 31, 2009 9:49 PM

The problem with this country is not the cars, but the people. American car companies are in trouble because of bad management and contracts with workers that should be re-negotiated. Let’s face it most people are re-negotiating their contracts and careers each day.
The people who designed and built these cars are not bad people and if anyone would bother to take a look, they produced great cars.

Maybe, if the american people gave these cars a chance and at least entertained buying an American car, maybe these companies can crawl out of the hole they are in.

I mean how many people today buy BMW and Mercedes without even looking at the new entries from Cadillac and Lincoln. I hate to say this but keeping Germans employed will not help fund our social security for seniors. There will be no money going to our federal and state coffers when you buy German or Korean. There will be no German’s buying houses in your neighborhood to keep the value of your house from dropping.There is an exception to this rule, because companies like Toyota and Honda do build cars in the U.S. These companies at least supply jobs to U.S. workers even though the profits go back to Japan.

Maybe if Americans who at least give American products a chance, we can get out of this economic mess.

For more on this subject and some stats on foreign vs. domestic cars, read my blog:

http://www.greatamericancars.blogspot.com

scott

April 14, 2009 7:33 PM

If the auto companys wants a bailout, I'd buy a butt ugly car if it got 80 to 100 mpg's
sgh

handiman

April 21, 2009 9:47 PM

So, if the next bailout for the auto industry is $5 Billion, why not give the first 500,000 people to purchase a new US-made car a $10,000 check. That equals $5 Billion, puts people to work building those 500,000 cars, stimulates the economy, and doesn't reward the auto manufacturers for poor business practices.

andover98

April 23, 2009 5:01 PM

Who says they have poor business practices? Nobody knows what practices the foreign owned companies have because they are privately owned and state supported; unlike US manufacturers who are publicly traded companies. These foreign companies began building plant here during the catastrophe of the 1980's when unemployment lines went down the streets all over the US. At a time when fewer cars would be bought, not more. US auto companies struggled against their "private" intrusion where they now made cars the same price, mpg, color and appearance to the domestic counterparts. (A bid to sell cars in acountry where foreign cars had a "much" higher fatality rate, in accidents, and were considered cheap and substandard by most US consumers. US companies struggling to stay in business in a deteriorating banking climate where risky loans and high interest rates dominated the landscape managed to rack up what appears to be a insufferable burden of debt; knowing that most people prefered to buy their cars. This situation has not yet run its course. Yet, while no one has ever determined that foreign makers are in fact more efficient;, and there has never been any reason to assume same, life goes on and we risk losing basic manufacturing that has seen us through at least two world wars and been the reason majorly we were victorious. Also, when they have exposed there innermost secrets to the Japanese, Germans and Italians (who are sitting on bought up patents for two electric cars, an AM 50 mpg and a GM 70 mpg cars, they will not even have to employ US workers or use US parts or tire manufacturers later. All of this could be set aside as an issue by noting that GM could never be successful today saddled with illegal, possibly treasonous foreign competition and the interest and payment on almost $100.000,000,000 (Billion)in subsequent debt. What is the answer (while parties NOW conspire to keep them from producing the Chevy Volt, which I am personally fuming I will not be able to buy having once owned a WONDERFUL AM Renault Alliance.)? GIVE THEM THE MONEY ! Give US Auto Manufacturers the money to live decently; as they DESERVE ! If all taxpayers and people receiving disability checks contributed just $21/m for 24 months or $42/m for just 12 months, Their ENTIRE debt would be paid
and then we would see who was more EFFICIENT. Our jobs and national security would be saved and they could toss everone out, as these people have already, and get back to the business of domestic auto production. I have opened an account for this purpose and have contacted GM, so far, with its account number. IF ANYONE CARES TO JOIN IN AT EITHER SUM, or whatever you can contribute, please see the following bank account - HUNTINGTON BANK, 187 Main St., Greenville, PA 16125 - Account Number 02050336049. Thank you for you kind attention to this very sincere rant!

DB

May 3, 2009 11:31 AM

I think this "boo hoo" approach to Detroit's situation is ridiculous! For years these folks have been making upwards of $70/hr! What have they done with their money? People like me in Missouri would be happy to make a third of that! I returned to school as an adult with children to better my and my family's life financially and accomplished nothing more than creating $50,000.00 in debt to end up in two years back in a lower position making the same money! $12.50 an hour! They are their own problem!!!! The UAW is a horrible organization! You know what I'd be doing right now if I had made $70/hr for the last 10 years? I'd be retired already!! The most money I've made since my graduation in 2006 was $24/hr, and unfortunately worked for a man consumed by pride and ignorance. Stop whining a realize you've caused your own problems by your own greed an inability to manage money! Bail me out! I don't even have room for my now growing family in my house, and don't make enough money to buy a bigger home!!! I barely make enough money now to keep my family in the home we have, and I can't even pay back my student loans. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Our man in Detroit David Welch, brings keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business.

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