• Nov 20th 2008 at 3:16PM
  • 80
Wow, what an amazing piece of political theater that just went down. As we reported, four senators from auto producing state (two Democrats and two Republicans) led by Michigan Senator Carl Levin have reached an agreement on a compromise bailout bill for automakers. They were set to announce details of the compromise bill at 2:30PM, but before they could, a team of Congressional Democrats led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid walked into the room in which the press conference was to be held and announced that they didn't support the compromise bill and that CEOs of the Big 3 would have to come back after the Thanksgiving holiday and present a plan on how any loans that might be given would be used.
Back to that compromise bill. The big stalemate, other than whether U.S. automakers should get a bailout at all, is where the money would come from. Democrats want to take $25 billion from the $700 billion bailout fund for financial institutions while Republicans and the White House want to re-appropriate $25 billion in loans that have already been approved for investments in green technology. Levin revealed the compromise to be a version of the Republican's plan, with concessions made to Democrats in that certain environmental restrictions would remain in tact and that loan repayments would go directly back to replenish the $25 billion fund for green investments.

What do we take away from all this? The Big 3 will get no assurance of federal aid before Thanksgiving, and there's still no guarantee they'll get help after the break. The ball is again back in the court of the Big 3 CEOs, who need to show up in December with detailed plans of how each would use any federal aid. The Democrats are calling for "accountability" and "viability" in their proposals, which are due to Congress by December 2.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Congress wants an 80% stake in the automakers, while they use the taxpayer's money.

      I don't want very many Big3 cars now... I REALLY don't want 'gub'ment sedan', any more than I would want gub'ment cheese.

      All the CEOs and Gettelfinger, all find themselves in a nice little show-chorus with their hats in hands, and it isn't their fault, it is the economic collapse. Not our fault!!!!

      I don't want them to burn, but when this is the dog-and-pony show between pathetic businessmen, advantage-taking union leaders, and vile corrupt politicians who's hands are already bloody...

      Let the whole lot of them burn. Government included. Maybe the forest will grow back fresh after the blaze of a forest fire. Fire can be cleansing, even while being dangerous to those close to it. I am getting far the hell away.

        • 6 Years Ago
        If that's true, I can kiss the Mustang, Camaro and Corvette goodbye...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Geez... it's only $25 billion.... just give the guys a happy thanksgiving for God's sake....
        • 6 Years Ago
        What make you think they won't be back the next Thanksgiving?

        I'm sorry but I don't buy this whole bailout crap. Do an investigation into accountability on the part of the people who run these companies. Then I'll believe in the bailout. People don't ask for a bailout if they make poor career or investment choices. Multiply this case by the millions of people in America. With high probability this occur everyday across America. While, the auto industry only employ"ed" thousands.

        Use the bailout market and start a new industry to employ the thousands of unemployed GM workers. Maybe the time of America building automobile is over. America is dying because we're failing to adapt and change with the time. China adapted to the world's needs and look how successful they've been in recent years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, $25B isn't all that much when the other screwed-ups are getting $700B.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Problem with gov asking for a plan is that this assumes that these senators know how to run an auto company can can recognize a good plan from a bad plan. If these lawmakers are totally clueless as to how to run a company, how would they know whether the Big 3's plans are viable plans or not? Or better yet, why don't we just hire these politicians to fix the companies?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm gonna bet the 3 amiogos will do right next time and "downgrade" to First class tickets, leaving the private jets parked at home :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        No way they'll lower themselves to flying commercial. Part of the problem with these corporate meatheads is they don't see that flying in a private jet really IS a problem in the first place. You can't fix a problem if you don't even understand that it exists.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah I can see tomorrows headline. "CEO's of Big 3 burned alive by angry mob of jobless workers and customers after company shutdowns"
      • 6 Years Ago
      How many Engineers has the D3 worked to death?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The fix is simple. No more overpaid, non car guy CEO's. No more UAW. Right there frees up a good chunk of money. I'm thinking that 45-50 grand a year for the CEO plus stock options should make them want to head up a profitable company.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How is Mullaly doing the best job?
        • 6 Years Ago
        They all have quality in check now. Ford is not leading this charge.

        Who can tell if bringing the Fiesta is a good idea. To make it as good a car here as it is in Europe is would make it too expensive. And gas is cheap now.

        Bringing the Ka? It's a crappy car (go see one in person), and gas is $2.20 a gallon now. Dumb idea.

        Furthermore, how do you credit Mulally for this stuff? GM brought Opels here as Saturns already. That's where your genius friend Mulally got the idea from.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, I think Mulally is the most "non-car guy" in the bunch, and is doing the best job.
        • 6 Years Ago
        LS...I was talking about Bill Ford bringing quality back for FORD...not the Big 3. Also, Ford seems to be leading the Big 3.

        And the Fiesta will be a good idea. Who says gas prices won't skyrocket again?

        Also, I am talking about the NEW Ka. Not the one that was built for over a decade.

        And Tagg has some good points. As for GM having success with their imports, thats questionable. The Astra isn't selling well. Neither is the G8. Tagg is right, Ford imported first. Unlike GM, Ford will most likely deliver on their imports.

        I credit Mullaly for this stuff because of the current slew of cars that have just come out or have been previewed recently.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, I know you're talking about the new Ka. Makes no difference. It's the whole city car genre. They're built cheap because they are cheap.

        The brand created here by Ford was Merkur. The Scorpio was a model, as was the XR4Ti. How you can attributed either of those to Mullaly (who was at Boeing until recently) I have NO idea. Oddly, the person responsible for the Merkur XR4Ti was a fellow called Bob Lutz. This Bob person doesn't work at Ford right now, he works at GM.

        More recent cars built in Europe and sold in the US include the Cadillac Catera (1997-2001). Older cars date back to at least the Ford Anglia (1948-1967).

        And the idea that "unlike GM, Ford will deliver" is nothing but bias. As you point out, Ford has failed at this before, and as the Astra and Aura point out, just bringing good cars doesn't guarantee success. So "delivering" is not necessarily even predictable.
        • 6 Years Ago
        LS...your kidding, right? Sure, Bill Ford helped get quality back on track and put a few programs in motion.

        But Mullaly is bringing a much needed vehicle here: the Fiesta. He is also bringing the Transit Connect here. And also wants the Ka to be brought over. Products are starting to become more competitive and are looking better.

        If anything, he has done more in the last couple years than Bill Ford did during his reign (think Freestyle, Five Hundred, not bringing the Euro Focus here, etc.).
      • 6 Years Ago
      these fackers are beyond corrupt-pelosi ried bush etc etc---they obviously have a reason to see the auto companies go down--they suck, give me 10 minutes in a room with each of them and a baseball bat
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't know where you get your information, but Nancy put up a temper trantrum when the Dems took over Congress two years ago.

      She was the new HOUSE SPEAKER and as a sainted and truly important VIP, it was inappropriate for her to fly back and forth to San Francisco in a Gulfstream or even her own assigned 737.

      She DEMANDED that a widebody jet, preferably a 747 like the President has, (Why does he have one?), be made available to carry her and her cronies back and forth, and she got it. After all it's only government taxpayer -furnished money and she hasn't asked that the government close down a lane on the freeways around her home like the people-loving leftists in Russsia did for their exclusive use... yet. We wouldn't want her to waste time in traffic would we?

      Waht si this Bull Crap that one of her flunkies demanded she fly in a private 747 for "security reasons"? You have to be a an utter fool or a paid spinmeister.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Its funny you guys/girls keep attacking Detroit for building these huge gas guzzling SUV and trucks....of course not to mention most if not all on capitol hill drive around in a Yukon? funny isn't?
      Nothing on Toyota's decisions to build these huge trucks and suv? Sequoia anyone?
      They built want we bought, period. It is very simple, we blame them for building what we were buying? huh?
      Now lets not forgot to mention the Honda yes Honda the darling of you all, lets see...Pilot? hum Suv..so Honda jumped in the fray, why? oh yea cause we wanted an suv...pickup truck, the Ridgeline..oh that's right Honda went and build a pick up truck also, why, cause we wanted one..
      The point is, ever car manufacture jumped into this, why because it is what we all bought and wanted no one is exempt from this, not even your darling Honda, opps, Honda just announced a 50k reduction in production for the coming year...opps...
      If banks would lend..ie GMAC,Ford Motor Credit, Chrysler financial people would buy. No money to lend, no buying of auto's!
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Pip,

        Plus, if you're not building to what your customer's want, you're ignoring a huge amount of profit to be made there.

        If a company's profit is to be made because they sell far more large trucks than anyone else, I don't care. Same is true of small cars.

        Whatever it is you sell that's the meat and potatoes of your sales, that's likely to be where your profit is.

        Rather than listen to your customers and build them the best product you can that meets their needs and requirements, you seem to wish to dictate to them what they should buy instead because what they want doesn't suit your tastes. There's another word for that somewhere.

        Recall that full-size trucks were still selling well(lower percentages year to year, but high numbers) during the high gas prices this year. They still remained in the top 10 and will likely regain the top spots eventually.
        • 6 Years Ago
        PIP))))) gm builds more fuel efficient then anyone else on this planet!!!!!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Basically what's happening here is that Pelosi and Reid want to stall until Obama is sworn in. Then, using all the Dems combined power and clout, they will unload money to the automakers with HUGE strings attached.

      This is setting up a situation where our government will be dictating to the automakers exactly what kinds of cars they can and cannot produce.

      In other words, our government is about to take ownership of the American auto industry all in the name of "what's best for the country".
        • 6 Years Ago
        If they want the money, why shouldn't they? You can't give out that kind of money and just let them keep on going making more bad decisions.

        Could you imagine giving them 25B and then they come out with another model of the F-150 instead of the awesome Ford Focus hatch they sell in Europe?

        They have been shooting themselves in the foot for the past decade. You go past lots not FILLED with pickups and huge SUVs no one wants anymore. Meanwhile Toyota, Honda, and everyone else who is stay afloat are selling cars people want. Mazdaspeed3s, Matrix AWDs, hybrid SUVs with great gas mileage and reliability.

        I mean, come on already. If they want the money, they are going to have to eat ramen like everyone else for a change.

        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Pip:

        That's funny, of all the vehicles you mentioned, they all have Domestic links.

        MazdaSpeed3 = Cooperates with Ford sharing engines, platforms etc. back and forth. Plus, the MS3 should hardly be considered fuel efficient compared to the lesser versions. Bad selection there to make your point.

        Matrix AWD = Also sold as the Pontiac Vibe. Most reviewers tended to actually like the Vibe better.

        Hybrid SUV's - Hmm, last I checked, the Ford Escape was the first hybrid SUV. Chrysler and GM also have their versions out as well(at least Chrysler did for a short time). Other than the Highlander and RX, the only Hybrid SUV's I see are domestic(including the Mazda Tribute since it's an Escape clone). Of the 11 models I counted, 2 are imports and both are under Toyota's umbrella. 3 if you want to be picky and include the Mazda Tribute Hybrid.

        As far as gas mileage is concerned, GM is typically on top of each respective class in MPG ratings. It's an illusion to assume that the imports always offer better mileage, the facts just don't back it up.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That actually sounds about right. Not that this is limited to one specific party, but didn't something similar happen back with a hostage situation and the hostages were conveniently released when a new President (Reagan, maybe?) was sworn in?

        Too bad that doesn't happen until January and by that time they'll need $100B.

        Stop calling it a handout everyone. It's a loan. Nobody is getting free money. God forbid the guys that you say "ran these companies into the ground" give up and cause hundreds of thousands of people to be out of jobs. What ran these companies into the ground is the fact that imports built in other companies are cheaper to produce without the built in cost of taking care of their employees and therefore are able to have more money spent on quality control but still cost the same as their American counterparts (that's a run-on somewhere, but I dont care).

        Shame on you, Rick, Alan, and Bob for not wanting to contribute to the worst unemployment rates in recent history!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Did I miss something? Isn't it a little hypocritical to ask the auto executives to provide a 'plan to recovery or repayment' utilizing fed. funds, but did nothing of the sort with Bear Sterns, AIG, Fannie/Freddie..?

      btw, I would give anything to see Lutz show up next time instead of Wagoner. ....I can see it now.... Lutz flies into Dulles in his MIG, takes a Z06 or Viper ACR to Capital Hill steps... someone has already delivered his electric scooter to the Hill, which he drives directly to the Commitee chambers, all the while smoking a cigar... once the committee members take their seats, Lutz rips them all new ones... after reminding our elected officials the role the US auto industry played in WWII and the economy since then, he politely asks them to open up their wallets. If the ungrateful politicians again question the need for $25 billion in bridge loads, he stands up and walks out.
      .... I can only dream...

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