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Depending on your point of view, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner could either be considered a Godsend or a pariah that represents all that's currently wrong with the country. Of course, we're referring mainly to the automotive bailout that the CEO helped (or hindered, again depending on your viewpoint) negotiate with the Feds and its impact on the jobs of thousands of Michigan workers. Regardless, Mr. Wagoner has been nominated for the "Michiganian of the Year" trophy by The Detroit News. That oughtta ruffle a few feathers.

Also up for the award, and perhaps equally as divisive, is John Dingell, the recently displaced chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. These men are just two of the choices mentioned by the newspaper, which has polled Michigan residents annually since 1978 for the award. Submissions are now open, and you can either cast a vote towards one of the preselected candidates or fill in your own.

[Source: The Detroit News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess it was him or Michael Moore. I can't name anyone else from Michigan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah, maybe it's because Michigan set the bar so high (sarcasm). I'm looking at you Kwame.

      Hell, if we're going to take this route, shouldn't it be Mulally?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, it is Michigan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sea Urchin
      4:45PM (12/29/2008)
      This is so funny. Look i know that most people who are commenting a hacks, but as far as 5 months ago this guy had absolute support of 99% of people in here and of the board of directors.

      This guy has been running/ruining the company since 2000, no one had problem with that, but as soon as credit crunch hit suddenly people started getting their heads out of the sand and saying...hey maybe this guy doesn't know what he is doing and maybe he doesn't deserve 17 million dollars a year.

      GM is gone, Wagoner killed it. The only man who can turn it around now is Obama, either he will throw another 20-25 billion more at GM alone or the company will die
      -------------------------------------------------------------------

      Your a joke, simple minded or I bet less then 25 years old and your mommie taught you to be a fem supporter as anyone thinking one guy at the top forced all the decisions on a company with 10s of thousands of workers.
      GM is in this position due to the mommie boys of the last 20 years who cannot even change the engine oil much less the sparkplugs and think their car is like the doll they play with

      Answer this, who is the blame for this mess :

      With demand for vehicles slumping in most of the world, Japan's export-oriented auto industry is slamming the brakes on output.

      Japanese vehicle production shrank 20.4 percent in November, suggesting that Japan's automakers may have to retrench as much as their struggling U.S. rivals, J.P. Morgan analyst Kohei Takahashi said in a recent research report.

      The production cutbacks reflect 18 percent contractions in domestic and overseas demand last month.

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      "The slump in worldwide auto demand has been worsening and we think it is likely to worsen further," Takahashi said.

      In North America, demand for vehicles has weakened for the past year. And last month, demand for Japanese vehicles began to contract in the Middle East, Africa and in Europe, too.

      "Exports to emerging countries are no longer able to offset sharp declines in exports to industrialized countries, so we see a risk that output in Japan will be cut as sharply as in North America," Takahashi wrote in his report.

      Among auto-producing nations, Japan has become particularly reliant on exports because its domestic market has been in decline for almost two decades. This year, Japanese auto sales are projected to slip below 5 million units for the first time in 31 years.

      Unlike most regions, where auto sales track the economic cycle, Japan's market is in a long-term decline that reflects demographic trends: the aging and shrinking of its population. Its auto market peaked in 1990, when 7.8 million cars were sold.

      In recent weeks, Japan's biggest automakers issued severe profit warnings for the fiscal year ending March 31, with Toyota Motor Corp. forecasting its first annual operating loss in more than 50 years.

      Toyota's November output was down 27 percent from year-earlier levels and Nissan's was 36 percent lower.

      The Chubu Keizai Shimbun newspaper reported that Toyota was planning deeper output cuts of 34 percent in January and 39 percent in February. Moody's Investors Service revised its outlook on Japan's auto industry for the next 12-18 months from stable to negative.

      The rating agency said weakening economic conditions, slowing global demand, price competition and a credit crunch in the United States and other key markets would hurt the Japanese industry's performance.

      In addition, uncertainties in financial systems in a number of countries, including the U.S., are adversely affecting consumers' ability to obtain credit -- which is significantly dampening overall demand.

      "Given the uncertainties plaguing the global financial system, Moody's doubts that demand for automobiles has bottomed," it said in a report prepared by its Tokyo office.

      "Global automotive demand will likely remain weak in 2009 and beyond, and the rate of decline expected will exceed (automakers') ability to reduce costs in an environment where revenue growth is unlikely any time soon, in Moody's view," it said.

      Moody's said Japan's automakers will have to revise their business models and find ways to be profitable with lower sales volumes and revenues, and unfavorable currency rates.

      The yen's strength relative to other currencies -- it is at 13-year highs against the dollar -- has been a major factor in the drop in profits at Japan's automakers.

      The challenges facing Japan's car companies have led Moody's to lower its outlook for Japanese auto parts suppliers, too.

      "Market conditions are seemi
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is so funny. Look i know that most people who are commenting a hacks, but as far as 5 months ago this guy had absolute support of 99% of people in here and of the board of directors.

      This guy has been running/ruining the company since 2000, no one had problem with that, but as soon as credit crunch hit suddenly people started getting their heads out of the sand and saying...hey maybe this guy doesn't know what he is doing and maybe he doesn't deserve 17 million dollars a year.

      GM is gone, Wagoner killed it. The only man who can turn it around now is Obama, either he will throw another 20-25 billion more at GM alone or the company will die.


      While we at it, why not give the Mortgage man of the year award to Barney Franck and Peace award to hamas.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The ignorance is amazing. Pockey you should work for government. How is it that a CEO of 8 years, under whom the company goes bankrupt is not responsible?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wagoner didn't kill GM. Look at all the progress GM has made since 2000, as far as the quality of their products are concerned.

        Yes, he may have made some questionable decisions, but he made some good decisions also. He's no worse than the thousands of other overpayed jackasses out there.

        I'm not saying he deserves this "award", there are many more deserving people. I just wish people would stop acting like the downfall of GM was all his fault. The downfall started LONG before Wagoner took the helm.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What the hell does Obama know about running a car company? He's never been in charge of anything in the private sector. All he's been able to do is successfully bring home the pork for Illinois. It's going to take a business man to fix the car companies, not big brother.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't care who they nominate as long as they don't call it Michiganian of the Year. "Michiganian" is lame, the correct word is Michigander. Folks who use "Michiganian" are putting on airs to avoid the goose jokes. Calling someone from Michigan an Michiganian is like calling a resident of Manchester, UK a "Manchesterer" or "Manchesterite" instead of Mancunian. It's just wrong, even if the DetNews style guide says otherwise.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Haha, keep those bubbles coming!
      Maybe that nomination says more about the michigans than Wagoner?
      • 6 Years Ago
      People from welfare states like Michigan tend to think that the guy who brings home the government bacon is more important than the guy who actually earns his living. Wagoner is a shoe-in!
        • 6 Years Ago
        That may be true Ronnie, but Detroit is one of the top welfare cities in America. Its a cultural thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It would be ironic only if it was given by any paper except the Detroit News or Free Press. As it is, it is appropriate.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You guys don't get it. Somebody wants him out in the open and what better way to lure him out is with an award. Auto guys love awards, look at how many President Awards they give dealerships every year.

      I just heard on the news that Gambino Ford of Lockport has taken a Ford dealership buyout and closed it's doors Christmas Eve. Has anyone have any numbers as to how many dealerships have gone bust?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Considering he is not a car guy yet knew that there should be one at the very top of management and then hired one, Lutz, was huge. I doubt the #2, 3 or 4 guy in charge of Chrysler or Ford has a love for cars like Lutz. Wagoner recognized that most of the crap he's had to deal with was the result of business men, politicians and accountants ruining their cars. America's love for the automobile is alive and well and we don't buy watered down junk, we buy car's with soul and style. Wagoner understands this, has rescued GM during the credit crisis and also has a MBA from Harvard so I'd say he does deserve this award.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Hey -- Rick Wagoner and Rep. John Dingell (and everyone else cited in the short piece I wrote soliciting nominations for The Detroit News' Michiganians of the Year) are PAST honorees, not up for the award this year.

      The reporter apologizes for wording that might not have made this clear.

      Cheerz -

      Michael H. Hodges / The Detroit News
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