By on January 15, 2015

Detroit2015 066 (Medium)

At the end of the General Motors press conference that opened the Detroit show this year, when the hilariously maladjusted and intermittently inoperational mega-watt sound system blurted its last distorted dubstep doooooooooosh, and the Bolt concept had conclusively proven its ability to drive a hundred feet on a smooth surface without requiring another bailout or a money shot from a fire extinguisher, all eyes were on Mary Barra, and my main man Rodney was no exception to this rule. However, my friend, a Billy Dee Williams lookalike and a two-decade dealership industry veteran who was thoroughly enjoying his first NAIAS as a member of The Press As A Whole, wasn’t interested in what Ms. Barra had to say. Far from it.

“Brah, I hate to say it,” Rodney smirked in a manner intended to convey a true sentiment that was diametrically opposed to the stated one, “but I’m in a bit of a phase of my life right now where I’m all about that ass, son! And she’s got it all! You just know that I could rub that the right way. I want to wake up next to a woman with that much power!” Then, after a refractory period of reflection where he almost certainly did not consider the weapons-grade offensiveness of what he had just said, “But what was up with those two shitty cars? Can you imagine having to sell them for a living? Who are they trying to sell to?”

A few hours later, Rodney and I exited Joe Louis arena, still kind of vibrating from the thrill of seeing that Liquid Blue Ford GT rotating on the stand between a teen-dream Shelby GT350R and the twin-turbo, anti-lag-equipped second-generation Raptor. The enthusiasm in his voice took me right back to the first day we saw a ’96 Mystic Cobra on the transporter outside our three-car suburban showroom. “Quiet is kept, man, it’s the Raptor that really does it for me. But I know your dumb ass wants to drive that Shelby around Mid-Ohio a couple hundred times. You can do that, I’m going to roll that Raptor down High Street and wax some tail with it. But…” and here he paused to make sure he had my full attention, “THAT FORD GT!!!! YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING! OH MY GOD!”

Rodney wasn’t alone in perceiving that the GM and Ford press conferences stood on the two sides of what has to be considered an ideological canyon of Clark Griswoldian proportions. You couldn’t ask for two more different NAIAS presentations. The surroundings: GM, on the show floor with periodic interruptions from the creaky old Detroit People Mover. Ford, in Joe Louis Arena with a double-depth 3-D effect widescreen opening presentation that, oddly enough, flashed up the words “Digital Olfaction” at one point. The tone of the presentations: Ms. Barra stumbling through a paean to battery power in almost apologetic fashion, a stark and depressing contrast to the self-assured, old-school Detroit-titan star appeal of William Clay Ford and the short-hair-don’t-care Mark Fields. Most importantly, the products on offer.

Even if you aren’t one of the self-appointed “industry analysts” without so much as a single new-car purchase experience or self-performed oil change to his credit, it’s easy to understand that only one of these two visions for future product in the North American automotive market can possibly be correct. For a moment, let’s set aside the Asperger’s objections of “BUT CHEVY JUST RELEASED THE Z06 AND FORD HAS A FOCUS EV!” in order to focus on what these two press conferences revealed about the priorities and beliefs of the corporations that held them.

As Derek noted, the Bolt has nothing to do with Tesla and everything to do with the Nissan Leaf, which has racked up an admirable performance-to-hype ratio during its few short years on the market. It’s a good idea, I suppose. Yet once again GM is pathetically late to the game. The Bolt is best understood as the HHR to the Leaf’s PT Cruiser, or perhaps the chunky current Camaro to Ford’s S197 Mustang. Why, exactly, is an automaker with resources up to and including the full faith and credit of the United States Government always so late to the party? If that new Hyundai El Camino proves to be the sales sensation of 2017, you can depend on the fact that GM won’t have its own El Camino ready until 2021, despite the fact that they made them for something like forty years and are still making them in Australia.

As for the second-generation Volt, the presentation for that one was astoundingly po’-mouthed. The passive-voiced assertion given by the suit du jour prior to the inevitable dubstep subwoofer reveal that “some of you (the assembled, wholly apathetic media) even called it (the ugly-assed first-gen Volt) a moonshot” made me physically cringe. Imagine if RUN-DMC had operated that way.

Some of you said I might even be the king of rock
It was suggested that there might not be anyone higher
Arguably, I mean potentially, to burn my kingdom
It’s possible that you might eventually have a need for some sort of fire
Um, #TechnologyAndStuff

When the most effective marketing you’ve had in years is a gaffe from a man suffering an obesity-induced myocardial event while awarding a $30,000 truck to a millionaire who doesn’t want it, you have problems. It hurts me to write that. I grew up seeing the Mark Of Excellence on my father’s Buick seatbelt latches and thinking that General Motors could probably do no wrong. When we went from a ’75 Granada to a ’77 LeSabre it was like moving out of a double-wide trailer into the Robie House. Please, GM, do something great that isn’t a Corvette or track-focused Cadillac. Please. For the nine-year-old in me who wants to buy a great Buick.

Ford, on the other hand… It was like watching a young Mike Tyson leave his feet to triple-drill some no-name mook into a second-round knockout. The product these people are showing, and the confidence with which it’s shown! I think they said the Raptor was five hundred pounds lighter. Admittedly, that’s like Carnie Wilson skipping dinner a couple of times, relatively speaking, but who else in this business would have done an aluminum truck? Who else would have risked everything like that? You want to see a “moonshot”? It’s not making a battery-powered CruzePrius with a Kardashiass, it’s putting your life savings on the space on the roulette table marked “THE FIRST EVER ALUMINUM FULL-SIZED TRUCK” then letting the wheel spin.

And watching it drop into your slot.

Then building a 600-horsepower Daytona Prototype for the street.

How can you score NAIAS as anything but Ford 1, GM 0? Well, there’s just one little catch, and GM knows all about it. Get in the Wayback Machine with me and let’s travel back to 1980 or so. The General was riding high on the success of the B-body and they had the world on a string. They saw fuel prices going through the roof again and they decided to attack the problem head-on. Meanwhile, Ford was too broke to do anything besides redraw Foxes to look vaguely like Panthers.

Had fuel prices soared the way we all thought they were going to, those 1985 front-drivers from GM would have conquered the world. They weren’t great cars, and only the Park Avenue variant was even a good car by anyone’s standards, but they were aimed unflinchingly at a future where fuel would be eye-wateringly pricey.

Except it didn’t turn out that way, did it? Reagan scared the OPEC nations and we filled up our Town Cars and Crown Vics at $1.25 a gallon and the 1985 Fleetwood rusted in place on dealer lots and that was the beginning of the end for the Sloan Plan.
What’s old is new again, my friends. If fuel soars, the Bolt won’t have to be brilliant to sell. It will merely need to be available. And the new-gen Voltec platform will find itself under a pantheon of body shapes, most of them CUV-esque, before you can say “Plymouth Horizon Miser”. The Shelby GT350R and Raptor will become hideously, offensively irrelevant and all the armchair quarterbacks will say they saw it coming. They’ll all talk about GM’s daring commitment to efficiency and blah blah blah the Chevy Sonic was awesome and mid-sized trucks are the only trucks that sell and so on.

The future’s uncertain and the end is always near. To Rodney, Ford’s product was magic and GM’s was junk. But it might not turn out that way. I’d be remiss, however, if I didn’t tell you what the man next to Rodney said in response to the question, “Who are they trying to sell?”

“Ford’s customers are out in the streets,” the man smiled. “The General has one customer, and he lives in a white mansion.”

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72 Comments on “In The End, There Can Be Only One...”


  • avatar
    kovakp

    So, if you don’t care much about cars beyond having one that’s comfortable and works every day, GM appears savvier than Ford’s desperate gambles and you’ll still buy Japanese.

    • 0 avatar
      bachewy

      Desperate gambles? I believe they’ve sold every GT500 and Raptor made, even with an occasional ADM tacked on.

      • 0 avatar
        kovakp

        Those are niche freaks, aluminum F-150s and tiny turbos are the big gamble.

        • 0 avatar
          bachewy

          Ah, gotcha.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @kovakp – Ford’s “tiny turbos” are no longer a gamble.
          Only 5% of F150’s had the 6.2 and only 38% have the 5.0 V8.
          As far as I’m concerned the 6.2 was avalable as a “plan B” if “tow/haul” types did not accept the EB 3.5.
          Since they killed the 6.2 as an option, I believe that the 5.0 exists to keep V8 fans happy.
          As far as niche freaks go – it is no coincidence that the Raptor has the 3.5 EB. The Raptor is the “halo” truck for Ford.
          It is also no coincidence that the new GT has a EB3.5 in it as that is Ford’s “halo” car.
          The Mustang will soldier on with a V8 as long as babyboomers have a pulse but the fact that it no longer has a live axle signals the horizon that pony is heading towards.
          One Ford Global sucks for V8 fans.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Works every day? A GM product works every day? Surely you jest…

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Timing is everything and perception has little to do with reality, I don’t know why GM has such a hard time with this, but judging by your observations I’d say they’re both wrong. Little Mary Barra and her “Welcome to 2010 Bolt” or Ford’s “Damn the torpedoes”, “Happy days are here again” 600hp spitfires from hell both make me cringe, though Ford’s presentation sounds like a lot more fun.

    A smart man would never put all his eggs in one basket and I don’t think either company is, but only time will tell which company will be able to steer the Titanic away from the next iceberg and which company will be too busy rearranging the deck chairs to notice, I’ll get the popcorn

    • 0 avatar
      Ihatejalops

      I think what maybe lost in all of this is that these are all low volume cars; they are for a certain group who would buy these things no matter what the fuel prices are. This is the best part of the Ford strategy; it’s not like they’re dumping V8’s into mass product cars, but niche vehicles with limited runs. It works this time around and they have plenty of fuel efficient cars to cope when gas prices rise again. Somehow this is lost in the article.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Lie2me – “Timing is everything and perception has little to do with reality”

      Agreed but we are beings that run on emotion. Emotion is in the driver’s seat literally and figuratively.

      Most of us will never own any of Ford’s halo vehicles (Raptor,GT350,GT) BUT the “HOLY SH1T, THEY BUILD AND SELL THOSE” excitement of those products makes you sit up and pay attention.

      Planting that seed in your head helps Ford throughout the product line. We as a species still respond tribally and being seen as Alpha Male attracts followers.

      Jack’s friend Rodney brings home that message, “I want to have fun with GM’s boss but not their products”.

      Ouch.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    SONIC BOOM!

    General Motors is FUBAR.

    Over ten million recalls

    For deadly key cylinders, & grounded Volts, Oh My!

    Cadillac ATS/CTS/ELR sales not so nice

    And Caddy V-Sports & Vs turned into rice, Ole!

    Cadillac gauges designed by Golden Girl sages

    And Melody “What I Wear” CT-Lee

    Along came Barra who lied like Zarrella

    Appointing Johan de “Come At Me, Brah!” along the way, HEY!

    And then those Camaros weighing more than Monaros, Oy Vey!

    Yukon Denalis priced with pure Folly, no Chevy Sonic brakes, gang way!

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    What happened to my comment???

  • avatar
    shaker

    I think that (in this presentation) Ford is like a 25year-old single, and GM is like a 40 year-old divorcee paying child support.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The difference between the 1980’s and now is that Ford isn’t broke, and has all the fuel efficient cars it needs, so it is prepared either way. The Raptor, GT350R and GT are amazing, but irrelevant as far as sales goes.

    These might be the best sentences I’ve ever read on TTAC:

    “When the most effective marketing you’ve had in years is a gaffe from a man suffering an obesity-induced myocardial event while awarding a $30,000 truck to a millionaire who doesn’t want it, you have problems.“

    “Ford’s customers are out in the streets,” the man smiled. “The General has one customer, and he lives in a white mansion.”

    • 0 avatar
      anomaly149

      One of the most important things is the GT350R and the Raptor are super duper versions of plebian vehicles. They’ll drive lower (and more fuel efficient) trim sales.

  • avatar
    wmba

    “The General has one customer, and he lives in a white mansion.”

    So, not too bright. GM became a non US government entity on Dec 10, 2013. That’s when the government sold off its last shares.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      My thoughts exactly, I’m not a GM fanboy by any stretch, but that is one tired cliche’ to anyone who’s read a newspaper in the last year

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        As long as GM never needs another penny of intervention for the rest of its existence, you’re completely correct!

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          My take on this statement is that he’s observing that GM’s presentation focused on CAFE compliance vehicles and zero emissions(for people that don’t know where electricity comes from) follies. That’s what the clown-prince wants and buyers don’t. At the least, GM is betting that he’ll decide what we have to drive.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    That El Camino aint happening Jack. Hyundai is not capable of executing it correctly. Besides this time next year when gas is 4 bucks a gallon again Ford will be introducing the next CMax and GM the next CT whatever V with 700 hp power

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Not to mention the worlds of difference between Hyundai’s vision of an El Camino and what Holden still makes. If Hyundai produces their version it would only be a success due to its size, where it might appeal to urban markets. Holden utes would flop in the US where pickups rule.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    I hate to even suggest this, but I think that Jack may be wasting his talents here. His writing has gotten so good that, if he wanted, he could maybe be the next Tom Wolfe. Can I be the only one who sees him that way?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “a Billy Dee Williams lookalike”

    Lando Calrissian Billy Dee, or today’s Billy Dee?

  • avatar
    That guy

    This might be the worst Jack Baruth article I’ve read. The quality of writing is good, but the content was lackluster at best. Did Ford have a more exciting show? Sure, but one show is hardly indicative of where a company is headed.

    The GT is cool and will probably be epic, but it’s an extremely limited run car that won’t be around long. Let’s not forget that GM’s C7 is still pretty new and the Z06 variant is out already. Plus there will be more higher performance variants to come. And there will be a C8. And a C9. And so on. So while the GT is undoubtedly awesome, GM is far more committed to building extreme performance cars.

    The GT350R is cool, but GM already did a Z28. And a new Camaro is coming that will certainly include some higher performance variants as well.

    On top of that, GM just revealed the CTSV and ATSV, two cars that Lincoln has no intention of ever competing with.

    While I like what Ford did this week, to write off GM because they didn’t reveal as many performance cars is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction and far below the standard you’ve set for yourself Mr. Baruth.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “This might be the worst Jack Baruth article I’ve read. The quality of writing is good, but the content was lackluster at best. Did Ford have a more exciting show? Sure, but one show is hardly indicative of where a company is headed.”

      The point is well-taken, but the writing meandered around the point and the metaphors were a bit too Inside Baseball (yes, that was deliberate).

      Or I don’t have a classical education. Either/or.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      You’ve made some very good points, but maybe keep in mind that the time writers like Jack have to refine a piece is almost nonexistent. Most print writers have editors to help improve the work as well as fact checkers, etc. And even then, it’s not easy. Believe me, I’ve done it. The internet places huge burdens on writers and the critics are merciless. Jack has real style, broad knowledge and a wicked wit. And a huge store of energy too. I don’t see that in too many people.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    “…money shot from a fire extinguisher.”

    Wow. Best line in the whole article. Well said.

  • avatar
    319583076

    moar Rodney, please

  • avatar
    danio3834

    “Please, GM, do something great that isn’t a Corvette or track-focused Cadillac. Please. For the nine-year-old in me who wants to buy a great Buick.”

    That Buick Avenir concept looked pretty cool. Here’s hoping they build it in those proportions.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed3

      Yes Jack, lets talk about how you want GM to make a great Buick and then COMPLETELY ignore the bad ass Avenir. I mean full size rwd American sedan? What more do you people want?

      There is no brown diesel stick wagon coming. ever. So get over it and get into a crossover. Speaking of which…where was the Buick Envision?

  • avatar
    billfrac

    As much as I enjoyed this “two person opinion piece” on who “won” the NAIAS presentation battle, I would suggest that you and Rodney are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.
    The old saw that there is only one customer for GM’s products flies in the face of the latest data:
    “GM delivers record 9.9 million vehicles globally in 2014
    Executives forecast higher operating profits, 3% global growth in 2015” (Automotive News 1/14/15)
    And the old Government Motors stab is so 2012. Yes, there will be missteps on both sides, but we should celebrate the robust vigor of both companies, and Fiat/Chrysler as well, for their return from the dark ages of 2008-09.
    To me, an auto industry veteran of almost 40 years, we are in great times with great products. Sure, there were dogs among the thoroughbreds over those decades,but there are plenty of highlights too.
    So yes, Ford placed an all-in bet on muscular, fire-breathing beasts (for this show, at least) and made the quaint presentation by Mary Barra sound like a preschool play, but this is only one battle in a never-ending war. Only the price of gas and the economy’s trajectory will decide which one won. Not to old friends….

  • avatar
    billfrac

    As much as I enjoyed this “two person opinion piece” on who “won” the NAIAS presentation battle, I would suggest that you and Rodney are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.
    Your friends old saw that there is only one customer for GM’s products flies in the face of the latest data:
    “GM delivers record 9.9 million vehicles globally in 2014
    Executives forecast higher operating profits, 3% global growth in 2015” (Automotive News 1/14/15)
    The old Government Motors stab is so 2012. Yes, there will be missteps on both sides, but we should celebrate the robust vigor of both companies, and Fiat/Chrysler as well, for their return from the dark ages of 2008-09.
    To me, an auto industry veteran of almost 40 years, we are in great times with great products. Sure, there were dogs among the thoroughbreds over those decades,but there are plenty of highlights too.
    So yes, Ford placed an all-in bet on muscular, fire-breathing beasts (for this show, at least) and the quaint presentation made Mary Barra sound like a preschool teacher, but this is only one battle in a never-ending war. Only the price of gas and the economy’s trajectory will decide which one won. Not two old friends….

  • avatar
    dwford

    That GM showed the new Volt and ONE electric concept car is not indicative of it’s over commitment to fuel efficiency. Look at it’s current lineup of alt-fuel vehicles: Volt, ELR, and a couple mild hybrids. Meanwhile, Ford has the 1.0L Ecoboost Fiesta, the Focus Electric, the Fusion Hybrid and Energi, and the C-Max Hybrid and Energi. Not to mention the MKZ Hybrid. Ford is showing a more broad commitment to dedicated high MPG and alt-fuel models than GM, AS WELL AS coming out with a wide range of high horsepower sports cars.

  • avatar
    geofcol

    Not since the days of THE NATIONAL LAMPOON have I experienced writing like JB’s. Those of you who are too young, or were too serious back then have another chance to enjoy excellent writing. “If Teddy Kennedy were driving a VW he’d be…”

  • avatar
    ilkhan

    Mustang now, Model X (or model 3? I think the upcoming sedan is the 3) later. The bolt isn’t even mildly interesting at the moment.

    • 0 avatar

      By the time the Model 3 “arri-hives,” the Bolt or whatever its’ name becomes will be on the SECOND generation with an extra 100 miles of projected range. So, 300 mi range EV vs. 200 mi range Tesla 3? Which won’t cost 35k, but will be around 50k with any options, suck it.

  • avatar
    Aquineas

    Fuel prices will go back up; ignore the Saudis are saying about oil never again reaching $100 (http://business.financialpost.com/2015/01/12/were-never-going-to-see-100-a-barrel-oil-again-saudi-prince-alwaleed-bin-talal-says/?__lsa=3653-9fd8) and instead look at history, political volatility, and the economic volatility that induces. I’m not sure why the original Volt didn’t do so well in the marketplace; I suspect the vehicle price had something to do with that, but as the article states, oil prices can make all the difference in the world.

    Regardless of oil prices, Ford will still sell every GT350 they can build, and even if they’re at a loss (I honestly don’t know one way or another), the boost in image and dealership traffic will be worth every cent invested.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I don’t really share the view that Ford trounced GM in presentation at the auto show. Ford did steal best in show with the Ford GT, but lets face it, this product is so low volume, for just about everyone it will exist only in pictures. Similarly, the Raptor and Shelby GT350R are pretty low volume with a very limited market. Its true, the Ford offerings have much more wow factor, but the auto show is a micro-chasm of automotive marketing, meant as a circus side show and aimed at the auto media and industry insiders, and less so for the people who actually buying the cars. With the market today being hugely defined by low fuel prices, it is easy to pat Ford on the back for their high powered offerings but buyers will not be won by the auto show presentation. They will be won by prevailing fuel prices, retail prices, advertising in real media, not enthusiast publications and sensational yearly displays in a single city. Taking product offering into perspective, GM is very well poised for cheap gas sales with full sized trucks and SUV’s. The ZO6 and Cadillac V’s are simply amazing. Not to belittle Ford and what they have on offer, but in the end, the auto show itself means relatively little.

  • avatar
    blueflame6

    I grew up in a Ford family, so it pains me to say this, but there were only two interesting things at the show this year: The Volt and Bolt. This is GM finally… FINALLY… being serious about the future. Every single thing about the second generation Volt is an improvement. People without experience pushing projects like this through large, bureaucratic organizations may not realize the size of the accomplishment. The Bolt concept, which looks serious, is the first sign that one of the majors (aside from Nissan, and possibly BMW) is willing to expend the effort to build something better than a compliance EV. These are investments that will pay off large in a decade or two. The Ford GT is a completely irrelevant advertising project.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    Jack, when will your book be on Amazon? It’s not a shameless plug if someone is asking.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      As soon as I finish editing it, by which I mean “writing the last 20%”.

      :)

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Someone once said that the first 90% is easy, it’s the last 10% that’s difficult…hope it’s not that way for you, but getting it wrapped up is always the hard part.

        How’s it coming, and for those of us who didn’t catch what it’s about, how about a refresh on what it is going to be?

  • avatar
    jco

    I don’t care if gas is $48 per gallon (instead of 55g of the unrefined stuff), I want to drive that GT350 until my ears bleed from the noise. i don’t care about turbo raptors or GTs, I want the noise from that V8 forever.

    it’s not an if, it’s a when, regarding fuel prices spiking in the opposite direction. study the well depletion rates in the shale/fracking plays and it gets obvious real quick that the US energy independence is as much a myth as a successful GM product line.

    look around, everyone is eating GMs lunch on trucks. 1500-class trucks are getting diesels and I have no doubt that Ford could get one in the F150 in 18 months if they decided to flip the switch. GM is nowhere to be seen in the product class they’ve traditionally relied on.

    Ford will continue to have their well-deserved success as long as people are buying cars. I think Ford is just a more nimble, smarter, and more efficient organization. and adaption to change is the best way to survive into the future. and i don’t see GM being anything but caught out flat-footed. like you said, they’re always behind the curve.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I was on Autotrader just for fun to see what prices were for used Volts. I found lots of 2012-13 models with less than 30,000 miles and all the bells and whistles listed at $17-18,000. This made me wonder what a similarly equipped Cruze was selling for, and I again found several LTZs from 2012-13 with less than 30K and fully equipped from $15,000 to 17,000. The new 2013 price for a full-loaded Volt was $43,000, while a similarly equipped Cruze was $26,000, so the Volt owner paid $17,000 more in 2013 and now has a used car that is worth $2,000 more than the Cruze. I don’t see how the new Volt or Bolt could possibly be enticing with that kind of resale performance unless fuel prices go up to $5 gallon.

  • avatar
    carguy

    An entertaining analysis but I am not sure I agree.

    The contrast you report on is a clever marketing illusion.

    Ford is also betting on high gas prices with the aluminum F-150 and their investment in hybrids and turbocharging. The only difference is that they made a big song and dance about low volume niche products like the GT and Raptor. That is a clever move for getting some much needed sizzle into a boring auto show but it doesn’t detract from the fact they are betting on efficiency as a means of economic survival.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    “Ford’s customers are out in the streets,” the man smiled. “The General has one customer, and he lives in a white mansion.”

    A position steeped in politics and devoid of any grounded facts.

    Let’s repeat the reality. It was Bush (43) that bailed out GM and Chrysler in December of 2008. They handed off the Bush (43) plan to the incoming Obama Administration and in March of 2009 the Bush plan was executed without edits. These cold hard facts are very well established. Every major parts supplier and automaker is on the record publicly if you do a search in saying letting GM and/or Chrysler die would be extremely bad for the auto industry as a whole, and damaging to the operations of other more healthy companies. Toyota was a big, public supporter of the bailout.

    GWB is on the record saying he wouldn’t change a thing and why he did it.

    http://business.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/02/07/10342178-bush-on-auto-bailouts-id-do-it-again

    This meme is old. It further ignores the bigger hypocrisy that no one talks about.

    Chrysler was owned by Cerberus, a private equity firm with deep pockets and the assets to keep Chrysler afloat on their own. The Bush Administration bailed out a small group of extremely wealthy, extremely connected, deep pocketed private citizens, that didn’t need a bailout, so they could sell their company to a foreign entity. Italy thanks the ‘Merica taxpayers.

    When this is completely ignored and the GM got a bailout card is played, the real message is, “I hate GM for rational or irrational reasons and I wish they would have just died,” becomes completely transparent.

    I see little difference in those who keep trotting this old idea out and people who gritch about how evil McDonalds is.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @APaGttH – you are correct but “The General has one customer, and he lives in a white mansion.” comment isn’t necessarily a shot at Obama. Bush and Shrub bot resided in a “white mansion”.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Oh it most certainly is – because the idea that Obama and Obama alone bailed out Detroit as thanks for the votes is a worn out meme repeated over and over and over and over and over again.

        One can spend very little time reading the B&B comments anytime GM and BK is brought up and see this lie repeated over and over and over and over again.

        Again – I don’t like Obama – and for the full record – never voted for the guy either time. That doesn’t mean that I like stupidity either.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The execution of GM’s bankruptcy didn’t have anything to do with Bush, and that’s when the bailout’s true recipient became the UAW. That you didn’t mention the bankruptcy in your diatribe reveals that you’re the one trying to change reality.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        CJinSD – the left must not forget their socialist comrades just like Bush didn’t forget the top 1%.

        Feeding at the political trough is just as bad standing on the left side or the right side of it.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        The bailout was conditional on a pre-packaged express lane bankruptcy. There is nothing to be stated when that is as obvious as the hand in front of my face. Maybe not to you, because you would prefer to argue over the shade of blue the sky is at 2 PM in Miami, Florida on a random Tuesday. Who signed those bad agreements with the UAW again? Who told the UAW workers to build bean counter derived badly engineered steaming piles in the first place? Who produced tone deaf product plans that didn’t mean what the buying public wanted? Who created the folly of the, “we don’t make any money on each until but we’ll make it up in volume,” math?

        The UAW? Really? They put the $h1t boxes together and cashed the checks on the deals that senior management negotiated. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Your pokes bore me at this point. Yes, the UAW did so “well” in the bankruptcy they have a two tier wage system, shrinking membership and Michigan is a right to work state. Yes – bravo UAW, bravo.

        *golf clap*

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I thought Jack’s father was always a Ford man, and very into Town Cars and the like.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    My take on the article is that car sales are emotion, car shows are showbiz and ford had its game on with exciting halo products. They made a reason why you would go into a ford showrroom and look at fords.

    Yeah Gm may have one or two niche products, well actualy the vette, but otehrwise its really really boring and the show reflected this.

    Look how far chrci went with cattle roundup years ago and some snazzy design on otherwise crap cars.

    But entertainment aside,the company that is betting on high fuel prices is Ford, its all ecoboost in fordland. And ecoboost does not really save gas, its not really refined and it sucks, at least in the cars I thied.

    Raptors are great, but who really wants a v6 raptor, even if the paper spoec is betetr a TTV6 sounds like some metrosexual vacum cleaning device, and yeah cars are about emotion, and ecoboost does nto have it.

    GT350R cool though.

  • avatar
    mike978

    I would love to know how GM was pathetically late to the party when the first generation Volt came out around the time of the Leaf. The second generation Volt is now showing. Most major manufacturers have nothing in this space. None have an all electric CUV. So how was GM late?

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    Jack, was that your 6th or so place on the Dodge Charger race sim thing?

  • avatar
    geozinger

    It’s kind of amusing to read editorials like this, as if one car show will decide the fates of these automotive giants. Ratchet back about 6-7 years ago, where *everyone* was screaming about GM’s incoherence, selling gas guzzling Hummers and SUVs and losing marketshare in the face of $4/gallon gasoline. Pundits and politicians alike were calling for GM to be more like Toyota, and with the arrival of the BK, the ATF forced some changes upon GM, with regards to sales channels at a minimum.

    I believe that GM took the “be more like Toyota” message to heart. The alpha male leadership role has been reduced, we have the (very) intelligent Mary Barra as CEO, a relatively decent line up of alt-fuel cars and sales and reliability has increased over the last several years. However, as much as GM tries to “be more like Toyota”, editorials like this pop up and prove that there is no pleasing folks.

    I’ve been observing the comments here regarding the marketing of recent Cadillacs, which has been amusing, only because it displays people’s complete lack of clarity of thought. When reading the comments on here I see that folks on this board really, really want a 1975 DeVille. Even though it’s been proven that no one will buy one, at least since 1975. Cadillac’s line up (with the exception of a better SUV or two) is the best it’s been in years, IMO competitive with the foreign counterparts with the exception of pricing. 15 years ago, folks were complaining that Cadillac had nothing RWD to compete with the Germans and Japanese, now they have a couple of efforts in that arena. No matter what they do, it’s not good enough…

    Makes me glad I’m not in their shoes…

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “When reading the comments on here I see that folks on this board really, really want a 1975 DeVille.”

      No, what they want is for Cadillac to regain their title of “Standard of the World”

  • avatar
    Glenn Mercer

    “Clark Griswoldian”? How do I even begin to look up what that means?!? (grin)

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