By on May 7, 2013

Forward contracts on popcorn skyrocketed at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as former TTAC Chief Editor Ed Niedermeyer drew massive fire for his recent op-ed  in the Wall Street Journal.  On Sunday, GM’s PR Chief Selim Bingo blasted Niedermeyer for “stepping through the looking glass” and for “carelessly comparing GM’s spending in China to that in the U.S.”

A day later, Bob Lutz joined the fray.

Bob Lutz - Alpha Jet - Picture courtesy lotustalk.com

 

The former marine jet attack pilot and Korean war veteran Lutz (never mind that the aging alpha male loves to be depicted with an un-American French/German Alpha Jet) did not use sissy Alice in Wonderland imagery, but overwhelming firepower. He calls Ed’s articles “rants” and accuses him of swapping “truth” for “cheap political pandering.” He blames Ed of the written equivalent of showing his genitals in Central Park, saying Ed “exposes his naiveté by not knowing (or acknowledging) the rules a foreign automaker must follow to participate and profit in China.”

Indicative for the massive pain Ed is causing GM, Lutz sees it necessary to dig into Ed’s meager finances. Lutz (or whoever did the digging) did not find much:  Ed “was paid $27,000 by a Tea Party organization in the last election,” says the article. If Niedermeyer would have remained with TTAC, he could have made more. Not much, but more.  Lutz quickly says that there is “nothing wrong” with it – but then why mention it at all?

Once through with invectives and digging into personal finances,  Lutz ploughs the furrow laid down by Bingol the day before, namely that no American money ever went to China, instead, it went the other way. Lutz catches Ed making a “most egregious error:” Ed said that GM invested only $8.5 billion in its U.S. operations since the bankruptcy. Wrong, wrong WRONG, shouts Lutz: “Since 2009, GM has invested about $9 billion in plants and people.”  The firefight (I understand Ed is on his way to the armory) is loud and making headlines.

Ed has struck a raw nerve at GM. In the shooting business, they call that reconnaissance by fire. If a hail of bullets answers, there  usually is something worth defending.

I have my own beef with Ed: Instead of giving the impression that GM is sending money to China (he never said it, but he has been readily perceived as such) Ed should look deeper into money GM had received from China. The story of GM having been bailed-out by SAIC and hence the Chinese government in times of severe cash flow problems, the co-signing of loans, the back and forth of the Golden Share, the India business, all of that has never been properly explained. All I can tell you is that one does not want to be the recipient of Chinese generosity in times of need. The interest payments on that typically are very big and very painful. The Chinese won’t do what Washington did. They want their money back, in full, again, and again, and again.

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87 Comments on “Former Marine Bomber Pilot Lutz Blasts Former TTAC Chief Niedermeyer, Hits Popcorn Warehouse...”


  • avatar
    readallover

    The real question is: How much money is GM taking OUT of China?

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Bob Lutz says $3 billion in the past few years.

    • 0 avatar
      crush157

      Whatever GM brings back to the US from China will be heavily taxed here. For most companies, that doesn’t happen unless there is an emergency. Apple and others leave their money offshore due to this inconveinence.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        Yup, and thereby contribute little to the country of their birth. Yay, Apple! Way to go.

        The US taxes individuals on their overseas income. They even tax individuals who live outside the US who have become foreign citizens. How? They don’t allow those people to shed US citizenship! Caused a huge ruckus here in Nova Scotia (and Canada) last year, when the IRS, no doubt anticipating the Italian governments crackdown on tax cheats this year, decided to go after people they deemed to be Americans. For up to 40 years of “back taxes”. Nice one. Ruined not a few people.

        One of the first countries to allow the equivalence of individual and corporation in law was the US.

        Apparently, this equivalence does not apply to a US corporation’s overseas earnings, however. For some unknown reason.

        Oh yeah, I can guess. The one-percenters have decided it would not be suitable in their quest for even more money.

        Shaft the little guy, pamper the well off. The story of life in the USA and everywhere else these days. Actually, it was always thus, otherwise why bother striving to become rich and part of the elite?

        Apple should pay up. But, they won’t.

        • 0 avatar
          TW4

          The US government does not shaft the little guy and pamper the well off.

          The US government spoils the entitlement classes, based on per capita spending, but Uncle Sam beats the middle class mercilessly. The wealthy are then blamed for the horrors faced by the middle class, but the government reckons it ought not disturb the golden geese who lay the golden eggs so the wealthy remain relatively unregulated.

          Recap:

          Poor and elderly – spoiled rotten (per beneficiary spending)
          Middle class – flogged mercilessly until nearly dead
          Wealthy – deregulated but slandered continuously

  • avatar
    carguy

    Maybe the reaction to Ed’s editorial isn’t the kind of feather ruffling that happens when you speak truth to power but a logical rebuttal of incorrect analysis. I’m sure its in line with the WSJ editorial opinion but that doesn’t make it right. I’m happy for Ed that he is getting high profile work but I with Max Bob on this one.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      The all-purpose response to your argument getting thoroughly and publicly gutted: “I must have been on to something if you bothered to respond.”

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      I hate to admit it but I’m with you on this one. The original op-ed hardly struck me as persuasive or particularly informative. I see more politics than journalism in that work, and given the high profile venue (even if it is the WSJ ed. page) it came across as a little juvenile.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Interesting about Ed working for a tea party group. Makes sense since he took a year off to work with a election candidate and then that stopped – I assumed because the candidate lost. Makes sense it was with some GOP type because they had a bad election cycle last year – lost house seats, lost senate seats and didn`t win the Presidency.

    Nothing wrong with Ed working for a tea party group as it is a free country but it does show his political perspective, which was more hidden when working at TTAC.
    Bob Lutz brought it up, along with the publications Ed writes for to back up his assumption that Ed is a conservative like Lutz is.

    This will help Ed’s consulting business. As they say “no such thing as bad publicity”.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Lutz is a progressive, he might be conservative on a few things, but he is far more progressive in his action.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Yes because voting for Santorum is such a liberal thing to do!

        TTAC would have criticized GM is they had been late to China (like Ford), but since they are the best selling foreign company there they also get criticized. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I’m not criticizing GM, myself, the only reason they have lost me over the years is the deteriorating product product line, which while I realize has become industry standard at this point, I see GM going much quicker. When I can buy a product with out all the drawbacks that they try to incorporate as benefits of their products, then I’ll relook.

          Santorum is barely right of center, which coincides with Lutz, no surprise there.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            On social issues he is certainly conservative. I can see on economic issues that he is not on the right wing of the GOP. But the same goes for many social conservative (like Huckabee) and they are a major pillar of the modern GOP.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            On social issues, Santorum is far-right and a bit of a nut.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            “barely right of center”

            ??!!!!???!?!?!?!!!!
            On social issues he is a rabid right-wing idealogue. You might be confusing libertarian with right wing politics as a whole, and social vs. economic issues. Libertarians are extremely progressive (ie liberal) on personal liberty issues, which is not right wing at all. Meanwhile, the typical libertarian economic viewpoint does somewhat coincide with what we consider right wing as a nation. This tension is what defines the issues within the modern Republican party right now. Libertarians are kept totally out of power on personal liberty issues, but are in control of the narrative on macro economic issues.

            So Santorum is a country mile right of center, just not when it comes macro-economic issues.

          • 0 avatar
            nrd515

            Thanks a lot Hummer! You got me with the “Santorum is barely right of center”. Good one. I nearly choked to death. I was drinking iced tea, and that comment cracked me up and it went down the wrong way. Who is to the right of Santorum on social issues? Hitler is dead, you know..

    • 0 avatar

      “but it does show his political perspective,”

      You need not necessarily share their beliefs to work for them. Learn what gets them excited, pull the right strings, sit back and make bank. The target audience in this case is well off but easily manipulated, naive and incapable of thinking or making decisions of their own. Tell them what they want to hear and they readily part with their money. Ed cant risk letting facts get in the way of a great story when he wrote for the WSJ. It is apparent that this type of troll baiting has rubbed off to his successors.

      Ed handily wins this round just for the fact that Maximum Bob and Bingol have directly addressed a low life like him. Though Lutz totally ripped him a new one, Ed should wear that as a badge of honor.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Yes, I agree. Ed wins this one. But more importantly, if this is a non-issue why do the talking heads from GM have to defend it so vigorously and rip Ed a new one?

        Maybe the folks at GM like to play down the fact that GM died and was resurrected using taxpayer money. Maybe they still live in a universe all their own. Revisionists, one and all. GM died! It deserves ALL the criticism anyone hurls at it.

        Instead of rewarding critics like Ed with acknowledgement, GM should have stressed what they they are focused on that will make GM a viable, self-sustaining automaker.

        What we see here is clearly a tactic out the Obama campaign playbook of destroying anyone who dares speak the truth about you. But what would anyone expect from Government Motors?

        Let’s see GM pay back the taxpayers in full, with interest. Now that should shut up any critic! Ed should wear the attention as a badge of honor. If he hadn’t written the story, someone else would have.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Who is denying that GM went through bankruptcy?
          I agree it would be good for them to pay all monies back, a lot already has been and at least an equity stake was taken rather than just money given.
          As for writing an article. If GM or anyone thinks Ed was wrong then they clearly have the right to write an article (just like Ed did) to make their case and we the readers then make our judgement. That is how it is supposed to work and it is – we have two conflicting opinions. Make your judgement.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I did make my judgement. I’m on Ed’s side.

            There’s nothing that GM can say or do that will alter its past performance or prevent future critics from assailing GM, as in the case of investing in China.

            The fact that Ed has received such a hail of criticism from two eminent GM defenders should tell us that Ed’s criticisms were not unfounded.

            The more vigorous the retort the greater the damage done by the truth.

            It all boils down to what a reader believes and if they are a GM fan boy or not.

            I WAS a GM fan boy at one time. I have since moved on to better.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            “There’s nothing that GM can say or do that will alter its past performance or prevent future critics from assailing GM”

            If whatever they say or do, including investing in the largest market, will always be taken as a negative then you have, by definition, a closed mind.
            I have regularly said on TTAC that they have and continue to make mistakes. That there are better run auto companies, but I don`t just see black and white but the grey in between i.e. they do some things that go against type.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I didn’t write the article. But there are people (of all political persuasions) who believe that GM should invest in America first, for obvious reasons, even though investing in China may be a prudent strategy for GM’s future survival and bottom line.

            My mind isn’t closed. I can see the merit of investing in the the world’s largest economy. I’ve advocated it for years to enhance GM’s bottom line. Ditto with Mexico and the Southern United States, away from the UAW.

            What I question was the need for GM’s talking heads to react this strongly to a criticism that could have been raised by anyone anywhere at any time.

            The conclusion is that the WSJ is the most influential publication when it comes to investment and business strategy and therefore GM had to go overboard in its retorts because the only good defense of something indefensible or unpopular is a good offense.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          HDC

          Who the hell said it was a non-issue? When an Op-Ed piece is run in a major publication that has half-baked facts, the party being attacked by the half-baked facts tends to respond.

          Just because the company ‘responds’ doesn’t mean the writer of the Op Ed piece ‘won’

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I get your point, but I disagree in this instance. I don’t believe the facts are half baked.

            They may be selectively chosen to represent an idea or visualization, but that depends on the interpretation of the author, doesn’t it?

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            @ sunridge place

            Exactly.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        He said we invested 8.5 billion, but it was nearly 9 billion is ripping him a new one? What if you could make puppets compete for recognition from their manipulators? Now I know.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      “Nothing wrong with Ed working for a tea party group”

      In much the same way that joining a traveling circus is a legitimate career choice.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I tried to track down the connection between Ed Niedermeyer and “Tea Party”. Near as I can tell he received some money from a PAC run by some guy associated with a group that used “Tea Party” in their name. It appears that Ed was getting some high profile articles basically critical of GM, Chrysler, and their bailout published without disclosing his PAC connection.

      I would consider the various local Tea Party groups under the Tea Party Patriots umbrella organization to be more authentic. Their innovation was to get their people active within the Republican party at the local level combined with helping the most uncompromising constitutional conservative candidate beat the next-in-line establishment Republican in primary elections. High profile examples are Ted Cruz defeating David Dewhurst in the primary last summer in Texas or Rand Paul defeating Trey Grayson in Kentucky in 2010.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    “Ed should look deeper into money GM had received from China.”

    Amen. America isn’t the only country that bailed them out.

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    ‘Ed has struck a raw nerve at GM’

    Ed’s nerves were kind of evident too with his backpeddle approach at explaining what he really meant with his original piece.

    ‘If a hail of bullets answers, there usually is something worth defending’

    Sometimes, an idiot with a gun starts shooting randomly and is met with a hail of bullets.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Wow… look how skinny Lutz’ middle is for an old guy. He’s got the moral high ground just for that.

    But Niedermeyer is fast becoming his generation’s Ralph Nader. Supreme publicity win for him.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The public actually got a great many good things because of Ralph Nader.

      There’s no shame in being his generation’s Ralph Nader. I just hope Ed doesn’t crumble because I’m sure the pressure will be put on him starting with the audits of his tax returns as GM fights back.

      The truth hurts. You can tell how much it hurt by the aggressive retorts.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I am not so sure you can ascribe “hurt” to a corporation with billions in revenues, operations across the world. It was after all one op-ed. The retort has been some PR speak and an op-ed by a former executive. Hardly sending him to gitmo or using a drone is it.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          You are right, it was an Op-Ed. However, even an Op-ed can sway public opinion to the detriment of this bailed out automaker.

          Not everyone loves GM. Some people are just looking to say “I told you so! GM took the money and ran and now is taking it to China.”

          Public perception is a fragile thing. If GM had ignored Ed’s article it would have been over and done with in no time at all, forgotten along with all the less-than-memorable articles published praising or criticizing GM.

          But this was published in the WSJ, widely held as the de facto bible of the business and investment community, and required reading for MBAs and captains of industry.

          Where I think GM went wrong was in the tack it took specifically against Ed’s article when in effect GM should have outlined the why and wherefore of their investment and expansion strategy to the already skeptical readers of the WSJ.

          GM’s retort only underscores that what Ed wrote had merit and was plausible, even though the facts used to illustrate Ed’s points may have been selectively handpicked and highlighted for emphasis. That’s what writers and critics do; give specific instances to support their general observations.

          Readers even remotely interested in what GM is doing or planning to do would ponder, “Hmmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder why such a strong pushback? Is there more here than meets the eye?”

          Ed wins this one. GM would be wise drop this pursuit and highlight its successes and play up its planned barrage of new models planned for this, the NA, market.

          The only thing that matters about GM’s investment in China is how much money gets sent back to America, as with any other transplant and its home country.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            There are countless examples of the target of a WSJ Op Ed replying with a letter which the WSJ publishes as a follow up.

            This happens all the time.

            Are other people better off for getting BOTH sides of the point if they actually care to learn about the matter? I think so.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Are other people better off for getting BOTH sides of the point if they actually care to learn about the matter? I think so.”

            I think so too, but the retort from GM was aimed squarely at Ed instead of outlining what their investment and expansion strategy was aimed at achieving.

            I’m with the former GM owners who have voted with their feet and view GM much the way that Ed portrays in his WSJ piece.

            Nothing that GM’s defenders have said or done has changed what Ed wrote in his piece. If it was meant to evoke a reaction from GM, Ed got one. And a bad one at that.

            To reiterate: GM would be wise drop this pursuit and highlight its successes and play up its planned barrage of new models planned for this, the NA, market.

            The only thing that matters about GM’s investment in China is how much money gets sent back to America, as with any other transplant and its home country.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    If this sort of thing didn’t make Maximum Bob LTZ Package blow up, you should call the doctor to check his pulse. Bob ignoring a real or imagined threat is as likely as a North Korean leader telling the truth.

  • avatar
    mtr2car1

    This is Awesome!

    Given the way this has struck a nerve, I can hardly wait to see if the White House weighs in…I bet they make fun of Ed’s last name…o wait.

    There’s nothing that says you’re on the right track with something better than having the other party claim that “you just don’t understand” and then not bothering to explain anything.

    Keep it up Ed!

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      What didn`t Lutz explain. On a like for like basis GM has invested $16 billion in the US vs $8 billion in China. Seems pretty clear to me unless he is lying.
      Also seems pretty clear that you would invest in China, just like they have invested in Europe in the same time period.
      Is Japan giving Toyota et al trouble for investing in China, which threatens to attack a part of Japan?

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    I love an article that rehashed how there’s nothing wrong with taking money from the Tea Party, but taking money from the Chinese is a mortal sin. Is TTAC even going for a journalistic integrity concept anymore?

    Here’s the real question, TTAC articles have, as of late, been explicitly designed to solicit responses from the readership. Are we looking to bump the post and hit counts for better advertizing rates? Is TTAC really that ‘truthful’ when constructing articles in a way that comes within a ‘Fox News distance’ of Yellow Journalism?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Did you even think before you posted that?

      It’s not like he took money from terrorist at the Occupy crap, he recieved his money from good moral people.

      • 0 avatar
        Sundowner

        I’m feeling the flavor of sarcasm in that second sentance, but I’m also getting a Tostitos hint of lime aftertastes that you might be serious too.

        The first interpretation brings teh funnay, and cudos if we’re copacetic, but the aftertaste brings hardcore cognitive dissonace levels of creepy and scares me, so please stop that if thats what you’re doing.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          You need to try different foods apparently.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s remarkable how many people think that bleating “Fox News!” is substitute for debate and, you know, actual thought. It’s also rather remarkable how people use phrases like “explicitly designed” as though they have paranormal powers to see into peoples’ minds.

            I haven’t yet seen a Tea Party critic who can build as nice a car as David Kirkham.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    and one more:

    “Ed “was paid $27,000 by a Tea Party organization in the last election,” says the article. If Niedermeyer would have remained with TTAC, he could have made more. Not much, but more. Lutz quickly says that there is “nothing wrong” with it – but then why mention it at all?”

    yes, there is something wrong with that. When Karl Rove starts a PAC to fund candidates LESS rightist than the Tea Party, then yes, there is something seriously wrong with that, and I’m not afraid to say it. It’s the same damn thing as Karl Marx telling someone they’re acting too much like a communist.

    Moral of the story: if whatever you are doing is not staying between the two Karls then there is probably something wrong with it. Even if you are in the Karl Envelope, there’s still a shitton of room for wrongness, but outside is bad mojo for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      What have you against the Tea party, they have peaceful protest. You don’t hear about a new rape everyday like in the occupy group.

      You must be extremely left if you think Karl Rove is all that and a box of chocolates to conservatives, He’s borderline liberal.

      You don’t seem to concerned about the George Soros ilk who fund thousands of anti-american projects. Of course you may be overlooking the fact he’s considered an economic terrorist in 5 or is it 6 countries?

      • 0 avatar
        Sundowner

        yeah… definite hint of lime.

      • 0 avatar
        Sundowner

        nope, never hear of the Tebaggers and rape, except when they do it
        http://www.politicususa.com/tea-party-kidnapping-and-rape.html

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Though to be fair more “issues” did seem to occur with the Occupy crowd. Tea party gatherings always did clean up after themselves.

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            Though to be more fair, the Occupy crowd has also spent the last X months doing volunteer work to clean up after Hurricane Sandy.

            And I’d suggest that many of the “issues” that arose with Occupy were more the natural result of mass protests in urban settings rather than anything innate to the group: there was little reason, for example, that NYC cordoned and arrested peaceful Occupy marchers on the Brooklyn Bridge other than the fact that it was New York and they like to arrest people.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Many of the Tea Party gatherings could be classified as mass meetings in an urban/suburban setting, so that excuse won’t wash.

            There is no reason that a large group of people meeting in an urban environment cannot clean up after themselves or use available litter containers. Especially a group of people that has listed, as one of its concerns, the state of the environment.

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          Let’s compare that to the verified reports of theft and sexual assault at the various Occupy encampments, along with the Occupy members from Cleveland, Ohio, who were arrested for planning to blow up a bridge.

      • 0 avatar
        car_guy2010

        The Tea Party is full of people totally off of their rockers. We’re talking about white, middle-aged, racist people and even though “true” tea partiers don’t like to acknowledge these folks, they are out there.

        You can’t ignore them when their signs are the loudest.

        Tea Party may not have rape but they have Todd Akin and Paul Ryan.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          A gross generalisation. Some members of the tea party are like you describe but a lot are libertarian (or libertarian leaning people). It originally started out Libertarian with purely an economic focus (to the discomfort of social conservatives).

          It is just as easy to make generalisations about other groups, like Occupy, that would also have a grain of truth but not much more than that.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            “started out libertarian”

            started out as a funded “grassroots” effort by republican party bigwigs and then spiraled out of their control. Libertarians enjoyed a brief moment at the wheel (btw, the high point of tea party idealogical consistency and purposeful rhetoric) but they were almost immediately supplanted by outraged southern voters who abhor libertarian social policy (that’s where the racism showed up). Then it all devolved back to generic local politics controlled by the pursemasters of whatever election they were most likely to be influencing that month (and that’s where we’re back to politics as usual.)

            C’mon guys this wasn’t that long ago, it barely qualifies as history at this point. And it all took place right in front of us.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Yes, the Tea Party members were so racist that, in one election, those Klan-loving South Carolinians supported…Herman Cain.

            I guess the voters never saw his photo, and therefore didn’t realize that he is an African-American.

            Yes, we can learn from recent history. Of course, when said recent history doesn’t fit preconceived notions, it’s best not to attempt to rewrite it.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          The left had to do something about a popular movement built around the idea that returning our government to the parameters laid out by our constitution would lead to a freer and more prosperous nation. They used propaganda to brainwash the weak minded, creating stereotypes, inserting tea party villains in pop culture, and throwing accusations the direction of the tea party every time a crime was committed by a member of their own contingent. They did it because that’s how you accomplish things that are too horrible to be presented honestly and openly. Oh well. The tethered zombies will get theirs.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I agree. I’ve met card-carrying Tea Party memebrs and they are generally average nice people who feel that taxes are too high.

            Unless lobbying for lower taxes and less Government waste = racist, I don’t see where the hatred comes in.

            I suppose if one was *for* higher taxes and *more* Government waste, they may seek to demonize those who oppose that, but they should at least try and be honest in their criticisms.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    “Indicative for the massive pain Ed is causing GM….”

    I would imagine Ed is more like a pesky housefly than a pain inducing hornet.

    • 0 avatar
      Sundowner

      Ed’s picking a fight with GM has more value to TTAC publicity in-house than anything else. He’s like that cute girl from your home towm who got to go to the Olymics and got a bronze in Curling. Sure no one outside of town has a frigging clue what you’re talking about, but in-town: total hero.

      Like that guy from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs who was living off the glory of being the anchovy poster baby for the town.

      • 0 avatar
        GS 455

        If the cute girl who got bronze in curling was a Canadian EVERYONE in Canada would know and everyone would be disappointed that she didn’t win gold and we would be driving our Honda Civics and F150s to Tim Horton’s to discuss her mistakes in great detail.

      • 0 avatar
        european

        LOL, you are so right Sundowner.
        Dont forget the “OMG OMG Mark Reuss is/was a commenter @ TTAC” gloating by Derek few articles below. Makes me laugh. Trully pathetic.

        TTAC is becoming a joke. I used to come for the industy insights, but now it turned into BS. As you said Sundowner, now there are only articles to incite responses so TTAC can profit from the mouse-clicks. Business model FAIL!

        And lets not forget Bertel’s fixation with Akerson. Bertel behaves like an obsessed stalking person. It’s always Akerson this Akerson that. LOL. My recommendation to the family of Akerson: If anything ever happens to Dan, look no further than Bertel Schmitt. He did the crime – case closed.”

        And yea, btw Bertel, what happend to banning me coz i called your
        precious writers “bozos”. Huh, got 2 days of website problems afterwards. Ya man, Karma is a real bitch, Schlampe!

      • 0 avatar
        rpol35

        “Like that guy from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs who was living off the glory of being the anchovy poster baby for the town”

        Huh? You got me on that one Sundowner

      • 0 avatar
        philadlj

        My hometown is Baltimore, which makes Michael Phelps – the most decorated Olympian of all time – that cute girl, but I get what you’re saying!

      • 0 avatar

        Again, you are using your extrasensory perception to discern the inner workings of the Learned Elders of TTAC.

        Ed’s at least willing to sign his name to what he writes, are you?

  • avatar
    mtr2car1

    To Mike987.

    The article in autonews clearly states that GM has invested $8.5b in the US since the bailout and Intends to invest $16B going forward, just like Ed stated.

    No matter which way people want to twist it or pitch mud at Ed, the fact is that a large chunk of our bailout money went into a big bucket at GM and they are doing a poor job explaining that the money we gave was kept separate from the China and Europe bucket.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      No…you feel victim to the Ed #’s game.

      Ed compared investment $$ in the US since bankruptcy to today versus investments planned in China through 2016.

      He tried to show $16 BILLION IN CHINA through 2016 compared to $8.5 billion in the US through 2012 and make you say ‘OH MY GOSH, THEY ARE TRULY BECOMING CHINESE MOTORS’

      And, you did.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I was going of what Lutz had said in his article

      “Had Niedermeyer presented an honest apples-to-apples comparison, it would show that GM will invest $16 billion in America, the world’s second largest market, during the same time it invests $11B in China, which, again, is the world’s largest market.”

      I assume Lutz wouldn`t lie about this and has the knowledge to back it up. If I am wrong in that assumption please show me the evidence and I will change my opinion.

      I don`t see the issue with GM investing in regions X, y and z. The key question is whether they make money on those regions. As stated profits in China have been $3 billion. Europe on the other hand makes huge losses, so you could say, with some justification, that the US bailout helped Europe. Investment in China would have occurred because it makes business sense. As does investment in the US – the biggest and second biggest markets.

  • avatar
    Hank

    Interesting. As I write this, there are three comments on Lutz’s article at Forbes. Three. All atta-boys, and one is by a Forbes.com contributor. It makes me wonder if the other two are GM employees? Not much of a rally of support, that.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Not many comments, I assume because Forbes readers are not that bothered by cars. Whereas readers of TTAC, by definition, are car enthusiasts (well most considering the recent Camry V6 review comments!)
      2 isn`t many but it sure beats zero supporting Ed and if some comments do appear would you assume they were written by him? If not then don`t assume 2 positive comments are written by GM without proof.

  • avatar
    Mykl

    Wow, Bob Lutz is a tool. I don’t even want to finish reading his slanderous argument, and at only half way through his attitude kind of turns me off to the idea of buying one of his cars. What made him think that writing that in the way that he did could help his case?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “What made him think that writing that in the way that he did could help his case?”

      No matter what he tells the press (“9 out of 10 ideas I have in the morning are wrong”), Mr. Lutz has a very high opinion of himself. Even among the narcissistic world of corporate executive his self-satisfaction is impressive.

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        I’m taking the “sitting on the sidelines, eating popcorn, and enjoying the fireworks” point of view of all this. I am in no position to say who is right or who is wrong in this exchange, but I’m generally skeptical of an argument that starts with what appears to be a half baked ad hominem attack. Sure, he didn’t follow through completely, but the comments about Ed did nothing to enhance the information he set out to present in the first place.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Every Lutz sermon I’ve ever attended went like this:

    1. GM is awesome.
    2. The media is out to get us.
    3. Toyota is the anti-christ (notice even in this Forbes article Lutz takes some jabs at Toyota)
    4. Americans don’t want diesels.
    5. China is the most important market moving forward.
    6. Government regulations are hurting GM.

    I thought Ed’s big point was that Chinese made GM vehicles were going to end up for sale in NA. I’m pretty confident that ED is correct on that statement.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      re your last paragraph. I thought Ed’s point was that 100,000 cars made in China could be exported and that this made it General Tso Motors. 100,000 is trivial in the scale of a GM, VW or Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “I thought Ed’s big point was that Chinese made GM vehicles were going to end up for sale in NA. I’m pretty confident that ED is correct on that statement.”

      Me too, and I’m OK with that. I think building Buicks, for instance, in China and importing them into NA would be a good thing for everyone except the UAW.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    In a way, this is what TTAC is about. I appreciate much of the reporting but the bread and butter here is the ability and desire to get under the skin of certain automakers. In some respects, TTAC would not be here but for GM. TTAC found a unique niche in the autoblogosphere i.e. domestic bashers, GM haters. They may be referred to as the “best and brightest” here on the sight, and this is exactly the sort of fodder they feed from and that which keeps them coming back. The more moderate readers here know all too well what I am talking about. I will admit that there are plenty of occasions where the target of TTAC rhetoric is receiving well deserved flak and underreported matters do get broght in front of th spotlight, kudos there. But this is exactly the sort of streetfight that TTAC is built on, known for, and uses to pander to its “core” audience.

    The recon by fire theory goes both ways, TTAC is firing just as many volleys to defend itself when probed by the enemy. I consider myself a pretty moderate, well informed and unbiased reader. Ed’s article brings up some interesting points, but I primarily see it as a peace designed to support a preconceived and unbending conclusion rathar than a fair objective editorial.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      “TTAC found a unique niche in the autoblogosphere i.e. domestic bashers, GM haters.”

      Somebody had to. The monthly mags wouldn’t. Dan Neil got bitch-slapped from here to there for calling out the garbage GM was producing.

      And so a niche was born. If you bother to read through the GM Death Watch series (mezmerizing even now, 8 years after it started), there is so little untruth spoken…perspective, maybe, but no one else was saying it, except for Peter D at Autoextremist (but on a much smaller scale).

      TTAC welcomes all perspectives. Many of the comments irritate me, but they’re well written and thought out. Which is why the readership is often referred to the B & B….tongue-in-cheek many times.

      I highly doubt you’d find a more eclectic group of enthusiasts elsewhere on the net, but I may be wrong.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    We need a Godwin’s Law for TTAC, just substituting GM for Hitler. Once those two letters are mentioned, no further useful information is likely to be obtained.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    This is fun, but Bob is losing his touch: The airplane is right side up on its wheels, not on its back!

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Cadillac sold 30,000 units in China last year, compared to 406,000 Audis, 300,000 BMWs and 150,000 Mercedes.

    GM has to get in the theater of battle (to use your metaphor, Bertel) now, aggressively, or the war will be over before we know it and this time around, the Germans will have won.

    You’re drawing so much fire on this one because you guys have confused personal politics with business rules. Ed wants so very badly to find reasons which continue to paint the GM bailout as bad, he stretched his argument a bridge too far. That’s called outrunning your fact supply line. Now you’re surrounded and shooting blanks.

  • avatar

    Lutz was alongside Wagoner and Girsky as they drove GM into the dirt. I pay little attention to what comes out of his mouth. it’s no surprise to me that Lido didn’t care for him either. rock on Ed.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Well, it pretty much explains the anti-GM bias that runs deep on TTAC.

    Not saying that GM doesn’t have its areas of criticism, but some of the by-lines and editorial attacks on GM have been over the top.

  • avatar
    TW4

    I think GM’s belligerent response towards outside criticism is amusing. I do wish someone would get to the bottom of GM’s shenanigans in China and in Germany (Opel). I tend to appreciate GM vehicles, but the filthy underbelly of the GM empire, particularly post-bailout GM, makes me reluctant to do business with them.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Though flawed, GM and its bailout at least ended up somewhat to the benefit of the middle class (and yes, the UAW), and their products have shown considerable improvement over the pre-bailout products. Not class-leading in every category, but more suited to American roads and tastes. The bailout process was flawed in many ways, and has become a political football, but I believe that the net result was positive for the country – now it’s up to the employees, from top-to-bottom to do their best to improve their cars to make them more competitive, and to give (yes, even “foreign” platforms) them an “American” style that will give them the edge. But, it will take a lot to bring back those who view the bailout as some sort of political move (which it may have been), but don’t forget that all of our wallets are a little thinner courtesy of AIG, Morgan Stanley, etc.


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