• Apr 2, 2008

As part of the 2008 Global Automotive Survey, the automotive division of law firm Dykema Gossett PLLC surveyed 46 leading automotive executives in America on their opinions regarding the upcoming presidential race and the forecast for the U.S. automotive industry. The picture that the respondents painted in their responses was anything but bright.

Regarding the three leading presidential candidates, 70 of respondents viewing an Obama administration as having a potentially negative impact on the industry. The survey also addressed the executives' attitudes towards the future of the carmaking industry in America, in which not a single respondent conveyed a positive outlook, while 87 responding neutrally.

[Source: The Detroit News, Photo by Bryan Mitchell/Getty]



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  • 44 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I find this survey pretty much as I expected I would. After Obama basically gave them a lecture on how backward and obstinate the US auto industry is, I can't imagine many exec's are going to back him. The saddest part is that Obama is probably right.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wrong blog, there are more than enough political forums out there for you to express your political views.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You don't need to be a CEO to notice that Ford NA and Chrysler at least (you could argue GM also) are or have been sucking wind. We'll see what Ford's EcoBoost is about though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not Probably.

        Dude there are cars that still do not have AC as a standard feature, still cars that do not have power windows (origibaly introduced in 1940's)


        Auto industry is very backward
        • 6 Years Ago
        MTU 5.0,

        Substance doesn't matter, it's all about how someone makes you FEEL. Obama speaks in Hallmark Card platitudes that have little resemblance to the real world- but it feels good to the weak minded who can't think for themselves.

        Of course, these are the same people who believe the lies foisted upon us by the media night after night. The unemployment rate is at 4.8%, yet the media tells us how bad the job sector is. Foreclosures account for .83% of all mortgages, yet MSNBC reports that 8.3% of homes in the US are in foreclosure- and doesn't correct themselves. Add to it the fact that the media doesn't include the fact that 54% of foreclosures are from speculative speculative investors (70% in southern FL). And while this is going on, Obama and Hillary want responsible tax payers to fork over more of their hard earned money to help these people pay for their bad investments!

        Unfortuantely, the American educational system has been dumbed down over the past six decades in order to create a servile populus that does not know much about history or how the economy actually works, not to mention one that believes self-esteem is more important than hard work and actually accomplishing something. Because let's face it, without the government to do it for us- how will we ever be able to survive?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Holden

        This is autoblog. Not a soapbox. Come off it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        When the domestics were sleeping, that was true.Today, the big three, especially GM, will show the way in technology. We in the US now have the will to be the best. We always had the know-how but we were taking the lazy route, like we've been know to do in history.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How? What experience does Obama have in running an auto company or any business for that matter? He doesn't even have 5 years experience in the Senate yet.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Obama's comments were typical of a politician. From a technical standpoint, the man couldn't find his a$$ with both hands and a flashlight if he had written instructions. On virtually every point he was off base.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't care how the Auto Execs feel about the leading presidential candidates, just as I don't care how much the Oil Execs feel.

      Anyone care what my thoughts are leading presidential candidates? .... I didn't think so :-) LOL





      • 6 Years Ago
      Hardly surprising, especially considering the outright hostility that Sen Obama has for business and profits. Here in Pennsylvania he is advertising his first priority in an energy plan is punishing--his word--oil companies with "windfall profits." Hillary only wants to take them away.
      Hey, if they are windfall they are by definition accidental, not the result of any conspiracy or wrongdoing. So naturally any business executive would be nervous about Obama. First they came for the oil companies...

      Incidentally, don't union pension funds invest in publicly-traded oil company stocks? If they are so profitable, why not? Where is their fiduciary responsibility to their clients?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why should I?!?......When they're resources/people with the education and qualifications to present such research. Instead of someone with unknown credentials spouting what could be seen as a biased opinion... Right? ;-)
        And if you want a summary of my point, just to keep it simple. You're right, like I said, nobody wants to control businesses and profits, but when you make stupid decisions and then want the government to "help you out" Where do you think that money comes from?!? So yes, at that point, when my tax dollars are being used to form legislation, bail outs, or controlled in the form of tax cuts/credit that are at the level where city/states are basically whoring themselves out.... Again, yeah...that's my business.
        There are very few things I liked about Bush, but one of them was his hands off approach when it came to "helping" the automotive industry. The only legislation I think we may need is some trade agreement reforms, other than that, automotive CEO's need to dig themselves out their troubles.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Is this autoblog or an oil company / ceo activity blog? Lots of posts without automotive content on this topic...
      • 6 Years Ago
      They did not have to make sub compacts. How about a Cobalt with a 6speed transmission? After 9/11 it was pretty evident that gas prices would only go one way. With China and India prospering, GM realized that China/India would become a huge market they started building cars there. Who did not know that the increased demand for gas would drive up gas prices? If the auto execs could not figure that out they failed at their jobs. GM and Ford sell good small and mid-size cars in Europe, they just don't believe we should be able to buy them in the USA.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder how he'd poll with the oil execs?

      It's a shame that the Republicans dropped the ball by creating so much misery for everyone except the upper 15%. They have good ideas but not a lot of compassion. Greed is their undoing. I sense the political pendulum swinging Democratic.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Unfortunately, John McCain buys into the man made global warming hoax as much as the two Democrats. At least he won't be as blatantly anti-business and pro big government, raising taxes on everything that moves...
      • 6 Years Ago
      McCaint wants 100 more years of tears. That man, Obama and Hillary are all CFR sluts, working hard to destroy the middle class and enslave the rest of the nation by order of their Banking masters.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Big business supports the Republicans...
      Unions support the Democrats...
      Just like every other election...ever.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mike, what? Have you ever worked in an auto factory?

        Management controls the speed of production, on all machines and assembly lines. Tampering with those controls, if you know how (most require an electrical engineering degree) is a fireable offense. Artificially slowing production is a fireable offense.

        If there are slow downs, it's because management refuses to keep spare parts in stock for a machine they know will break down because they refuse to spend the money to repair it properly. Or because they decided we had too many tradesmen and laid half of them off.

        Push brooms? Hardly. They're operating large street sweepers and fork-lifts to remove chips, coolants, and other hazardous waste/spills. They're the ones who get cut first anyway, leaving a handful of sanitation workers to cover a dirty, oily machine floor. No pay cut will restore those jobs, management is content with the filth and working conditions as it is. Beyond that, no, pay is not equal; There are sometimes huge differences in payrates for jobs. Machine floor personnel for example make more than someone on the line.

        Don't get me wrong, there were liberties and excesses that my predecessors took when times where good, but management has it's fair share of guilt in letting it get that bad, of valuing short-term profits over long-term customer satisfaction. Regardless, today's workforce is a dedicated and professional bunch, and I take offense at your insinuations that we are otherwise.
        • 6 Years Ago
        and which one is the best example of the problems we face? Democrats & Unions, just as the excessive benefits to members helped trashed the auto industry the excessive benefits being promised to voters by Democrats is trashing SS and Medicare/Medicaid... and its only going to get worse
        • 6 Years Ago
        In relation to the exact context of this question, the biggest problem we face is the accelerating gap between rich and poor. It's the auto execs who trashed the domestic auto industry yet the results are layoffs for the common working man and multi-million dollar payouts to the incompetent execs who created the mess.

        Then you read these screwball comments on AB where if a company does good it's all because of the exec but if a company does bad it's the fault of the workers, the Evil(tm) unions or 'external factors outside the control of the CEO'. The ratio of management shills to working people must be extraordinarily high around here or something.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Disgruntled Goat,

        You're definately right about the widening gap between the haves and have-nots. At this rate there will be no middle class in this country.

        I disagree on many of your other points. First off, the blog doesn't state that this is only in relation to the domestic companies. I believe they are talking to everyone who does business in NA. CAFE is going to be extremely taxing on every auto manufacturer, not just the domestic ones.

        Second, while I agree that the execs have to be held more responsible for their crippling decisions to damn everything in the name of upping CURRENT profits and share value, you do have to look at the greedy unions that have caused the decision to cut costs in other areas due to the pigeon hold that the unskilled workers have over their companies. You're talking about a group of people who threaten new employees if they don't slow their pace so as not to make the others look bad. You're talking about a union who fought tooth and nail to pay the guy pushing the broom around the plant as much as the guy doing tight-tolerance machine work, who was already getting paid more than most manufacturing labor in this country.

        Now of course, things have changed some in that there are multi-tiered wages and other consessions made by the union, however, it was this greed that helped (and i say helped, because the execs should have taken action 20 years ago) the domestic industry to where it is now. It's always been easier to save $ on a part than to fight the union, it wasn't until that part needed to be bulletproof to stay competetive that they finally straightened things out.

        I have to sit back and laugh at the current political situation. All the democrats had to do is find a leader they could agree on and it was a lock. Now they have slung enough mud at eachother to give McCain a fighting chance, it does help that he's more towards the middle than either of the demos too. Personally, I was hoping that a good leader would emerge to take over in this terrible time for our country, be that Democrat or Republican, now I think it's just the lesser of the evils again.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Correct, BluePariah.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dan Gurney would get a 99%.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think Obama's increase is even higher than hers. Which is the reason i want to vote for him.
      • 6 Years Ago
      People engaged in productive business support the least socialist candidate.

      Imagine that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      IMHO, the auto industry throughout the US would be in a much healthier position if they could shed the tremendous legacy costs of Healthcare...

      and if the next administration tackles the healthcare issue, this Could help the automakers in the long-term.

      They will still have to shudder plants and shed UAW members....but the result will be the same....
        • 6 Years Ago
        We have socialized medicine in the US, it's called VA hospitals- and they don't work that well. Socialized medicine works so well in Canada that private medical practices are popping up across the country because people are tired of waiting so long to see a doctor, let alone a specialist. As of a few years ago, Chicago had more MRI machines than in all of Canada. Socialized medicine works so well, it is common for Canadians who live near the US border come here for medical attention. Americans receive more medical attention at a faster rate than in any country with socialized medicine. The issues the American medical system has is directly related to government sticking its ugly head in, trying to control things.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you want an administration that will tackle America's awful healthcare system, you want Democrats. Heck, I'd say the Democrats don't go far enough: you want full, socialized medical care like the rest of the developed world has.

        When you have the US government paying more per capita for medical care than Sweden (which has cradle-to-grave coverage for dental, medical and drug), while it's citizens and corporations are _also_ paying for procedures and/or insurance, I think it's safe to say that the US system is totally broken.

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