Bailout Watch 253: Conspiracy Theorists Unite! Bailout Hearings Postponed Until Thursday

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 253 conspiracy theorists unite bailout hearings postponed until

Automotive News [sub] tells us that “The Senate Banking Committee has rescheduled its next hearing on ‘the state of the domestic automobile industry’ for Thursday, Dec. 4… The House Financial Services Committee has a similar hearing scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 5.” Once again, the news org fails to answer the one of journalism’s Holy Five: why? “No official explanation was immediately available for the postponement of the Senate hearing, originally set for Wednesday, Dec. 3. It is thought that lawmakers and their staffs want more time to review the Detroit 3 plans.” See how that works? Anyway, this smells bad. Our Ken Elias predicts that GM will file for bankruptcy the moment it becomes clear– if it does– that Congress has rejected their bailout request. By moving the hearing closer to the weekend, when the markets close, Congress could be engaged in a little pre-emptive damage control. Then again, that’s GM’s pattern. But could GM really convince Congress to cater to their PR whims? I am so not buying the idea that our legislators need more time to read the Big 2.8’s turnaround plans; if anything, Chrysler, Ford and GM need more time to prepare their plans. Or the pols themselves. Or maybe the automakers want November’s hideous sales results to sink in a bit (Deutsche Bank predicts a 45 percent drop for GM). You know; to “motivate” the masses. Politics. You gotta love it.

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  • Dpeppers Dpeppers on Dec 02, 2008

    I think the UAW cheif is due on the hill Wednesday.

  • Menno Menno on Dec 02, 2008

    Geotph, you are correct in your assessment, but you missed the target by 20 years. Building better cars starting in 1960 would have assured that GM, Ford and Chrysler (as well as AMC) would survive. Maybe even Studebaker. When I was a kid, in the early 1960's, it was a given that cars broke down, leaked, had wind whistles on the road, wandered, had "issues", rusted away in a few years, etc. Except for Volkswagens, which periodically did require (very inexpensive) engine rebuilds, which were built like Swiss watches in comparison, but which had other quirks like; always seeming to be backward in the ditch every winter's first snow. And had no heat or defrosting to speak of. Which meant scraping the inside of the windshield while (trying to) drive in winter. OK back to 1980. I'm going to pinpoint the exact time that General Messup hugely messed up. The X-cars; the new 1980 front wheel drive cheap-@ss POS's that GM foisted on the general public. The new front wheel drive technology meant that GM felt the need to penny-pinch elsewhere, like in "unseen" items, such as ultra-cheap heaters (which leaked), cheaper engine parts, cheaper steel, etc. etc. Now let's move the time machine back to 1970, when the UAW struck GM and caused a recession because GM was still so big, shutting it down for 3 or 4 months actually meant something. GM execs should have formulated some spine and stood up to the UAW; the (Repugnican) administration would have eventually backed GM vs the UAW had the strike continued on, and GM "might" have been able to contain massive huge future cost increases by standing up the union then. In other words, in for a penny, in for a pound. OK let's move the time machine back to 1960, when GM introduced the bizarro Corvair @ss-engine Corvair compact. Because they had spent way too much on the new-tech (VW copy) rear engine concept, they had to cheapen the daylights out of the interior; early Corvairs were nasty cheap. Then bean counters took away the anti-roll bar from the suspension and the rest is history. As for Ford, the car was (slightly) nicer inside, but the engine was absolute cr@p - Ford's NIV syndrome came home to bite them because Ford USA developed this POS 144 six* instead of simply adopting the already reliable, already engineered and already in production Ford UK Zephyr/Zodiac 156 six, which could have easily been tooled up for US production in the Falcon. Which became the bones on which the highly successful Mustang was later built. Oddly enough, the Chrysler Corporation Valiant (it was not a PLYMOUTH Valiant until 1961) was easily the best engineered new US compact for 1960, had the most interesting styling, front torison bars, the best (new slant six) engine, and the largely forgotten Rambler line was hugely successful, as was the (new for 1959) Studebaker Lark. * my father, a Ford man (1936 used, 1950 new, 1955 new, 1960 Falcon new) refused to buy any more Fords new after his Falcon; he bought a 1964 Rambler Classic V8 new, followed up by a new 1967 Rambler American six overdrive, then went to used GM cars for awhile, then used and later new Chryslers for awhile. He never was satisfied with any of them, really. He's now 77, and says his (Nissan engineered) 1996 Mercury Villager is the best car he ever has owned.

  • Dpeppers Dpeppers on Dec 02, 2008

    chief even

  • Cmcmail Cmcmail on Dec 02, 2008

    I am not sure but, wasn't JEEP bankrupt several times, and now it is one of the most valuable brands left in the Detroit 2.5's portfolio.