Thursday, June 04, 2009

Since I'm on the topic of cars...

There was this country which was doing pretty well for itself making cars. They spat out cars which took the world by storm, created niche markets, created cult-like following, collectors today still admire the technology and ingenuity which went into the manufacturing of the automobiles from this country and era.

The auto industry in this country fell. It fell pretty hard, actually.

The government decided to step in, lightly at first by "encouraging" the merger of a couple of autogroups.

Later the government stepped up its involvement and became the major shareholder in a supermerger of car manufacturers.

Many of the brands known world-wide disappeared and others were sold to foreign entities. The automobile industry in this country was crushed.

I am not talking about the United States.

I'm talking about the auto giant Great Britain.
"At the industry’s peak in the 1960s, a million people made cars in the U.K. — five percent of the country’s total workforce — with suppliers and salesrooms swelling that number. British Leyland alone, which made the iconic Mini, employed nearly 200,000." (1)
Mini now belongs to BMW
Rover was bought by Ford and now belongs to Tata of India
Bentley was bought by Volkswagon
MG was bought by Nanjing Auto of China

Show me the success from the Britain model.

What is it people say about not learning from history?

"What we are not doing -- what I have no interest in doing -- is running GM,... When a difficult decision has to be made on matters like where to open a new plant or what type of new car to make, the new GM, not the United States government, will make that decision."
No interest in running GM?

"When a difficult decision has to be made..."
"General Motors Corp. chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner will step down immediately at the request of the White House, administration officials said Sunday." (2)
" where to open a new plant..."
"The President is so busy not running GM that he had time the night before to call and reassure Detroit Mayor Dave Bing about the new GM's future location. GM is being courted to move its headquarters to nearby Warren, Michigan. And Mr. Bing told the Detroit News that he had received a call Sunday evening from the President "informing me of his support for GM to stay in the city of Detroit with its headquarters at the Renaissance [Center]." (3)
"...or what type of new car to make,..."
“As this plan takes effect, GM will start building a larger share of its cars here at home, including fuel-efficient cars,” Obama said. (4)
"In May, President Barack Obama set in motion a new national policy aimed at both increasing fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas pollution... and ultimately requiring an average fuel economy standard of [35.5 miles per gallon]" (5)
Oh, and while we're at it, let's throw ANOTHER $30.1 BILLION (6) at the problem while we're at it. But this, combined with the recent $20 BILLION we dumped in there will be the end of it, right? We just infused a company with over $50 BILLION of taxpayer money and made the government the largest shareholder and we're not going to put any more money into it? We're going to "let it fail" after an investment like that? They're doing a great job so far letting the company run without government influence. [sarcasm]

Do people not care? Why do we let the government do this?

"Well, tim, are we supposed to just let the company fold?"


If that is what the free market decides, then YES!!

What about Ford? I've never owned a Ford. I've driven them, I've got no problem with them, per se, but what on earth are they to do now that our government has "picked its winners"? They (the government) has bailed out Chrysler and GM while Ford sits on the outside watching in. Their (Ford's) debt is being managed as best as they can. They've restructured deals with their workers, they've tried to handle this crisis as a crisis THEY have got to fix (as they should). Now their competitors are being funded and supported by the blank check and erased debt. (7)

If/When Ford falls first, it will be because the US has chosen who it wants to last longer. When GM falls after that, nothing will have been solved and the taxpayer will pay for cleaning up the mess.

This has got to stop, people.

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