The future of Government Motors

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by arceeguy, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Here's the new ObamaMobile, aka the Chevy Spark. (although the Sparky would be a better name for this leftist weenie mobile)

    I hear pizza delivery joints can't wait until they can get their mitts on one of these beauties.

  2. kerf

    kerf Guest

    The story of GM is a very sad one but one that embodies what has happened to the industrial base in this country. The management making bad deals with the UAW, deals a blind man could see were unsustainable, was gonna lead to one place. And when they got to that "one place", instead of filing Chapter 11, they made another deal with another devil for a bailout and gave control of their company to the "Great Satan".

    When the inevitable train wreck happened and bankruptcy was no longer avoidable, the "Great Satan" stepped in and made sure the real cancer, legacy cost, wasn't cut out as it should have been from the start. So GM goes bankrupt and comes out of court in worse financial condition than going in.

    Sorry guys, I think I'm gonna be sick!
  3. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    that... and they built garbage for 40 years, probably because of the UAW...
  4. kerf

    kerf Guest

    History as I recall it:

    Once we had the Big Three and they had the UAW. UAW goes to GM with contract demands, GM knows whatever they give them, Ford and Chrysler will make the same deal. Detroit and the UAW know whatever they do, they can just pass the cost to the American consumer, so they're happy. They had foreign competition but it wasn't any threat, after all, Japanese products had always been junk.

    Then comes the 70's and the oil embargo. Not only did gas prices go up but there were shortages as well. Detroit is still building the 12-15 mpg tanks and the people aren't happy. About this time kerf walks into some off the wall car dealer selling something called Toyota. Hum, looks pretty good and so does the 35 mpg, so in 77 kerf takes a chance and buys one. Not only did it get better mileage than anything that I ever had from Detroit, it was made better. So much for Japanese being junk. All of a sudden, Detroit is in a fight for it's life, the competition has the products, the quality and the pricing the customer wants. Panic grips Detroit.

    Do they sit back down with the UAW, so they can get leaner and meaner, NO. They go to Washington and ask for tariffs on imports to level the field and the good ol boys agree. They can keep the prices up to cover their contract cost and they start building smaller cars, everything is good again. Problem the foreign competition isn't just sitting with their thumbs up their a$$es, they build auto plants here, so much for tariffs. Even with the competition building on American soil, things still plod along for Detroit, or does it?

    There is a time bomb in Detroit and nobody's paying any attention. The foreign automakers are paying Detroit wages, providing benefits and 401k's for their employees, so on the surface things look ok. Trouble is, Detroit has negotiated contracts that call for pensions and health care benefits for retired employees at enormous cost. As more and more long term employees hit retirement, these cost skyrocket and now Detroit is having big time profit issues. Their competition, not having made the same mistake with the unions, are still healthy. Then the recession hit, OH DAM.

    Now with these legacy cost around their necks, the BIG three sit down with the union and begin to restructure, right. He!! no, they go back to their old friends in Washington for another round of deal making and bailouts. It never fixed the problem before, just kicked the can down the road, only now they're at the end of that road.
  5. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    I think they built "ok" automobiles, as do the Asian companies but have been fighting the perception of building garbage because of an automotive press that has been biased against the American manufacturers.

    This started in the 70's - when the Japanese makes really took off. They weren't better built, as all cars in the 70's to early 80's were full of gremlins as engineers came to grips with emission standards. The Japanese were just better at building small cars, where Detroit was new to the game and couldn't engineer a decent chassis or 4 cylinder engine.

    I've owned Hondas that ate head gaskets and broke timing belts before their 60K replacement interval. (resulting in smashed valves) I've owned Datsuns that refused to start when warmed up on a hot day. (vapor lock, and the little fan they had blowing on the carburetor didnt help - talk about an engineering afterthought!) And Toyotas that ate distributors and ignition modules. (they finally redesigned and recalled the pigs after getting stranded twice)

    And I've owned GM cars that had torque converters that didn't unlock causing them to stall at lights. (my Grand National) Fords that blew head gaskets when you looked at them the wrong way, and Chryslers that had trim pieces literally fall off after hitting a pot hole.

    No car company is perfect, and certainly Toyota is findng out that being big like GM is not easy. (unintended acceleration issues with their drive by wire systems)

    Through the 70's and early 90's, I think people that bought Japanese cars were engineers and "car guys", and they generally took care of them and gave generous allowances for engineering flaws.

    Now, the Asian makes are mass market - and the typical "non-car" person is buying them, neglecting them and whining about what a piece of garbage it is.

    My driveway has three American cars and one Korean import. (Hyundai) I consider all of them great vehicles, as none of them have had recurring problems or major issues.

    I think that GM is going down because while "CEO by proxy" Obama is forcing them to downsize their vehicles, the Asian manufacturers are more than willing to step into what used to be the American manufacturers forte. Notice how the Asian cars have gotten bigger and bigger over the past few years? Why? Because that's what we want!

    Hybrids like the Prius are like what, 2-3% of the total market yet Toyota is known as a "green" company. But they are trying hard to gain market share with their guzzlers like the Tundra and Sequoia. They are trying to attract buyers who would have previously purchased F150's and Suburbans.

    And the forced marriage between Chrysler and Fiat is a laugh. Take two manufacturers with so-so quality records and that'll do the trick. Uh-huh.......

    There's a reason why Fiat hasn't sold a car here since 1982. I used to own a X-1/9 and know exactly why! My in-laws had a 128, and that was a piece of carp too. Makes the Happy Time look like swiss watch. RIP GM and Chrysler!