By on April 8, 2015

 

The final tally is in for the Canadian taxpayer. With the Canadian government unloading the last of its shares in General Motors, the estimated loss is said to be $3.5 billion.

For the purposes of this column, the bailout of GM and Chrysler is settled, at least as far as debating whether it should have been carried out or not. To paraphrase Sean Bean in Ronin, the automakers “got the swag, kept the money, job well done”. American cars have never been better, factories are still humming along, labor costs have come down and may be reduced even further. For the American auto industry, it’s hard to think of a better outcome.

North of the 49th parallel, things are not so rosy. Investment in the auto sector continues to slip away from the Great White North, with Mexico and the United States bleeding away production. While Ford, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota have made investments in their Canadian plants to help retool them for new product, there hasn’t been a new standalone plant built since before the bailout.

On the other hand, the biggest news in Canada’s auto manufacturing sector is the unabated ebbing away of product from GM’s Oshawa plant. Oshawa was once a flagship plant for GM – to this day, they are still known for producing some of GM’s highest quality products. But in recent years, new product that was once built at Oshawa has been awarded to GM plants in the United States, Mexico and even Germany. At the same time, no new products have been awarded to the plant.

While GM claims that it will take them until the end of 2016 to come to a decision on the plant’s fate, a closer analysis reveals a bleaker picture. Two major agreements are set to expire in 2016 – the agreement between Unifor (formerly the Canadian Auto Workers union) and GM, as well as the Vitality Commitment signed by GM (which binds GM to producing 16 percent of its output in Canada, as a condition of receiving bailout funds). Once these expire, GM will essentially have no obligations to Canada, save for two smaller plants in Ontario, which build the Theta crossovers and selected powertrains respectively.

Given these circumstances, it would be an opportune time to close Oshawa. The fallout for the town, which is literally dominated by General Motors (the company has its Canadian headquarters and an R&D center located there), would be nothing short of devastating. But in today’s corporate environment, these ties mean absolutely nothing. Canada’s car market is small enough that any anti-GM backlash would mean nothing. If GM can weather the storm following its shutdown of Holden’s Australian plants, it will survive this scenario.

But Australia didn’t help keep GM afloat in a time of acute need. Canada did. Closing Oshawa may be a financially prudent decision when viewed from the RenCen, but it would be an enormous middle finger to Canada. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to imagine any other scenario playing out.

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105 Comments on “Editorial: $3.5 Billion And Counting...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Worth every [Canadian] penny.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Didn’t the current Canadian Head of Government outlaw pennies? I guess only outlaws have pennies now. And with a loss of 3.5G$CA, there aren’t many of those either.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    “Oshawa was once a flagship plant for GM – to this day, they are still known for producing some of GM’s highest quality products.”

    Sounds familiar.

    Sincerely,

    Buick City, Flint, MI

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Word, drop the mic.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @PCH 101
        What another Alias and total gibberish.?

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Why would PCH101 need an alias? The sentence you quote Derek wrote. Haven`t you been destroyed by him in discussion before?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Helps if you can post using another Alias to post the same gibberish

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I have noticed some multiple Alias’s being used, on this site although more control,than other sites
            “Derek” destroyed by discussion before … joking
            Not Refering to Derek at all

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I have only used ONE screen name, everywhere, ever! No need to assume other identities. I can be caustic and abrasive enough as only the highdesertcat.

            If someone has to use another alias, they’re just sick, insecure mental cases.

            There have been times, not often, that others have used my system, IP address, with my permission, but they posted under their own screen name.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @highdesertcat
            Use my name on several forums. Agree about the mentally unstable needing various Alias’s to get their message across

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            What are you on about? Your first comment on this is a reply to BBall so it was an odd comment and place hence my reply.

            Also I am in SE PA and PCH is in I assume CA.

            Don`t know why HDC has to crash this comment thread – no-one said you were being impersonated.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Don`t know why HDC has to crash this comment thread – no-one said you were being impersonated.”

            Sorry mike978. Didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be on here.

            I crashed this comment thread because, in the past, I had been accused of commenting under different screen names.

            I’ll be careful in the future not to tread on comment threads you claim as your own.

            My apologies.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Mike978
            Vagaries of the software on this site, I not replying to BBAll , but someone else. Very difficult to find what reply relates to a post unless you use the User name

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            RR – I understand, I have had experience a while back where the replies end up in odd places. So one misunderstanding led to another, sorry.

            HDC – I didn`t know you had been accused of that. I would think that is an odd accusation since you and people like PCH seem pretty sure of their opinions and wouldn`t need to post under multiple aliases.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mike978, there are a few individuals who have been on ttac since the days of Robert Farago.

            But that number is dwindling, or maybe the clientèle of readership is just morphing into something different these days.

            Some commenters are indeed “pretty sure of their opinions” and should be judged on the merits of the veracity of their comments.

            Maybe different people had a different experience with the same facts or circumstances, like my excellent ownership experiences with Toyota products vs the lousy experiences of others with Toyota products.

            There was a time, I call it the era of Bertel, when ttac was a little different, and several excellent commenters left the fold.

            Personally, I have always gone out on the premise to only comment on those things I actually know about and/or have experience with.

            So there is no need for me to lie, obfuscate, posture or otherwise try to pull the wool over other readers’ eyes.

            Most importantly, I like to think that other people may have had other experiences and may have deciphered the facts differently.

            This happens all the time. In the stock market one person sells, another buys. Same facts, different interpretation of the same facts.

            So I just wanted to remind everyone that I only use one screen name, on every site I visit.

            On the money sites, dealership forums, Jeep Forum, LinkedIn, etc, I post under my real name.

            But you are right, I should not have jumped in on your thread. I became defensive because it reminded me of the less happy days on ttac in the past.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick

      Also…

      Sincerely,

      Sainte-Thérèse Assemby, QC

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “got the swag, kept the money, job well done”

    A job completed successfully due to some skilled (and unlikely) sliding about and fishtailing in a Quattro-disabled(?) D2 S8.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Surely a recent 80 cent US loonie must factor into all of this, since I’m sure the Canadian dollar being on par or worth more than the US dollar for much of the last six years had as well.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    It takes a special kind of financial incompetent to back a confirmed loser. All Canada got for its $3.3 billion net loss is a much smaller domestic General Motors operation that seems destined to disappear within a couple of years.

    If GM had been allowed to fail there is no doubt other automakers would have picked up its market share. Those would have included Honda and Toyota, both successful with large assembly operations in Canada.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “If GM had been allowed to fail there is no doubt other automakers would have picked up its market share.”

      Once more, with feeling.

      No one was going to pick up anything in 2008, thanks to the great recession. GM would have been allowed to fail in 2005-2006, and likely would be allowed to fail today.

      Toyota and Honda actually _went to bat_ for GM and recommended the government bailout because the fallout would have hurt them, too.

      In 2008/9? No. No country without a death-wish for it’s economy would have let GM (or any other huge employer) fail right in the maw of the largest recession since 1929.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I suspect that Canada could have washed its hands of it, which would have forced the US to pick up the whole tab. For the sake of preserving the capital markets circa 2009, the US was not going to walk away from GM.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Why is it that the fear mongers always sell doom as if it’s everlasting when the pain usually lasts a short while, but if the fix costs billions to prop up losers for a few decades with all the other moral costs before they are back at the trough that’s okay?

        Cut them loose, pull off the band aids, and let them go! The pain will be short, the benefits long. Or, flinch, cower, and throw OPM at them and live with the stench for decades.

        Canada will be better off without GM. If they want to be in the business, deregulate their market and let some locals start making their own cars. Hell, the Chinese can do it, Musk can do it, why not the Canadians? Oh, wait…

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Thank you, Alfred E. Neuman.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Ah, so you have heard some other words of wisdom? Did you listen to any of them?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I honestly don’t expect to have a meaningful dialogue about economics with a guy who still couldn’t understand what a “regressive tax” is after it was explained to him several times.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Oh, we all understand what a regressive tax is. You just think if we disagree with you on something it must be because we are too stupid to understand.

            Of course you will always be correct if you can define all the terms. That is until the truth runs over you like a bus. There is objective truth, and there is no free lunch, and the bill always comes due.

            Ignorance is bliss, but if you are kidding yourself it can’t help you sleep at night.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            One of your ongoing problems is your inability to distinguish fact from opinion.

            If I make a factual statement that is accurate, then there is no room for disagreement. Either you know something is a fact or you don’t.

            When I explained to you that a tax on gasoline was regressive, you clearly didn’t understand what that meant. I was not offering an opinion, I was stating a fact.

            Your efforts to redefine it and to pretend that there is some alternative explanation was just another example of your effort to change the meaning of words whenever reality doesn’t suit you.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Two things wrong here.

            1) You commonly state facts, then draw conclusions that don’t follow. You really have a porous logic system. It’s terrible.

            2) If you recall, I said I thought the gas tax was likely not regressive because wealthier people tend to buy a lot more gas. No one came up with conclusive data except that I then found a non commie source that said that it was likely regressive which I reported here and which I then said was acceptable to me that my theory was wrong. The reason you can’t have a dialogue with me is that you are incapable of demonstrating that much integrity so you resort to demagoguery, name calling, and silly word play to avoid ever giving an inch on anything…

            Which is exactly what you are doing here.

            Creative destruction is a litmus test to tell a useful economist from a useless academic careerist. Everyone sensible knows it’s a good thing, but there is great money and job security selling free lunch theories to government and other people wanting to maintain their place on top of the status quo.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “You commonly state facts, then draw conclusions that don’t follow. You really have a porous logic system. It’s terrible.”

            I lot have commented on that, not just you. He defines irrationality

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Your memory sucks. What you said was, “I am trying to change a definition BACK. Only after years of liberal academics, media, and government types has regressive meant what it does today, and it is preloaded with negative connotations which is why they did it.”

            In other words, a bunch of hogwash. You made the whole thing up simply because the word “regressive” upsets you, even though it’s just basic econ.

            https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/congressional-budget-office-ev-tax-credits-promote-gas-guzzlers/#comment-1943985

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            That’s a different argument. I won that one. Read the whole thread. You did just what I always say you do.

            Why would you use that example?

            2(Of a tax) taking a proportionally greater amount from those on lower incomes.

            That’s the meaning. Therefore, all sales taxes are not necessarily regressive. Also, if you look at the net effect of all taxes and entitlements, which would be how anyone without a redistributionist, statist agenda would look at things, you would be really hard pressed to overcome how progressive our present system is until you get to folks with twenty page plus returns taking advantage of carve outs and actual subsidies for friends of Washington. Those carve outs get eliminated as soon as folks in the mere one percent start taking advantage by the way.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The fact that you could get something completely wrong yet feel triumphant is not encouraging.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            PCH,
            Time to go back to the doctor. You need help again.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “Canada will be better off without GM”

          Hell, the US would have been better off without GM!

          Someone, somewhere would have picked up the slack at some point in time, and the void would have been filled by more sales for Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Subaru, BMW and Mercedes, car makers in America, one and all.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          This is looking like the Australian situation , except Canada is now feeling the heat. I notice the UAW Triolls are out in force, eventually the Canadian operations will be shut down and production moved elsewhere, primarily Mexico

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @RobertRyan….”UAW Trolls” the UAW was last spotted in Canada, somewhere around 1984.

            Don’t let a few facts get in the way, of your misinformed rant

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Quick to the Delorean so we can chase them out of town, eh!

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @mikey
            Who is doing the rant? Guess the UAW does not care about overall vehicle production in NA either.. if the Canadian Union was weak, the UAW, is not far behind it. Agreeing to the two tier wage structure, is very poor indeed

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            Robert….I lived and breathed this whole situation, every day of my life, and to some extent still do.

            You sir, havn’t a clue what your talking about.

            There is no reasoning, with the unreasonable.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Please tell me what GM product Canada is losing to Mexico. The Equinox doesn’t count, since it’s flip-flopping production sites with the SRX. SRX to Spring Hill. ‘Nox to Ramos Arizpe.

            If anything, the production is moving to Lansing and Detroit.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @mikey,
            I would know more than you having input from US Union advocates
            I cannot see the current status quo surviving in the US as regards industrial relations. It is going to get vastly worse

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            “@mikey,
            I would know more than you”

            o.O

            LOLOLOLOLOL

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Landcrusher – and what regulations does Canada need to deregulate?

          We follow USA emissions and safety parameters and NAFTA protects USA based companies. Import tariffs were deemed illegal by the WTO but lobbying from then CAW (now UNIFOR)and USA car companies kept them in place. Those will be gone with the FTA with the EU.

          So what is left?

          Drop wages to Mexican levels or pour more cash into the trough???

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Lou_BC
            Canada has been the victim of some very short sighted decisions by Canadian , US Governments , Auto Companies and Union Groups. They like Caligula , thought they could beat back the waves instead of meeting the challenge and changing to beat the threat

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            None of that stuff. Just figure out the biggest PitA rules that make it tough to start a car company. Likely, you could ask that guy at Magna what’s stopping him and he’d tell you. Or, ask that guy in Louisiana.

            I can legally build a car in my garage in Texas, but if I want to make ten and sell them I need millions of dollars cuz government. As soon as I come up with the money, there will be cart loads of people in suits from bureaucratic institutions and “non profits” and other places with letters for names trying to tell me what I can, can’t, and ought or else.

            No effing thanks. I can take that money to an Internet company and avoid almost all the regulations, make lots of money, and support lawmakers who let me break rules while over regulating the people I plan to compete with a la Amazon and Uber. Then. My statist, latte drinking, kale eating buds will pass laws making it hard for anyone to follow my example thus fortifying my position.

            All that and I really made nothing but money.

            Or, I could just play in the finance game…

            At any rate, why bother making a car? It’s stupid!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Tucker.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @RobertRyan – Ontario at one time was the economic engine of Canada. No politician wants to be in office when the auto industry collapses in that province. It is a vote rich province and we all know that politicians do not look into the future beyond the next election campaign.

            @Landcrusher – you never answered my question or was your deflection the answer?

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            First of all, your question was loaded with nonsense that has nothing to do with regulation and my answer may not have been as specific as you liked but it was in no way a deflection.

            If you want chapter and verse, go look it up yourself. Using the US as an excuse is a non starter. We have a regulatory mess designed to stop anyone new. Tesla is a miracle even with Musk’s money. It’s your country. Sell whatever you want to your domestic market. Are you so brainwashed by socialist idiocy you don’t realize that cars don’t have to be weighed down with a hundred million in start up costs per model and thousands per copy of government demands? I am neither an engineer nor a mechanic, but without government interference, I could start a car company! Or, airplanes are even easier. Not kidding!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Landcrusher – regulations cover things like safety, fuel economy, and emissions. They also cover worker safety,and environmental safety etcetera.
            Many companies moved to China to side step legal obligations to workers and the environment.

            I’m not using the USA as an excuse but it does appear that you do not understand the influence the USA has on other countries. That influence is waning.

            I’m not surprised that you mentioned socialism since in your opinion everything would be much better in your myopic world under conservative er um Republican doctrine/dogma.
            Again, what regulations do you want governments to eliminate that in your estimation prevent new car companies from launching?

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Lou,
            You can have your present set of regs, and no domestics, or change whatever it takes. A while back, the FAA agreed to let manufacturers of light sport aircraft certify under ASTM rather than their own process.

            This allowed dozens of new manufacturers to start building aircraft. The reduction in safety results has been minor. The reduction in cost was huge. It’s not that they said to throw anything out, they just changed the process of showing they met the standard. So you can say they deregulated safety, but really what they deregulated was just red tape.

            So deregulate everything some, and look at the results. You don’t have to slaughter all the sacred calves, just enough that companies be created.

            If you want me to solve this any further for you, tell me who to contact. It’s just $150 an hour plus expenses. Last time I worked in Canada, KPMG did the taxes though, and that was rather expensive so be prepared.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      G-W, the ultimate revenge can be yours! Vote with your feet. Vote with your wallet. Don’t buy any GM products.

      That’s what I did, after more than 40 years of driving a GM product.

      Works for me.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        ““@mikey,
        I would know more than you”

        o.O

        LOLOLOLOLOL”
        I would reserve the laughter, cause the flight of industries from Canada is going to be no laughing matter. In fact it could get very grim indeed

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Your prediction that automotive production is leaving Canada doesn’t make you an oracle. It’s been happening for years.

          Your hubris baffles me. Not valuing the information that someone like mikey provides is asinine.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            The Canadian government, put way too many chips on oil. Now they got a run an election, with a shaken economy

            Psar has nailed it. The Feds dumped the GM stock, because they needed the money

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Misery loves company, and poor Robert is just trying to find ways to share his misery. He doesn’t want to concede that Australia is not particularly comparable to the US or Canada, nor will he admit that there would not have been an auto industry Down Under for nearly this long had it not been for the tariffs and content rules that protected it until recently. (The fact that he isn’t too bright doesn’t help matters.)

            For what it’s worth, I’ve spent some time in Australia, and they’re not nearly all this bad.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Yes it has been happening for years, but now that process is being speeded up Expect other places to fold as well, as supply lines are affected

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I do hear a UAW Troll chirping somewhere I guess they are feeling a little bit uncomfortable now
            Spent time in Australia? Obviously did not notice much at the airport

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @mikey – oil was what kept Canada from a similar fate to other countries when 2008 hit. Politicians will fleece what ever sheep they have at the time. In the past it was Ontario manufacturing. Oil in the Maritimes and Alberta took over.

            They typically take credit for good times and point the finger in bad times. We’ve had stretches of Conservative government and stretches of Liberal government and in the end not much has changed for the man in the street.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        Highdesertcat

        BUT, you bought a Chrysler product…Chrysler who went through the same thing as GM but somehow in your mind it gets a pass. Do you ever notice how hypocritical and nonsensical some of your personal philosphies are?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          PonchoIndian, Mea culpa! I cannot justify my mental aberration but to say that it was something my woman wanted.

          And if I can swing it, I give my woman anything and everything she wants.

          Buying that Grand Cherokee would not have been my first choice, but so far, it has not given us any problems, although the factory recalls are rolling in now — four, so far, last year.

          And although we still own the Grand Cherokee, it is now my grand daughter’s daily driver. And if she wants it, she can take it with her when she marries her Air Force First Lieutenant in June.

          Just so you know, what we drive today is my wife’s 2015 Sequoia, my 2011 Tundra and my $1 1989 Camry V6 LE.

          We’ve gone All-Toyota, all the time!

  • avatar
    gsp

    I will assume that they did the math on this and knew that the exit would not be pretty. But it is still a heck of a lot of money. What would have been accomplished if this kind of cash was used to draw tech companies into Ontario?
    The auto industry will be killed by the high union wages.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “I will assume that they did the math on this and knew that the exit would not be pretty”

      The math was done by the Federal government because, a) it’s an election year, and b) they’re looking like chumps for assuming the petroleum-driven gravy train would always be there and thusly c) they’re desperate.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @gsp,
      Not really wages as the non-Union plants in the south of the U.S., have better wages. It is the rather stupid management of these companies, trying to find lower costs at the expense of anything else, that is driving it The opportunity cost of not getting new start ups, is going to hurt

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Given that Canada’s GNP is about $1.5 trillion, gambling $3.3 billion during an economic meltdown to retain a domestic auto industry and keep a major city from shuttering doesn’t sound like a terrible bet. Even if Oshawa goes tits up in 2016, the 8 years of production and employment(and tax revenues) it provided might make it a wash.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      True, but ” if Oshawa goes tits up in 2016, the 8 years of production and employment(and tax revenues) it provided might make it a wash.” except that the fall will be much harder, like a delayed punishment or postponed execution.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @highdesetcat
        Very true, no time allowed for the parts manufacturers and all the associated businesses, too find new markets

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          RobertRyan, sometimes the “supporters and saviors of the UAW and the auto industry” stare themselves blind on the short term, gains or otherwise, while losing sight of what happens down the road for the long term.

          In the case of GM and Chrysler, their corporate lives had run their course from start to finish. They died.

          The US government did the right thing with Chrysler, gave it away with a bribe, let it be someone else’s worry, and then reaped the revenue benefits when Chrysler as a subdivision of Fiatsler, rebounded.

          With GM it was Force Majeur to revive this dead giant at all cost. But over time the realities of the corporate real world keep returning to illustrate that GM as we knew it, could not, and cannot, be sustained.

          It is REALLY sad for the Canadians who hitched their star to GM because GM corporate will most certainly re-allocate funds and production to the US and/or cheaper Mexico.

          But money will solve everything for the Canadians who could possibly lose their jobs because of this, by redirecting tax revenue from the working taxpayers to the now unemployed.

          However, my guess would be that they would rather be working, building, creating, because retirement, voluntary or forced, is a full-time job in itself.

          If you don’t fill your days with meaningful activity, you’ll be dead in no time.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        I don’t think so. The 2008 crash came fast and hard, this article implies Oshawa’s been on a long, slow decline. In ’08, there wasn’t any possibility of taking up the slack from the plant closing, everyone was hurting, nobody had liquidity, credit was locked up. Now it will be a relatively isolated incident, there will be pain but not as much as there would have been in 2008-09.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          The 2008 crash didn’t come so fast and hard that no analyst saw it coming. My broker called me in mid 2007 and “urgently advised” me to divest immediately. I repeat, without delay.

          I resisted! How come something that was so good for the US auto industry could be in jeopardy? What was going good for GM had to be doing good for America.

          But his common-sense reasoning (and nagging me almost daily) prevailed over my “better” judgment to stay with the stock market.

          And I will be forever in his debt for getting me out at the top of the market by mid-2008. That’s not to say that he didn’t richly profit from the broker fees of my transactions.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @highdesertcat
            After touring the U.S. in 2007, I noticed something was amiss: Brand new vehicles offering cash to move them, almost zero interest rates on finance for houses cars. US had a massive foreign debt and it was doing things like this? indication that something was horribly wrong. Coming back to Australia I shock proofed my investments.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            RobertRyan, oh, I remember about all that cash on the hood and the NINJA loans that went with them. Almost like Mark Knopfler’s Money for nuttin’ and ‘chic cars’ for free.

            But I was not in the market then. Not until 2008 when we bought the last Japan-built Highlander left on the dealer lot. We got a good deal on it and it made me a Toyota convert.

            Something has been going horribly wrong in and with America for some time now. Those who can, shock proof their lives and their investments, often by taking out instead of paying in.

            But, ultimately, it is the tax-paying sheep and job-providers who will carry the burden of what currently is, and what will be America in the future.

            I just worry about me and mine. Don’t give a hoot about anything else. Provide help, assistance and charity to those in need where it matters the most – locally. IMO, the only way to be and live.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @HDC and RobertRyan…Just for your info. I little tiny bungalow built in the late 50s will fetch you $280 K Can = 224K USD. The builders are asking 450- 500K for a 2500 sq ft . A house down the street from me had a bidding war at 525 K. Their making plans to build one of the biggest malls in the world, about 6 miles from where I sit.

        So tell me guys, whats the property value in your neighborhood??

        BTW I’m quoting Oshawa prices.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Mikey,
          Very similar to what is happening in Canada. We have negative gearing on investment properties , stupid idea. Asian, read Chinese investors, putting illegally obtained money into new homes and limited land releases. Housing bubble is pretty well in sight, the very low interest rates are fuelling it

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          mikey, you are watering my eyes.

          In my area, housing is more modest. My wife and I now own two homes outright – the one in the desert and a 1780 sq ft 1972-built 3-br 2-bth in town where we live now to be closer to the Regional Medical Center.

          The one in town could sell for ~$100K, on par with others in the same league.

          The house in the desert has never been appraised. I built it from scratch (with a lot of help) starting in Jan 1980 and completed building it in 1996.

          It started as a cinder-block 1600 sq ft house on a 50×50 concrete slab, but has since grown to 6800 sq ft covered space, expanded out from the initial 40×40 cinder block structure.

          It’s not all living space, some of it is covered Spanish Courtyard, some of it covered patio, some covered lanai-like, some partially covering the indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub.

          A 3800 sq ft house in the desert bought by my friend the retired Italian plumber from New Jersey, cost him $260K – which is about right.

          In town, where I live now, new homes range from $75K – $350K, with custom builts as much as the buyer wants to include in the extensions.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Mikey,
        Neither did Vauxhall, Opel or any other GM owned Company outside NA. Only the US went down the toilet

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Hah, from the WSJ, “General Motors Co. will halt production of the Chevrolet Volt electric car for the summer to whittle down about seven months of unsold inventory and smooth the way for the next generation of the plug-in hybrid sedan.”

          Old news to be sure, but it ties in well with the losses that both the US and Canada have suffered with GM.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            In other words the whole Hybrid and EV Fiasco has comeback to haunt them

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            GM is planning to come out with a Volt 2.0. They just have to get rid of all the Volt 1.0 first.

            FWIW, I have always maintained that EVs, PEVs and Hybrids SHOULD be available to anyone who wants to buy one, but they should not be subsidized by the tax payers.

            Right now they’re just toys for the idly rich and out of reach of “everyman”.

            Plus, with gasoline costs down to where they should realistically be because of our Nation’s glut of oil, who wants to suffer from range anxiety?

            Another of the government-sponsored projects gone out of control is the war against coal in America and the mandate for more solar and wind-power to take its place.

            Well, the sh!t has hit the fan in New Mexico. PNM, the company providing much of the electricity, is in a serious shortfall because of the wind and solar mandates and wants to jack up electricity rates even higher in New Mexico, the Land of the poor.

            I may have to invest in a natgas powered 22KW AC generator for my house in town to help offset the increased rates per KWh, and reduce the KWh I use which drives the ancillary charges like delivery, infrastructure, admin costs, etc etc etc.

            Things are a-changin’ in America. And it ain’t all good.

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    Approximately 19/34ths of Canadians live south of the 49th parallel.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’m a little closer to this situation, than anybody here. Take this one to the bank folks. The decision, to close, or not to close Oshawa has been made. GM says “we don’t make the call until 2016”. B.S ! Lots of folks here have been around the car business, for many years. They know, It just don’t work that way. Not in the world of automotive manufacturing.
    GM is dangling the carrot in front of UNIFOR and the two levels of government. The governments, like every other government in the world, knows they need to pony up. The question is how much, and when ?

    Right now, as I type, UNIFOR local 222, is on the run . GM is standing back, playing their cards close to their corporate chest. UNIFOR can, and will blink.

    Flex, and the contiguous stamping plant, will not shut down.

    Derek..Bets on dude ! TTAC is buying me lunch, if I’m right. If I’m wrong, lunch is on me. {I hope they have “crow” on the menu.}

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Mikey
      Of course it has been made and GM just biding it’s time to more out of the Governments. Same game played in Australia, after they decided two close the factories two years prior to their announcement

    • 0 avatar

      I *HOPE* I am wrong Mikey, I really do. Where do you want to go :)

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @mikey,
      Here in Australia GM threatened to walk away and shut down their operations when there was a hint that the government wasn’t going to throw money at them.

      The government to’d and fro’d, but then made the correct decision. The government told the auto manufacturers if you can’t make a profit then leave.

      A short while after Goulburn Valley a fruit canning company owned be Coke wanted money to invest in modernising it’s factory. The government again, correctly, to get on your bikes. The government also pointed out that Coca Cola Amatil had made a $425 million profit in Australia and to find the money themselves. Coca Cola stated that the money had already be given out in dividends.

      My view is if it isn’t profitable to make cars in a country then don’t make them. Or learn to invest wisely and compete. Even if that means the loss of workers to robots.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Robert….Did you read the article ? Australia didn’t participate in the bail out, to the extent that GM did.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @mikey
      Correct, but there was no bailout of Holden, it was profitable at that point. It was not bankrupt, but GMNA was. It has been getting subsides , in the order that the Canadian Government has been paying the U.S. manufacturers to stay in Canada

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The last profit that Holden reported was in 2004.

        Nobody should ever believe anything that you say.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Makings get up things again, you really are creative in your “facts” the UAW really not good with the truth, part of the reason they have helped stuff up NA Automotive manufacturing

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “GM Holden Ltd. records an A$144 million ($113.4 million) after-tax loss for 2005”

            http://wardsauto.com/news-amp-analysis/gm-holden-reports-2005-loss-predicts-same-2006

            “Holden posts $146.56 million loss for 2006”

            http://www.themotorreport.com.au/880/holden-posts-14656-million-loss-for-2006

            “Holden announces a $6 million loss for 2007”

            http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/holden-announces-a-6-million-loss-for-2007-20080729-144xm.html

            “GM Holden records $70 million loss for 2008”

            http://www.motoring.com.au/news/2009/holden/gm-holden-records-70-million-loss-for-2008-15676

            “Holden reports $210.6 million loss for 2009”

            http://www.caradvice.com.au/63528/holden-reports-210-6-million-loss-for-2009/

            “Taxpayers contributed at least $100 million in pre-tax revenue towards Holden’s $112 million net profit for 2010”

            http://www.smh.com.au/business/subsidy-props-up-gmh-profit-20110427-1dwsz.html

            “Holden recorded a profit of $89.7 million in 2011 — the exact same amount it said it received in taxpayer funding during the same period.”

            http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/taxpayers-fund-holden-profit-20120507-1y89d.html

            “Holden loses $152.8 million in 2012”

            http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/3DFDBD77A267089FCA257B6500146B12

            “Holden records $554 million loss (for 2013)”

            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-08/governments-urged-to-stop-giving-money-to-holden/4617060

            Total losses for 2004-13 of more than AUD$1 billion.

            Out of ten years, eight years of losses, plus one year that was breakeven when accounting for taxpayer subsidies.

            Virtually all of 2010’s profit (which I had admittedly forgotten about) came from taxpayer subsidies.

            Holden has been a money loser. Even someone with only basic arithmetic skills should be able to see this… which explains why you don’t get it.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            What total crap! It was bled dry by GMNA that diverted its profits to the Pickup section. Eventually even this vampirism act could not say the whole rotten structure from failing. GMNA went bankrupt as it was not making profits but it’s profitable subsidiaries survived
            Unless your twised UAW idea of Economics, means that the GMNA Business did go into Bankruptcy, because it was making “profits”?

          • 0 avatar
            CV Neuves

            Australian governments have subsidised the car industry on an annual basis with some nine digit amount. After the newly elect neo-liberal government decided to abandon the practice the last three standing, Toyota, Ford and Holden have decided to call it quits. As Australia does not maintain a noteworthy so-called “defence” industry, this will speed up the de-industrialization of the country which will foster the mutual exchange of plumbing and burgers.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        RobertRyan…..GM Canada did not go bankrupt.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @CVNeuves,
          That is as much fantasy as the post you are trying to support. I guess there is not much of a Defence industry in Canada either..the point? When Ford said they were leaving and this is before any announcement of loss of subsidies , the loss of the supply chain became critical for others
          Similar scenario for Canada

          • 0 avatar
            CV Neuves

            As in opposite to you I have an idea what I am talking about with regards to Australia. I have not made any attempt to say anything about Canada.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Poor Robert isn’t happy unless he makes at least one error per day.

            Needless to say, he’s quite the overachiever. If he claims that something is true, then you should presume the opposite. Why he would devote his time on a website with “truth” in the title is a mystery.

  • avatar
    craiger

    $35.90 per share. If they would wait another couple of years the share price would likely be in the high 40s.

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