The Detroit Lobby Lives

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

After a dismal PR year for Detroit (if only because lobbying efforts were successful enough to secure an unpopular bailout), the American Automotive Policy Council has been launched to represent the very special interests of Ford, GM and Chrysler. As Politico unironically puts it, “(Debbie) Dingell, the wife of Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and longtime auto industry lobbyist Stephen Collins are leading the new American Automotive Policy Council.” Because former GM lobbyist Dingell, who was moved to an administrative position when she married Rep John Dingell (D-MI) is somehow not a longtime industry lobbyist? Marrying the then-Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee is like winning the gold medal for Detroit lobbyists… Dingell just had her number retired. Anyway, the new lobbying council is an offshoot of Automotive Trade Policy Council, a group known for such truth-telling efforts as Driving The Future: The New American Auto Industry [ PDF], published in the heady optimism of June 2008. Which is a good indication of what we can expect from the AAPC. First up, a “manufacturing initiative” intended to “develop credible and reliable information for policymakers.” This is gonna be good.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Jpcavanaugh Jpcavanaugh on Oct 27, 2009

    In the current environment, I have a hard time seeing how a single organization can represent all 3 of the traditional big 3. It seems to me that there are such inherant conflicts given each of their situations. For example, are they now lobbying the government to cram a no-strike clause down Ford workers throats? I'll bet not.

  • Mtypex Mtypex on Oct 28, 2009

    Conyers, Dingell, other Michigan politicos ... you know what, there's nothing more to say on this topic. When they've killed every industry and been run out of town, Michigan can make a comeback.

  • CarPerson CarPerson on Oct 28, 2009

    I read the PDF. Where do you begin to discuss a document so totally detached from reality? It so thoroughly misdirects the reader it should be used in business schools as a textbook example of putting a smiley face on raw sewage. "Polishing a trud" if you will. This publication is the most toxic Kool-Aid I’ve seen in quite a while. Pity the poor person who has to make any kind of a decision based on the content. Although just about every word in the document can be refuted, I’ll pick the following in large type at the top of page 6: Our vehicles [Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors] are among the highest quality, most reliable, safe, clean, and efficient on the road today.” Indeed, for 2010, your cars are among the 33 highest rated. However, your cars are rated 33 (Chrysler), 16 (Ford), and 25 (Chevrolet-the bulk of GM). Your vehicles are “among” the highest but they are at or near the bottom of this list. In all fairness, it actually says “…on the road today.” Does that actually mean every car and truck that is on the road today? How was this data gathered and processed? Measure the 2007 domestics against the 1981 imports did we? Spin, spin, spin, spin, spin intended to hide, conceal, and shield the totally dismal state the domestic automakers are in and their prospects for the future.

  • CarPerson CarPerson on Oct 28, 2009

    (The above quote is actually on page 2. The document starts on page 3 according to the PDF File page counter.) This is on page 3: Ford: The quality of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand vehicles soared to the top of the charts equaling that of Toyota and Honda, according to the 2008 U.S. Global Quality Research System. This is the only thing I could find on the GQRS: According to the 2009 U.S. Global Quality Research System (GQRS) survey conducted quarterly for Ford by the RDA Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Ford is now statistically tied with Toyota at the top of the industry in initial vehicle quality. The survey measured two things, the number of things gone wrong and customer satisfaction with vehicle quality over the first three months of ownership. Ok, I get it: it’s a “system” consisting of Ford contracting a firm to perform a survey according to how Ford wants the survey done. Perhaps the "system" pre-determines the answers then creates the questions to drive the desired results?