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#312378 - 11/25/08 08:20 PM Do we need car (companies) this much?
Peter Jones Offline
All manufacturers seems to be begging, not just for a few million to meet the payroll, but for billions. This isn't only the big three US companies, but manufacturers across the world, even Porsche. Couldn't we do something more useful with the money?


#312399 - 11/26/08 08:36 AM Re: Do we need car (companies) this much? [Re: Peter Jones]
papashine Offline
If we do not give them the money we will have a lot of people on unemployment and eventually welfare, the way I see it is that giving them the money is the better of two evils.
Reality..What a concept!

#312401 - 11/26/08 08:39 AM Re: Do we need car (companies) this much? [Re: Peter Jones]
Diane Campbell Offline
I don't think there are as many companies as it appears - they are consolidating and have been for some time.

The economic chain from car manufacturing to the rest of the economy is huge. You don't let that dominoe fall unless you want to kiss the rest of the economy good bye for a long long long time. Been on the front lines of that one and it's serious.

IMHO the problem (in US Big Three) is deep seated denial on the part of the management(big cars, no fuel efficiency, poor quality) and labour unions (lots of benefits, little production).

#312422 - 11/26/08 11:02 AM Re: Do we need car (companies) this much? [Re: Diane Campbell]
kathyw Offline
I agree, lets help them out, but we must get rid of the wasted 15 to 21 million a year (depending on which company) salary for the top guns.

#312425 - 11/26/08 11:16 AM Re: Do we need car (companies) this much? [Re: kathyw]
pugwash Offline
If any company receiving Taxpayer bailout money were to have management salaries capped at $500,000 with any thing above that in stock options to be exercised within 3 months of the end of the fiscal year, the performance and pay would become far more closely aligned?

The "Big 3" need to BK so that legacy costs can be shifted: either way the taxpayers will pay, but if the jobs are to remain and the trickledown effect of 1 in 10 US jobs being tied to the domestic auto industry are to be preserved, then these costs must be realigned.

The new product is good and competitive (a 2009 Tahoe gets better highway MPG than a 4 cylinder Camry!) but when GM has more retirees than Toyota USA has total employees, it's hard to compete.
It's rarely rocket science, it's usually just math: then again if you can't do the math.......

#312426 - 11/26/08 11:21 AM Re: Do we need car (companies) this much? [Re: Diane Campbell]
Peter Jones Offline
In fact, Diana, exactly what spelled the death knell for the British car industry and the British motorcycle industry before that. Head in the sand, ignoring what the world was doing around them.

I hear what you say about major knock-on effects, bu there are cleverer ways of doing things. In normal times there is a large demand for new vehicles of all types, so if the Big Three were do drop out that vacuum would be filled by others. So restrict Toyota, Honda, BMW, Mercedes and the rest from importing ready-made vehicles and compel them to manufacture in the US. I know a measure of that legislation already exists, but it needs to be ramped up. Close the BIG Three factories on paper only, but in reality transfer them to proven efficient ownership including new labor contracts. There's still the problem of enormous pension liabilities and I can't see any fresh manufacturer rushing to take them on, but so long as the plants are still operating, albeit in a very different way and probably at greatly reduced capacity, it should be possible with state help to find an equitable way of funding these. After all, what would happen to all those current and future pensioners if their milch-cow were to go under totally?

I'm not saying any of this would be easy or could be done quickly, but unless there is a voluntary major rethink on the way these companies operate there will be a much harsher mandatory one a bit later. Current methods are simply untenable, and not even the giant US economy can or should support such appallingly run companies.

If propping up the companies in largely their present state and condition is primarily or exclusively to fund the pensions, then we should recognise that and instead of charging taxpayers for those pensions by the back door, be up-front about it and separate the accrued pension obligation from current operations. THEN these factories should become much more attractive to efficient competitors.

There is now no option to doing something draconian. If we do nothing the companies will collapse (very shortly) and there will be enormous uncontrolled human suffering. If we grasp the nettle right now then it will still be painful, but we will have a chance of directing it to do least damage.

#312462 - 11/26/08 04:18 PM Re: Do we need car (companies) this much? [Re: Peter Jones]
ScubaLdy Offline
Interesting ideas. I actually agree with Pug - but would go a step further.
Take one Company - probably GM - put the CEO on 3 month leave without pay. (That should get some others attention!)

Stop all productions of SUV’s and toy trucks (like pickups)
Produce ONLY what they have orders for.

Bring in a hatchet wo/man to cull out 10% of the top managers and put them on the same unpaid leave.
The remaining 90% would need to cut their staffs by 10% - and that could happen by attrition.
All workers – and retirees take a 10% pay cut for one year.

At the end of 3 months review and revise – downward if needed. Again at 6 and 9 months.

The other two companies should be busting their buts to do the same thing voluntarily.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#312502 - 11/27/08 09:10 AM Re: Do we need car (companies) this much? [Re: ScubaLdy]
Moby Offline
Just give the hard working people who actually make something the same deal the useless, lazy parasites in banking/investment industry got when they were begging for their chunk of government cheese - pour money at them till they choke.


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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