Sunday, November 30, 2008

Big Three Automakers

The CEOs of the big three automakers flew private jets to Washington D.C. to beg for bailout money. There, in that one tone deaf ostentation is everything you need to know about why they are failing. If the Detroit Poobahs can't tell how this will look to the American taxpayer, how do they hope to compete against Honda, Toyota, Acura and Lexus?

My first new car was a 1989 Acura Integra it had everything, and more, that a 24 year old would want. It was as if Honda asked a bunch of twenty somethings what they wanted in a car and created it for them, only better. I looked at the Ford Escort too which was much cheaper but no where near as good. What decided the deal for the Acura was that it's re-sale value dwarfed that of the Ford so at the end of the day the cost to own was actually less and it was a far superior car by any standard.

Take a look at the 10 cars that damaged General Motors reputation. My question, how did you narrow it down to only ten? Vega , Chevette, Citation, Cimarron, Saturns, Aztecs, Olds Diesels, Cadillac V-8-6-4, Hummers and the EV1. I remember my dad was all excited about the Cimarron after he had read some article praising GM for making a nimble car that could compete with Europe's best. Somehow by the time he got to the show room in his 1976 Bavaria the GM world beater turned out to be just a gaudy Cavalier. While a Cavalier was par for the course for Chevy, putting $72 worth of chrome on it, calling it a Caddy and charging thousands more is consumer ass rape of the first degree.

I have owed one American made car in the last twenty years, a 1995 Ford Taurus. When it wasn't leaking something or in need of a tranny rebuild, I kind of liked it. Not that it was a good car or anything or that it handled, braked or accelerated well, I just liked it's big marshmallowy seats and big car feel. If it had been dependable I'd still might like it despite it's 1950's feel, but it was not.

Don't get me wrong, I don't wish the big three ill, but to bail out a non-hacker does not bode well for our economy. They should for bankruptcy so they can renegotiate their onerous labor and health care costs and re-emerge as a competitive entity. Then they should learn how to make decent cars.


johnnyc said...

Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that the automakers will eventually get their bailout?
Why do I have the feeling that the automakers are definitely going to get their bailout and that it's only a matter of the gov making it look like they won't for a while, and making it look like the automakers had to jump through a sufficient number of flaming hoops, in order to minimize backlash when they finally extend the bailout offer?

Anonymous said...

What about your AMC Gremlin!? lol

El Duderino said...

Ah the Yellow Gremlin. Good times and coincedently the only other time I had to have a transmission replaced.