• Nov 15, 2008
Now that the domestic industry is in dire need of cash, the American taxpayer is being bombarded with facts and figures purporting to show just how vital the industry is for the health of the overall economy. Hundreds of thousands of jobs at the automakers, millions more from suppliers and dealers -- the numbers seem to change each time, but they're always substantial. Problem is, it seems only GM and Ford ever get quoted, so Chrysler went ahead and whipped up its own little video. Hit the jump to view Chrysler's 2:42 docudrama filled with still more numbers touting the industry's importance. For example, active Ford, GM, and Chrysler employees make $22 billion per year in salaries, and the three companies pay $21 billion in retirement and health care costs. Chrysler also states that the amount of people whose wages depend on autos either directly or indirectly are equal to the population of South Carolina.

[Source: YouTube]



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  • 42 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Unless they can revamp their entire product lines to be much better, more desirable vehicles (no suvs, much better fuel economy, much higher quality, actually listen to public), that $25 billion and what ever money follows is going down the toilet. The big three can't compete when gas could run to $4+ per gallon.
      Stan
      • 6 Years Ago
      We must not as a nation forget the role the high cost of our dependence on foreign fuel played in the demise of our automakers. The exorbitant cost of gas the past year has done serious damage to our economy and society. We need to take lessons from our mistakes.WE also need to get out from under the grip our dependence on fore gin oil has on us. Why not take some of these billions and invest in America becoming energy independent. Driving an electric car would cost the equivalent of 60 cents a gallon. The electricity could be generated by solar or wind power. Green technology would create millions of badly needed new jobs. What America needs is a green revolution. It is time for us to move forward with alternative energy. I just read Jeff Wilson's new book The Manhattan Project of 2009. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is concerned about the downward spiral of our economy and it's effect on our society and would like to see our country become energy independent!


      • 6 Years Ago
      bla bla bla.

      the japanese companies will pick up the slack and have to up production and hire more US workers.

      not to mention other companies will buy up the plants to up their production.

      they make it sound like 100% of the parts suppliers are US based companies. what % of parts are the big 2.5 buying from overseas?


      go ahead spend my money to build more cars that the american public cant and wont buy.

        • 6 Years Ago
        "the japanese companies will pick up the slack and have to up production and hire more US workers"

        I seriously doubt the Japanese and European firms are going to want to hire 400,000 UAW employees.

        "not to mention other companies will buy up the plants to up their production." Once again wrong, you have huge plants with billions of dollars in machinery meant to built a certain type of vehicle. It would cost more to retrofit the old plants then just to make new ones. All those old plants would just be leveled.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Remember, Chrysler is owned by those Wall Street types, Cerberus. Plus it's run by Nardelli, the same crash and burn CEO that messed up Home Depot.
      • 6 Years Ago
      most people dont realize ford is only about 1 year away from making a profit. the cars and trucks they are making currently are built just as well if not better their japanese counterparts and their management is actually working somewhat correctly they might not even need the bailout since they have some 22 billion on hand.... gm and chrysler thats a different story, but to all those who say let them die grow up.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I felt like they were selling me the whole time? If they would have listened to customers they would not have been in this mess. Reinvesting in your operation rather than pay large saleries to CEOs might have been a better idea too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm curious to know how much it would cost us to LET the companies fail. I know it would cost us in unemployment but is there anything else it would affect? And what would the figure be?
      • 6 Years Ago
      As horrid as some of Detroit's products are (With the Sebring/Avenger, Compass/Patriot/Caliber, Nitro/Liberty, Commander, NA Focus, Escape/Mariner, G3/Aveo, Uplander being the absolute of Detroit and the worst in the competition) I'm rooting for them and I hope the government puts some conditions with the bailout, such as restructuring the management of all three companies, replacing them with sensible, intelligent, car loving and long term thinking human beings instead of the donkeys currently plowing Detroit further into the ground.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree with you in most of the cars you mention except the explorer which if equipped hybrid it gives better mileage than most cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Abe: It bothers me that so many here are so ignorant about the current state of affairs in the auto industry. I expect this sort of idiocy form folks who don't follow the auto industry.

        The big 3 woke up with their balls in a vice, and this has NOTHING to do with their product line. Remember, gas in NJ as of 11:00 p.m last night was $1.89 for a gallon of regular @ an Exxon station.

        This has more to do with the CREDIT situation that has killed sales for all players in the auto game.

        Now, let's talk about the bailout. It would have been more practical and useful to keep the auto-industry running, let the "bad" banks fail and capitalize a new bank to get credit moving. All for less then the $750B given to the vultures on Wall street.

        Banks took "OUR" money, and use it for acquisitions, bonuses and dividends. With the noted exception of JP MorganChase they have done nothing for the embattled home owners.

        GM, Ford were on the right track, with competitive products. Problem is the track now ends at edge of Niagara Falls.


      • 6 Years Ago
      The only thing this video does is confirm the extent to the amount of resources wasted by the Big Three. Nowhere did Chrysler's video point out that their troubles are self-inflicted from poor management decisions, shoddy cars, and exorbitant wage and benefits packages.

      Yes, call or write your congressman. Tell them to not further the waste of scarce resources. Hundreds of billions of dollars worth, according to this video.

      And by the way, it's not as if the labor and capital currently employed by the Wasteful Three will evaporate and disappear. New efficient producers will buy it and begin producing better quality cars at lower cost. They have to, or they'll end up like the Incompetent Three.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mark, you need to seriously get your head out of your a$$. As I said in a previous post, if the 2.5 fail, there would be no reason for foriegn auto makers to pick up the slack. The only thing they would pick up is their left over litter after they beat feet to other shores including Mexico to build cheaper and cheaper. This is a fact. The only reason they build here is to avoid import quotas imposed by Reagan. If the quotas become a mute issue, than tell me what reason or incentive a builder has to stay here? Union or non-union, it still is very expensive to build anything in the US.
        But fear not, if people like you have your wish come true, third world status is just around the corner.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah. Millions of people working and bringing home paychecks. That's SO wasteful.

        Not.

        I will concur that there have been bad management decisions (in Chrysler's case, most made by Daimler during its ownership), but if you want to lay the wage and benefit question at anyone's feet, head for UAW HQ. I'm sure Mr. Middlefinger will be happy to discuss how he's screwed 'em. The companies have worked very hard to "get lean" ... the UAW fought tooth and nail to keep the "fat" in the paychecks. Watch closely when the UAW gets their hands on the VEBAs (if the companies are still around in '10 when this is supposed to happen). I guarantee they'll blow through that money like it's nothing.

        As for shoddy cars, have you even LOOKED at a JD Power report lately? American cars in general have gotten to the point where they are on par with Honda & Toyota. Are there still some bad ones? Sure. I won't argue that. But quality has gotten much, much better, and will continue to do so.

        And if you think other manufacturers are simply going to swoop in and take over if GM, Ford and Chrysler go away, think again. The Japanese and Koreans, not to mention the Chinese, will want NOTHING to do with the UAW or the workers chained to that old, outmoded organization. Nor will they want to take on the costs associated with retooling "old" factories. Maybe they'll take one or two, but all of them? No way. Keep dreaming.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Making cars no one wants IS wasteful. It's like the make work pork programs Congress is famous for. It's no different. If you're worried about the workers, just give them the money and let them sit at home. It will cost far less. But really, the US needs to better educate its young, retrain workers as they get displaced with useful skills, and ease the transition without it becoming a welfare state like Western Europe. America's work ethic and can do spirit made it great. I think we lost some of that in the 30 years.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "they're desperate"

      Yep, when companies are losing money and spending millions on stupid ads campaigns instead of fixing the business model--well, it shows stupidity.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This isn't rocket science. More money going out than coming in equals it's over. Of course the gov't has never figured that out.

      Now... what to do about, re. the not-so-big three. Suppose they get their 25, or 50 billion, or whatever it ends up being. If business remains as usual, well, it's over. If not now then later. This economic problem the country is in isn't going to suddenly go away for at least 2-3 years, perhaps longer. Will the influx of money help the big three last that long. Not unless each has a plan to greatly reduce the outflow of cash. To stop that outflow requires a TEAM effort - management, suppliers, and union. And today (Sat 15Nov) the UAW president, Ron Gettelfinger, says no more concessions. Okay Ron, you're an idiot. Let's see, concessions or no job, but hey, Gettelfinger gets paid regardless.

      The fact remains I don't see a plan to do anything differently by the Big Three. Too many models, too many of the same models with different badges, too many plants, too many workers. Slash and burn, slash and burn. Get sized to your market. A lot of brands we've come to know and love and respect, icons, should be on the table.

      We can argue all day long about making the products people want, but if you're making a fine car and make a million of them, but the market is only for 100K, well, you need some serious rethink.

      And please get off the exec bonus thing. GM is losing over a $1B a month. Cut every bonus and it doesn't mean one hundredth of a percent. Yeah, it doesn't look good and no it shouldn't happen, particularly if it's tax dollars at stake, but it doesn't mean squat to the bottom line. Get over it. i.e. AIG's big spa and bath party - $430,000, all of which was paid for by SPONSORS except $23,000. Stupid for them to do in the manner they did and not being forthright and upfront. It would have done wonders for the image and their current discomfort, but $23K, come on.

      I'll admit I'm on the fence for the bailout (is it a grant, or a loan) of the Big Three, but will be totally against it if it's business as usual..and that goes for you too UAW.

      Yup, it's going to be painful for a lot of folks, but there are really big lessons to be learned here. The biggest is that nothing is forever - we all need to look closely at our own lives and spending and retirement because no matter how this comes out, a retirement that comes with the job is nice, but in the end it's YOUR responsibility and no one else's.

      I hear the screams already... what about the promises made. Sorry folks but the dollars you're getting are going to be reduced, not eliminated, but reduced and you'd better get used to it because if you continue to get the those same number of dollars pretty soon ain't no one gett'en no legacy retirement dollars. Get over it and get on with your life. For the good of all of us it cannot be business as usual.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Correction: absolute of Detroit = absolute worst of Detroit.
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