Obama’s new GM CEO: You know, bankruptcy looks really good now

posted at 12:55 pm on March 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The man now running General Motors after Barack Obama demanded the resignation of former CEO Rick Wagoner wants to thank America for all the cash.  Really, he does.  Fritz Henderson just doesn’t think it will help, and wants to declare bankruptcy — as conservatives suggested before we spent $14 billion to prop them up:

General Motors’s new chief executive told CNBC that filing for Bankruptcy may be the best option for the struggling automaker.

In a taped interview to be aired tonight on NBC Nightly News, Fritz Henderson said that because of greater demands from the Obama administration to restructure, GM is considering the bankruptcy option. The auto giant previously had ruled out such a move, saying it would discourage people from buying GM cars.

Henderson’s comments came after President Obama bluntly rejected turnaround plans by GM and Chrysler and demanded that both companies make fresh concessions in order to get more federal aid. …

Henderson says GM  needs to work faster and go deeper to get more concessions from bondholders and the United Auto Workers union. President Obama has demanded that GM come up with a better restructuring plan in 60 days in order to qualify for more government aid.

Gee, who could have predicted that?  Well, actually, me. As I wrote in November when the automakers demanded and received the bailout, government subsidies would not address the fundamental problems that keep GM from being competitive in the marketplace:

The problem the Big Three face has nothing to do with an inability to get loans, but with a fundamentally flawed business model that ensures that they cannot compete.  They spend too much to produce cars that cost more without any extra added value to the consumer.  Buyers select cars with better value and lower price instead.

Until GM, Ford, and Chrysler fix that problem, they won’t succeed regardless of how much they can borrow from Washington.  Until unions realize that they have created an untenable position, they will put the jobs of their members at continued risk.  Either they will have to become niche manufacturers, producing only high-quality, expensive cars that outperform the less-expensive competition, or they have to figure out a way to lower unit cost while improving quality on lower-cost products.

And the solution I suggested before giving GM $14 billion?

Management needs to change, and the unions need to adapt.  Taxpayers should not subsidize failure out of some notion that private enterprises cannot be allowed to fail.  A good Chapter 11 reorganization is what Detroit needs, and a bailout will only delay the inevitable — and toss taxpayer money down the drain in the meantime.

I hate to say “I told you so,” but … well, actually I don’t.

Now that Wagoner has gotten kicked out, ostensibly to protect the taxpayer investment, Henderson wants to declare bankruptcy and leave taxpayers in the lurch.  Unfortunately, he’s right.  Had we taken a tough-love approach to the problem in November, we could have saved ourselves $14 billion and GM could have already been on its way to fixing their problems in labor and in management.

Jazz Shaw slams bailout backers in both parties who sold taxpayers $14 billion in junk bonds:

Nay nay, we were told! Not only is GM too big to fail, but they are an American icon, right up there with the Statue of Liberty and the original Betsy Ross edition of the Stars and Stripes. All they need is a bit more time and some of our money to reorganize and begin producing lean, green cars that people actually want. …

Now I only have one question for the table here. What happens to the money we already gave them? Do the taxpayers get paid back as part of the bankruptcy reorganization, or does this turn into another lump of debt piled on with the rest, left to us to pay off? “Oh well, you put your money in a bad investment and now it’s gone, just like your 401K.”

And, not to be one of those “we told you so” people, but… couldn’t we have done this last year?

When people say that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, Jazz describes exactly what they mean.


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Please, please file bankruptcy! It’s the right thing to do and should have already been done! Obama’s pick or not, the right thing is the right thing!

Weebork on March 31, 2009 at 12:57 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEwmsX7zuzU

Count to 10 on March 31, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Good move. Little late.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on March 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM

They knew chapter 11 was coming. They also knew they had fill their pockets first before they pulled the plug…

katy on March 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM

GM, AIG, several banks, investment firms, should have split up, choose the profit centers, and bankrupt the rest.
I think most everyone felt that was the best course…you have to “prune back the dead wood” so the tree can grow strong.

right2bright on March 31, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Shootin from the hip? Obama doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. How will they spin this one?

stenwin77 on March 31, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Why I’m glad I bought a Toyota a couple of weeks ago part 843

mjk on March 31, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Can’t see it being done unless the UAW can somehow be protected in the process.

a capella on March 31, 2009 at 1:02 PM

“Let Detroit go Bankrupt”

What the heck did he know anyway – good think nobody listened to him.

gatorboy on March 31, 2009 at 1:02 PM

He won’t let them

tomas on March 31, 2009 at 1:02 PM

HEY – WHILE we are AT it – I think OBAMA should have the U.S. file for
Chapter 11 – We REALLY need to stop spaying money on the DEBT fire.
The ONLY way it will stop is to get CONSERVATIVES elected and BOOT OUT the spenders & taxers. You CANNOT keep robbing the PRODUCTIVE bits and bail-out the UNPRODUCTIVE bits. Pretty soon the PRODUCTIVE bits will start knocking off the UNPRODUCTIVE bits.

izoneguy on March 31, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Wasn’t it Allah who urged us to support these bail-outs on the grounds that we had to be seen by the voters as doing something.

MarkTheGreat on March 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Nay nay, we were told! Not only is GM too big to fail, but they are an American icon, right up there with the Statue of Liberty and the original Betsy Ross edition of the Stars and Stripes.

That they are. But then don’t tell the soul-selling South that.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM

I hate to say “I told you so,” but … well, actually I don’t.

Now I feel bad that I supported the bailout.

Wait a minute, I didn’t support that sh*t. What will be funny to see how people tear into Obama for firing Wagoner and replacing him with Henderson. The same ill-informed that Obama counts on will be mad at him, while those of use he whished the bankruptcy happended in November can laugh )than cry that we have been saddled with another $14B in debt).

WashJeff on March 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Hmmph… and how many divisions does Fritz Henderson have?

Akzed on March 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM

This will be money well spent if corporations and unions learn a lesson from it. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

Mr_Magoo on March 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM

If Bankruptcy gives cover to force concessions on the unions, Bankruptcy is the way to go.

Mr. Joe on March 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Are we a secured creditor? Is there a priority for our money, as with taxes?

I haven’t followed this closely, but somehow I doubt it.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on March 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

GM and the like deserve bankruptcy. They need to restructure and try again under the Chapter 11. Too bad a few billion dollars had to be pissed away before this decision was made.

And what was the quote again that Barack Obama was saving the economy? Yeah, bang up job, Teleprompter Jesus.

mjk on March 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Make’s ya wonder if TARP was ever really needed doesn’t it?

Rocks on March 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

It might not be $14 billion down the drain, depending how the capital was contributed… But the Government doing the right thing is rare, and a bankruptcy judge could rule it a “fraudulent conveyance” as the transaction happened while the company was “in the zone of insolvency”

phreshone on March 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

We REALLY need to stop spaying money
izoneguy on March 31, 2009 at 1:02 PM

I agree, we need to stop spaying money, and start spaying liberals.

MarkTheGreat on March 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

If GM goes into bankruptcy, the UAW contracts will be rewritten. Not going to happen, read his lips…Even if they call it bankruptcy, he will find a way to protect the unions…Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Nozzle on March 31, 2009 at 1:05 PM

They could’ve gone bankrupt months ago for free.

Good job. Excellent Show.

lorien1973 on March 31, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Are we a secured creditor?

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on March 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Yes we are. We have printing presses.

WashJeff on March 31, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Now can we get AIG and such to be given the same treatment that Detroit is getting?

Oh, wait. AIG is good, GM is bad here.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:06 PM

MarkTheGreat on March 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

LOL

katy on March 31, 2009 at 1:06 PM

That they are. But then don’t tell the soul-selling South that.

They’ll fail. They’ll fail miserably. And Toyota and Honda will continue to make money hand-over-fist because their cars don’t suck.

mjk on March 31, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Make’s ya wonder if TARP was ever really needed doesn’t it?

Rocks on March 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

No. I never wondered if it was really needed.

WashJeff on March 31, 2009 at 1:07 PM

They knew chapter 11 was coming. They also knew they had fill their pockets first before they pulled the plug…

katy on March 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Agree. It was mostly a stall tactic to allow time for the real bailout – bailing out of a sinking ship with as much as they could carry with them!

Mr_Magoo on March 31, 2009 at 1:07 PM

If Bankruptcy gives cover to force concessions on the unions, Bankruptcy is the way to go.

Mr. Joe on March 31, 2009 at 1:04 PM

The problem is that now Barry and his boyz are in control, and will NEVER propose the union concessions, unless it is attached to “universal healthcare” where the post-retirement healthcare obligations “go away”… and that will still not make the huge pension funding obligations go away…

phreshone on March 31, 2009 at 1:07 PM

This I think explains President Obama and Secretary Geithner plan for the Auto Industry.

South Park – The Underpants Business
(Note: As with all South Park episodes it is NSFW due to language)

JeffinSac on March 31, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Has anyone noticed that GM is only worth $1.45 billion today? (See market cap)

faraway on March 31, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Now can we get AIG and such to be given the same treatment that Detroit is getting?

Oh, wait. AIG is good, GM is bad here

NO, genius, they both are terrible businesses and both should have gone into Chapter 11 instead of pissing billions away. But I guess you can’t see the forest for the trees….

mjk on March 31, 2009 at 1:08 PM

the U.S. file for Chapter 11

Shhh.. don’t tell anyone, but the US has been bankrupt for the past 80 years or so.. shhh.. keep it quiet

gatorboy on March 31, 2009 at 1:08 PM

While GM and Chrysler are swinging in the taxpayer funded breeze, Ford was able to sit down with the unions and get a better deal. Granted, they were closer to profitability in the first place, with more focus on the well earning SUV and truck market. But it does go to show that there is room to cut in the UAW’s stake. They just won’t while the gov’t is paying the bills.

jbsaff on March 31, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Great news for busting the unions.

The unions already have had the retirees health car shifted to them.

I am sure they will luv obamacare.

seven on March 31, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Uhh… hasn’t Mitt Romney been saying the same sorta thing all along?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html

Daddy-O on March 31, 2009 at 1:09 PM

mjk on March 31, 2009 at 1:06 PM

They don’t make cars, just oversized golfcarts with VTEC stickers and oversized “wings”

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:09 PM

According to Rush, GM still makes a profit on trucks and SUVs, which Obama will discontinue, and keep the unprofitable smaller models.

zmdavid on March 31, 2009 at 1:10 PM

mjk on March 31, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Detroit’s only getting raked over the coals just because they’re union.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:10 PM

GM lost $1 TRILLION dollars in value (37% drop) in the 2 days since the Celebrity Apprentice fired the CEO.

faraway on March 31, 2009 at 1:10 PM

zmdavid on March 31, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Unreliable source.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Henderson says GM needs to work faster and go deeper to get more concessions from bondholders and the United Auto Workers union

GM will get those bond holders to give in but as far as the UAW goes……

It. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen!

Knucklehead on March 31, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Great news for busting the unions.

The unions already have had the retirees health car shifted to them.

I am sure they will luv obamacare.

seven on March 31, 2009 at 1:08 PM

unfortunately people don’t realize that government healthcare for retirees is essentially the “Eskimo Plan”… put them out on an ice flow, and let the grim reaper take care of the problem…

phreshone on March 31, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Soon to be followed by every other recipient of taxpayers bailout cash. It was a scam all along. Every sane person knows you can’t borrow your way out of debt. The bailout was a ruse. Obama wanted to pay off certain folks and get some choice earmarks for ACORN and other lefty groups. They will eventually get around to doing what they should be doing but not until after Obama inflicts maximum damage to the economy first.

Guardian on March 31, 2009 at 1:12 PM

phreshone on March 31, 2009 at 1:11 PM

No, that’s the fully privatized model.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:12 PM

I love these new rules, though. Let’s just imagine early 2013….

Palin takes over GM. She fires the union CEO.

Then she dismantles all unions in industries that are not making money.

Palin takes over ACORN….

faraway on March 31, 2009 at 1:13 PM

We’ll see. David Brooks actually raises a good point: GM bankruptcy —> car plants and parts factories shutting down all over the MidWest —> Unions and Democratic members of Congress jumping all over P.B.O. as they watch their reelection prospects circle the drain —> P.B.O. backing off bankruptcy threats and extending the ‘restructuring’ period indefinitely —> more taxpayer money subsidizing GM.

Robert_Paulson on March 31, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Not that it matters, anymore; but, at what point in time did the Executive Office garner the power to restructure corporations and rewrite contracts between private parties?

America will fall, because there is no law [or respect for any law that is], there is no authority for what is being done and, because these things will lead, ultimately, to an uncontrolled State.

And we all know what the necessary result of an uncontrolled State is … TYRANNY.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 31, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Has anyone noticed that GM is only worth $1.45 billion today? (See market cap)

faraway on March 31, 2009 at 1:08 PM

So, George Soros could buy it, like he bought what’s left of IndyMac after Check Schumer and co. ruined it.

Sadly, $14 billion is pocket change now in the public’s mind. What’s amazing is that $14 billion could have paid off the arrears on every delinquent mortgage in the country. But we’ve just thrown it down a rathole in Detroit to pay for free health care for retired UAW workers who drink, smoke, do drugs, etc.

rockmom on March 31, 2009 at 1:15 PM

phreshone on March 31, 2009 at 1:11 PM

No, that’s the fully privatized model.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Government healthcare = rationing = determining the elderly are “not cost effect” and thus total denial of ANY treatment…

Get a clue…

phreshone on March 31, 2009 at 1:15 PM

I’m pretty pissed off. Haven’t been in awhile.

Thanks ed!!

blatantblue on March 31, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Is that why Obama skipped town?

ctmom on March 31, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Has anyone noticed that GM is only worth $1.45 billion today? (See market cap)

faraway on March 31, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Just give GM to the UAW in exchange the government will NOT back the UAW pensions.

WashJeff on March 31, 2009 at 1:16 PM

And Toyota and Honda will continue to make money hand-over-fist because their cars don’t suck.

Damn near bullet-proof.

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Get a clue…

phreshone on March 31, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Sorry. it hasn’t received its talking points/programming for this thread yet.

Del Dolemonte on March 31, 2009 at 1:18 PM

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Poor seth, he actually believes that the govt cares about him.

MarkTheGreat on March 31, 2009 at 1:19 PM

If you go and read the Obama Administration reports that came out on Monday you would find that GM had failed to do 3 things. Number one was renegotiate the union contracts. Well, the UAW won’t negotiate but under bankruptcy law their contracts are void.

Letting GM go into chapter 11 would cause their sales to nosedive so that is what the govt warrantees are for.

On the whole, this is not such a bad thing.

See also and the blog referenced within.

gh on March 31, 2009 at 1:20 PM

faraway on March 31, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Then folks like you wake up in 2013 and see that she’s lost the election.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Palin can never run for president. The media has destroyed her. All based on lies of course but she simply can’t run.

sonofdy on March 31, 2009 at 1:23 PM

This is just another example of our government running our industries out of the country to lower our standard of living in order to centralize wealth and power.

America is becoming a 3rd world country. Look at all our factories and lost jobs…. Both parties are doing this….

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6507136891691870450&ei=U1HSSe3fH6PWqAP307i5BA&q=the+creature+from+jekyll+island&hl=en

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4c7rQXe8MY

Constitution1st on March 31, 2009 at 1:23 PM

that $14 Biiillliion went somewhere, surely it stimulated the economy! sigh…

kirkill on March 31, 2009 at 1:23 PM

I wonder if GM’s ad campaign on conservative talk radio had anything to do with Wagoner’s firing? I don’t remember hearing Rush or Laura Ingraham do Chrysler commercials on their show and their CEO gets to stay.

zmdavid on March 31, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Unreliable source.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Kind of like you. Have you gone out and bought that new Chrysler you were talking about here a few weeks ago? Better hurry before Fiat gets there hands on them.

Fiat=Fix It Again Tony

Knucklehead on March 31, 2009 at 1:24 PM

stenwin77 on March 31, 2009 at 1:01 PM

The spin will be:

Obama fired the bad guy.

Obama hired the good guy.

Good guy did what needed to be done anyway months ago.

GM begins to restructure and turn around after awhile.

See how much of a super-genius Obama was?

catmman on March 31, 2009 at 1:25 PM

You know who this helps?

All of us.

And Mitt Romney.

yomomma on March 31, 2009 at 1:28 PM

PLEASE GM….MAKE BETTER CARS.

We’d buy them if they were good, brought some excitement. Your CADILLACS have PLASTIC dashboards you MORONS…

originalpechanga on March 31, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Knucklehead on March 31, 2009 at 1:24 PM

No, I bought myself an Oldsmobile.

It’s quite the car and proof that the UAW does make reliably performing cars.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:29 PM

originalpechanga on March 31, 2009 at 1:28 PM

That’s like saying Civics only have 4 cylinder engines.

…or like saying anything from Hyundai isn’t a poor copy of another car manufacturer.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:30 PM

PLEASE GM….MAKE BETTER CARS.

We’d buy them if they were good, brought some excitement. Your CADILLACS have PLASTIC dashboards you MORONS…

originalpechanga on March 31, 2009 at 1:28 PM

If their UAW workers made $40 less per hour, GM could afford to have gold dashboards, and 27 inch rims, and big screen TVs in every car.

faraway on March 31, 2009 at 1:31 PM

I’m glad someone else remembers what Romney said too. Bankruptcy is not the end of the world! And it is not necessarily dishonest! It is far more honest than taking money and throwing it down a rabbit hole!

Re-organize, save the union workers by giving them realistic pay and expectations. Union bosses have busted the unions with their outrageous promises. This is probably the right thing to do.

As far as Obama? If he applies market solutions to the economy so much the better. Will he give up control now he has it… I’m watching more and more power grabs by congress as we speak so… Obama is still the problem not the solution.

petunia on March 31, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Palin’s campaign platform: Bust the unions, save GM. Buy American.

faraway on March 31, 2009 at 1:34 PM

faraway on March 31, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Or they could use that towards stemming the tide against environmentalists.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:35 PM

faraway on March 31, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Bust Palin, Save America.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Just sell GM to the Chinese, if they will buy it, and let them sort it all out. Oh hell, just give it to them! Sure beats continuing to sell America to the Chinese.

MB4 on March 31, 2009 at 1:38 PM

MB4 on March 31, 2009 at 1:38 PM

National security won’t permit it.

Besides, it’d make the cars worse.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:39 PM

In all fairness, it was Bush who gave GM and Chrysler some of the TARP money. He didn’t want the heat from letting the automakers go bankrupt, so he kicked the can down the road. That doesn’t absolve Obama or the Congressional Dems from some of the blame, but if Bush had stood on principle, billions of taxpayer dollars could’ve been saved.

Doughboy on March 31, 2009 at 1:41 PM

originalpechanga on March 31, 2009 at 1:28 PM

I have a Yukon Denali and I love it! It is getting old it’s a 2002 but it is ageing wonderfully! We never have had to fix anything more than a broken windsheild and new tires.

My husband is very careful at maintaining cars. But heck this car has survived teenaged drivers!!! And we had a son… well let’s just say we were very glad when he started paying his own insurance!

We are starting to worry about it though because it is getting the miles up there. We traveled all over the country west to east, north to south we put lots of mileage on cars. Our families are spread out all over.

I don’t really know what they were making in the last few years. But quality is Yukon Denali as far as I’m concerned.

petunia on March 31, 2009 at 1:41 PM

No, I bought myself an Oldsmobile.

It’s quite the car and proof that the UAW does make reliably performing cars.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Oh really? How long was your Olds sitting around on some dusty old lot before you finally bought it since GM finally pulled the plug on Oldsmobile how many years ago?

Beauty fades, but dumb is forever.

Knucklehead on March 31, 2009 at 1:41 PM

$14 billion down the drain.

We can’t just look at how much American wealth Obama destroys; we have to consider how much he’s TRYING to destroy.

Based on Obama’s prior performance, if he finds a black hole this large, and only manages to dump $14 billion into it, that makes this the best bargain since the Dutch bought Manhattan Island.

logis on March 31, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Knucklehead on March 31, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Not the smartest idea to buy cars that have been orphaned, much less orphaned for almost five years now.

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Baseball, apple pie, paying taxes….and file chapter 11. It’s patriotic, right dolt Biden?

jbh45 on March 31, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Knucklehead on March 31, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Not long, even for it being a 2001 model. Looked like it was almost new, very little faults.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:47 PM

You know who this helps?

All of us.

And Mitt Romney.

yomomma on March 31, 2009 at 1:28 PM

No, it’s Bush’s fault. The money was given on Bush’s watch. Obama won’t be the one to take the blame for this, etc.

deidre on March 31, 2009 at 1:50 PM

the new CEO will bankrupt parts of GM. no idea how that will affect any/all union contracts. but i do know one thing: bambi will not let anything happen to those union members.

kelley in virginia on March 31, 2009 at 1:50 PM

deidre: the auto unions are already mad because they feel like the banks get preferential treatment in their bailouts.

aaawwww “his bailout is better than mine”

kelley in virginia on March 31, 2009 at 1:51 PM

I absolutely knew bankruptcy was inevitable for GM and Chrysler. I KNEW it and said it when they were going to the well for TARP funds.

The Big 3 have been out-running the boogey man for YEARS and they simply got caught. Their un-doing was the high gas prices that caused everyone to cut back on discretionary spending. That was the first HUGE problem.

Oink on March 31, 2009 at 1:52 PM

I kinda feel like buying a Ford F-150 about now…

Oink on March 31, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Timing is key. In Nov., Obama was just elected, Bush was transitioning out, and neither wanted an automaker bankruptcy on their hands. So, they burned a few billion of our $ to kick the can down the road.

Bankruptcy of GM is probably inevitable. I’ll give Obama credit for apparently realizing this. The “govt. warranties” probably make it more palatable, dealing with the “who’ll honor the warranty?” dilemma for what buyers there are.

They should have let the market work. But, here we are.

cs89 on March 31, 2009 at 1:54 PM

And Toyota and Honda will continue to make money hand-over-fist because their cars don’t suck.

Damn near bullet-proof.

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Ummmm…not so much. Toyota is looking for a few billion from the Japanese government right now. Don’t know what Honda’s cash-flow looks like at the moment, but both companies’ sales are tanking right now, just like GM, Chrysler, Ford and damn near everyone else.

And I notice that in all the pressure to “push the unions down” via bankruptcy, no one is mentioning another major source of cost to the manufacturers: meeting government-mandated standards of all kinds, and protection against government-mandated liability expenses. Those two add a four-figure sum to the price of each car. Is Chapter 11 going to “fix” that, too?

The government has played a major role in the destruction of the American auto industry, bigger than most of you know or will admit.

Putting Osama Obama and the thugs of Congress in charge is just the final nail in the coffin.

MrScribbler on March 31, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I was told when TARP I rolled around that it was absolutely necessary but I didn’t buy it. I was told that maybe I was one of the people who just wanted to watch the world burn….

But a true gardener knows when to put a garden to the flame.

I supported TARP out of expediency. I now regret it.
I never supported the auto bailouts. Now GM sees the light.

Bankruptcy will allow GM to redefine the deals with the UAW. (sadly, the last CEO, Waggoner was actually trying to do this. Bankruptcy would have ironically allowed him to do the rest). It was the best thing before the bailout and it’s still the best thing to do now.

And now in light of the fact of how ineffective TARP I was (and how everyone is calling for TARP II, not to mention the 1.2 trillion printed by the FEDS WITHOUT a congressional hearing or vote) and now I’m certain I would’ve rather seen the failing banks burnt to the ground instead of having plugged them in on life support. In particular, the Bank Of America/Merrill Lynch deal that basically poisoned BOA with ML’s Toxic Assets (they were doing fine before!). So instead of containing the mess, we’ve spread it around and now everyone’s on the hook.

Chaz706 on March 31, 2009 at 1:55 PM

It’s quite the car and proof that the UAW does make reliably performing cars.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Here’s my experience with GM…

Bought a “Lemina” minivan. Decided to stop throwing money at that turd after only three years… after replacing window latches 4 times, alternators every year, the water pump, and finally the transmission…

Bought an Astro van. Ran reasonably well. Had to replace the entire engine electrical system, and water pump. Went to install tow bar on our tow-package enabled van… only to find out they had installed the wrong frame package. Had to take it in for almost two weeks worth of work. Died 1 month after paying it off, with electrical problems and bad transmission.

Bought a Buick Terraza new from the dealer. For the first 3 months, it spent more time at the dealer trying to troubleshoot electrical / door-motor issues than we had it. Finally after replacing the door-motors twice, and three of the five computers (which kept shorting each other out)… its finally running.

So no… UAW doesn’t build quality vehicles. They build crap… and they’re proud of it.

Btw… my uncle works at Honda and my father-in-law used to work at GM.

dominigan on March 31, 2009 at 1:59 PM

kelley in virginia on March 31, 2009 at 1:51 PM

I just don’t see Obama wanting them to go bankrupt. I mean if I remember correctly, didn’t he go to visit in Washington just to convince Bush to give some of the TARP money to the Big 3?

I say let them cry! We will cry because we lost 14 billion!

deidre on March 31, 2009 at 2:01 PM

So what happens to the former CEO if they go bankrupt? Does he lose his retirement? That would hardly seem fair.

scalleywag on March 31, 2009 at 2:02 PM

you know the real reason GM was selected for bankruptcy by fearless leaser? GM is a sponsor of the Rush Limbaugh Show.
Hence they have to go under so that they will not continue to support advertise with him hence lowering his revenue.

I’m only half joking as to me nothing is implausible with this marxist in chief.

theguardianii on March 31, 2009 at 2:03 PM

If the new CEO is smart, they will go bankrupt because his salary will be determined by Barney if they get bailed out; and I don’t know anyone that would want that!!

deidre on March 31, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Not the smartest idea to buy cars that have been orphaned, much less orphaned for almost five years now.

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 1:45 PM

And Seth probably bought that stupid undercoating. Oh but looky Bishop it’s even older than 5 years.

Not long, even for it being a 2001 model. Looked like it was almost new, very little faults.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Almost new, very few faults? You just made the perfect case for not buying a GM product LMAO!

Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer to buy a new car with no faults like those Japanese rice burners you hate so much.

Knucklehead on March 31, 2009 at 2:06 PM

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