Bailout Watch 237: Say Bye-Bye to Bailout?

bailout watch 237 say bye bye to bailout

The AP reports that “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Democrats’ plan to tap the Wall Street rescue fund to save U.S. automakers doesn’t have the votes to pass. One day after Detroit’s Big Three sent survival plans to Capitol Hill in an urgent plea for $34 billion in government aid, Reid said there’s still not enough support in Congress for using some of the $700 billion bailout to help the teetering carmakers.” So it looks like the plan to tap Tarp has tapped-out. Plan B: modify the terms of the Department of Energy’s $25b retooling loans, as suggested by President Bush. Only Detroit is now asking for $34b, and the rest (bailouts for the automakers’ credit divisions). Plan C: new “emergency legislation” to top-up the Big 2.8 until Barack Obama administration can ride to the rescue (or not). Only CNNMoney says 61% of the voting public opposes that plan, and 70 percent it won’t do a damn bit of good for the U.S. economy (sorry Detroit). Plan D: pre-packaged bankruptcy, as suggested and outlined here on TTAC by Richard Tilton. And lo and behold, Bloomberg reports General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC executives are considering accepting a pre-arranged bankruptcy as the last-resort price of getting a multibillion-dollar government bailout.” Volte-face.

“Officials of the three automakers told members of Congress last month they had studied a pre-arranged bankruptcy, championed by Republican lawmakers such as Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, before dismissing the idea as unworkable.” Let’s hope not. Meanwhile, anti-bailout opponents in Congress are busy positioning themselves as pro-C11 pre-pack.

“I don’t see the upside to the obligating of more taxpayer money for a private industry,” Georgia Rep. Tom Price, incoming chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told “It’s painful, it’s not a fun process,” But some actually end up leaner, meaner, more profitable, more healthy in the back end of the process,” Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, sitting chairman of the Republican Study Committee, toldthe F&B folk. “I don’t buy into the fact that (bankruptcy is) simply not an option.”

“This is so serious to the country’s long-term ambitions as a major super power,” Democratic Rep. Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania said. with characteristic bombast. BUT he added, “We’re not obliged to write a blank check.”

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  • Pch101 Pch101 on Dec 04, 2008
    Acquire everything that moves? Saab Volvo FIAT Aston Martin Land Rover Jaguar Isuzu Mazda Daewoo Hughes EDS XM Good to see how well most of those worked out. You don’t think Honda would be thrilled to move 500K Accords? Sure, they would be, but they have competition that keeps them from getting there. Unlike Detroit, Honda acknowledges its competition and takes it into account. Since they can't generate sales at those volumes at a profit, they instead avoid using a business model that would guarantee losses when those unrealistic targets were missed. Detroit should take notes. Building large numbers of vehicles that can't be sold without steep discounting is a "strategy" that is guaranteed to lose money. Building vehicles that aren't good enough to get the volume makes the situation even worse. The Detroit Defenders refuse to accept basic truths: that they have contempt for their customers, inferior products, and unrealistic goals. Any business run this badly would lose money. We tried to warn them, but they didn't listen. It's not my fault that they ignored the obvious, but now it looks as if I'll be stuck with paying for it, anyway.

  • Geeber Geeber on Dec 04, 2008
    KnightR/T: I’m saying volume is a good thing. Volume for the sake of volume is NOT a good thing. GM still moves more metal than any other car maker in the American market. Yet it is facing bankruptcy. KnightR/T: You don’t think Honda would be thrilled to move 500K Accords? Not if Honda makes little or no money on each one sold. KnightR/T: That they wouldn’t give anything to have the Accord dominate the market segment? No, they wouldn't. If Honda wanted to, it could probably boost sales dramatically - even in this market - by either cutting the price drastically or offering hefty rebates. Honda hasn't taken this approach, because it realizes that blindly chasing volume for the sake of volume is really a form of suicide for a car company.

  • Islander800 That is the best 20-year-on update of the Honda Element that I've ever seen. Strip out the extraneous modern electronic crap that adds tens of thousands to the price and the completely unnecessary 400 pd/ft torque and horse power, and you have a 2022 Honda Element - right down to the neoprene interior "elements" of the Element - minus the very useful rear-hinged rear doors. The proportions and dimensions are identical.Call me biased, but I still drive my west coast 2004 Element, at 65K miles. Properly maintained, it will last another 20 years....Great job, Range Rover!
  • Dennis Howerton Nice article, Corey. Makes me wish I had bought Festivas when they were being produced. Kia made them until the line was discontinued, but Kia evidently used some of the technology to make the Rio. Pictures of the interior look a lot like my Rio's interior, and the 1.5 liter engine is from Mazda while Ford made the automatic transmission in the used 2002 Rio I've been driving since 2006. I might add the Rio is also an excellent subcompact people mover.
  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.