• Nov 20, 2008
While there is definitely a huge rift between those who favor a Detroit bailout and those who would rather see the Big 3 fade away, you'd think that someone like Flint-native and documentary maker Michael Moore would be all in favor of helping the Big Three succeed. After all, Moore rose to fame for his first documentary entitled "Roger and Me" that featured then-CEO of General Motors Roger Smith. According to this piece in the Detroit News, however, Moore doesn't profess unconditional support for a Big 3 bailout. It seems he has mixed feelings about the whole situation.
Moore was on Larry King last night saying that the automakers ignored the wishes of consumers by continuing to build bigger vehicles just to maximize profits. Foreign automakers, on the other hand, built SUVs and more fuel-efficient vehicles in other categories. Moore elaborated by saying that
the current managers don't deserve a dime, but that it would be terrible if so many people lost jobs because of them. He went on to suggest that Congress should demand change for any money given out, including building up alternative fueled vehicles and mass transit in the country.

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 72 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh great, another bailout post.

      Some think it's good, some think it's bad. We already know there are people on both sides of the coin on this issue.

      Autoblog continuously posting on speculation and opinions of other is getting boring. This isn't an attack on this article, but an attack on the subject as a whole.

      Let us know when some newsworthy action is taken please.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This country is all about being bigger and better and that fueld the large SUV craze. As for trucks, don't forget that this country has been growing constantly and to build the infrastructure and housing needed to support that growth takes TRUCKS. Yes there are a lot of people driving big diesel trucks that don't need them, but most of them will be towing a trailer to a job site during the week as well as a toy hauler on the weekend. If anything I feel the Big 3 squandered their profits in the worst ay, but they did nothing wrong by making SUVs and trucks that people wanted. For them to get my billions of dollars I think they need some oversight in there company, maybe not from the Feds because I don't believe in that, but somebody to overlook what they're doing. We can not afford to lose millions of jobs, but there has to be something that comes from this other than postponing the collapse by six months.
      • 6 Years Ago
      F'*k Michael Moore. Why does anyone still listen to this guy? He's the largest traitor in the US.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How is he a traitor?
        • 6 Years Ago
        And by "largest" you mean literally. When he sits around the house, he really sits *around* the house... he's so fat he hasn't seen his toes since 1978. He got out of the chair and it sighed with relief...
      • 6 Years Ago
      If you bought a low mileage vehicle and suffering from high cost of gas that's your fault.

      GM, Ford & Chrysler deserted high fuel economy vehicles because they wasn't making a profit they were pleased with. They don't deserve a penny of taxpayers money unless they restructure their companies completely. The CEO's should even being getting a check at all. They make more than enough to live off.

      I like Michael Moore, Bill Maher, those alike that think rationally and is with reality.
        Chris
        • 6 Years Ago
        Look at the facts before you speak. GM alone has more cars that get 30+MPG then and other car company.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Where do you get that bullsh^t?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Only when oil was hitting 4.50/5$ a gallon did we flee our SUV's that North American's were buying in record numbers. To say they weren't building what we want is shortsighted. Detroits only problem was that there wasn't a more balanced portfolio of product.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The main reason the Big 3 were making more trucks and large SUV's is because those were the only models they were making any money on. Trucks have long been Ford and GM's bread and butter. They make absolutely nothing on mid-sized and small cars. They are such utter crap anyway. The Japanese and Korean car companies make money on their small cars because they don't have the legacy costs sucking them dry.
          • 6 Years Ago
          This line about American sedans being "utter crap" is SO 1988. Anyone who pays attention to cars knows that the domestics are right on par with the imports as far as quality and performance. While there are certainly some domestics that aren't tops in their categories (Cobalt, Avenger, Sebring), there are also plenty of imports that aren't either (Corolla, Gallant, 6 series BMW).
        • 6 Years Ago
        I am so sick of people blaming the Big 3 for the Big SUV's and Trucks. They built what we wanted. The only reason the Japanese companies didn't have as heavy of a portfolio in Trucks and SUV's was because buyers didn't like what they had to offer as much. It is not like Toyota didn't build Tundras, Sequoias and 4 Runners and don't believe for a moment that Honda wouldn't have expanded on their truck line if they had sold more Ridgelines. Hell Toyota built a huge new plant to build more Tundras just before the market imploded.

        The Japanese and Koreans also have well developed small cars because that is what their home markets buy (which are pretty much closed to Detroit). It is not like they developed these vehicles for the North American market. They imported products with the development being paid for by their home markets (not to mention help from their governments).

        Detroit shouldn't have let their small cars fall so far behind but they were building what we wanted. The only people who wanted small cars didn't want to pay anything for them so they made them cheap. GM even imported the Astra from Europe and buyers are turning their noses up at the price. GM has solid cars on their lots (Malibu, Aura,) and more on the way (Cruze) as does Ford (Fusion, Fiesta, Euro Focus) so it is not like they haven't been doing anything. Chrysler is screwed right now but that's thanks to Daimler.

        We got what we wanted and it's still going on. People are just buying "Crossovers" now instead of body on frame. For all the talk there are still an awful lot of commuters out there driving to work by themselves in something that could hold half the office with off roading abilities they will never use.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I was about to say the exact same thing. They responded to customers TOO MUCH and didn't realize that SUVs were just another silly trend like fins and wooden side panels. The only problem was they couldn't keep up or easily switch to the new trend which was the exact opposite of the last one; fuel efficient, reliable, cleanly-styled cars.

        I don't think they ignored customers, but I strongly blame them for not building cars for the future; which every car designer knows...you don't design cars for now, you design them for later! The Big 3 because they blatantly ignored the long run and greedily induced profit for the short run.

        Even as of late you can tell that some still don't get it. One of the more recent trends has been the whole crossover thing. So what does Ford do? comes out with 3 crossovers with one being only slightly bigger than the other. Meanwhile they come out with two extremely bland sedans (even though reliable, to be fair) and an uninspiring re-skinning of something they had before (Focus).

        GM i actually feel sorry for because they've come out with some pretty cool cars( Malibu,G6,G8, Aura, etc) and they've improved the fuel economy of their SUVs. all they need now is to build a reputation off of these new name brands. and their planning for somewhat- future trends by coming out with a full hybrid. (a little late, but still somewhat on time compared to others)

        Chrysler doesn't get it because they wouldn't know success if slapped them across the face. Ralph Gilles had to fight the entire design team in order to make a car like the 300 a reality. But even after that, they went right back to making embarrassingly hideous and boring cars. IMO even the 300 is getting stale because that's all chrysler had to show for itself in the last 4 years. The no-brainer 4 door wrangler only came out like what? 2 years ago?

        I really hope the big 3 get back on track. really, i do. The only reason i support the bailout is because the Big 3 contribute to a lot of good things in this country, so if they get back on track more non-profit organizations and unfortunate people can get help. If the big 3 shows that they can make products for tomorrow instead of yesterday, I'll support them all the way
        • 6 Years Ago
        Whenever I see this fat slob I always picture him from Team America with hot dogs in both hands and mustard stains all over his shirt, priceless. Regardless the fat slob only has one valid point, we can't lose all of those jobs. I personally think that CEO salaries should be slashed not completely taken away, who the hell except for "Dollar-Man" Nardelli wants to work for free.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow. Judy Zik pretty much covered every point I was going to make.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Judy.. you're wrong on a major point. People DID and still DO want small cars. They just don't want econoboxes like the big three insisted all small cars should be. The MINI opened a huge hole in that argument, they've been selling great ever since they were introduced in the states. So the market WAS there, it's that nobody dared to try.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ JUDY....

        REALLY? Where are the letters asking the big 3 to start making 8 passenger, 2.5 tonne sub-standard pieces of crap?

        Please...I'd like to know.

        Now...I agree with you that the public are too stupid to realize any better and judge how much car they get by size versus price. There I can agree.

        This is also the psychology the big 3 played on the general public too....pitching huge cars for small car prices.
      • 6 Years Ago
      lol, not much love for Moore here...

      Really, I'd just take him as an entertainer, like Jeremy Clarkson, but less funny.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Michael Moore ? Two words, "who cares!"
      • 6 Years Ago
      But more importantly, here's what I think.

      1. The peanut gallery is being overly harsh on the CEOs. They are completely CLUELESS for flying to Washington in private jets, but they are already making massive changes to their business. GM is huge in China, the Volt's coming, Ford's European cars are world beaters, Chrysler, er, er, er, the new Mustang's coming soon....

      2. Those sweet new Union deals will kick in in 2009 and save an estimated $2,000 per car

      3. Automaking is capital-intensive, they can't get cash the old way, so they NEED us to keep them going, it's our duty.

      4. It's $25 billion that Wall St. won't be getting

      5. Chapter 11 will switches the cash problem from the big three to their suppliers, dealers, and everyone else. So it's pointless

      6. No one will buy a car from an automaker in chapter 11 (warranties, service, recalls etc.) Look what happened to Rover sales when they were in "financial transition".

      7. The US car industry cannot be foreign owned. It's a vital part of who we are.

      8. There's pent up demand just 18 months away

      9. We can't have "saved by zero" be the only car ad on television for the rest of time.

      I'm done.



        • 6 Years Ago
        Assuming #4 ends up being true, that is indeed the best argument I've seen so far for the automaker bailout (other than preventing job loss of course)
        • 6 Years Ago
        "2. Those sweet new Union deals will kick in in 2009 and save an estimated $2,000 per car"

        Some of those union deals have already kicked in. Sanitation has been contracted out to non union companies and newly hired employees get no pension. In addition to that, non core, non skilled (those who don't build the product) make half wage.
        • 6 Years Ago
        1. Knee-jerk reactions to the events of the last year or so. There is absolutely ZERO innovation coming out of Detroit these days. They need an innovative business plan in order to turn things around. The UAW should be left out of these plans.

        2. Sweet Union deals ??? Please explain.

        3. They can and already are getting billions of dollars. The problem is they are spending it like a drunk sailor on leave. Again, legacy costs sucking them dry. See #1 for solution.

        4. As big of a cheerleader you are for the bailout of the big 3, I would think you would be cheering for the wall street bailout. None of these businesses should be getting tax payer monies.

        5. The suppliers, dealers, and everyone else in the automotive supply chain should already be looking at their business plans and changing to meet current global business needs. It is not just the Big 3 that continue to try to implement a 50 year old business plan. The entire automotive supply chain has allowed itself to become non competitive in the current global economy. The suppliers, dealers and everyone else are not victims here. They are willing participants in a failing industry.

        6. Maybe they will and maybe they wont. If GM and Ford are so popular with Americans and are so necessary to the US economy, then why wouldn't people buy a car from them?? Other than for the fact that the cars GM makes are total garbage and at least Ford makes a few cars that are quality.

        7. It is okay for US car companies to own all or parts of foreign car companies but not the other way around?? There is a reason why there is no foreign investment in US car companies: US car companies are money pits and a bad investment. Period. Daimler tried it with Chrysler. They saw the writing on the wall and quickly got out of that situation. The best part of that relationship was the Chrysler cars that heavily used Mercedes technology and parts (300 sedan and Crossfire).

        8. The pent up demand can easily be met with the pent up supply sitting in US ports and on GM and Ford property. There is a ton of inventory that they cannot get rid of.

        9. Umm. Ok.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't think the loan will change anything inside the 3 companies. Having worked with one of these companies for 10 years, I can say without hesitation that they still don't get it. Example: spending $15,000/month on a three-story house in a very advanced Asian country for a European manager and his wife when $5,000 condo would have sufficed. This type of exhorbitant spending continues even though there are plenty of local talent who would work for much less. They just don't get it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Remember team America?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I watched Moore last night. He was out of his mind! It was bizarre. He ranted and demanded that the auto companies be told what they could and could not make.

      'm a died in the wool liberal who loved his 9/11 movie. I was shocked at how loopy he was. It was like he decided to jump the shark on turbo.

      Really weird.

      He actually looked drunk with some crazy marxist vodka. Just sad and strange.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Would everyone please STOP!

      You don't have a clue what you're talking about. Unless you've worked in the industry, and at a high enough level to really understand what it takes to run a business OF THIS SCALE, you don't have any business making baseless accusations and inflammatory statements. Oh yeah, and Michael Moore is no different. If you agree with him, it just shows A) that you are clueless; and B) too lazy to do research to find the real answers. You just want someone with so-called creds to validate your bliss (read: ignorance).

      Get real folks, and get to a library. Quit getting your "facts" from internet blogs (they're just vehicles for the scores of ill- and uninformed). If you think Michael Moore is anything but a living blog, spouting opinions and pseudo-facts, then you're very naive.
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