ChryCo Prez Jim Press, GM COO Fritz Henderson: No Recovery 'til 2010
Now that Ford CEO Alan Mulally has written-off the chances of an auto industry sales receovery for 2009, his Detroit brethren have decided to join the Greek chorus bemoaning their fate. Bloomberg caught up with former Toyota and current Chrysler Prez Jim Press in Paris to hear the bad news. “I don’t see any `whys’ why it’s going to be any better,” Press announced. “We’re already adjusting to this level pretty well. We’re learning how to fight through it. It’s hand-to-hand combat. It’s tough.” Especially if you don’t have a golden parachute strapped to your back. GM’s Fritz Henderson, also not staying at a Timhotel, was slightly less pessimistic about the year ahead. “Even if [the $700b federal bailout plan] does pass, I still think that ’09 will be weaker,” the COO told Business Week. “I don’t see anything which would suggest that you’d see a significant rebound, at least in the first half.” And then Fritz says some scary ass shit. “If the situation deteriorates further, we’ll have to look at further actions, but we don’t have anything planned today.” And… “Henderson said GM’s liquidity plan was based on a forecast of industrywide U.S. car sales of 14 million this year and next. ‘At the time we felt that was a conservative level. Given what’s happened, I’m glad we chose a conservative level because that could well be the level it lands at.’ Uh, Dude, we’re looking at sales WELL under 13m, maybe closer to 12. To paraphrase Sweet Pete, that’s a spittoon full of not good.
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- Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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- MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.
- MaintenanceCosts Chevy used to sell almost this exact color on the Sonic, Bolt, and Camaro, as "Shock." And I have a story about that.I bought my Bolt in 2019. Unsurprisingly the best deal came from the highest-volume Bolt dealer in my very EV-friendly area. They had huge inventory; I bought right when Chevy started offering major incentives, and the car had been priced too high to sell well until that point.Half the inventory had a nice mix of trims and colors, and I was able to find the exact dark-gray-on-white Premier I wanted. But the real mystery was the other half of the inventory. It was something like 40 cars, all Shock on black, split between LT and Premier. You could get an additional $2000 or so off the already low selling price if you bought one of them. (Neither my wife nor I thought the deal worth it.) The cars were real and in the flesh; a couple were out front, but behind the showroom, there was an entire row of them.When I took delivery, I asked the salesman how on earth they had ended up with so many. He told me in a low voice that a previous sales manager had screwed up order forms for a huge batch of cars that were supposed to be white, and that no one noticed until a couple transporters loaded with chartreuse Bolts actually showed up at the dealer. Long story short, there was no way to change the order. They eventually sold all the cars and you still see them more often than you'd expect in the area.