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Its never lupus
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it would be funny if it wasnt true
Yea, you laugh and then you realize you're getting ****ed.

Gas prices go down and still people don't buy from the Big 3. Too much nationalization and not enough free market.
 

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First off, the American buying public was buying trucks and suvs like crazy for years. The Ford 150 was the number one selling vehicle in the world. Almost overnight the market switched from buying trucks and suvs to buying cars due to rapidly increasing gas prices. The big three American auto makers were basically blind-sided, and because vehicles are designed years prior to their production, and their focus and R&D was heavily weighted to the truck/suv side (as that’s what was selling), they were stuck.

The Japanese import manufacturers, on the other hand, were focusing most of their efforts on cars at the time and were just really starting to get into trucks and suvs. They also had newer factories stateside that were/are more flexible in their production (they can more easily switch the vehicles they are making). So, they were better able to deal with the major switch that took place. It wasn't that nobody was buying from American manufacturers, in fact, the opposite was true. That is the reason why Chevy and Ford were #1 and #2 in the world at the time.

Second, the big three American manufacturers still sell a **** load of cars. Not quite as many as they used to, but it's still plenty. GM and Toyota are nearly tied for #1 in sales here in the US, so GM is still selling a lot of vehicles. In fact, in the UK, 7 out of the 10 top selling cars are from Ford and GM as well.[URL="http://articles.directorym.net/Chinas_Top_Ten_Automakers_for_2007_Unveiled_GM_1-a876749.html] Gm is also the top selling car manufacturer in the huge emerging China market.[/URL]

So, we can conclude the American manufacturers were selling a ****load of cars and still are selling a ****load of cars, so what's the problem you ask? Well, there are two main problems. First, the American economy went down the ****ter, so no car manufacturer selling here is making a lot of money right now. Sales are way down across the board, the only mainstream company that is still in the green (barely) for sales is Mini (Mini Cooper) and that is because their production numbers are very low and they keep demand very high by barely producing the number of cars they need (which is why there is often a waiting list on new Mini’s).

The next thing that hurt them was the American public defaulting on their financing and leasing. When times were good people were buying cars, when times went to **** a lot of those people who bought cars couldn’t afford to pay for them anymore. So not only are manufacturers loosing money from not selling as many new vehicles, but they’re loosing money on vehicles they’ve already sold.

The final nail that was/is hurting them is the amount of money paid out through unions to current and former employees, as well as buyouts to employees that are no longer needed. Basically, the company was much bigger and has started to downsize, as well as convert their production from trucks and suvs to cars and crossovers, and to update their factories to produce new vehicles. This restructuring costs a lot of money that they simply don’t have.

Therefore, they have to take a loan from somewhere (which is common in the business world among small and large businesses when restructuring), the problem is the amount of money they need loaned, nobody else has. The banks can’t afford to loan it out, as they’re taking loans and bailouts themselves. Therefore, the only answer for such a large company was to go to the source of the money and ask for a loan. The larger banks did this and they got money no problem with no stipulation to pay it back; the car companies ask for a loan with terms for repayment, and everyone goes into an uproar. Pretty screwy, IMO.

Anyway, while I’m generally against government intervention, I do believe everyone needs to understand the reasons why this is happening. It’s simply not because they weren’t selling vehicles, as they were, and they were selling plenty (albeit with a lower profit margin than a lot of the import manufacturers). The American public also needs to understand that Japan is pumping money into their car manufacturers, Germany to theirs, ect. They do it more discreetly than we do, but they’re still getting aid in rough times. In order for our manufacturers to keep up they need a little something as well, or they are going to fall way behind, which won’t be good for our economy either.

Again, while I’m not usually a big fan of government loans and intervention, I do think this will help them (at least GM). Look at Ford, they started restructuring very early with bank loans, and they are in the red by millions rather than billions, and steadily improving. They actually said they could survive without the loan right now, but they still want it kept in reserve in the chance that the American economy gets significantly worse before it gets better. I believe if GM could get their act together with this money and shed some of the Union baggage, it will really help them out to make better cars, without having to go bankrupt to do it, which would significantly damage our fragile economy even further. As long as they do end up paying back the loan in a reasonable amount of time, I don't see it as a huge problem/issue. I think the bailouts to banks is a much greater issue, as they don't even have to pay back any of the money (which was a much larger amount than what the automakers are getting).
 

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I really think shedding the union baggage would help out the auto industry a great deal. Congress won't let that fly though.
I believe part of the stipulations of the loan is that the auto-unions get some sort of regulation from the "car czar" to make sure they are also being reasonable in their wants and needs, aren't over stepping their bounds, and are trying to work together with the auto manufacturers for the betterment of the overall. They're kind of vague in how that would work, but it makes some semblance of sense and could wind up helping.
 
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You buggers..

(BTW, everyone's pretty much spilt on the bailout here. The big three employ a lot of people here, especailly in Ontario.)
 

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Dooms i dont mean to argue with you but lets not forget that the big 3 are fueled by union workers making a crapload of money. even if they are not working they are still getting payed, the big 3 shot themselves in the foot when they went with union labor. and yes they make a lot of SUVs and trucks but lets not forget they all also have small cars able to compete with the Japanise as far as gas milage goes. Where were the adds for these when gas prices shot up? I certainly didnt see more, instead places were trying to still sell the trucks with better financing instead of trying to compete with the forien cars. The quality on the other hand is another issue, nobody buys a small american built car because of its quality, and while the big 3 ship stuff all over the place (parts and material come from everywhere) companies like smart (the makers of the smart car) have their parts coming from a building next to the factory that puts the cars together (saw a small news report on smart cars, it takes them 8 hours to fully assemble a car, big 3, a lot longer. But if you look at that as how many hours the employees have to work on each car youll see that a company like smart is paying their employees a lot less to produce one unit, not to mention I dont think smart has union labor, so if your paying your employees half as much and making twice as many cars as the big 3, well i dont need to be a market analist to tell you who will do better in the long run
 

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Smart is a niche manufacturer though. They have one line of unique vehicles and that's all they do. Companies like this usually do pretty well as long as the public finds them interesting enough to keep buying them. Think Mini Coopers or Ferraris as well. Rarely do they have a problem either. Even Hummer sold pretty well until they became "uncool gas guzzlers."

One also has to keep in mind Smart is owned by Mercedes Benz, which also owned Chrysler and fell under the same management. It was significantly easier for Benz to buy the new smart company from Swatch and market/produce them, than it was for them to buy Chrysler and completely change around a company that has been in business for so long. Even Mercedes themselves has difficult to deal with issues from being around for so long. Things change over time, often times faster than a company can deal with it. Then they are caught trying to fix the past, as well as anticipate the future. For example, when Gm went to unionized labor, it was saving them a significant amount of money at the time and it made running the business easier. Now, the opposite is true. There is no way that could have been predicted.

As far as the ads for small cars at the time of the gas crisis (start 2003), there were plenty of ads once Ford got their Fusion out and GM their Malibu. They weren't there in the beginning though as the American manufacturers were redesigning their cars at that point. If you remember the Camry (2002) and Civic (2001) were already out, as well as their hybrid models soon after. Ford was just bringing the Fusion out (~2005) and GM the Malibu (2004), which neither of them got hybrid version out until now. Therefore, the import manufacturers already had an edge because their new common fuel efficient cars were already out and well proven. Everything the US manufacturers had was outdated, as they hadn't been putting most of their resources into their mid-size cars. It's only now that they are really starting to catch up, and even beat the import manufacturers. Look at Ford, they've got a hybrid version of the Fusion coming out next year that gets the same MPG numbers as the Prius in tests, yet doesn't look like an elf shoe and is much more suitible as a daily driver. Has a very nice interior and is supposed to be very high on quality as well.
 

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Ill believe the high quality part when I see it, truth be told though my civic (that is still in the body shop =,( ) adverages 37 mpg, my parents have a hybrid civic that adverages 39mpg (they do too much freeway driving with it) so I have a car that kelly blue book says is worth 3100 that rivels the fuel economy of a car thats 10x as expensive, the fuel economy on my car will beat some of these new hybrids out there. so yes the big 3 are catching up but why should the adverage consumer go out and buy a new car from them when you can still get a better car from over seas? I look at it and I see that the big 3 should probably start re-thinking their whole buisness (ie get rid of union labor to start, and then try to rethink the way a car moves forward)
 

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Ill believe the high quality part when I see it,[...]
The only way to find out for sure is to buy one and try it.

The fact of the matter is the domestic manufacturers are making much better cars than they used to and the vast majority of reviews and long term studies on their new stuff have been glowing.

Therefore, how are you so sure you can get a better car from oversees if you haven't tried anything new from a domestic manufacturer? You have to try it in order to know if it's good or not.

We've owned vehicles from Mazda, Toyota (lexus), Mercedes, GM, Ford, and Dodge; and I've personally driven plenty more, both new and old, working for my friends import performance shop and owning an automotive detailing company. I've tried a bit of everything and wound up with personal vehicles from GM and Ford based on what I like and what I found the best deal on. Doesn't stop me from recommending cars I like and speaking out against cars I don't, from any manufacturer.

I find that many of the people who are totally against a manufacturer or group of manufacturers either haven't owned anything from them lately, or possibly have never owned anything from them at all. Cars from all manufacturers today are much better than they were just a few years ago and are worth taking a look at, you never know, you might like something you previously never would have owned.

(For example, just a few years ago you never could have gotten me anywhere near a Hyundai, they were the only vehicle I knew of that you could buy one brand new off the lot and it would fall apart going down the road. Now, after seeing the Genesis coupe and driving the Genesis sedan, I have to say, they offer a lot of bang for the buck and are pretty impressive automobiles. Huge change from just a few years ago and are well worth looking into.)

All in all, I think the American public would be best served looking at vehicles from all manufacturers.

[On a side note, the new Fusion hybrid managed over 43mpg in actual indepent driving reviews, so that is significantly better mileage than both your civic and your parents civic hybrid in a larger and more comfortable package. I don't think that's too shabby and I was a current civic owner in the market for a new car I would be looking into it.]
 
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