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Old 12-05-2008, 10:39 AM   #41
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i remember the Firebird/Camaro fanboys from my GM buying days

you do have to wonder at the logic of not only having 10 brands or more but having different price levels in each brand. Corvette is a special case, but i've seen Chevy's sell for $50,000 for some of the SUV models like the Suburban when it's supposed to be a low price brand

Toyota does something like this with a few trucks but their branding is better with an entry level and a luxury brand.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:39 AM   #42
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This was interesting about the CEOs' travel to this week's hearings (From the NY Daily News, but political spectra reported this).

So they've learned something since the last hearings!

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The Big 3 have launched a massive campaign to repair their public image. In the latest automaker about-face, GM CEO Rich Wagoner arrived at the bailout hearings in a Chevy Malibu hybrid - jet not included. Both Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli also drove - as in, no private jet - to the bailout hearings in hybrid cars made by their respective companies. Mulally said he'd accept a $1 yearly salary if Ford takes any bailout money. Ford also said it will sell five of its corporate jets.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:28 PM   #43
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As long as GM is out of bankruptcy the speculator collected their ridiculous interest rate at the taxpayers expense. Once bankruptcy happens no more interest payments to speculators (or other bondholders for that matter). Eventually the bankruptcy court sorts out who gets paid what and what percentage of new GM stock each bondholder, suppliers, banks etc own.

Uncle Sam providing the bankruptcy financing is also a reasonable compromise but the only way GM survives is it has to stop paying interest on its debt.
Right. I'm sure that today's price for both GM stocks and bonds has more to do with speculating on gov't actions than on any fundamentals of the company. That is a bad situation.

As a taxpayer, I'd be willing to have the gov't provide debtor-in-possession financing for a Ch 11 bankruptcy, IF we had a prior agreement on these points: The stockholders get wiped out; the long-term bondholders trade 100% of their debt for equity; the UAW workers get a contract equivalent to Toyota's cost; all retirees pay significantly more for their health insurance; white collar workers get something similar to Toyota; senior management works for $1 per year plus stock.

This satisfies the people who want to see GM in bankruptcy, it does as much as a bankruptcy judge could do to give them a chance to be profitable, and it demonstrates that everyone at GM is "sharing the cost".

They could add some window dressing about fuel efficiency - the Volt, hybrids, and better mileage internal combustion engines (I say "window dressing" because they are doing these things anyway). But, I wouldn't require anything about brands or models because I think they will cut as soon as they have bankruptcy protection without any requirements from Congress.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:34 PM   #44
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i remember the Firebird/Camaro fanboys from my GM buying days

you do have to wonder at the logic of not only having 10 brands or more but having different price levels in each brand. Corvette is a special case, but i've seen Chevy's sell for $50,000 for some of the SUV models like the Suburban when it's supposed to be a low price brand

Toyota does something like this with a few trucks but their branding is better with an entry level and a luxury brand.
The original intent of the GM brands:

Chevy - first car, affordable, not many frills
Pontiac - sportier, a little nicer than Chevy
Oldsmobile - nicer, more luxurious
Buick - more upscale than Olds, more refined ride, etc.
Cadillac - ultimate luxury and the cream of the crop

What they ended up with was a mess. IMHO Waggoner is wrong, still way too many crossover divisions. Look at how clean the import lines are:

Toyota: Toyota, Lexus, Scion

Honda: Honda, Acura

Nissan: Nissan, Infiniti
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:39 PM   #45
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and somewhere in there they made room for Saturn and GMC
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:04 PM   #46
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Full credit to this link to WesternSkies, but I thought this was very appropriate to this thread as well. detnews.com | Webvideo | Ford's most advanced assembly plant operates in rural Brazil

This is a great example of an efficient factory. This is the type of thing the 'big' three need to do here in this country.

If the UAW is indeed standing in the way of plants like this, Ford needs to revisit this idea now that it is more apparent how dire the situation is.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:16 PM   #47
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Full credit to this link to WesternSkies, but I thought this was very appropriate to this thread as well. detnews.com | Webvideo | Ford's most advanced assembly plant operates in rural Brazil

This is a great example of an efficient factory. This is the type of thing the 'big' three need to do here in this country.

If the UAW is indeed standing in the way of plants like this, Ford needs to revisit this idea now that it is more apparent how dire the situation is.
WOW......that would make Honda and Toyota sit up and notice if something like that was built in the US.........
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:24 PM   #48
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This was interesting about the CEOs' travel to this week's hearings (From the NY Daily News, but political spectra reported this).

So they've learned something since the last hearings!
And ... Wagoner, Mulally, and Nardelli were much more cooperative with the Senate yesterday (Thursday) than they were two weeks ago. Gettelfinger (UAW guy) ... well I guess he was just being himself.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:33 PM   #49
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And ... Wagoner, Mulally, and Nardelli were much more cooperative with the Senate yesterday (Thursday) than they were two weeks ago. Gettelfinger (UAW guy) ... well I guess he was just being himself.
I think the CEOs driving hybrids was part of the dog and pony show. Wonder what Gettelfinger drove? Probably a Lexus........
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:36 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
i remember the Firebird/Camaro fanboys from my GM buying days

you do have to wonder at the logic of not only having 10 brands or more but having different price levels in each brand. Corvette is a special case, but i've seen Chevy's sell for $50,000 for some of the SUV models like the Suburban when it's supposed to be a low price brand

Toyota does something like this with a few trucks but their branding is better with an entry level and a luxury brand.
Chevy - entry level, lower priced cars and trucks

Buick - mid size, more goodies

Cadillac - loaded luxury (here's where the $50K Tahoes and stuff should be sold)

You could keep Corvette as a seperate division under Cadillac, offering luxury and performance.......
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:18 PM   #51
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WOW......that would make Honda and Toyota sit up and notice if something like that was built in the US.........
I think that kind of plant has already been built in the U.S.-- by Honda and Toyota.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:10 PM   #52
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... Wonder what Gettelfinger drove? Probably a Lexus........
I have kinda been hoping that the big 3 would get Gettelfinger to be a little more cooperative. Yep, probably a Lexus.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:13 PM   #53
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Chevy - entry level, lower priced cars and trucks

Buick - mid size, more goodies

Cadillac - loaded luxury (here's where the $50K Tahoes and stuff should be sold)

You could keep Corvette as a seperate division under Cadillac, offering luxury and performance.......
Saw somewhere that many Pontiac drivers eventually become Buick owners which would make Pontiac kind of a feeder for Buick. The opinion was that they go together.
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:51 PM   #54
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A couple of more thoughts after discussing this with my liberal friend, who started the conversation with how come we can give AIG 100 Billion and can't give the the big 3 35 billion or whatever today's price tag is. AIG doesn't make anything the Big 3 make cars.

I said good point and than went through a number of arguments.

The two that actually had worked were

1. Shortly after my warranty expired on my Accura I got mailers from 3rd party company offering extended warranty for my car like Warranty Direct. I didn't check the price but I don't think they are super expense a couple of thousand??

Why not have Uncle Sam provide a guarantee that they will honor a warranty of the Big 3 cars. That gets rid of the argument that consumers won't buy from a bankrupt car company and clearly there is a 3rd party industry that already handles this. Albeit not on GM's scale but it would certainly provide work for GM dealers. Say it cost $2K/car and the big 3 make 10 million cars while in bankruptcy the cost to Uncle Sam is only 20 billion, cheap by comparison.

The second argument which worked was this. A speculator can buy GM debt at roughly $.25 on the dollar, e.g an 8% GM bond for $250 meaning that they are collect 32% interest with the potential of a 4x return if the company is still in business 10 or 20 years from know.

As long as GM is out of bankruptcy the speculator collected their ridiculous interest rate at the taxpayers expense. Once bankruptcy happens no more interest payments to speculators (or other bondholders for that matter). Eventually the bankruptcy court sorts out who gets paid what and what percentage of new GM stock each bondholder, suppliers, banks etc own.

Uncle Sam providing the bankruptcy financing is also a reasonable compromise but the only way GM survives is it has to stop paying interest on its debt.
Maybe if the gov guarantees the warranties of the Big 3 we could afford to let them go into chapter 11. I think a total restructuring of the business to get rid of the legacy costs is the only way for survival. Some fair way to restructure the legacy cost is also needed (gov help?).

Another off-the-wall I had was just let the gov buy Chrysler and convert it to production of military and gov vehicles. This would help remove the "national security" argument. I bet Chrysler could be had for a song.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:06 PM   #55
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As a taxpayer, I'd be willing to have the gov't provide debtor-in-possession financing for a Ch 11 bankruptcy, IF we had a prior agreement on these points: The stockholders get wiped out; the long-term bondholders trade 100% of their debt for equity; the UAW workers get a contract equivalent to Toyota's cost; all retirees pay significantly more for their health insurance; white collar workers get something similar to Toyota; senior management works for $1 per year plus stock.
I'd vote for that and I suspect that most informed Americans would also.

Sadly, most Congressman either are not informed or more likely believe they'd piss off too many important people to do something sensible.

According to the WSJ, bloggers most likely Bush is going to give them $10 billion so they won't go broke before Jan 20....
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:09 PM   #56
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Take the best from the big 3. Combine them make one company Damn I feel dirty.
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:31 AM   #57
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Take the best from the big 3. Combine them make one company Damn I feel dirty.
And use non-UAW workers??
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:20 PM   #58
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Throw in inferior quality,and you have where we are now..."The Perfect Storm"..........
This is getting old, Dude. Ford at least has as many CR top rated cars as any Asian manufacuturer, more than most, and way more than any European manufacturer.

The problem is not quality, at least with Ford, it is cost structure and marketing ineptitude.

My ex wife was making a long commute to graduate school. She put over 200,000 miles on an '88 Taurus, with minimal upkeep.

Ha
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:33 PM   #59
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did GM or Chrysler do anything similar? just curious...
Yes. GM did it with the Camero. Or at least are planning to. Chrysler is doing it with the Challenger.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:28 PM   #60
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The bankruptcy process is there exactly for this purpose. Several large airlines went bankrupt in recent years. They kept flying during reorganization. Then they came out of bankruptcy.
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