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post #1 of 225 (permalink) Old 11-15-2005, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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post #2 of 225 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 06:41 AM
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Default GM sinking deeper into obscurity

I would hope that no rational American takes any pleasure in this.

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post #3 of 225 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 06:48 AM
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This article, and another I read like it, called to mind the term "vultures." It's like there's blood lust or somesuch. No, no pleasure here...

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post #4 of 225 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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I don't really see it happening personally.

Although they have already backed away from their plan to stop with the heavy sales incentives, after what, a month and a half?

But really, this problem they are in is the result of decades and decades of incredibly poor management.

They may just use it to renegotiate contracts with workers. Or declare BK so they can cancel certain contracts with the UAW and dump their underfunded pension plan which is costing them billions.

Pleasure is one thing, and I certainly feel bad for the people affected who had no bearing on the current woes of the company. But the company has been making crap for decades, so there is a certain pleasure in a big bohemeth getting its come uppance.

Let's remember, at one time they were the largest company in the world, by a large margin. Not car company, any company. They also had a 60% market share in the US and were the envy of the world's auto makers. They pissed this HUGE advantage away. They could have hired the world's best engineers, the best designers, could have squeezed the best prices and quality product from suppliers. They could have offered a superior product at a lower price -- instead they offered an inferior product at the same price. And management lined its pockets with millions of $$. Well the chickens have come home to roost -- and they are pissed! Unfortunately the people who are really to blame, are long gone.

What is sad is if they do declare BK and void their pension plan, is all those pensioners who will be F*&$@#. Whose only crime was going to the factory every day for 20-30 years and screwing a bumper on to a car for 8 hours a day, 50 weeks a year.

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post #5 of 225 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 12:37 PM
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#1. If any pension plans are voided they are dumped onto the government plan especially designed for this. The pensioner gets pennies on the dollar but the government takes another twenty billion dollar hit in the deficit. You can critisise GM, United Air Lines, in fact most of the old majors for negotiating contracts which were morally correct during the "good times" and encouraged by the government. They were good for the country, the company who retained employees until retirement age and the employees who accepted the benefit package as a reason to stick with their employers.
This all worked until the government changed it's attitude and morals. Let the "free market" prevail and most foreign companies jumped right in and took over and now the government is talking of giving tax incentives back to companies to get them to resume offering benefit packages back to their employees. Watch out "wall-mart" The cost of doing business will have to go up.
Even the discount companies like Soutrhwest airlines are in a fight. Jet Blue has just announced plans for full short haul US service. , Jet Blue who got extremely low rates for their government (French) subsidised fleet of Air Buses has now signed a contract with a Brazilian government subsidised manufacturer for a fleet of short haul jets.
GM management wasn't at fault when they negotiated the contracts with their employees. They were adhering to the norm then of American business. My gosh, the US procurment dept has just ordered several French made helicopters for the Presidents use. I would hope that their muslim employees are happy ones, just as I wish the same for those on the "Air-Bus" lines.
And how do you like the idea of spending taxpayers dollars to enlarge several of our major airports around the country so that the new "JUMBO" airbus who can't meet our present requirements can operate here.
Boeing has had no problem designing for our present runways!
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post #6 of 225 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 12:59 PM
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But really, this problem they are in is the result of decades and decades of incredibly poor management.
************************************************** *******
I couldn't agree more. You're 100% (well.. 95%) right.
But there's a lot more folks than the old guy screwing on the bumpers that stand to get hurt as the US auto industry star fades.
For example:There are hundreds of smaller US shops who do piece work for GM. Thousands of sales and service people who are sweating next month's house payment. In many ways, GM (and Ford and Chrysler) were America. Do we want to be supporting these people on unemployment..into their old age..? Will anyone gloat because they watched it happen. It happened to the steel industry not that long ago. Our air transportation system, once the envy of the world, is going broke.
I personally think Bush Jr. made a bad call in Iraq but I sure don't hope our guys get creamed and run out of town. I don't want to see The Prez eating the, "I told you so's" as the body count rises.
I see GM in a similar if certainly less tragic light. Maybe that's a little over the top but there are several ways to die.
I'd love to see our US car builders making the best stuff in the world and selling em by the millions. I don't want to dance on their graves.
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post #7 of 225 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperion
[i]#1. If any pension plans are voided they are dumped onto the government plan especially designed for this. The pensioner gets pennies on the dollar but the government takes another twenty billion dollar hit in the deficit. You can critisise GM, United Air Lines, in fact most of the old majors for negotiating contracts which were morally correct during the "good times" and encouraged by the government. They were good for the country, the company who retained employees until retirement age and the employees who accepted the benefit package as a reason to stick with their employers.
This all worked until the government changed it's attitude and morals. Let the "free market" prevail and most foreign companies jumped right in and took over and now the government is talking of giving tax incentives back to companies to get them to resume offering benefit packages back to their employees. Watch out "wall-mart" The cost of doing business will have to go up.
Even the discount companies like Soutrhwest airlines are in a fight. Jet Blue has just announced plans for full short haul US service. , Jet Blue who got extremely low rates for their government (French) subsidised fleet of Air Buses has now signed a contract with a Brazilian government subsidised manufacturer for a fleet of short haul jets.
GM management wasn't at fault when they negotiated the contracts with their employees. They were adhering to the norm then of American business. My gosh, the US procurment dept has just ordered several French made helicopters for the Presidents use. I would hope that their muslim employees are happy ones, just as I wish the same for those on the "Air-Bus" lines.
And how do you like the idea of spending taxpayers dollars to enlarge several of our major airports around the country so that the new "JUMBO" airbus who can't meet our present requirements can operate here.
Boeing has had no problem designing for our present runways!

~
Well yes, and that government agency is in serious financial trouble.

http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/16/retirem ... /index.htm

And the pensioner will feel the hit. And far too many of our elderly are far to close to the financial edge. Shameful really.

I think with GM, the pension thing has nothing to do with moral right at the time. 2 things, 1) American union factory workers priced themselves right out of jobs and 2) If GM still had the market share, they would be fine, they would have enough coming in to cover the obligation, the problem is they are very top heavy right now in pensioners. I think, but am not sure I read that in the US they have more pensioners than employees

in terms of the gvmn't changing the morals, weren't we always a capatalistic economy?

Southwest is doing fine last I heard. They were weathering the post 9/11 world better than any of the old dogs.

And the companies that get money from their government, pay more in taxes, the money goes around, it doesn't just start and end anywhere. And you don't think our government subsidizes farming? or the defense industry?

And why is it so important to you what the religeous beleifs are of anyone working for a company in France?

And I know around here our airports around here don't use tax dollars to fund expansions. They get the money from gate fees, which they get from the airlines, which they get from you. In the end it is the same of course, but you chose to fly, you don't really chose to pay taxes.

Not to into the airplane scene, but doesn't the new AirBus offer significant savings to the airlines in terms of operational costs? Making the expanded runways make more sense in the long run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDavies
But really, this problem they are in is the result of decades and decades of incredibly poor management.
************************************************** *******
I couldn't agree more. You're 100% (well.. 95%) right.
But there's a lot more folks than the old guy screwing on the bumpers that stand to get hurt as the US auto industry star fades.
For example:There are hundreds of smaller US shops who do piece work for GM. Thousands of sales and service people who are sweating next month's house payment. In many ways, GM (and Ford and Chrysler) were America. Do we want to be supporting these people on unemployment..into their old age..? Will anyone gloat because they watched it happen. It happened to the steel industry not that long ago. Our air transportation system, once the envy of the world, is going broke.
I personally think Bush Jr. made a bad call in Iraq but I sure don't hope our guys get creamed and run out of town. I don't want to see The Prez eating the, "I told you so's" as the body count rises.
I see GM in a similar if certainly less tragic light. Maybe that's a little over the top but there are several ways to die.
I'd love to see our US car builders making the best stuff in the world and selling em by the millions. I don't want to dance on their graves.
Forgive me for pontificating... When you hit 75, you start lookng back down the road at what once was...and wonder where it went...
I really enjoy my Prius. It's the best car since my 27 Studebaker. 8) ~JD~
Yes, there is a lot more down the road than the GM pensioner, but I tend to go with the idea that the mney will spread out. We as a nation, and even the car buying world aren't going to shrink. IF GM really did go bust, those car purchasers aren't going to go away, they will just buy some other brand -- maybe a Ford with a falling gas tank (http://www.cnn.com/2005/AUTOS/11/16/for ... ml?cnn=yes). So those vendors are still going to be selling parts, they have to compete on a different level, but, heck if they are here, they should have a leg up for the factories here.
The service personell will still work, the dealerships will still thrive, just with different makes. Well, the repair shops will suffer, with everyone driving more reliable cars :D
So I don't think in the long run, across the US, unemployment would be significantly different. Maybe in pockets around a specific plants, but not everywhere. And even that might be marginal, it seems like fewer and fewer US makes are built here and more and more foreign makes are.

And you are right, at one time GM was America. And the fact that they pissed it away, pisses me off. But I don't think they are America any more.

The steel industry, got Bushy to give them protection -- even though no one thought it would be enough for a long term solution, and it defied international trade law (but then he has shown a certain distain for international law). He did it to look good. But there were hundreds of other people affected. Companies that bought steel, then paid a higher rate for it. They didn't give raises, or didn't hire more people, or didn't buy new equipment and some got into trouble financially because of it. Those that had long term sales contracts with fixed prices on their products. Ironically, many of them were automotive suppliers.

The airlines to me are a victim of their own doing and 9/11 of course, which killed them. But they set up a system were people didn't trust them, similar to the car industry. You could be next to someone on the plane, and have paid 3 times as much for your ticket. Prices change at all times, from moment to moment. With no rhyme or reason. That is why Jet Blue and Southwest are so successful. Less BS. When I go home to NY, they don't care if I stay for 3 days or 8 days, the others do. They don't care if I buy the ticket 2 days before I fly or 2 years.

When I had to go home on a rush for a funeral, the airlines tell you they have berevement fares, 50% off. Call them up and get the quickest flight I can reasonably make and Jeez, it is like $600. OK, 50%, means $300, that is reasonable. Oh no, that is a SuperSaver discounted price ($600 is the SuperSaver discounted price?!) for the berevement discount I have to buy the full priced regular fare. Which by the way that haven't sold anyone on since 1954. That price was like $1,700. Half off wasn't enough to make it less than what I could get just calling them and saying, "hey, I need to go to NY tonight; no reason." Thanks for the sympathy, I'll take the SuperSaver regular fare.
When I really beat up the poor ticket agent about it (not her fault but I was not in a good mood). She offered that by paying more, and getting the "regular fare" I could return it if I didn't go, unlike the SuperSaver fare which was non-refundable non exchangeble. So, if my cousin really wasn't dead, I guess, I would be able to get my $$ back. Thanks!

Bush made a HUGE error in Iraq on so many levels; just HUGE. We should have never gone in -- never.

And yes, they were once the envy of the world. Caddy in particular. But thay have alienated a HUGE portion on my generation. And world wide I don't see them having any cachet at all anymore -- none. They sell in the US, Canada, and Mexico as far as I know; everywhere else they are a niche player. In some parts of the world to buy US, means you are supporting terroism and rampant imperialism.

On a related note, one of the car mags -- don't remember which one. Just did a review of 4 vanilla family sedans, the Accord, the Camry, the Hyundai Sonata (definately a Hyundai, maybe not the Sonata) and the Ford Fusion. Out of the 4, only one is not built in the US. Which one? The Hyundai? No, that is built here. The Accord? BZZZT, wrong again. The Ford is the only one not built here in the US. The figgin Ford.

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post #8 of 225 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 05:33 PM
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You certainly are of a different generation. And it is the government who pays for airport expansion and as far as economics the new Airbus has been ordered by only two US airlines who believe it to be viable. Fed Express and UPS. The only others that will be using our runways are Foreign.
The deal is 18 wheelers have to be built to safely use our road systems. You would laugh if you heard the Fed's were going to go thru a reconstruction plan to strengthen our entire highway system so that the trucking industry could put twenty four wheelers on our roads. The French knew our airport limits, just as does Boeing and took the cheap way of circumventing them with the thought that if they built it we would make it viable.
There has already been one instance of a terrorist attempting to sabotage an Israeli Air Bus during the manufacturing process. Do you really believe the French have a good security system?
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post #9 of 225 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JDavies
I personally think Bush Jr. made a bad call in Iraq but I sure don't hope our guys get creamed and run out of town. I don't want to see The Prez eating the, "I told you so's" as the body count rises.
I'd love to see our US car builders making the best stuff in the world and selling em by the millions. I don't want to dance on their graves.
I certainly don't want to dance on their graves, but we also can't just keep going in the same direction. Whatever happened to the American way of fixing things that aren't working? The first thing that needs to happen is to recognize that things aren't working. That's what GM needs to do, that they still have refused to, that many Americans are turning a blind eye to. GM refuse to acknowledge the bad management decisions and the bad strategic decisons that were made. Refuse to see that it's the mediocre products and service that is turning away customers. Instead, they blame it on unions and unfair foreign competition. I'm not saying those don't exist, but they are not the sole reason for the current situation.

hyperion mentioned "free market". Let's just say France isn't the only country who unfairly subsidizes a domestic company. I doubt the market is that free and competitive when almost all government offices and services have contracts with US car makers to only buy US cars. What would Ford's sales number be if every single police station in the country didn't buy Ford cars as police cars? If every single fire station in the country didn't contract to use GM trucks? What would the sales figure be if every single individual police/fire dept. gets to decide what type of car they would like?

I completely agree with spike:
Quote:
Pleasure is one thing, and I certainly feel bad for the people affected who had no bearing on the current woes of the company. But the company has been making crap for decades, so there is a certain pleasure in a big bohemeth getting its come uppance.
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post #10 of 225 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 09:20 PM
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This may be a new generation with mixed knowledge of the American car market which I believe makes as good a product as any made elsewhere in the world.
If my local police dept put in a request for a Japanese or German car ect; I know the police chief would be replaced at the next town meeting. What the heck is the matter with folks who on a secondary thread on this site claim that their previous eight cars were all Japanese and they were all reliable. That I have no doubt about but I could say from personal experiance that the last eight American cars I have owned have been likewise. Some here have never owned an American car but they down them like they have the plague. Fortunately it is still possible to live in some parts of the country where the American car is still the norm. And if the Ford's and Chevies couldn't do the job I'm sure the governmesnt agencies would find out why.
Most of the contracts written between the unions and management were a two way street and brought this country to a position of being the best place in the world to live. These were all written when times were good, and there was little foreign competition. Those contracts gave the workers a salary that enabled their wives to remain home and raise the kids along with providing security for the future. Now the fiddler is playing, but don't blame the management for doing what was the right way to do things at the time. Their problem is they have been in the business for fifty years prior to their competitors.
You want to change all that for a cheaper personal way of life, so be it. The companies that have grown supporting a large employee base can fail because of the inability to compete but a good way of life is going down the tubes with them.
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