Senate Throws Out Auto Bailout/Loan Plan

In a Republican filibuster on December 11th, the auto loan plan was voted against, mainly by Republicans who wanted a new plan with new rules. So, now we go back to the drawing board… President Bush is working to use TARP resources.

If you remember correctly, TARP is the Troubled Assets Relief Program that is also called the $700 billion bailout plan. Numerous Democrats along with many Republicans want the President to tap into the TARP funds and leave the $25 billion that was already promised to the big 3 alone.

This presents an interesting situation for the big 2 of GM and Chrysler currently. The biggest problem they now face is that Congress won’t meet again until after the first of the year. So, they have to make it in other ways. The President is thinking of letting them tap into the $700 billion for relief until the next meeting on how to help the automakers. GM and Chrysler are obviously alright with this.
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The Big 3: What To Do…Part 2

Last week I spoke of the possibilities for the big 3 out of Detroit. This week I come back to tell you of new developments. Now, most of you have probably already seen and heard most of the news already, and so I’m just going to come out and say it, Congress has yielded to hand out $15 billion as of right now. The money will come from the $25 billion that was promised to the automakers for their alternative fueled vehicles programs. Even though the $15 billion is less than the $34 billion that the U.S. automakers asked for previously, this is just the beginning. More hearings will be held in March once President Elect Obama and his administration take office. So, basically the money is meant to help keep them afloat until March. Let’s just hope Chrysler and GM don’t burn through theirs with hookers and blow from the celebration that they even got a penny.

Supposedly, GM could possibly get as much of about $12-14 billion to make it through the first quarter, and Chrysler could get its needed $4 billion to make it until the next hearing. This coming from Finish reading the article, it’s the best opinion piece I’ve read so far about this whole issue.

The question still arises on whether they should have gotten anything, or whether they should get more. At this point in the events that have happened, they need something. It’s time we just pony up and give them the money that they need and keep a very close and watchful eye on them. Let’s just hope it’s not Congress doing the watching…

But there has been much bigger news than the Detroit 3 getting money, at least to me. Robert Nardelli, CEO of Chrysler LLC, offered to sacrifice his job to save Chrysler. He basically said that he would risk losing his job all together if a merger between GM and Chrysler was made a requirement for money to be given out. His exact words were, “The first job that would go would be mine, but if in fact that’s the criteria that means we would get money to save Chrysler and the people who have worked there for 80 some years, I would do it.”
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The Big 3: What To Do…

The Big 3: What To Do…

Listening to Carlos Ghosn speak the other morning as the key note speaker for the LA Auto Show, I could sense a little condescending tone in his voice when speaking of the American economy and the automotive troubles in America. Nothing bad, really. But, you could just hear in his voice that he felt as though he was smarter than the CEO’s of the big 3. And, it’s possible that he’s right. But, it’s possible that he’s wrong.

Listening to BMW give their big address for the new 2009 7-Series and its Hybrid counterpart, along with the reveal of the new Mini E was very interesting. The CEO of BMW, Norbert Reithofer, spoke very highly of the new fuel efficient diesels, and all of the other Efficient Dynamics from BMW. I spoke with a few other BMW elite and spokespeople, and they all seemed so passionate about the product. Passionate to the point that they spoke with an enthusiast love tone in their voices. Impressive. That’s the difference.

Americans don’t get as passionate about their product. Sometimes when I talk to people from GM or Chrysler, they seem like it’s just a job. Ford seems to be different, though. Every time I speak to the PR people, project managers, test drivers, salesman, and the likes, it’s not about bashing the competition, it’s about proving to you that they have no one to beat but themselves. There almost is no American competition from America to Fords new vehicle lineup.

The Germans, the Italians, while sometimes they can be pompous and annoying when they speak of how much better their product is than others, can still be quite entertaining with their love and affection that never seems to wear. It seems that BMW is on a very strong track, and a fast track, to even more success. The same goes for Carlos Ghosn. While I’m not the biggest fan of Nissan and Renault, he is owed respect for helping to turn Nissan around, along with Renault.
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Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to send out a nice Happy Thanksgiving message to all you out there. I hope your Holiday is wonderful. Mine has been so far, that’s why this message comes to you so late in the day.

“Happy Motoring!”

L.A. Auto Show 2010 Ford Mustang

While I was in LA, I of course had to see the new Mustang. For the writers, and whatnot, who were there, we all kind of felt as though Ford is doing a great job and really presented the Mustang well.

Now, as you all know, I have a Bullitt. I love my car. Or, should I say, Jacqi. She has treated me well. But, even though I love my car, I know its faults, and I know it has quite a few of them. Namely, the interior. It’s drab, nothing special, and it doesn’t really scream quality. But, that’s ok. The styling has always been a thing of controversy for me. The S197 is a good looking Mustang, but I think they could have done more to it. The last thing that I have most disliked about the S197, and ever ‘Stang before it, were the tires. The 235mm tires were just too small for my comfort. Now, if Ford had done 225 or 235’s up front with 255’s in the rear, that would have been good. But with the 235’s in the rear, the car tends to get a little squirrelly at the wrong times. It’s hard to push the car through tighter turns. You really have to learn to compensate with the steering.

These are all things that Ford has listened to when reading the Mustang forums. I know for a fact, from talking to the head designer, Team Mustang reads The Mustang Source, a forum this writer happens to belong to. One thing that many Mustang owners do to spice up their Mustang is to turn the taillamps into sequential lamps. Ford read and saw this modification and made it a standard thing on the new 2010 Mustang. So, now when you put your turn signal on, the rear lamps light up in a sequential motion inner lamp to the outer most lamp.
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