By on August 27, 2012
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Auto plant visits, long a staple of election-year vote-courting for politicians, are now banned at both GM and Chrysler plants until after the votes have been counted.

GM and Chrysler implemented the move in response to the highly politicized nature of the auto industry following the bailout. An article in the Detroit Free Press contains a summary that could have been lifted right from the TTAC comments section, complete with references to “Government Motors”, the Chevrolet Volt and the question of when the Treasury will dump GM’s stock.

The most encouraging quote comes from GM’s Bob Ferguson, VP for global public policy, who told the paper

“We would like to put all of our energy behind selling our cars and trucks…it’s an understatement to say we can’t wait for November to get here.”

Amen to that.

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53 Comments on “GM, Chrysler To Political Candidates: GTFO...”


  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Except of course for the of millions of dollars the UAW automatically gives to a certain political party.

    Or when Chrysler wants to run an Obama reelection ad during the Super Bowl.

    Or when Chrysler and GM want the taxpayer to guarantee sub-prime loans for risky customers so they can pump up their sales figures before November.

    But other than that, it’s good they’re staying above the fray.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” it’s good they’re staying above the fray.”

      Of course they’re NOT staying above the fray and this story only confirms it.

      “Auto plant visits…, are now banned at both GM and Chrysler plants until after the votes have been counted.”

      …is a smooth move on their part but they have already implicitly declared their support for their candidate and don’t want the other guy to get equal time and upset the applecart by reminding America how much money the taxpayers lost on just these two failures.

      If the majority of taxpaying Americans supported the bailouts these visits would have been welcome and even encouraged.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      For those who still feel that the 2012 Super Bowl ad from Chrysler with Clint Eastwood was a puff piece commending the present White House, 1) Mr Eastwood is supporting Mitt Romney, and 2) Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne was interviewed about that on the CBS news show 60 Minutes, and you can learn his answer to that charge by watching a podcast of the segment. Just search the cbs.com site for ’60 Minutes Chrysler’ to watch the complete segment.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Interesting premise, but I saw that ad as a tribute to what greatness can happen to a failed company when the government pimped it to a foreign automaker and bribed that foreign automaker with $1.3B taxpayer bucks to take Chrysler’s carcass off its hands.

        Yo! Chrysler made a comeback. GM not so much, and that is currently the feed-stock for much discussion.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        Except for the part where the 300 is all Chrysler and none Fiat.

  • avatar
    caboaz

    psst… take this $50 billion and distribute it liberally among ONLY your union pals – pay me back with votes in 2012. Don’t forget to pretend you don’t know me during the election though. I’ll give you the rest of the money after I win the second time…

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I don’t know why the ‘crats are worrying about this election. Obama has this thing sewed up. He will handily win re-election. And by a margin of at least 8 electoral votes.

      The people who are receiving all of the freebies from Obama are going to turn out in droves to vote for him. They’ll vote early and vote often. Those people do not want all the freebies to come to an end and that would happen if Romney got elected.

    • 0 avatar

      psst…take this $1400B, conduct a couple of never ending wars and distribute the money liberally among your people(who can point and shoot but can never find a job in the private sector), your friends at Halliburton, the Military Industrial Complex, all the Red States and oil companies. Pay me back with votes in 2012. Don’t forget to pretend you are independent during election time though. Now, go retire at 50 with full Govt. pension, benefits and healthcare while complaining about govt waste and entitlements on internet forums. I’ll give you more when I win the second term…

      Signed
      W.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        Yeah, because Obama ended the wars and didn’t give taxpayer dollars to his corporate cronies, too. Oh, wait. The “W. was worse” argument always fails because Obama did absolutely nothing to change the Bush-era policies that the Democrats wailed about the most.

        Why is it that the shameless GM apologists and bitter liberals on this board always end up being the same people?

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        I’m not a GM apologist by any means – they’re a poorly run, stupid shell of a company.

        I’m also not a “bitter” liberal, though. When the world has gone to shit, there’s not much that will magically save it. Believing a political ad, from either sad, and thinking they will somehow offer a magic solution that will end all the world’s problems, which is what they are counting on you doing, would make you pretty stupid.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Thank you alluster. Neither party is innocent. Love how everybody is worrying over abortion rights YET F’king AGAIN though we all know that nothing is really going to change.

        Meanwhile off the table are a long list of REAL topics like the wars, unemployment, cheap imports, education, long term problems, infrastructure, etc, etc, etc.

        I’m not watching the election coverage and especially not the GOP circus b/c that is ALL it has become. It’s ALL (both sides) cheap talk surround by people who get all giddy at the prospect of being part of a club and attending the club’s party. These people like to stand up and wave and smile and idolize their heroes. They want to be part of something. A once in a lifetime opportunity a lady said this morn on the radio news to attend such a thing. I figure these were the same folks who at age 17 were idolizing their favorite band and getting all swept up in the excitement of a concert. In fact I’ve listened over the years to people speak with stars in their eyes about their favorite actors/actresses, singers/bands, preacher/priest/minister, politician or military leader. Their styles of admiration are a little different but these are all great people who must be defended against attacks from non-believers/non-fans/the other side of the political fray. WAKE UP PEOPLE – don’t be a follower b/c Palin is cute or has a laugh you like to hear. Don’t vote for Clinton ’cause he can play the saxophone. GEEZ!

        Seems like some of these same people over the years get all caught up in brands too. Brands of cars, shirts, shoes, etc. It’s not about utility or durability – its about brand recognition and being part of the cool kids. Wake up! Come back to reality! Guess some folks ar wired this way. Wired to be part of a herd.

        If Obama didn’t keep any promises it was because he didn’t intend to – just like the GOP, or he intended to but was fighting an uphill battle thanks to the GOP obstructionist tactics (flinging mud and calling names vs trying to be part of a pragmatic part of the fix for our recession). Of course the GOP is not going to take responsibility for their part of the economic depression nor are they going to give credit to the Dems if the Dems have anything worthy of compliments.

        Meanwhile over the long term I see it our problems in the USA being more of a lack of opportunity for a good portion of the population – the folks who generally seek to work for someone else rather than become a proprietor. Get those people back to work in jobs that will support their families and and alot of our problems will solve themselves.

        Problem is that the investor class are just as happy to make their profits in Asia or Europe or Russia as they are here and I get the feeling that they really are the ones that control the chicken coop rather than us working stiffs or the politicians.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Kind of bad form for GM to lock out their biggest shareholder. Can you imagine Alan Mullaly telling the Ford family it’s not welcome on the premises? Haha. GM (and Chrysler) made their own troubles in this area with their clean-rinse bankruptcies that were none the less politicized by saving the UAW at the expense of investors and bondholders.

  • avatar
    morbo

    Don’t forget the white collar workers that has their pensions and jobs evaporated and told ‘That’s Old GM, we’re New GM”: that happened to an former GM engineer now reduced salary entry level coworker of mine. Or the dealers that were told to die.

    Ehhh…, go ahead and forget the dealers, several of the ones I know that got iced were scumbags anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Which GM salaried pensions ‘evaporated’ during the bankruptcy? Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think pensions were dumped. Where did he work?

      Yes, I would imagine some jobs were lost. That was hardly unique to the automotive business during 08-09. Downsizing can suck.

      So, your engineer co-worker has been ‘reduced’ to an entry level salary working where you do….so is your friend aware of the numerous openings for automotive engineers? Is it that bad out there for engineers in the auto business?

      Anything you would like to share beyond your random comment? Is he stocking shelves at a grocery store?

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        She actually worked in brakes, speccifically the CTS brakes. She was iced in 2009. Her severence and retirement plans cahsout was ‘Old GM’ and never paid out in its entirety. Far as I know she’s still in line at the bankruptcy court on that. She moved East Coast to where all us economic refugees fled, DC. She was working for me in a junior/mid-level engineers role. I got her up to a high mid-level, but less then where she had been as a 20-ish year GM white collar veteran. After two years, she was able to get a job back in MI working as a government vehicles expert, EPA testing.

        The whole thing was rotten for everyone. Some folks were either more Machiavellian to survive, stronger through their union affiliation, or just plain lucky. I’m surprised that GM has any talent left honestly; that sort of bloodletting makes everyone put their resumes out and look for greener pastures.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Sounds like she worked for Delphi at the end.

  • avatar
    Carl Kolchak

    If it was not for one of the candidate’s father, one of Chrysler’s divisions may not be around today.

    • 0 avatar
      solracer

      I don’t think either Mitt Romney or Barak Obama is related to Henry J. Kaiser so I don’t get your point. Or are you saying that because George Romney was president of AMC from ’54 to ’62 that somehow that “saved” Kaiser-Jeep when Kaiser Industries sold the company to AMC in 1970? (when George Romney was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Nixon BTW)

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Aren’t you exaggerating the importance of Obamas dad? It’s not a given that the Nazis would have closed down CHrysler/Jeep had he not defeated the Jerrys.

  • avatar

    GM OWES OBAMA it’s LIFE. If left to Romney, GM would be owned by China right now.

    Ford and Chrysler owes Obama too. If GM went under, Chrysler would have been dooms – since they draw parts from the same manufacturers and both companies are too big to fail.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I thought the bailout was George W Bush’s doing when it wasn’t popular.

    • 0 avatar

      “If left to Romney, GM would be owned by China right now. ”

      Romney called for a structured bankruptcy and reorganization of GM, not its liquidation. Though he probably wouldn’t have screwed the senior creditors and bond holders like the Obama/Rattner/Bloom team did in order to benefit the UAW, the result would have been about the same, i.e. a “new” GM with a healthy balance sheet.

      But what do I know, I don’t drive an S-Class.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “If left to Romney, GM would be owned by China right now. ”

        Chrysler is owned by Italy right now, so I could live with that.

        • 0 avatar
          Lampredi

          “Chrysler is owned by Italy right now, so I could live with that.”

          Chrysler being owned by Fiat is arguably preferable to it being owned by a Chinese company, apart from money Fiat should have more to offer Chrysler technology-wise.

      • 0 avatar

        There couldn’t be a restructuring during a time of a CREDIT FREEZE. the Discount windows were closed and neither company could get the credit needed for a regular Chapter 11.

        Those companies would have went BANKRUPT and been dissolved.

        Not to mention these weren’t “bailouts” they were “bridge loans”.

        And by the way – I’m driving a Jaguar XJ-L portfolio with executive package too now LULZ.

      • 0 avatar
        Type57SC

        It was a structured bankruptcy and reorganization. A liquidation happens when there is no plan or no DIP funding acceptable to the court’s view of what’s best for the debtor given the priority of claims. US bankruptcy is not creditor based and somehow many people miss that point when bemoaning the 363 sales and soft glove treatment of the union at the behest of the DIP funder. Romney was just plain wrong about the funding issue and for some reason, refuses to admit it, which takes away from his many other very sensible ideas.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Lampredi, I don’t understand why so many people are against China since it was America that carried their water for them and it was America that sponsored China into the WTO, and it was America who chose to become China’s biggest trading partner and importer of China-made goods, and it was America that peddled its current and future debt to China.

        Not blaming any one administration here and not being political since this took place over decades. Seems to me America got exactly what it set out to do and what it so richly deserves for its elaborate investment in, and backing of China.

        And as far as Fiat having more to offer to their Chrysler Division, I believe you’re right since Chrysler has nothing to offer anyone, least of all itself. That’s why they went bankrupt!

        Whatever Chrysler’s got now is thanks to Daimler. Their best-sellers are Daimler-inspired. Then again, Daimler couldn’t wait to dump Chrysler when it became self-evident that Chrysler was continuing to cost Daimler tons of money.

        The irony now is that Chrysler’s profits are what’s keeping Fiat afloat and operating. Well, that and the $1.3B the US government bribed Fiat with to take Chrysler off their hands. But how long can this go on?

        To me it sounds like the loyalty of GM and Fiatsler is to the Obama administration because visits by the GOP candidates to their plants would only reflect badly on the Obama administration because the majority of Americans were against any and all bailouts, even those of the US auto industry.

        GM and Fiatsler don’t want old wounds to be torn open again. Nor do they want salt poured on those open wounds. THAT may cause fence-sitters to vote for Romney en masse and cause the Obama welfare-wagon to get derailed.

        And the majority of Americans collecting the bennies do not want that welfare-wagon to get derailed. Only the people paying for the welfare want to see it stopped.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    “…long a stale of election-year vote-courting…”

    I think you meant “staple”, but “stale” works too.

    • 0 avatar
      -Cole-

      It’s a game…

    • 0 avatar

      The election year is WORSE THAN A GAME.

      #1 Neither one of these “candidates” answers any real questions or does any true debating.

      #2 The federal reserve, and war are bleeding us dry. You can argue about entitlements, but I’d rather spend on healthcare than let the government spend $40,000 PER SECOND over a few year period to finance these wasteful wars.

      #3 this election is over healthcare. PERIOD. Obama is gonna win because the average American doesn’t want to lose theirs/their kids and they already know Romney is gonna cut entitlements. It seems like EVERYONE has cancer now.

      Bigger problem is there aren’t enough Americans working to support any of this. We are already bankrupt (according to the last comptroller general David Walker) and have been since the Bush Administration.

      Those conspiracy theorists who think the dollar is being intentionally destroyed to make way for the “amero” might be right.

      • 0 avatar
        GS650G

        And yet, as stated previous, you are all in favor of Barry 2.0 for 4 more years.

        You might consider the alternative but that’s quite all right, plenty of looters out there with the same vote as the rest of us.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @GS650G

        Ah, here come the Rand overtones , but she was surly a smart lass, she realized that free abortion is a must and that religion is for the feeble minded.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        @meaculpa,

        Or you could fire a protest vote out there. Since both parties (and clearly both candidates) are bought, you’re essentially voting for who you think looks like less a fool on camera.

        Both of the main candidates are duds. One has a track record of failure and the other one can’t wait to get a chance to prove he’ll be a failure as well.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @jkross22

        As I’m European – not adding that in some holier than thou smirkiness – I have a hard time with the two party system and president-centrism, I honestly think that Mitt Romney could have made a fine, reasonable and intelligent president, but to secure the nomination he had to turn the steering wheel to the right (forcing him to back paddle on his – arguably – fine work in Massachusetts). As a European Conservative/Liberal I view the election circus from afar with some suspicion, where did the gentleman republicans go, the golf club ones? Now it’s all US-flag shirts, (generally I feel a bit perplexed by all the flags, I would have imagined that one where aware of what country one was living in) hell and brimstone, Tea-parties and madness.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        @MeaCulpa:

        The gentlemen, golf-club Republicans I know beat a path for the door when the party was taken over by science-rejecting simpletons and religious fundamentalists who are trying to turn the laughingstock they’ve made of the Texas and Kentucky school boards into a national governing philosophy. Some of them will vote for Romney because he looks on the surface like their kind of guy; the ones who’ve been paying attention to what he’s actually said over the last couple of years will either stay home or hold their noses and pull the lever for Obama, who, all things considered, is about as liberal as Richard Nixon or George H. W. Bush.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    For the poster who implied that Mr. Romney’s father, George, saved Jeep when American Motors bought it, Romney senior had left American Motors in 1962 to begin running for political office. Jeep wasn’t acquired by American Motors until 1969-70.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    I’ve been a staunch critic of the US and Canadian taxpayer bailouts, BUT…this may be an instance in which I agree with.

    GM and Fiatsler should concentrate on building QUALITY cars, not buying into the minutia of politics. (Yeah, I know AND AGREE, ‘Get off my lawn’).

    For once, they seem to have their heads on straight. Kudos to them.

    That said, does no one realize Mitt Romney’s father was CEO of American Motors back in the day? He knows cars, whether my Progressive friends reading this realize this or not.

    I still won’t buy GM, and would only buy a Challenger or Charger (or Ram if my job required it), but I can at least respect this position.

    For once, good job Detroit. :)

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Don’t let facts get in the way of a good cafeteria capitalist story. They’ll need all the unicorn poop they can get their MITT’s on!

  • avatar
    redav

    GM should have done this a long time ago. They’ve been attacked, especially the Volt, because of how the current administration tied itself to a newly successful GM. Without that association, they wouldn’t be a target.

    • 0 avatar
      Volts On Fire

      Speaking of attacking the Volt, looks like once again GM will be forced to temporarily halt production of its pseudo-hybrid-electric boondoggle, thanks to its stunning lack of popularity. Romney should point this out in his acceptance speech this week…

      • 0 avatar

        Still outselling the Leaf and plug in Prius and any other Electric Vehicle in the market. Just adjusting manufacturing with supply (currently only 90 days) instead of building just to build. Sounds like a very smart decision to me, but what do I know, I don’t drive no Jag.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @TCBRacing Apparently you didn’t get the memo. The shutdown is for re-tooling for Impala production.

      • 0 avatar

        Had to wait for the official Tweet @mcs…

        http://twitter.com/GM/statuses/240431890568462337

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        That “official” reason is bullsh!t and you know it, Tommy Boy.

      • 0 avatar

        Let’s see, last time the plant was shut down it was because there was a 148 day supply on the dealer lots, now it’s 90… Hmmmm… New Impala being built at DHAM soon, line tooling left over from full frame DTS… Makes sense that it is not due to capacity overflow. Please enlighten me with facts, not just opinions…

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        Yawn. Company shill disputes all other media reports but the official spin from his employer…

        It’s not difficult to assume that were GM actually selling 45,000 Volts a year, they’d find a way to make the conversion without “matching supply to meet demand” – the approved euphemism to describe the latest shutdown, from an actual GM spokesman.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-27/gm-said-to-halt-chevrolet-volt-production-for-four-weeks.html

      • 0 avatar

        Quoted from your link…

        “It’s just a matter of we’re matching supply with demand and gearing up for the production of the Chevy Impala.”

        Looks like we both win…

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I agree with this decision. Neither candidate will actually benefit from appearing in an auto plant, either.

    But I would like one of them to have the courage to appear in a Transplant facility and put a face on real job creation instead of pointless flag-waving. However, the UAW-ordained candidate can’t do that.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      If we’re realistic, the speech has fudge all to do with the actual facility they are appearing in. The point of the visit is to provide the candidate with a nice – and not in Washington – backdrop when his ad hominem blurb appears on the evening news.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I wonder if either of the yahoos running will go to the toilet paper plant that makes the Obama and Romney bathroom rolls.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Maybe Obama could make a speech at a solar/wind green energy factory that received a truckload of govt backed loans/grants. Then Romney could give a speech there, a week later, after they’re paid out the executive bonuses and declared bankruptcy.


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