By on November 12, 2008

After Peter DeLorenzo’s fusillade, Autoblog’s TTAC upbraiding comes as something of a relief. As we’ve been picking on Sam Abuelsamid for some time (in the most morally self-righteous sort of way), I suppose it’s only fair that he takes his shot at our generally, shall we say, “skeptical” attitude towards a Detroit bailout. Of course, he can’t mention us by name… “Those cheering for Detroit’s demise may want to reconsider,” the headline chides, ever-so-gently. Bless. “Many analysts and commentators have seemingly been cheering for the imminent demise of the Detroit-based automakers. Something that needs to be realized amidst all this talk of low-interest loans and bailout money is how interconnected the auto industry is and how it affects our economy as a whole.” Not to offend Sam’s delicate sensibilities, but I don’t recall many commentators– here or otherwise– saying “fuck ‘em.” But hey, he did say “seemingly,” and we like that kind of humility. And it could be, yes, wait, it is, time for an Autoblog Cassandra Watch! “Yes, the Detroit 3 have made a lot of stupid product decisions over the years and wasted a lot of money, but allowing the free market to pull them under will create a ripple effect that reaches more than just the shores of the Detroit River.” Nasty free market! Don’t you just HATE IT? Well, some people do. They may want to reconsider. You know; take a look around and ask themselves, well, how did I get here?

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24 Comments on “Autoblog is Slightly Miffed at TTAC– With a Vengeance!...”


  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    “And you may ask yourself
    Where is that large automobile? “

  • avatar
    Orian

    And here I thought the free market was to reward those who produce quality products while managing the bottom line, not reward companies that make both good and bad products while spraying red ink all over the place.

    While I do not revel in the situation that Ford, GM, and Chrysler are in, they did make their own beds and now they need to be forced to lie in it. For them to get a bailout or any type of assistance they need to remove the entire BoD and executive management and replace them with competent and proven leadership. I’m not real fond of taxpayer money going to them in any case, but the writing on the wall is saying we need to do something to help those who will lose their jobs from this mess.

    I know when most of the factories closed in the small city I live in there were no government bailouts. Those people had to either relocate or train for new jobs (Their training and/or education was covered).

  • avatar

    Sorry Mr. F, but Sam was primarily referring to some of our commentators who have said on several occasions, “Die!”

  • avatar
    Droid800

    Like it or not Farago, what he said is the truth. If GM goes under, it will almost certainly result in millions upon millions of jobs being lost. (you yourself have said many times that if GM goes into Chapter 11, it will never come out of it)

    Now, I don’t favor a bailout without strings. If GM gets the cash, it should be a requirement that the entire board resigns and new (competent) leadership is put in place. Ford doesn’t need that precondition since Mullaly actually knows what he’s doing, and Chrysler is debatable.

    But let’s be clear here; simply declaring bankruptcy will not solve the biggest problem, which is a serious lack of liquidity. Sure, it will get rid of the labor issues and allow GM to cut brands and dealers without having to worry about lawsuits and franchising laws, but that doesn’t put much-needed money into the coffers.

  • avatar

    damonlavrinc :

    So the use of a cheerleader pic was a coincidence? Well, fair enough. But just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean everyone’s not out to get me.

    Doid800

    (you yourself have said many times that if GM goes into Chapter 11, it will never come out of it)

    Never. Not once.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Alright, when everyone began buying a Pioneer car stereo in the 70′s, I said to hell with it. Pioneer built a nicer car stereo than Bendix, Delco, or Motorola ever did.

    When the steel industry shut down, we all said fuck it, cause foreign steel was cheaper and better.

    Clothing and footwear were the same deal. Then came the outsourcing of tech jobs and oh the whining that followed. I hope the lawyers are the next to be outsource, because I feel that they are overpaid vultures. So fuck’em

    Why does it seem OK to outsource blue collar jobs and not everything else. Heck our credit is good so long as the overseas banks keep loaning us money to buy their products and services.

  • avatar
    essen

    The Democrats want to bail out Detroit to protect their union constituency.
    From a business perspective, the carmakers should go Chapter 11 to rid themselves of the UAW and the legacy costs.
    A compromise would be for the government to take over retiree pensions and benefits, allowing the carmakers to rid themselves of legacy costs without going CH 11.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Talking Heads allusions amidst the wreckage. Bliss!

    Anyone got a match?

  • avatar

    “Remember, a paranoid is merely someone in possession of all the facts.” -Spider Jerusalem

    Let the government provide the financing for the Ch. 11, put the competent members of the team to work on a real turnaround, and be done with it. Repay the tax money with interest.

    Retrain the fired people, financing them with low interest education loans.

    And when Toyota and Honda drop the manufacturing wages down to $8.25 an hour, and slash healthcare bennies down to half what they have now (because we don’t need a union).

    And everybody gets equally unhappy.

  • avatar
    Usta Bee

    Free market ?….you got that right.

    What we’ve had over many many years is a “labor wage bubble”. The key to bringing more manufacturing and tech sector jobs BACK to America is to bring the cost of American labor inline with the rest of the (third) world. We need the economy to tank in order to be competitive again !.

    I figure if enough people in America become unemployed they’ll be more willing to work at lower paying jobs with no healthcare and no benefits like the rest of the world. Either that or we have to wait it out until the Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and Asian countries raise their standard of living to match ours so that everybody’s on a level playing field.

    The other alternative is to jack fuel and shipping costs up so high it’s not profitable to manufacture goods overseas and sell them here. The downside of that is we all get asthma, ephysema, and lung cancer from riding around on 2-stroke scooters like the Vietnamese and Chinese.

  • avatar
    hltguy

    Nice photo, got more?

  • avatar
    Demetri

    Why don’t the bailout supporters just take it all the way and go for a plan that will actually work. Ban imports. You’ll save all of the jobs and you won’t piss away all of our money trying to do it. At the same time, the government conveys your true message, that Americans are wrong and bad for choosing imports. I would support this any day over handing out our money to these ugly and diseased corporations.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Many times throughout my adult life I have lived akin to a 2nd-world life-style and can do it again.

    I remain happy as long as the USA’s elite class can continue on in their luxurious manner.

    I do, however, long for a “day of reckoning” but, alas, the elites have the money and connections that they will merely obtain shelter via their fellow elites in other locales, likely Europe, Bermuda, etc.

    Face it, it’s the common folks who eventually suffer from the elite’s indescretions, failures and constant striving for more wealth and power.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    The problem with the UAW is that they pushed the wage higher than is justified by their workers productivity. There’s a reason why the imports build factories here and the domestics build in Mexico… and all those other heavily unionized industries died rusty deaths. It doesn’t HAVE TO BE THIS WAY; this is all fallout from a couple of fairly unique historical events that gave the American worker a very serious advantage for a few decades and let them bargain for historically high wages. This sense of collapse and doom is just the rest of the industrialized world not being either a bombed out wreck or under the boot of communism post WW2. It’s a return to the norm, not the death of the American way of life.

    There can be good paying manufacturing jobs, but they won’t be as awesome as what the unions had in the salad days. If people could manage to come to terms with that before they drove their companies into the shitter, there might not be such a big rust belt these days.

  • avatar
    pariah

    The Autoblog article begins with the headline “Those cheering for Detroit’s demise may want to reconsider“. I don’t get why people often misrepresent the attitude at TTAC as “cheering for Detroit’s demise” and crap to that effect. I don’t think I’m the only one here who would love to see the Three get their shiz together and start making some world-class competitive vehicles and maybe even a profit. I think the only demise we cheer for is that of Rick Wagoner’s career…

  • avatar
    derm81

    all the retirees should pitch in and buy GM right now. I mean hell, what can they get it for….the price of a few F-15 fighters???

  • avatar
    kid cassady

    pariah:

    Given the glee that I’ve seen throughout this site’s upbraiding of General Motors and the GM Death Watch series, I honestly don’t feel that the “cheering for Detroit’s demise” mark is that far off.

  • avatar
    MikeInCanada

    What’s up with the pictures of my wife!? She got a job, she just can’t afford full coverage clothes yet.

  • avatar
    autonut

    I am not the fan of unions, especially UAW, but pundits are placing on unions $1200-1500 cap on cost of a car to Domestics. I would like to ask a simple question: what is the cost of Hummer fiasco, Ford rollovers, Chrysler product mix? How do you place price on those per car sold or unsold? The best place to find Big 2.6 car on rental lot.

    We in US have a market that envy of the world. We drive biggest and fastest cars, live in largest homes and we can ill afford it all. Everything was bought or leased on never ending credit. Big 2.8 strive on consumer ignorance. Now with financing dried up (and rightfully so) there will be no buyers/lessors for their wares. Consumers with an eye on resale value stopped touching domestics long time ago, and if general public will be forced into financial responsibility, they will become selective consumers. Domestics are doomed just like US made shoes along with black and white TVs.

  • avatar
    Bozoer Rebbe

    Not to offend Sam’s delicate sensibilities, but I don’t recall many commentators– here or otherwise– saying “fuck ‘em.”

    Robert, are you sure that Detroiters are the only ones in denial?

    You don’t recall many folks wishing for the demise of the domestic mfgs. But as damonlavrinc above noted, it’s happened here. I guess one can quibble about the meaning of the word “many”, but there’s no doubt that plenty of TTAC comments have said concerning GM/Ford/Chrysler “fuck ‘em” even if they haven’t used those exact words.

    You don’t recall any comments that go beyond attacking the Big 2.8 and express disdain for Detroiters and Michiganders. Shall I link to the comment today that essentially said that the Japanese are smarter than people in Michigan?

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Oh, that cheerleader….um, oh, sorry, was there an automotive story here too? Or just kids playing games? I know, its a journalist thing. I can’t concentrate at the present time :)

  • avatar
    JuniorMint

    Shall I link to the comment today that essentially said that the Japanese are smarter than people in Michigan?

    Not to nitpick, but if we’re going by international standardized test scores, the Japanese ARE smarter than people in Michigan.

    Does it still count as an “attack” if it’s true? Or does that label apply to anything you’re not happy about?

  • avatar
    barberoux

    “fuck ‘em.” That’s a bit blunt.

    GMs demise will cost many jobs but is it right for the government to prop up poor business practices. GM had years to change their product line to add more fuel efficient cars but the easy profit was in trucks and SUVs so they ignored the writing on the wall and profiteered. American businesses fail because they don’t invest money back into their products. They don’t continually improve. Pioneers stereos succeeded because they were a better product at the time and if they don’t keep up with the competition they will be out of business. If given a choice between two equal products I would buy American but often the American product is junk.

    If the government wants to put money into the car companies they could offer tax credits for trading in gas guzzlers for fuel efficient cars. They could offer research grants into hybrid technology. They could offer low interest loans for buying domestic fuel efficient cars. Just giving Detroit cash would only cause executives to buy pants with deeper pockets they can stuff. Giving GM cash would reward the piss poor management that got GM into their difficulties.

  • avatar
    dilbert

    talk about a buttaface!


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