• Nov 20, 2008
CNBC is reporting that four U.S. senators have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to help the Big 3 automakers in Detroit. Those senators include Michigan Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, Ohio Republican George Voinovich and Missouri Republican Christopher Bond. Details of the bill are not yet available, but a news conference is scheduled for 2:30PM EST, at which time we should learn more. It will likely be some compromise between the Democrats' wish for taking an extra $25 billion out of the $700 billion financial bailout fund and the plan supported by the White House that would allow automakers to use the already approved $25 billion in low interest loans for anything they wanted rather than just investing in green technology.
Still, CNBC says the bill faces some big procedural hurdles, not the least of which is that senators want to go home soon for the Thanksgiving holiday. Trying to squeak in a vote before the break will be tough, and lawmakers may have to reconvene in December to vote on the bill. Plus, there's no guarantee the House of Representatives will pass it even if the Senate would.

Regardless, Wall Street seems pleased with the news as shares of General Motors and Ford have jumped, with the latter hitting as high as $4 after ending the day yesterday at $2.79.

Stay tuned, we'll bring you all the details on the new automaker bailout bill when they become available. Thanks for the tip, everyone!

UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have held a press conference in which they said that the compromise agreement reached by the above senators would not be approved, and instead that Congress will come back in December and hold more hearings with the CEOs of the Big 3. Each automaker has been charged with the task of showing "accountability and viability" at this second round of hearings, specifically telling Congress exactly how they plan to use any bailout money they might be given.

UPDATE 2: For details on the compromise bill, click here.

[Source: CNBC]


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  • 48 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not their fault?

      How about how the fact that they couldn't even generate a profit when the market was on the upswing? Then the market crashes, and they lose even more money?

      It's completely their fault. I don't see why I have to bear the brunt of their crappy decisions, or bear the brunt of Wallstreet's myopic investing, or the careless consumers who bites off more mortgage than he/she can chew.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Big 3 need this bridge loan........it is not a handout....everyone keeps crying that GM made large SUV's and it's there fault? Does anyone see any new 2004 Suburbans out there? No.......GM built what people wanted to buy! Just like saying I'm fat because of McDonalds? Or I got cancer from smoking? Did these companies force you to purchase there products.......no the produced what was asked for! GM has SUV's and also has small cars.........Just like you can buy a freakin salad at McDonalds.........Quit moaning about the past..........America needs these companies to stay intaked at leaset through the worse economy that most of us have ever seen. You want to live in America........then Support America! Support our economy and all of the workers involved. BK for these companies will only hurt the middle class.......the blue collar workers......BUY AMERICAN!
      • 6 Years Ago

      So many twists and turns in this saga. Wonder how it will turn out.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Josef's plan to save the American Auto Industry

      Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg
      Kaiser
      Hudson
      Nash
      Studebaker
      Packard
      Oldsmobile
      Plymouth

      All wonderful American nameplates that produced some amazing American iron. They’re all dead! Now with the remaining three auto giants on life support and only months away from going broke, America could lose all of her remaining brands along with millions of jobs. This sounds very similar to what happened across the pond in England where such prestigious and well-known brands as Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Range Rover, Jaguar and Mini couldn’t survive and are now owned by firms outside the UK. Other famous brands like MG seem to die and get reborn year after year. More still just don’t exist anymore. One bright spot is Lotus, still British owned but with cars powered by Toyota engines!

      We could learn a few things from the Brits because despite the collapse of their automotive industry (yes, I know super small in comparison) their will and skill at building a uniquely British car survives to this day. Lotus, Morgan, Farbio and a few more are creating superb cars that can’t be classified as “commodity” products. In a way they found a parade and got out in front. They are unique…special.

      What’s special/unique about American cars?
      Price? Nope.
      Quality? Nope.
      Luxury? Nope.
      Reliability? Nope.
      Safety? Nope.
      Tech? Nope.
      Power? Nope.
      Handling? Nope.
      Styling? Nope.
      Fuel Economy/Hybrid/Fuel Cell tech? Heck no!

      Why is it that we’re always preaching the benefits of the free market and capitalism yet it seems most don’t get what makes a business or a company truly revolutionary…a “must have” item.

      We need to create the iPhone of cars. The Fed Ex of the Auto industry.

      What if the Auto industry got in to the boutique car business that includes a return to coach building, etc. With this major shift we could even see modern day Auburns, Duesenbergs and Hudsons running alongside Cadillacs, Jeeps and Fords!

      How do we pull it off? As the auto giants search for answers (and beg for money) they should create their own bailout plan by joining forces and create a “new” American Motors Corporation with the red, white and blue representing each of the remaining 3.

      Who will lead the charge? Demote all of the current heads and appoint a new “Revolution In Motion” leadership team that consists of the following: Chip Foose, William G. Davidson, Steve Jobs, Arlen Ness, Stella McCartney, Tamara Mellon, 50 Cent, Ralph Lauren, Sean Combs, Eric Schmidt, Jay Leno and Warren Buffet. Other advisors may include Ed Welburn and Lido Iacocca.

      Think of it. With these amazingly talented people developing the new vision for the American Auto Industry, we’re bound to not only see some amazing designs but also products people the world over will lust after. In fact, this team may come up with something that isn’t even a car that helps keep us ahead of the game. We may also realize that the numerous jobs that could potentially be lost if the big three fold just need to be retrained and repurposed to support a restructured organization. Better yet, lets use all the manufacturing capacity to support other growing auto manufacturers outside of the US. Hmmm, instead of having Toyota or Nissan build new plants in Alabama, Mississippi or Texas, use the existing work force and convert current Big 3 plants over to produce their cars! That’s right…the new American Motors Corporation will not only build the best American Iron…but we’ll use our best (workers) to build their stuff too!!!

      Just a thought!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chip Foose...designs nice one off HOT RODS! But his F150 with Ford and the "Stallion" Mustang that was going to sell "thousands" were total disasters from a production standpoint and his name has taken a hit for it.
        Willie Davidson....added accessories and an image of being "American" to a brand that hasn't changed in 100 years. (Car companies have already figured out that accessories are important)
        Steve jobs is good at small electronics/ user experience, not products with thousands of parts with a network of suppliers and labor unions. And cars need to look a little better than a smoothed out bar of soap with trendy colors and materials.
        Arlen Ness...the BIKE BUILDER?! why not just name the Teutuls as "head of styling for this here new company"
        Stella Mc Cartney and Ralph Lauren know fashion, and Ralph Lauren has created the ultimate high end brand in this country, but its easy to be an aspirational brand when your socks are $150. Ask a high end company to create products for the masses to weather an economic downturn and they look at you like they are crazy, not to mention the damage to their brand image by becoming "common"
        Sean Combs and 50 Cent!? what.... so every car comes with a bullet proof vest, and the add campaign will be "buy it because I say you should"
        Coach building!? Do you know what that costs!? It was an expensive luxury in the 20's/30's god knows what it will costs today. Maybe the Ferrari P4/5 as a re-skinned Enzo will get you in the ball park. Then how does it meet crash standards if every car is different? This might be an industry that employs dozens, not hundred of thousands.
        This is the kind of clueless dribble that makes my teeth hurt. People who think they know how to design/build and run a car company then realize what is actually involved.... there eyes turn as large a dinner plates and there jaw drops to the floor. But its easy for people to talk in generalities and be as vague as possible with a subject they know nothing about other than they read a couple of magazines and blogs and they are suddenly an "expert"
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mjk, I admit that my group of folks to lead the charge may not be the best “who’s who” list, but I honestly believe you missed the point. Like it or not all of those folks (even Curtis Jackson) have brands that most consumers swear by. They lust after their products and price usually isn’t an issue. Most also have very broad product offerings that cover various categories.

        Your teeth, head, and arse should hurt if you truly believe that these failing companies have nothing to gain by “studying” success. To hell with the names! Replace ‘em with your own “who’s who” if you like…makes no difference to me.

        Your one of those guys that wants to keep serving the masses. That guy that’s too scared to blow things up and start over. Well guess what, the masses don’t want most of that crap anymore. There are tons of reasons why the Big 3 are struggling but I believe they’re having serious trouble because they’re not coming up with products people stand in line for hours to buy like the iPhone.

        Oh, I’m sorry…you clearly made points why using folks that “don’t get” the rocket science that’s the auto industry have clearly failed before. Let’s take your Chip Foose example. I’d bet that the failure wasn’t Foose it was the fact that consumers understood that what they were getting was a freakin’ F-150!

        Willie G added chrome and accessories. You claim the Big 3 tried that. Again, your missing the point. You’d have to pry a Harley out from under its owner’s cold dead body! Don’t think you’d have the same problem getting a Chrysler Sebring owner to part with that mess.

        Your points about Steve Jobs…well, I’ll just stop there. If numb-nuts like you and others in the auto industry “studied” what makes the Apple experience “special” then we probably wouldn’t be in this mess now!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Very nicely put, J!
        • 6 Years Ago
        BTW, lotus is owned by Malaysian company Proton. Lotus was also owned by GM in 1980's. Yet, they still produce great cars.

        It just shows that the car company can deliver, no matter who the owner is, or if it has declared bankruptcy in the past.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're right Dynamo...that's my bad. Proton is the majority owner. You're also right...still great cars of late.
      • 6 Years Ago
      To me the bailout just proves that not only does the average consumer (who carries about $1000 in credit card debt) not know how to do their financing, but also corporations.

      Stop spending money you don't have! How hard is that to understand? If you can't generate a profit, cut wages. Heaven forbid you cut wages/benefits from $140k a year to $96k a year, that'd be TOO unfair.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Aki... your point dis-proves itself here.

        The 'bailout' is funded by deficit spending. Therefore, the government also does not know this 'lesson' along with consumers and corporations...
      • 6 Years Ago
      It will happen either way, now or when Obama takes over.

      It's better to loan them the money now than to charge off billions in debt to the taxpayers if they go bankrupt.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "ScionSouth"

        Nice name since that's where Scion ranks on the JD Power Vehicle Dependability study. WAY SOUTH!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Happy_penguin, why don't you go pack up your crap and flame people on another auto board? And to close the loop, Brubeck was a jazz carpetbagger who was the Kenny G of the 50s and 60s. He may have worked himself up to respectability through sales, but put him up against a McCoy Tyner or Wynton Kelly or Red Garland any day, and maybe you'll get wise ... When you flame actual users here, it's in poor taste. Apologies to the rest of the folks here who didn't come to see this sideshow.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A lttle here, a chip there, a crack , a chunk off the corner, a little bit off of there....the lack of and refusal to accept responsibility, the mismanagement, the stupidity, the banks, the borrowers, the greed, the production of inferior products, the wars in Afganastan and Iraq, the UAW type unions, the outrageous cost of health care.........all of these and more are reasons for flaws or have created flaws, defects or weaknesses in the foundation of our economy.......now we have a president elect that advocates greater redistribution of wealth.....no idea where it is heading but hopefully real true American ingenuity can find a way the make the foundation of our economy stonger than it has ever been before.........before a collapse takes place.
      If not, who will get us out of these bad times....?
      The Chinese .the Germans??..no...
      we can do it ourselves...
        • 6 Years Ago
        They have all started to build some fine vehicles and from what I read ,many are on par with many foreign companies but the the "imports" have gained a very strong foothold because the products GM, Ford and Chrysler built up until a very few years ago were sub par in many respects.
        Domestics have always beenfair to good but Imports have been better buys for the past 25 years or so...better value for our dollars than the majority of the domestics with the exception of a few models, oterwise the would not have gained the foothold they now have....GM ,Ford and Chrysler have always produced the very best pick up trucks.They have only one major competitor now but still outsell it.
        In twenty plus years I have driven an Oldsmobile, 2 Subarus, a Camry, 2 Fords, 3 Chevrolets and am currently driving a Chrysler van and old Lumina. Estimate a total of over a million miles on all of them.....just a fact....the Camry had 345k on it when i sold it....the oldsmoblie right at 200k but was falling apart.........the Camry cost me $500+ for an alternator.....no repairs just routine maintenance, tires , battery, Tune up and still running and in very good shape...one lumina has cost me $$..the Olds cost $$...one subaru cost a few $$..one Ford cost me for a trans....the van I drive now has recently cost $600 for minor repairs(now at 60K).......I drive American for now but I'm not sure at all what our next vehicles will be...neither of us drive like we used to so teh next ones will have to be durable, trouble free and be able to driven for 150 to 200K without repair. I do not drive hard, I drive to make the car last and I will spend my $$ on what I consider the best car for the $$.....a CTS may be the one but we will wait ........could be one of a dozen other quality cars including Hyundai.... yes,will just have to wait...2010 will be a great year for the auto industry...so many new innovations, so many new cars ...technology is changing for the better, selections should be difficult for the consumer because of the predicted offerings....should be a banner year IF the economy uprights itself.

        Yep, its it will take a while for the American buyers to accept the fact that domestic manufacturers are producing quality vehicles, but youknow what?? They have no one to blame but themselves for the attitude the American buying public has about the domestics.....no one at all.
        It may not be too late...hopefully not.
        • 6 Years Ago
        As long as people like you keep saying that the domestics produce low quality products without even considering them, the domestics will never recover and likely will go away.
      • 6 Years Ago
      With any luck, yes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really hope the bailout doesn't pass. Especially if the compromises in it dictate how the money will be spent or limitations on what the manufacturers can do to resolve their cost structure problems. Frankly I think GM (in particular) needs to go bankrupt soon. The unions donated a LOT of money to the soon-to-be-in-office administration and they will want their payback for it. Labor laws are likely to change so that even bankruptcy doesn't help GM get out of its union obligations.

      Right now GM makes more worthwhile products than most other auto manufacturers. G8, CTS, Corvette, Solstice, those are just the highlights. Supposedly there's an M3 fighter on the way from Cadillac, too. List cars worth buying from Toyota or Honda. There's, um. Uh. I guess there's a new NSX on the way. There's that coupe that Toyota couldn't seem to manage on their own so they had Subaru do it. GM is doing fine on product grounds and the last thing they need is the federal government dictating product planning to them.

      Bankruptcy would be wonderful. Yes, a lot of dealers would go out of business. And yes, some of the workforce would lose their jobs (most of them would be hired back the next day as non-union employees.) But GM could emerge from it a competitive company. A cash infusion with the sorts of strings we can expect from the federal government might string GM along a little longer but it would guarantee the company would not be competitive long term and then all the jobs really would be gone.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wake up people, its called GREED how many years now have the car companys said when you go to look at a new car, "price is on the window" when ya got the money, cmon back ! ! see ya ........
      • 6 Years Ago
      They'll be bailed out eventually. If they're not Millions of Jobs will be lost, and we will officially have a 21st century Great Depression. That's only if that's what the Government wants- a WORSE economy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great summary!
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