Bailout Watch 40: An Op-Ed A Day Keeps The Bill Collector Away

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
bailout watch 40 an op ed a day keeps the bill collector away

Hey, GM’s stock price just bounced 11 percent! Are the leaked photos of the production Volt responsible for the vote of confidence? Maybe anticipation of the forthcoming Cruze launch in Paris? Uh, no. The Detroit Free Press reports that the stock bounce came only “after a Wall Street analyst said a $25-billion government loan package for the auto industry would ‘notably reduce bankruptcy risk’ for the automaker.” And isn’t that heartwarming? It turns out that all of the pro-bailout editorials, lobbying and chatter has actually done GM some real good. For the moment. And to keep that ball of feel-good rolling, the Freep has posted a “Q & A” about the bailout, accompanied by a hilariously unironic photo of the Volt concept. Inside, subtly-pro bailout “answers” abound. For example, we learn that the Volt is indeed an important factor in the bailout, as it meets the government goal of topping its direct competitors’ fuel economy by at least 25 percent. “General Motors Corp. could qualify for a loan to help convert the Hamtramck plant to build the Chevrolet Volt — a car that drives its first 40 miles per day without a drop of gas but relies on unproven battery technology. But Ford Motor Co. wouldn’t be able to get a loan that would cover retooling Michigan Truck in Wayne to build relatively conventional, gas-burning small cars.” Asking itself “what would automakers have to give up?” the Freep gets all angsty. “That’s a $25-billion question,” they write. “So far, there’s no sign the industry would have to make additional sacrifices to win approval; automakers contend the 35-m.p.g. standard was their concession. But other aid plans, including the Chrysler bailout, have required cuts and belt-tightening in return.” Not to mention executive bloodletting. Literally.

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  • Praxis Praxis on Sep 13, 2008

    "Delphi Corp said on Friday that former parent General Motors Corp has increased its support to $10.6 billion, from $6 billion, to speed the auto parts maker's emergence from bankruptcy." Announced Friday night naturally.

  • Shaker Shaker on Sep 13, 2008

    I guess that the latest photo shoot, with acutal executives posing with a "non-virtual" vehicle, fits the bill as "bailout bait". I remember the Chevy Malibu adverts, featuring a CGI 'bu tooling around had me saying: I wonder what it looks like for real; when I finally saw one on the lot, I was a bit underwhelmed. Methinks the Volt will be a much more massive disappointment, but if it's "mission" was/is securing bailout money, then maybe only the potential customers will be unhappy at the result.

  • SCE to AUX "Toyota has dropped a pic of the next Tacoma on Instagram."This is why the splashy auto show reveals are dead.
  • Sckid213 I feel like the Camry in Japan is what oddballs like the Kia K9 and Hyundai Eqqus felt here. Obviously those were higher-end vehicles than Camry, but they felt like they were in the wrong dimension here in the U.S.
  • FreedMike The Falcon was fast and temperamental. Is Ford sure this is what it wants to advertise?
  • Jalop1991 I'm sure they knew exactly who the modern Cherokee buyers were, and responded with the Hornet.
  • CoastieLenn I'm wanting the keen readers among us to pay attention to the comments in this article compared with the one that immediately followed it. They contain the exact same amount of usable information yet, because one is Ford and one is Toyota, we're seeing the Ford get chit on and the Toyota will be seeing praises. Toyota isn't exactly the shining star they once were and the newest generation of Tacoma was outdated 6 months after it began production... pertnear 10 years ago.