: GM Posts 4.8 Billion Loss



azombie
01-26-06, 08:23 PM
http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=businessNews&storyid=2006-01-26T184727Z_01_WEN8799_RTRUKOC_0_US-AUTOS-GM-EARNS.xml&rpc=23


DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp. posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $4.8 billion on Thursday, much worse than Wall Street had expected, amid high costs, shrinking market share and sluggish sales of sport utility vehicles.

It was the fifth straight quarterly loss for the world's largest automaker and brought its losses for all of 2005 to $8.6 billion.
"The numbers are much worse than I thought they would be, especially given how Ford beat the estimates earlier this week," Argus Research analyst Kevin Tynan said.
On Monday, Ford Motor Co. reported a surprising 19 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings.
GM shares dropped 80 cents, or 3.35 percent, to $23.05 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's 8.375 percent bonds due in 2033 were quoted at 72.5 cents on the dollar, down 0.5 cent, according to MarketAxess.
The earnings report came a day after news that billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian had raised his stake in GM to 9.9 percent. Kerkorian has called for sweeping changes at the auto giant, and a key adviser has suggested he might be prepared to organize a fight for control of the GM board.
GM's fourth-quarter loss amounted to $8.45 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $99 million, or 18 cents a share.
Excluding one-time items, the company posted a loss of $1.2 billion, or $2.09 a share. On that basis, analysts' average forecast was a loss of 12 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.
One-time items reduced earnings by $3.6 billion, or $6.36 a share. They included a restructuring charge of $1.3 billion at GM's North American operations, and a preliminary after-tax charge of $2.3 billion related to a benefit guarantee with the United Auto Workers union and bankrupt auto parts supplier Delphi Corp..
Analysts were expecting charges after GM in October announced plans to slash 30,000 jobs and shutter 12 facilities, but no one knew how large the charges would be.
Fourth-quarter revenue fell to $51.2 billion from $51.4 billion a year earlier. "It was a year in which two significant fundamental weaknesses in our North American operations were fully exposed -- our huge legacy cost burden and our inability to adjust structural costs in line with falling revenue," Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said in a statement.


GM earlier this month said it expects to cut North American structural costs by $6 billion by the end of 2006.
GM said its automotive operations lost $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter, driven by large losses in North America, where it has been losing market share to foreign rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp..
General Motors Acceptance Corp., the company's finance unit, posted net income of $614 million, down from $683 million a year earlier. The automaker plans to sell a controlling stake in its finance arm in order to restore the unit's investment-grade ratings. Both GM and GMAC have said talks with potential partners are "ongoing."


Is the General TRYING to go out of business?

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
01-27-06, 04:11 AM
Bit unfair that article.

The cost savings GM annouced will take a few quarters to be implemented.
So until that time, losses will obviously continue...

Katshot
01-27-06, 06:28 AM
You saw what happened at Ford this past week. It's only the beginning folks.

Sandy
01-27-06, 09:52 AM
Don't push my buttons.......
Don't make me repeat, what always becomes a fight
between me and the non-patriotic consumers.
We need government intervention
to aide & assist our countires industrialization
to guide the freedom of choice the correct way,
to give a gentle nudge to the Me I and myslef
generation. To those who lease a car for 30 months
and buy foreign corporation's product because they
"last long" :confused: as though a domestic will never
last 30 months !
A nice little gentle grandmotherly nudge like a 4% tax
deduction for buying a domestic corporation's vehicle,
and a 5% tax increase for buy a foreign corporation's
vehicle, in the year that the product is purchased.
Bush would rather spend billions to bail out Ford & GM
than get a 1% tax increase by putting the above into
law. (and) If more people buy a domestic corporation's
product that don't it will be a bit less taxs for the government
but they will not have to bail out GM / Ford.
So freakin simple, but like all else, it evades THE man.

So, if your total gross income is %50,000 for a given year,
and during that year you buy a Nissan, you have an extra
$ 2,500 added to you income tax payment and if you chose a
Pontiac you get a $2,000 benefit, with $2,000 being deducted
from your amount due.
Just a little nudge.

Elvis
01-27-06, 10:59 AM
A year ago I didn't agree with the measures Sandy just suggested, but today I do. At least with the tax credit part. I don't think people should be punished for buying a Nissan, and that would be kind of hard to enforce. But a credit for buying American should definitely be there.

It's hard to do the job with tariffs, since most of these Japanese cars are being manufactured here. Tariffs would help stop the bleeding that the Koreans and Chinese are about to open up.

I never would have thought it could come to this, but fixing the trade deficit is critical for national security. Not only from a fiscal standpoint, but the lost jobs lead to several other problems here.

HotRodSaint
01-27-06, 11:26 AM
GM to Pres. Nixon: Don't worry, these guys aren't even a threat.

GM to Pres. Reagan: They have an unfair advantage, because they don't make cars here.

GM to Pres. Bush Sr.: They have an unfair advantage because the cars they make here don't have enough American parts.

GM to Clinton: SUVS are wonderful, keep that economy going cause we are raking in the dough!!

GM to Pres. Bush Jr.: We never realized that a gas crisis could hurt our SUV sales and we weren't prepared.

I don't feel sorry for GM (or Ford) one bit. They stuck their head in the sand for decades and now they should choke on it.

Because if we bail them out, whats to prevent them from selling out to Toyota like the government bailed out Chrysler sold out to Daimler-Benz??

Barak
01-27-06, 01:56 PM
GM to Pres. Nixon: Don't worry, these guys aren't even a threat.

GM to Pres. Reagan: They have an unfair advantage, because they don't make cars here.

GM to Pres. Bush Sr.: They have an unfair advantage because the cars they make here don't have enough American parts.

GM to Clinton: SUVS are wonderful, keep that economy going cause we are raking in the dough!!

GM to Pres. Bush Jr.: We never realized that a gas crisis could hurt our SUV sales and we weren't prepared.

I don't feel sorry for GM (or Ford) one bit. They stuck their head in the sand for decades and now they should choke on it.

Because if we bail them out, whats to prevent them from selling out to Toyota like the government bailed out Chrysler sold out to Daimler-Benz??

Brilliant!

Caddy Man
01-27-06, 04:01 PM
instead of imposing taxes, why dont American companies start making higher quailty, more reliable automobiles aimed at what consumers want instead of putting out stupid stuff like the SSR and HHR. I know some peopel are gonna argue with me on this...but study after study, survey after survey, says imports are of higher quailty and reliablity. GM's glory days are over for now, and for some thats hard to swallow...but sorry, this isnt the 50s and 60s anymore. Domestic car companies need to ask themselves why everyone is buying toyota or honda or nissan. That will paint a clear picture of what they have to do. It seems GM, Ford, etc have some good ideas, and then they always half ass some part of it. Right now I'm on my third...THIRD navigation unit and now I need to replace it once again due to a chipped button, even after Ive been careful not to abuse the buttons. Argue as much as you want, you would NEVER find that on a BMW, or Honda or Mercedes etc.

HotRodSaint
01-27-06, 05:46 PM
We need government intervention
to aide & assist our countires industrialization...

If the government intervention does not include the government taking over and dismantling the unions, then then I won't support it.

I see no reason why the US tax payers should be responsible for poor managment decisions and anti-capatalist union practices of any corporation.

azombie
01-27-06, 06:41 PM
in my mind a bailout is a bad idea.

No amount of government bailout is going to fix the FACT that nobody wants to buy inferior products.

Until GM products can compete with the foreign ones all they are doing is trying to weasel out of their employee obligations as far as I can see.

And with absolutely NO good looking products on the near horizon I feel that a bailout would be a huge waste of money since they are obviously not working on fixing their own problems.

Sandy
01-27-06, 08:17 PM
Exactly what "problems do you see with the line-up of 2005/06 Cadillacs? The new Buick La Crosse or Lucerne, the Rainer SUV, or the Pontiac Solstice, the Grand Prix or the Chevy Impala, Malibu or Corvette? The Ford Mustang or Freestar or Escape? The Chryser 300, Dodge Charger or Dodge Dakotas?
The cars ARE out there.
Elvis, do not confuse where a car is made. That is not the point. As said, "Cars of a foreign corporation" My wife's girlfriend was SURE that Nissan was an American car! Ya....it's THAT bad!
It's not about band-aids for GM FORD or CHRYSLER to overcome shoddy products of the recent past, it's beyond that. Think outside the box. It's about SAVING the idustrialization of America, at this point.
Remember, we no longer manufacture 90% of all electronics, 80% of all clothing nor 50% of all shoes. If GM & Ford get sold off, youi can add vehicles to that list.

gothicaleigh
01-27-06, 08:33 PM
Honestly, this may be good for GM. One of the major problems facing american automakers is unionization. Unions are good to a point, but the ones in this industry have gone far past the point they are needed to the point of destroying the companies. I see more of the financial problem with GM centering around not being able to build the same car for the same profit as foreign companies and not solely because of past mis-steps.

Their current financial situation is the excuse they needed to lessen the union control and bring union earnings down to reasonable levels. In Michigan there are line workers getting paid as much or more than careers requiring 4 year educations. There is something wrong with that and it is at the heart of GM's financial problems.

HotRodSaint
01-27-06, 08:45 PM
Honestly, this may be good for GM. One of the major problems facing american automakers is unionization. Unions are good to a point, but the ones in this industry have gone far past the point they are needed to the point of destroying the companies. I see more of the financial problem with GM centering around not being able to build the same car for the same profit as foreign companies and not solely because of past mis-steps.
Their current financial situation is the excuse they needed to lessen the union control and bring union earnings down to reasonable levels. In Michigan there are line workers getting paid as much or more than careers requiring 4 year educations. There is something wrong with that and it is at the heart of GM's financial problems.

This is one of those rare occasions where I agree with you. :thumbsup:

Don't let that happen again!! :tisk:

Caddy Man
01-27-06, 08:58 PM
Exactly what "problems do you see with the line-up of 2005/06 Cadillacs? The new Buick La Crosse or Lucerne, the Rainer SUV, or the Pontiac Solstice, the Grand Prix or the Chevy Impala, Malibu or Corvette? The Ford Mustang or Freestar or Escape? The Chryser 300, Dodge Charger or Dodge Dakotas?
The cars ARE out there.
Elvis, do not confuse where a car is made. That is not the point. As said, "Cars of a foreign corporation" My wife's girlfriend was SURE that Nissan was an American car! Ya....it's THAT bad!
It's not about band-aids for GM FORD or CHRYSLER to overcome shoddy products of the recent past, it's beyond that. Think outside the box. It's about SAVING the idustrialization of America, at this point.
Remember, we no longer manufacture 90% of all electronics, 80% of all clothing nor 50% of all shoes. If GM & Ford get sold off, youi can add vehicles to that list.
I agree that American cars are getting much better than before and I am really rooting for them to really catch the publics eye...but what does the LaCrosse or Lucerne or Impala or Malibu really prove?? those are all new cars... of course they are reliable without any problems. Why should consumers give these new american cars a chance when they KNOW that the imports just hold up better based on years and years of reliability reports and so on...I have NEVER met any lexus owner that was unhappy with thier car or really had any problems with the quality of it and I know a boatload of Lexus owners with all types of years and models. Why should people by a Cheverolet Cobalt when they can have Honda Civic which has been proven time and time again? People work hard for thier money and just want the most bang for the buck. I and many people I know will gladly pay a bit extra for a car that they know will be engineered well and reliable and what they truly want. I love my CTS and I do love Cadillac, but you have no idea how many times my car has been in for warranty work...and its only 4 years old! Cadillac has gotten much better since 2002, but they STILL are not on par with the import offerings. FOR ONCE, id like to see an American car surpass what the imports offer. I dont want to see anymore A for efforts, I want to see an A for execution of a good looking, reliable, powerful, high quailty (materials and overall build), competatively priced vehicle that consumers really want. I am really liking Chrysler right now, I feel ever since they were taken over by the Germans, they have just turned that company around. But GM to me is still lacking (which is what this thread is about). For example (as far as Ford goes) the Five Hundred seems like a very nice car...but here goes Ford screwing it up...they put in a VERY underpowered engine. The Ford Freestar, its nice...but go sit in a HOnda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna and its just a huge differnce in the feel of the entire car. If a person cant see that or denies any differnce, then I'd say they are just biased towards American cars or they really don't know about cars. I feel I have no bias. In my family in the last 20 years we have had 2 Ford conversion vans (1987 and a 2000), 2 Jaguars (1984 and 1996), a Mercedes (1998), a Towncar (1991), a Ford Mustang (2005), 2 Cadillacs (2000 and 2003), a Honda (1984), a Buick (1984) and a Jeep Grand Cherokee (2000). That just shows a big mix of cars, MANY of them being American made. I just recognize a good product when I see it. American products have gotten better, but they cant just be ''as good as'' they have to be ''better than'' the competition.

Ranger
01-27-06, 09:02 PM
What makes anybody think the government is going to bail anyone out? Don't think the past is a guarantee of the future.

SilverFleetwood85
01-27-06, 09:59 PM
I agree that American cars are getting much better than before and I am really rooting for them to really catch the publics eye...but what does the LaCrosse or Lucerne or Impala or Malibu really prove?? those are all new cars... of course they are reliable without any problems. Why should consumers give these new american cars a chance when they KNOW that the imports just hold up better based on years and years of reliability reports and so on...I have NEVER met any lexus owner that was unhappy with thier car or really had any problems with the quality of it and I know a boatload of Lexus owners with all types of years and models. Why should people by a Cheverolet Cobalt when they can have Honda Civic which has been proven time and time again? People work hard for thier money and just want the most bang for the buck. I and many people I know will gladly pay a bit extra for a car that they know will be engineered well and reliable and what they truly want. I love my CTS and I do love Cadillac, but you have no idea how many times my car has been in for warranty work...and its only 4 years old! Cadillac has gotten much better since 2002, but they STILL are not on par with the import offerings. FOR ONCE, id like to see an American car surpass what the imports offer. I dont want to see anymore A for efforts, I want to see an A for execution of a good looking, reliable, powerful, high quailty (materials and overall build), competatively priced vehicle that consumers really want. I am really liking Chrysler right now, I feel ever since they were taken over by the Germans, they have just turned that company around. But GM to me is still lacking (which is what this thread is about). For example (as far as Ford goes) the Five Hundred seems like a very nice car...but here goes Ford screwing it up...they put in a VERY underpowered engine. The Ford Freestar, its nice...but go sit in a HOnda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna and its just a huge differnce in the feel of the entire car. If a person cant see that or denies any differnce, then I'd say they are just biased towards American cars or they really don't know about cars. I feel I have no bias. In my family in the last 20 years we have had 2 Ford conversion vans (1987 and a 2000), 2 Jaguars (1984 and 1996), a Mercedes (1998), a Towncar (1991), a Ford Mustang (2005), 2 Cadillacs (2000 and 2003), a Honda (1984), a Buick (1984) and a Jeep Grand Cherokee (2000). That just shows a big mix of cars, MANY of them being American made. I just recognize a good product when I see it. American products have gotten better, but they cant just be ''as good as'' they have to be ''better than'' the competition.

Totally agree with you. The only thing I disagree with you is that you said that American cars are getting better. I think all of them are getting better to some extent but my 1992 Cadillac was not any worse (and in some ways better) then the newer Cadillacs.

Sandy
01-27-06, 10:01 PM
Caddyman, the same reason people gave the imports a shot back in the 1980s when they were untested and many buyers were skeptics over them.

We can't compete $$$-wise because of the Unions! Worse? The "plans" enjoyed by those retired, reaping huge benefits, for them AND their familes.
For that - I have no answer ~ THAT is a big big problem.

Sandy
01-27-06, 10:02 PM
Totally agree with you. The only thing I disagree with you is that you said that American cars are getting better. I think all of them are getting better to some extent but my 1992 Cadillac was not any worse (and in some ways better) then the newer Cadillacs.

I would NOT trade my 1993 Sixty Special for a 2006 SLS-V. Munch on THAT!

(Perhaps my 2003 Town Car ~ BUT NOT my '93 Caddy !)

Elvis
01-27-06, 11:04 PM
Elvis, do not confuse where a car is made. That is not the point.

Don't worry about me, I have no problem making the distinction.

Our government does.

gdwriter
01-28-06, 04:07 AM
For anybody who's been following the decline of the U.S. auto industry over time (and I think that covers many of us here), this article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram (http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/classifieds/automotive/13709483.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp) explains some of the damage GM has done to itself.

I want to see the U.S. auto industry strong, and if I were in the market for a new car, I would definitely consider some of the latest GM cars. But sadly, they have to make up for generations of arrogance and bad decision making.

90Brougham350
01-28-06, 06:24 AM
That article is pointing the finger solely at GM's bean counters. Ultimately, I suppose it always follows the money. One thing I've learned from years of business classes is that there are two ways to make money. Product, and margin. When you try and make money by accounting methods, the product is no longer the focus of the company, margins are. When you make money by building a superior product, the product is the focus of the company. This will ultimately be good for GM. Will nexy quarters numbers be any better? Certainly not. Every 3 months for a while, we can expect to see embarassing numbers. But the change is under way. The focus has to shift back to the product though. That's the key. End massive rebates to lure customers and instead build a high-quality vehicle people want and advertise the hell out of it.

Katshot
01-28-06, 08:02 AM
Don't push my buttons.......
Don't make me repeat, what always becomes a fight
between me and the non-patriotic consumers.
We need government intervention
to aide & assist our countires industrialization
to guide the freedom of choice the correct way,
to give a gentle nudge to the Me I and myslef
generation. To those who lease a car for 30 months
and buy foreign corporation's product because they
"last long" :confused: as though a domestic will never
last 30 months !
A nice little gentle grandmotherly nudge like a 4% tax
deduction for buying a domestic corporation's vehicle,
and a 5% tax increase for buy a foreign corporation's
vehicle, in the year that the product is purchased.
Bush would rather spend billions to bail out Ford & GM
than get a 1% tax increase by putting the above into
law. (and) If more people buy a domestic corporation's
product that don't it will be a bit less taxs for the government
but they will not have to bail out GM / Ford.
So freakin simple, but like all else, it evades THE man.
So, if your total gross income is %50,000 for a given year,
and during that year you buy a Nissan, you have an extra
$ 2,500 added to you income tax payment and if you chose a
Pontiac you get a $2,000 benefit, with $2,000 being deducted
from your amount due.
Just a little nudge.

That all sounds goo on the surface but I really don't think that protectionist legislation helps in the long run.

Katshot
01-28-06, 08:04 AM
GM to Pres. Nixon: Don't worry, these guys aren't even a threat.
GM to Pres. Reagan: They have an unfair advantage, because they don't make cars here.
GM to Pres. Bush Sr.: They have an unfair advantage because the cars they make here don't have enough American parts.
GM to Clinton: SUVS are wonderful, keep that economy going cause we are raking in the dough!!
GM to Pres. Bush Jr.: We never realized that a gas crisis could hurt our SUV sales and we weren't prepared.
I don't feel sorry for GM (or Ford) one bit. They stuck their head in the sand for decades and now they should choke on it.
Because if we bail them out, whats to prevent them from selling out to Toyota like the government bailed out Chrysler sold out to Daimler-Benz??

Good point.

Katshot
01-28-06, 08:06 AM
If the government intervention does not include the government taking over and dismantling the unions, then then I won't support it.
I see no reason why the US tax payers should be responsible for poor managment decisions and anti-capatalist union practices of any corporation.

Go Jeff, you're on a roll.

Katshot
01-28-06, 08:15 AM
Exactly what "problems do you see with the line-up of 2005/06 Cadillacs? The new Buick La Crosse or Lucerne, the Rainer SUV, or the Pontiac Solstice, the Grand Prix or the Chevy Impala, Malibu or Corvette? The Ford Mustang or Freestar or Escape? The Chryser 300, Dodge Charger or Dodge Dakotas?
The cars ARE out there.
Elvis, do not confuse where a car is made. That is not the point. As said, "Cars of a foreign corporation" My wife's girlfriend was SURE that Nissan was an American car! Ya....it's THAT bad!
It's not about band-aids for GM FORD or CHRYSLER to overcome shoddy products of the recent past, it's beyond that. Think outside the box. It's about SAVING the idustrialization of America, at this point.
Remember, we no longer manufacture 90% of all electronics, 80% of all clothing nor 50% of all shoes. If GM & Ford get sold off, youi can add vehicles to that list.

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the government label a vehicle an "import" based on the percentage of import parts used in the manufacturing of it? I've got a sneaking suspicion that there's some cars that wear import badges that might be as much of a domest product as some cars that wear domest badges. These days, the import OEM badge on a car doesn't mean that there isn't a whole lot of domestic content in it. And because of that, everything you do to dicourage the sale of that product will have a negative impact on the Americans that are involved in it's manufacture. IMO, it's too late to try to chop the imports off at the knees, it would hurt too many of our own people. The time to have done that was BEFORE they became so entwined in our county's infrastructure and economy.

Katshot
01-28-06, 08:33 AM
That article is pointing the finger solely at GM's bean counters. Ultimately, I suppose it always follows the money. One thing I've learned from years of business classes is that there are two ways to make money. Product, and margin. When you try and make money by accounting methods, the product is no longer the focus of the company, margins are. When you make money by building a superior product, the product is the focus of the company. This will ultimately be good for GM. Will nexy quarters numbers be any better? Certainly not. Every 3 months for a while, we can expect to see embarassing numbers. But the change is under way. The focus has to shift back to the product though. That's the key. End massive rebates to lure customers and instead build a high-quality vehicle people want and advertise the hell out of it.

Every major industry scribe has been trying to point out for years that domestic OEMs have to get the idea in their heads that "it's all about the product" but for just as many years, these very OEMs have been more concerned with the margins as you pointed out. They have behaved like typical Americans. Each executive has worried more about their own personal future, than the that of the company. Just keep figuring how to continue building their personal wealth. What's even worse, is that many who have held positions of power have had little or no interest or expertice in the very product they made, CARS. It's had a cumulative affect over the years and has gotten us to where we are now. Quickly approaching "judgement day". Eventually, these huge companies will crumble undertheir own weight and others will scramble to pick up the pieces. The only reason why the import brands like Toyota and Nissan aren't in the same boat is that they haven't been on the same road to destruction as long as their American counterparts. Unless they manage to avoid the same mis-steps that American OEMs ahve made, they WILL end up in similar shape.

noahsdad
01-28-06, 10:13 AM
To offer a reasoned opinion on this, you have to avoid the obvious temptation to look back, and look forward long term. The companies are, and that's the reason for all this pain.

When you combine all the foreign and domestic manufacturing plants in the US, there is about 10% more capacity today than there is demand. In 20 years, there will be half as many adults buying cars. When supply exceeds demand that much - what happens? You got it - aquisitions, mergers, bankruptcies.

The auto industry is about to become a massive game of pac man, and he who has the most liquid cash wins The smaller players (Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, BMW) don't stand a chance. It will be a bloody fight for survival, and today's car buyers will decide who will emerge.

The point is not an issue of quality of product. Everybody builds good ones and everybody builds dogs. The reason you seldom hear about sludge killing Toyota and Honda engines at 50k, or the front ends collapsing on Camrys, or Kias that lose 90% of their resale value in 4 years, is that the American media is reluctant to report it. They are filled with glee when Firestone tires fail and kill people in Explorers, however.

It comes down to who buys who. Personally, I'd rather see GM and Ford atop that heap. You really don't want to live in a world where the Arabs have all the oil and the Japanese rule the auto industry.

Sandy
01-28-06, 10:53 AM
I should have included (Kat) that the tax manipulation 5/4 I would enact for NO MORE than 24 months, as an incentive for buying american and a deterrant for buying foreign.

Some of you just cannot stop focusing on the CARS. I don't care if a car has 50% Japanese or Korean sourced parts on/in it ~ ~ for gosh sakes I am talking of General Motors Corporation and Ford Motor Company, OUR two industrial giants whose needs touch out to the rubber, aluminum, steel, plastic, textile, and glass industries of America, as well the American worker, middle management, higher management, designers, fabricators, and the millions of AMERICANs (Read: American Tax Payers & home owners and Mortgage payers) that turn the wheels in the gog called America. Forget the individual makes, models of cars. Look at the BIG picture, of what a bankrupt GM and Ford would do to this country, and don't give me no "Serves them right BS" 'Cause what you are saying is it serves YOU and ME right, and our parents (to those who still have theirs) and your neighbors and your girlfriends family and and and and ..... It's ABOUT America, NOT about the damn Chevy Citation or Ford Pinto or Chrysler Volare. That's all long past & gone. It's about TODAY and the future of an industrialized UInited State of America !
Geeezzzz.
Do you know what out BIGGEST export is to Japan, now that they have banned our meat ?? Ball Point Pens!! Who ya think make more $$$ from the other country? 3 million cars coming here by ship or a million ball point pens being flown over ?
Since the grand majority of Americans are either to dumb to see this, or are me me me me I I I oriented, 'cause I want what my neighbors will approve of....mentallity.....since that is how it is today, then our government (just like the government of JAPAN does, needs to protect this countries industry from the assult that its been under for a decade. WTF is so wrong with that ??
The kid next store is outside beating the crap outta your kid. Your wife come out and breaks it up & takes your kid home. Now, are you gonmna scream "protectionist" ?

HotRodSaint
01-28-06, 12:28 PM
Japanese Imports from U.S. (2004):
$54.4 billion

Top 10 U.S. Exports to Japan:
computer and electronic products, transportation equipment, chemicals, machinery, agricultural products, food products, beverages and tobacco products, electrical equipment and component, fabricated metal products, marine products

Rank Order - Exports
1 World $ 9,099,000,000,000 2004 est.
2 European Union $ 1,318,000,000,000 2004
3 Germany $ 1,016,000,000,000 2005 est.
4 United States $ 927,500,000,000 2005 est.
5 China $ 752,200,000,000 2005 est.
6 Japan $ 550,500,000,000 2005 est.
7 France $ 443,400,000,000 2005 est.
8 United Kingdom $ 372,700,000,000 2005 est.
9 Italy $ 371,900,000,000 2005 est.
10 Netherlands $ 365,100,000,000 2005 est.
11 Canada $ 364,800,000,000 2005 est.
12 Hong Kong $ 286,300,000,000 2005 est.
13 Korea, South $ 277,600,000,000 2005 est.
14 Belgium $ 269,600,000,000 2005 est.
15 Russia $ 245,000,000,000 2005 est.
16 Mexico $ 213,700,000,000 2005 est.
17 Singapore $ 212,400,000,000 2005 est.
18 Spain $ 194,300,000,000 2005 est.
19 Taiwan $ 185,100,000,000 2005 est.
20 Saudi Arabia $ 165,000,000,000 2005 est.


Rank Order - Imports
1 World $ 9,470,000,000,000 2004 est.
2 United States $ 1,727,000,000,000 2005 est.
3 European Union $ 1,402,000,000,000 2004
4 Germany $ 801,000,000,000 2005 est.
5 China $ 631,800,000,000 2005 est.
6 United Kingdom $ 483,700,000,000 2005 est.
7 France $ 473,300,000,000 2005 est.
8 Japan $ 451,100,000,000 2005 est.
9 Italy $ 369,200,000,000 2005 est.
10 Netherlands $ 326,600,000,000 2005 est.
11 Canada $ 317,700,000,000 2005 est.
12 Hong Kong $ 291,600,000,000 2005 est.
13 Spain $ 271,800,000,000 2005 est.
14 Belgium $ 264,500,000,000 2005 est.
15 Korea, South $ 248,400,000,000 2005 est.
16 Mexico $ 223,700,000,000 2005 est.
17 Singapore $ 187,500,000,000 2005 est.
18 Taiwan $ 172,900,000,000 2005 est.
19 Switzerland $ 135,000,000,000 2005 est.
20 Russia $ 125,000,000,000 2005 est.

Rank Order - Industrial production growth rate
2 China 27.70 2005 est.
83 Russia 4.00 2005 est.
86 Korea, South 3.90 2005 est.
99 United States 3.20 2005 est.
111 Taiwan 3.00 2005 est.
115 Canada 2.90 2005 est.
118 Saudi Arabia 2.80 2005 est.
121 Mexico 2.50 2005 est.
124 Netherlands 2.20 2005 est.
130 Germany 1.70 2005 est.
134 Spain 1.60 2005 est.
136 European Union 1.30 2005 est.
137 Japan 1.30 2005 est.
142 Hong Kong 1.00 2005 est.
150 France 0.30 2005 est.
156 United Kingdom -0.90 2005 est.
158 Italy -1.50 2005 est.

Rank Order - Unemployment rate
28 Singapore 3.40 2005 est.
30 Mexico 3.60 2005 est.
32 Korea, South 3.70 2005 est.
38 China 4.20 2004
40 Taiwan 4.20 2005 est.
42 Japan 4.30 2005 est.
44 United Kingdom 4.70 2005 est.
49 United States 5.10 2005
55 Hong Kong 5.80 October 2005
65 Netherlands 6.70 2005 est.
66 Canada 6.80 2005 est.
72 Belgium 7.60 2005 est.
73 Russia 7.60 2005 est.
77 Italy 7.90 2005 est.
92 European Union 9.40 2005 est.
101 France 10.00 2005 est.
102 Spain 10.10 2005 est.
115 Germany 11.60 2005 est.
125 Saudi Arabia 13.00 2004 est.

Rank Order - Military expenditures - dollar figure
1 United States $ 370,700,000,000 March 2003
2 China $ 67,490,000,000 2004
3 Japan $ 45,841,000,000 2004
4 France $ 45,000,000,000 2005
5 United Kingdom $ 42,836,500,000 2003
6 Germany $ 35,063,000,000 2003
7 Italy $ 28,182,800,000 2003
8 Korea, South $ 20,000,000,000 2005
9 India $ 18,860,000,000 2005
10 Saudi Arabia $ 18,000,000,000 2002
11 Australia $ 16,650,000,000 2004
12 Turkey $ 12,155,000,000 2003
13 Brazil $ 11,000,000,000 2004
14 Spain $ 9,906,500,000 2003
15 Canada $ 9,801,700,000 2003
16 Netherlands $ 9,408,000,000 2004
17 Israel $ 9,110,000,000 FY03
18 Taiwan $ 7,574,000,000 2003
19 Mexico $ 6,043,000,000 2004
20 Greece $ 5,890,000,000 2004

Rank Order - Military expenditures - percent of GDP
6 Saudi Arabia 10.00 2002
7 Israel 8.70 FY02
16 Turkey 5.30 2003
24 China 4.30 2004
25 Greece 4.30 2003
36 United States 3.30 February 2004
49 Australia 2.70 2004
52 Taiwan 2.60 2004
53 France 2.60 2005 est.
58 Korea, South 2.50 2005
61 United Kingdom 2.40 2003
89 Italy 1.80 2004
90 Brazil 1.80 2004
106 Germany 1.50 2003
128 Canada 1.10 2003

HotRodSaint
01-28-06, 12:39 PM
Looking at it by the export numbers, I'd say we should boycott DaimlerChrysler and all other German owned auto companies first!! ;)

HotRodSaint
01-28-06, 12:43 PM
BTW: BIC, one of the largest producer of pens globally, is Fench.

Remember that the next time you shop for pens at Staples or you buy a lighter at the supermarket!

http://www.bicworld.com/inter_en/corporate/time_line.asp

davc
01-28-06, 12:50 PM
i've always felt several decades of mis-managed union crap has inflated everything from car prices to health costs ....

i've had several relatives and friends working at such unions .... things i remember from 30 years ago .....***** so some un-qualified idot who has a distant relative at the auto plant gets a union job and he gets to stand around pushing a button for $20-30 dollars an hour with full benefits ... so he never has to use generic meds again .... everything from now on costs top dollar .... and everyone else knows it .... so the abuse and greed begin ....
soon after this idoit gets his job he's emotionally troubled from all that button pushing and needs frequent medical time off ... only if the yearly summer lay-off didn't come in time .... so now he's making 3 to 4 times what i can make at a part time job while going to college as he sits around the house drinking beer and eating tranquilizers ....

so why are most companies that let the unions run the show a mess ... along with the costs of health care .... and who has to pay for it now ....

davc
01-28-06, 12:58 PM
Looking at it by the export numbers, I'd say we should boycott DaimlerChrysler and all other German owned auto companies first!! ;)


didn't we rebuild most of Germany after the war .... did we ever get paid back ...???????????? i'm not sure ...???? i think i slept thru World History ....

azombie
01-28-06, 04:31 PM
I love my CTS-V but there is no way I can keep it past its warranty. Until GM can manufacture cars that aren't designed to break as soon as you pass warranty I don't see American's flocking to buy GM cars.

The stink of GM/Ford is going to be hard to clean up after years and years of porking their customers.

Sandy
01-28-06, 05:15 PM
Nissans that power lock their doors, and short circuit the locking sytem, traping owners inside?
Sludge build-up that kills the motor in Toyopets?
Faulty Electronics in the tranny in Hyundais?
BMW 7-seris with electronics problems?
Catalitic Convertor frying themselves in Saab 9.3?
You forgot to mention these.

Caddy Man
01-28-06, 05:46 PM
Nissans that power lock their doors, and short circuit the locking sytem, traping owners inside?
Sludge build-up that kills the motor in Toyopets?
Faulty Electronics in the tranny in Hyundais?
BMW 7-seris with electronics problems?
Catalitic Convertor frying themselves in Saab 9.3?
You forgot to mention these.
I think we need to stop looking at the faults of other cars to justify problems in our cars, and try to make ours better than they are. If we will sit here and and look at other cars problems, why not sit here and look at Lexus and thier fantastic materials, engineering, and reliablity and not to mention service all for a very competative price? ANd why not try to be like them?

Besides for sludge buildup in the Toyotas...any other major problems?? I dont think so. Every car has its problems, its a machine, its prone to wear and breakdown etc....even Lexus have problems, but overall they are way more reliable and well engineered than anything out there.

I love my CTS, but let me give you a rundown of the ''problems'' ive had. I am soon to be on my FOURTH navigation unit for chipped buttons because those cheap asses painted the button instead of molding it into the proper color plastic. I have had 3 trim pieces on various parts of the car fall off, my sunroof acts up randomly, my rear deck rattles, and my steering has a very uneasy shudder in tight maneuvers, oh yea and my hood alignment is off. I havent had this problem yet, but the whole differntial problem with teh CTS's, particularly the V. See what I mean?? Sure my car isnt breaking down, but this decreases the ownership experince dramatically.

Ranger
01-28-06, 06:26 PM
This is a very interesting thread. The thing is, that GM's problem is shared by all. It's not the big bad unions fault. Do they deserve some blame for killing the goose that lays the golden egg? You bet. How about inept managment? Can they take some blame for lack of forsight, personal greed etc.? You bet. And the government for allowing the Japaneese to finally win WWII. You bet. I kind off think a lot like Sandy. Rome is burning while Nero fiddles. This country is going down hill. We have seen our best days. The standard of living is decreasing. The gap between rich and poor is widening. The middle class is shrinking. Companies are declaring bankrupcy at an alarming rate, great companies that have been around as long as GM. The fashionable thing to do today seems to be default on your pension obligation and dump it on the PBGC. We import almost everything and manufacture nothing. We are now starting to export engineering jobs. Even customer service jobs. How many times have you picked up the phone and called customer service and talked to someone obviously from another country? We are one our way to becoming a nation of burger flippers. We can't all flip burgers for each other. The problem is that is is happening very very slowly and no one seems to see it happening. It's like that stealthy enemy. By the time you realize that he is inside your perimeter, it is too late. In the movie Tora Tora Tora, the Japaneese admiral said "I fear that all we have done is to awaken the sleeping giant". I fear that we WILL NOT awaken the sleeping giant. The possibilities are endless and scarry.

Katshot
01-28-06, 07:20 PM
Damn Jeff, that's some amazing data! I've said it before and I'll say it again. You are flat out AMAZING when it comes to digging up data. :thumbsup:
Unfortunately, I sometimes find myself on the short end of the stick with you in debates because of that very fact. :(

Sandy,
I love you man but this is one thing we will probably never agree on. It IS about the product. Until the American OEMs can adopt the patient, consistency of the Imports (mainly the Asian imports), we are doomed. The American OEMs have always been in it for the quick buck and underestimated the American car buyers. We have long memories, care about customer service, and appreciate quality. They were greedy and complacent. That was their FIRST mistake. Then they were disorganized and unfocused. That was their SECOND mistake. Now they're.....to be honest, I'm not too sure what they are. Are they scared and just trying multiple things (throw enough crap on the wall and SOMETHING's gonna stick), or do they actually have a serious plan? It's amazing what a near-death experience can do to adjust your priorities. Maybe that's what these corporate giants need.

Sandy
01-28-06, 07:43 PM
This is a 2 sided discussion. I certainly agree that domestics need to step up quality and construction.
However, maybe it's hard for me to relate. Matt's Jeep Cherokee LTD is with 29,000 miles. It's heated seat (driver's side) burnt out. Selling dealer ordered new seat, and installed under warrantee. Sole problem in 4 years & nine months. My Town Car. 2003. 9,100 miles (I looked at it today). So far, not a single problem. So...my personal experience has been extremely positive. But, realizing other have had multiple problems, GM & Ford need to continue to improve manufacturing and use high quality parts. It's been indicated that WHEN they build better product, people will come back.
I don't see that happening....They have their Lexus, Infiniti, BMW, M-B, Volvo, whatever....they are probably leased. Lease up, they return & buy another. I think we are dealing with a "lost generation" and can only hope the offspring will buy the new & improved domestics, and that their ownership experience with them, will equal that of mine.

The other side of the discussion is simply saving the industrialization of this county, by giving a little grandmotherly "push" to the CURRENT generation of buyers to entice them to "come back" and try a new & improved Domestic, and YES.....they beter be new & improved.

The other thing is while we are all "Car-People" the masses aren't. Americans are not like the English who fuss over their cars & tend to keep them in tip top shape. Americans, the large majority thereof, beat the #$%# outta their cars! I can't tell you how many Dodges I took in on trade when I sold 'em that had 40 50 even 60 thousand miles on them, and when the Tech put it up on the lift to change the oil (we serviced every trade in) the car was still wearing its ORIGINAL factory installed oil filter !!

JimHare
01-28-06, 08:22 PM
I have a question. If I buy a Suzuki, am I helping GM, since GM owns 20% of Suzuki?
If you look at GM's GLOBAL presence, they are lot more than just a Detroit automaker.
Is it possible that part, if not a large part, of their problems are not the automobiles they do or do not sell in the US, but their overall management structure and size? Is it possible that in this day and age, a monolithic corporation that assumed it's current hierarchical structure in the late 40s and early 50s is simply out of date?
GM ruled when Americans had basically three choices for a car - GM, Ford or Chrysler. Maybe Studebaker, but look where they are. Or AMC...
More choices, and a more fickle consumer, means that a manufacturer has to respond more quickly to changing consumer sentiment. GM ignored or pooh-poohed the threat of the imports all through the 50s and early 60s. Their haughty attitude carries on, as far as I can see.
How long does it take to get a new automobile from design inception to dealer showroom? Does it take Daewoo or Hyundai as long as it takes GM?
I have no idea of the management structure or relative marketing savvy of the various GM divisions. How much of what Cadillac wants to do, for example, is still controlled by GM upper upper upper management?
If the General Manager of the Cadillac division wanted to do one thing, but the CEO of GM wanted to do another, who'd win?
The automobile industry used to benefit from economies of scale. The raw materials were similar, varied little from product to product, and it made more sense half a century ago to be BIG...
It does not any longer.
Perhaps it's time that GM split itself apart in to independent operating entities..then, if a car succeeds or fails, it's more localized and it not likely to drain other divisions...
I may be totally wrong here. But it's worth thinking about.

HotRodSaint
01-28-06, 08:28 PM
I certainly agree that domestics need to step up quality and construction.

I don't think quality is the issue. I think that Americans, Japanese and the Germans are on par, give or take a little, in the area of quality.

Where the Germans and the Japanese are above par, is in the advancement of technology.

The American manufacturers introduce 5 spd autos, when everyone else is introducing 6 spd. We finally get a 6 spd, and now the competition is introducing 7 spds.

The old addage of lead, follow or get out of the way applies here. American auto makers do not lead any market segment except "muscle car", which is alone with the Mustang, and big SUV.

Besides technology, today people buy "style". It's hard for me to say any country leads in style, because with a few exceptions I still think that automotive design is in the dark ages.

In todays consumer climate it's not enough to be mediocre in design, one must be superior. Look at Target. Cheap crap, styled nicer than the cheap crap at K-Mart. Guess which company is successful and which one is in trouble??

The Pontiac Solstice is a recent and so far successful, example of good design. Is the car better engineered than a Miata? From all reports, no. But will it hurt the Miatas sales? From all reports, yes. So good design is able to overcome mediocre engineering.

But unfortunately, everytime an American automaker is in trouble the first things to get cut are engineering and design. But Nissans brilliant turn around has shown us that exciting new product is the fastest way to turn around an auto company.

I like that wall street rewards or punishes companies that are mismanaged.

I don't think our government should step in, especially since it can't even properly manage our education system. And that's much more important to our industrial base and wealth of our nation than who owns what production plant in Michigan.

Sandy
01-28-06, 10:12 PM
I don't agree with you, but regardless of that, I will not let this come between us, as happened between you and someone else, who shall remain unnamed. We will agree - to disagree, and set this aside for the time being. Okay ?

Good!:rose: :grouphug: :rose:

noahsdad
01-28-06, 10:17 PM
Perhaps it's time that GM split itself apart in to independent operating entities..then, if a car succeeds or fails, it's more localized and it not likely to drain other divisions...
I may be totally wrong here. But it's worth thinking about.



This is a great point, Jim. Let me add two things here. First, recall that when Bill Ford was discussing profitability, he was careful to always say that the only part of Ford losing money was the North American operations. Guess what? Ford is making money everywhere but in their home country, where like GM they are smothering under the load of union and legacy costs.

Point two: We write these posts as though GM was just one company under one big roof. Nothing could be further from the truth. GM is an amalgam of literally thousands of smaller businesses. They have a multi-tiered management structure that brings it all under the GM umbrella, but very little of the day to day operation is run from the Ren Cen in Detroit. To attempt to harnass it all to move in a collective direction is like trying to lasso a nest of bees.

Many of my friends work at various levels of GM, from the line through upper management. They all know what's at stake, and what's required. The Solstice/Skye project is a good example of what GM can do - well built, cool sports cars and at a great price point. The Lucerne is an absolute masterpiece of engineering. Honda just bought a dozen of them for engineering study (read: duplication) in Ohio. But the truth is that Ford and GM can't simply build great cars - they have to build cars that are better than anything else on the road. Even if or when they do that, it will take years - perhaps decades to overcome the dominance and perception of superior quality now enjoyed by the Asian brands.

SoCadillac
01-28-06, 11:05 PM
It is time for Americans to throw away their TV remotes, get off their sorry asses, stop preaching the nationalism propaganda, stop blaming other countries for the very problems we created, stop the stupid "we are entitled" crap, learn that there is no freedom without accountability and responsibility. We all need to get back to work, hit the books, shut the hell up, and fix the problems we made. If not, then we deserve what's coming.

SoCadillac
01-28-06, 11:21 PM
The Solstice/Sky project is a good example of what GM can do - well built, cool sports cars and at a great price point. The Lucerne is an absolute masterpiece of engineering. Honda just bought a dozen of them for engineering study (read: duplication) in Ohio.
The Solstice/Sky project will not pan out as that market is dominated by the Miata and the project has Bob Futz, oh I mean Lutz all over it which equals failure; novelties at best the both of them. Also yet another "Hey, Americans will never figure out which one is the re-badged model." All car companies buy their competitors cars, typically through third parties who then dismantle them for review.

SilverFleetwood85
01-28-06, 11:34 PM
I would NOT trade my 1993 Sixty Special for a 2006 SLS-V. Munch on THAT!

(Perhaps my 2003 Town Car ~ BUT NOT my '93 Caddy !)

I agree with you 100%!!!

HotRodSaint
01-28-06, 11:42 PM
I don't agree with you, but regardless of that, I will not let this come between us, as happened between you and someone else, who shall remain unnamed. We will agree - to disagree, and set this aside for the time being. Okay ?
Good!:rose: :grouphug: :rose:

I still love you my brother from another mother!! :thumbsup:

Sandy
01-29-06, 06:27 AM
It's kinda funny. We both argue about this, but not only do we both drive domestics, we both own Caddies. We're like two guys sittin' in the bleachers both routing for the losing team, and arguing like mad over WHY they are the losing team as we both eat a hot dog and drink a coke.

So, I am up since 3AM (it's 5:20 now) with this terrible cold! The weather in the NY / NJ /Pa area has been nuts. The warmest winter in many decades. It's January 29th and we have had one snow storm of a total of 3 inches. It's been so mild! Yesterday it was 60 degrees for a high and sunny, then we have a couple of days it's in the 20's then back up to 50 and then down into the teens and a few day later back to 57. For 2 months I took it, but finally yesterday, I came down with this miserable cold. Been up all night.
Think i'll go to bed now (maybe). I ate a garlic & onion bagel and couldn't even taste it! SuckXX

Katshot
01-29-06, 08:41 AM
Get some rest Sandy. You're right this winter HAS been odd weather-wise.
I was going to point out that Ford actually made a 2 billion dollar profit last year even after the losses posed by Ford North America. It really IS like noahsdad said IMO.

HotRodSaint
01-29-06, 11:08 AM
I ate a garlic & onion bagel and couldn't even taste it! SuckXX

That does suck!! :( Garlic and Onion bagels are my favorite too!! :thumbsup:

Get well soon!! :yup:

HotRodSaint
01-29-06, 11:19 AM
I was going to point out that Ford actually made a 2 billion dollar profit last year even after the losses posed by Ford North America.

And Europe turned around, AFTER they replaced BORING products.

This is a consumer driven business. Most people don't know the difference between drum brakes or disck brakes in the rear.

But they know how to tell a sexy or a tough or a wild or a conservative design!

So Europe gets a new Focus, and we get a redesigned front end that makes the very good original design look watered down and conservative.

The Five Hundred looks like a huge Passat, which is to say BORING!!

And while I'm on design, this 'corporate face' crap is a trend that should end NOW!! Whose idea was it that every car in the line must resemble each other?? Each car should compete in it's segment with the best engineering and best design possible. Which means some segments can be wild, others sexy and others conservative. You can't meet all those needs AND design to some arbitrary need to make the cheap 10,000 car look like you top of the line 40,000 car!!

And while I'm bitching, what Lincoln needs isn't a change to the alpha numeric naming system, it needs new product!! It needs to take some risk.

J Mays is supposed to be a design genius, but so far after a decade at Ford all we have is the Mustang and Ford GT to rave about. Maybe he should be fired??

Katshot
01-29-06, 03:28 PM
And Europe turned around, AFTER they replaced BORING products.
This is a consumer driven business. Most people don't know the difference between drum brakes or disck brakes in the rear.
But they know how to tell a sexy or a tough or a wild or a conservative design!
So Europe gets a new Focus, and we get a redesigned front end that makes the very good original design look watered down and conservative.
The Five Hundred looks like a huge Passat, which is to say BORING!!
And while I'm on design, this 'corporate face' crap is a trend that should end NOW!! Whose idea was it that every car in the line must resemble each other?? Each car should compete in it's segment with the best engineering and best design possible. Which means some segments can be wild, others sexy and others conservative. You can't meet all those needs AND design to some arbitrary need to make the cheap 10,000 car look like you top of the line 40,000 car!!
And while I'm bitching, what Lincoln needs isn't a change to the alpha numeric naming system, it needs new product!! It needs to take some risk.
J Mays is supposed to be a design genius, but so far after a decade at Ford all we have is the Mustang and Ford GT to rave about. Maybe he should be fired??

Here, here! I'm with you on that. I really hate how many companies (Cadillac is perfect example) has to have all their cars look virtually identical.

Caddy Man
01-30-06, 02:28 PM
The Pontiac Solstice is a recent and so far successful, example of good design. Is the car better engineered than a Miata? From all reports, no. But will it hurt the Miatas sales? From all reports, yes. So good design is able to overcome mediocre engineering.

Good point on bring up the Soltice. I really like how that car looks. But I'll ask again, WHY does it have to have mediocre engineering??? Why does there have to be a trade off of something to justify mediocre engineering? Why cant it look better AND be better engineered than a Miata??? Why do American companies seem to stop so short...they will have a good idea and then screw something up. Ive read a few head to head comparisons of the Miata and SOltice, and evne though they all say the Soltice is a really nice car, the Miata still wins it everytime. I am just sick of seeing American cars being ''good'' instead of being ''better than''.

And about always being somewhat behind on many things...it took THREE model years for the CTS to get a tiptronic transmission when ALL the competition was offering them from the start. Things like that I dont get. Why didnt it come in the first model year, did they just not think about it?