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Old 05-04-2009, 10:34 AM   #1
BigElm
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Default How The Automotive Task Force Is Calling The Shots At GM



TheGMSource - I learned something important this past week when Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. My investment in the domain name "TheGMSource" is secure. We know GM won't change names if they file for bankruptcy. The Government didn't require Chrysler to change names. So, even if GM enters bankruptcy the shortened version remains the same: GM. It's the letters inbetween that will change: Government Motors.
In a sense, it's already happening. The United States Government is all over every single decision being made right now by GM to stave off bankruptcy. Jump inside for a downright scary look at what the Government is involved with on a day to day basis.

BusinessWeek has just published a story that gives us a very good look at the level of involvement the U.S. Treasury has in GM's turnaround plan. According to the article, the Treasury department can be largely considered responsible for Pontiac given the ax. As the story goes members of the Automotive Task Force poured over GM's future product plans and pushed the automaker to dump its Buick and GMC brands during a trip to Detroit the week of April 13th.

To GM's current managements credit they were able to prove why Buick and GMC should stay, however it became clear to them that something more had to be done. Fritz couldn't justify Pontiac in GM's portfolio so they were given the ax to please the Treasury department.
The Treasury department also questioned why GM was putting to much time and effort in to the Chevrolet Volt. One senior GM product developer said, "they couldn't imagine why we were spending the time and money to do the Volt."

Source: BusinessWeek
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:44 AM   #2
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CHANGE.

get use to it folks.

Just remember, for every dumb decision Obama makes, another republican is born.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:48 AM   #3
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This story is very perplexing, and just proof again that no matter what one does, there will always be armchair quarterbacks complaining and calling the shots..

If YOUR tax payer money to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars was used to bail out a car manufacturer, would you not want the government that pumped your money into this company to actually put their noses in there to actually ensure that the money is being properly put to use?

Heck, we have all already seen what the company can do on its own without government intervention. They end up where they are right now.

People kick and scream about the government doing this and doing that, but would you rather they just pump in YOUR tax payer money, take their hands off, and then give the companies MORE of YOUR money when they come back again flying into congress on Lear jets looking for more of YOUR money?

If these companies were able to get loans from banks, the government wouldn't actually be in the position that it is in, keeping tabs on every move they make (look at Ford). The problem here is that GM and Chrysler were on such shaky ground that no bank would give them a loan. Heck, even Porsche is still able to secure loans in this economic climate to buy majority stake in VAG. That should tell people something.

As far as the GM Volt, I do agree with the government in that it isn't some silver bullet to save the company. It is definitely a neat and novel car that will do battle with Toyota and Honda in the Hybrid wars, but not the singlar solution the the problem.

Anyone see the movie : "Who Killed the Electric Car?" - Very interesting film about GM and the EV1 program from a few years back. No sense of urgency back then to develop the program. What changed now? Perhaps that people no longer want a Hummer?
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:49 AM   #4
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This is what happens when you take government handouts. What do you think will happen when there are other, more widespread government handouts like socialized healthcare. My bet is since it's the government's money, they'll be calling all the shots. "What, you need a kidney transplant at the age of 60?! You're nearly dead and we're not paying for that. Enjoy the rest of your life taking dialysis three times a week." Sounds crazy, but watch it happen. Once you take their money, they own you.

: puts tinfoil hat on:
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:01 AM   #5
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This story is very perplexing, and just proof again that no matter what one does, there will always be armchair quarterbacks complaining and calling the shots..

If YOUR tax payer money to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars was used to bail out a car manufacturer, would you not want the government that pumped your money into this company to actually put their noses in there to actually ensure that the money is being properly put to use?

Heck, we have all already seen what the company can do on its own without government intervention. They end up where they are right now.

People kick and scream about the government doing this and doing that, but would you rather they just pump in YOUR tax payer money, take their hands off, and then give the companies MORE of YOUR money when they come back again flying into congress on Lear jets looking for more of YOUR money?

If these companies were able to get loans from banks, the government wouldn't actually be in the position that it is in, keeping tabs on every move they make (look at Ford). The problem here is that GM and Chrysler were on such shaky ground that no bank would give them a loan. Heck, even Porsche is still able to secure loans in this economic climate to buy majority stake in VAG. That should tell people something.

As far as the GM Volt, I do agree with the government in that it isn't some silver bullet to save the company. It is definitely a neat and novel car that will do battle with Toyota and Honda in the Hybrid wars, but not the singlar solution the the problem.

Anyone see the movie : "Who Killed the Electric Car?" - Very interesting film about GM and the EV1 program from a few years back. No sense of urgency back then to develop the program. What changed now? Perhaps that people no longer want a Hummer?
+1. Well put!!!
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:03 AM   #6
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First of all, its not the governments money, its OUR money, second of all, anytime the government puts their noses into anything it turns to crap. No, the further away the government is from GM the better. No reason you should follow one bad decision by another.

It perplexes me as to why people think the government would have the first clue as to how to properly run a car company. It also perplexes me as to why they believe in a government who has run every single program it has ever touched into the ground by inefficient and piss poor management.

Our government is not geared toward running anything profitably.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:06 AM   #7
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The solution was to let GM file bankruptcy in the first place. We would be 14 billion dollars richer. I dont want the government keeping GM afloat. I did not want the bailout, and I certainly do not want Obamas cronies running GM.

Blind leading a blind right now.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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What do you think will happen when there are other, more widespread government handouts like socialized healthcare. My bet is since it's the government's money, they'll be calling all the shots. "What, you need a kidney transplant at the age of 60?! You're nearly dead and we're not paying for that. Enjoy the rest of your life taking dialysis three times a week." Sounds crazy, but watch it happen. Once you take their money, they own you.

: puts tinfoil hat on:
umm.. I hate to say it... but what you just described is exactly the scenario that occurs in the US at the moment.. Do some research. Apply for an insurance claim, and if you have been unfortunate to have something like Cancer in the past, see what the insurance company tells you... My bet is that they won't tell you "You're covered!" or if you are covered, it isn't for what necessarily is the best course of treatment, but the cheapest.

The problem I think is that since a lot of people have not been in a situation yet where they received the short end of the stick, they aren't complaining.

As opposed to a healthcare system where you are taken care of no matter what you present with, and how often it presents. It is easy to see why the "haves' " would oppose such a setup though. It's when you get denied, or lose your job (and your insurance benefits) that it starts to sink in.

Instead of putting a tinfoil hat on, it would really be a good idea to take a look and perform some research around at how it's done in other countries. I really don't understand why you would want some company playing God with your health in order to keep their bottom line nice and fat. My health is something I wouldn't want some company screwing around with to make money for themselves... but that's just me..

And this thread I'm sure will be getting moved to the political playground shortly
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:09 AM   #9
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I see a future of fail.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:14 AM   #10
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First of all, its not the governments money, its OUR money, second of all, anytime the government puts their noses into anything it turns to crap. No, the further away the government is from GM the better. No reason you should follow one bad decision by another.

It perplexes me as to why people think the government would have the first clue as to how to properly run a car company. It also perplexes me as to why they believe in a government who has run every single program it has ever touched into the ground by inefficient and piss poor management.

Our government is not geared toward running anything profitably.
Seems GM has done that on their own. Why let them continue receiving tax payer money and continue on the same path? I'm not saying the government can/will do a better job, but GM wasn't exactly doing a good job on their own...
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:17 AM   #11
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umm.. I hate to say it... but what you just described is exactly the scenario that occurs in the US at the moment.. Do some research. Apply for an insurance claim, and if you have been unfortunate to have something like Cancer in the past, see what the insurance company tells you... My bet is that they won't tell you "You're covered!" or if you are covered, it isn't for what necessarily is the best course of treatment, but the cheapest.

The problem I think is that since a lot of people have not been in a situation yet where they received the short end of the stick, they aren't complaining.

As opposed to a healthcare system where you are taken care of no matter what you present with, and how often it presents. It is easy to see why the "haves' " would oppose such a setup though. It's when you get denied, or lose your job (and your insurance benefits) that it starts to sink in.

Instead of putting a tinfoil hat on, it would really be a good idea to take a look and perform some research around at how it's done in other countries. I really don't understand why you would want some company playing God with your health in order to keep their bottom line nice and fat. My health is something I wouldn't want some company screwing around with to make money for themselves... but that's just me..

And this thread I'm sure will be getting moved to the political playground shortly
NO it sounds like you would rather the Government screwing around with your health. Sorry, mr. Taxpayer, I cannot treat your kidney stone today as I have to many homeless in the Emergency room with no insurance who have hangovers, and colds, and infections that need taking care of... please come back in 3 weeks.

I am okay with giving everybody some level of health care. As a healthy population is a working population. But make no mistake. I pay a nice sum of money for my healthcare, and quite frankly, I don't want to have my healthcare shortened. Because if I pay XXXX dollars a month for healthcare, and John Q Nojob pays nothing, and we recieve the exact same healthcare, you can bet your but, I am going to drop mine.

Why pay more for less. Look, the healthcare problems in this country are confusing, and it quickly boils down to class warfare, and I am no immune to it.

But went we talking about ars...?? hahahaha How quickly I get off track.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:18 AM   #12
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Seems GM has done that on their own. Why let them continue receiving tax payer money and continue on the same path? I'm not saying the government can/will do a better job, but GM wasn't exactly doing a good job on their own...
peace buddy, I am on your side. I would not have given them any money at all. But hey, this is Change we can believe in!!!!
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:20 AM   #13
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The solution was to let GM file bankruptcy in the first place. We would be 14 billion dollars richer. I dont want the government keeping GM afloat. I did not want the bailout, and I certainly do not want Obamas cronies running GM.

Blind leading a blind right now.
It's not like GM didn't come begging for the money. And since they were given the money, it would be pretty stupid to let them do whatever they wanted while still owing it back.

Obama didn't just wake up one morning and decide to drive to Detroit with a pile of money and ask to run a ****ty car company.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:31 AM   #14
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Well, your right on all those counts sir. But its not like the government had to bail them out either. Look they did not give them enough money to really help them, but they did give them enough to have a say so in day to day operations. Seems like an easy way to gain control over a company in need.

But thats has a conspiracy theory plot, so take it for what its worth. Its even extreme for me..
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:41 AM   #15
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haha its so amazing how a bunch of car guys on a subaru forum have all the solutions that world leaders never though of, i think you guys should email obama and tell him that he should stay out of GM, im sure hell tell you "wow you're right, why didn't i ever think of that"...
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:49 AM   #16
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Look they did not give them enough money to really help them
How much money should they have given?

They gave GM enough money to stay afloat - the rest is up to them by selling cars
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:53 AM   #17
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how many times do I have to say it, NONE. Let capitalism work. Let the failing companies file bankruptcy and let them restructure. Yes it will suck for a year or two, but things will improve, they always do.

If it causes mass layoffs, then fine. Let that happen. We are going down a path that we cannot back out of now, and people are making decisions without thinking of the repercussions.

If and when NASA has layoffs, and they are coming, I may lose my job, thats life... I will flip burgers, mow yards, do without if I have to. But tough times breed stronger countries, and stronger citizens.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:00 PM   #18
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umm.. I hate to say it... but what you just described is exactly the scenario that occurs in the US at the moment.. Do some research. Apply for an insurance claim, and if you have been unfortunate to have something like Cancer in the past, see what the insurance company tells you... My bet is that they won't tell you "You're covered!" or if you are covered, it isn't for what necessarily is the best course of treatment, but the cheapest.

The problem I think is that since a lot of people have not been in a situation yet where they received the short end of the stick, they aren't complaining.

As opposed to a healthcare system where you are taken care of no matter what you present with, and how often it presents. It is easy to see why the "haves' " would oppose such a setup though. It's when you get denied, or lose your job (and your insurance benefits) that it starts to sink in.

Instead of putting a tinfoil hat on, it would really be a good idea to take a look and perform some research around at how it's done in other countries. I really don't understand why you would want some company playing God with your health in order to keep their bottom line nice and fat. My health is something I wouldn't want some company screwing around with to make money for themselves... but that's just me..

And this thread I'm sure will be getting moved to the political playground shortly
You're right, this is going to the PP soon.

But, don't think I'm making baseless claims here I have done research, I have a ganuine curiosity on what it is other countries do and as near as i can tell, I think Germany's system is by far the best I've seen. I say this because they allow you to opt out if you make enough money to buy insurance on your own. It was also interesting to learn from our German design team here at work that everyone of them that was able to opt out and buy their own insurance, did opt out. When asked why, they laughed and said "It's better." I'd trust that they'd know what was best for their families and themselves and they all thought it was worth the added expense to have healthcare through these penny-pinching, greedy insurance companies rather than their government. Just food for thought.


Another anecdote that my grandfather told me once: His friend from Holland came to visit and they were sitting around drinking and the friend started to complain all about how the Americans had it so bad because we had to pay for our healthcare. He said that the socialized healthcare system was far superior and as an example he took his glasses off and said "These were given to me at no cost when i needed them." After being grilled by my grandfather he admitted that he had waited 7 weeks to get an appointment and to recieve the glasses. My grandfather held up his glasses and said "I paid the $40 co-pay for these and had them in about an hour."
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:03 PM   #19
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how many times do I have to say it, NONE. Let capitalism work. Let the failing companies file bankruptcy and let them restructure. Yes it will suck for a year or two, but things will improve, they always do.

If it causes mass layoffs, then fine. Let that happen. We are going down a path that we cannot back out of now, and people are making decisions without thinking of the repercussions.

If and when NASA has layoffs, and they are coming, I may lose my job, thats life... I will flip burgers, mow yards, do without if I have to. But tough times breed stronger countries, and stronger citizens.
Agreed. But it is going to suck for a while.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:08 PM   #20
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Well, your right on all those counts sir. But its not like the government had to bail them out either. Look they did not give them enough money to really help them, but they did give them enough to have a say so in day to day operations. Seems like an easy way to gain control over a company in need.

But thats has a conspiracy theory plot, so take it for what its worth. Its even extreme for me..
Letting the economy free fall is political suicide. Not everyone has the luxury of toughing it out nor does everyone think that capitalism is a financial suicide pact.

Capitalism was working before this happened and it'll work after as well. The bail outs are temporary and are expected to be paid back.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:03 PM   #21
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Thats just it, I dont care if its political suicide. I want what best for the country, not whats best for a politician. If they are more worried about their job than doing whats right, we have the wrong people in there. Is it so much to ask for a public servant to act like one. Rather than treating his office as a prize he must hold on to. To serve the country as a soldier, politician, police officer is an duty and an honor. Your suppose to put the people's and countries needs before your own desire for personal gain.

Yes, I do live in a dream world, at least I dream for one, but I do expect people do act like they should, not like they do.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:06 PM   #22
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Letting the economy free fall is political suicide. Not everyone has the luxury of toughing it out nor does everyone think that capitalism is a financial suicide pact.

Capitalism was working before this happened and it'll work after as well. The bail outs are temporary and are expected to be paid back.
At what cost? Their are companies that have tried to get out from under the government, and the government would not take the money. I hope your right, but until I see companies be allowed to pay back the government and the white house out of their board rooms, I will hold on to my expansionist government theory. For now anyway
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:24 PM   #23
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At what cost? Their are companies that have tried to get out from under the government, and the government would not take the money. I hope your right, but until I see companies be allowed to pay back the government and the white house out of their board rooms, I will hold on to my expansionist government theory. For now anyway
Well, part of the issue is that the republicans gave GM some TARP funds before they left office (with very few strings attached). So, now you have tons of public money in the car industry with absolutely no oversight - if you let them fail now, you're basically throwing your money out the window.

However, as part of the industry bailout, the dems have incorporated stress-tests and feasibility studies into their barometer and also tied some decision-making powers with these bailouts. The idea, hopefully, is that GM becomes viable enough to pay back the bailout money AND the TARP funds (and this is what the stress-tests and feasibility studies were supposed to measure).

Healthcare costs in the US are incredibly high (the highest in the world?). Higher than socialist systems. While government may bloat their government programs, private companies seem to find far more ingenious ways to screw people out of their money.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:41 PM   #24
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I have read about the stress test and it creeps me out. In theory, its a good idea, but think about it. We are allowing the government decide when it wants to say a company is healthy enough to not need government oversite. Seems like there is plenty of room for indefinite control there. But again, I cannot prove it. Your trust of this government is, I think, misplaced. But your completely entitled to your opinion, I respect that. But can you at least see how what I am talking about is possible?

Your right about the repubs though. Bush was flat out WRONG to give TARP funds to GM regardless of the circumstances. I was up in arms when he did it, as I was when Obama did it. The way they handled it shows the difference. The bush office did not want to put the White house in the board rooms of GM, the Obama administration does. I think they were both wrong, but in different ways. The bush administration should have at least required them to have a plan. The Obama administration should not think they can run a car company better than GM can.

Like most things, the infinite possibilities make it an interesting point for debate.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:29 PM   #25
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I have read about the stress test and it creeps me out. In theory, its a good idea, but think about it. We are allowing the government decide when it wants to say a company is healthy enough to not need government oversite. Seems like there is plenty of room for indefinite control there. But again, I cannot prove it. Your trust of this government is, I think, misplaced. But your completely entitled to your opinion, I respect that. But can you at least see how what I am talking about is possible?

Your right about the repubs though. Bush was flat out WRONG to give TARP funds to GM regardless of the circumstances. I was up in arms when he did it, as I was when Obama did it. The way they handled it shows the difference. The bush office did not want to put the White house in the board rooms of GM, the Obama administration does. I think they were both wrong, but in different ways. The bush administration should have at least required them to have a plan. The Obama administration should not think they can run a car company better than GM can.

Like most things, the infinite possibilities make it an interesting point for debate.
No, you're wrong Colonel Sanders!!!
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