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Sink the auto industry

Congress is getting ready to approve 14 billion dollars to bail out the domestic auto industry.

Why the Fuck? Detroit has consistently failed to set themselves apart with products that have actually been worth the money. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler continue to play “I got one Too” across the universe of cars and trucks. Sub compact to Trucks, they all figure that they all need to play to all market segments, and over the last 20 years have been playing catchup with the asian auto companies.

The last watershed moment and the first glimmer of creative thinking was the creation of the MiniVan. Regardless of what you drive, the minivan was a revolution  in transportation. Chrysler owned this market for 10 years. Nothing GM, Ford or the asians could touch them. They of course pissed this away.

Bolting badges and grilles with upgraded seats on pickup bodies and calling them sport utility vehicles, was yet another dumb move on the part of the majors, who you guessed it, followed nose to asshole, in producing vehicles for this segment, tossing fuel efficiency by reclassification and marketing campaigns designed to capture folks with money and no common sense, into these lumps. ( An Escalade is a Chevy pickup with different frills, but a pickup truck running gear. Driving one of these is driving with STUPID tattooed on your forehead)

Safety was an issue that the majors resisted with all of their might.  Airbags caused a major problem not only for the auto companies in designing them, which despite the insistence of reinventing the wheel with every model year, (considering that TRW, who was one of the major suppliers of air bags and components had a common design with a Dial a Yield feature almost since the beginning)but for the insurance industry, as what would have been fatal crashes requiring only a death benefit,  now required aftercare and continuing rehabilitation.

Improvements in quality and longer warranty coverage from overseas, as well as pricing pressures,  continued to bitchslap domestic companies putting them in the position of playing catchup again. Even with the adoption of platforms, where brands shared components underneath and drivetrains, having only plastic chrome badges and carpet colors differentiating models, was not helpful as they continued to insist on having “Me Too”  models in every segment, as though volume of models could overcome what was basically  poor direction by management.

As part of the current bailout, the workers and retirees are being bent over and hot pokers are being shoved up their rectums. Don’t feel too bad for them, as our turn as taxpayers will give us that same warm glow much sooner that congress thinks. The Auto companies will stop funding their retirement plans, forcing the taxpayers to pick up that tab too.

Ford may continue to exist for a few years, but they will have to figure out that they are a truck company and get out of the auto business.

GM and Chrysler may merge, which will give Cerebus Capital a great payday, but the monolithic cultures of both companies will spell their doom, they are unwilling to play nice with other.

As for the New Green Initiatives by the domestics, it is a ‘too little too late’ game.

The Car CZAR? I can’t think of the last time something this dumb came out of congress, although there are a lot of contenders.

There is nowhere for the car companies to go, they have downsized, out sourced, slashed facilities and workers, gutted their staffs except for management, and are already  in their graves, just waiting for some kind stranger to fill in the holes.