In an interview Sunday with Automotive News (sub. req'd), Troy Clarke, GM's North American president, said that General Motors will be able to make good on its promise to Congress to drastically cut costs. Clarke said that GM will now focus its "product and marketing resources" on Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC. That would leave Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and HUMMER in automotive limbo. As part of that same plan presented to lawmakers, GM said it would sell or close Saturn. And since no one has y
The House of Representatives and the Senate will discuss and likely vote on the Automaker Bailout Bill (we know, it's not technically a bailout, but rather loans that will be paid back) tomorrow, and the first discussion draft of the bill has hit the internet. The discussion bill is 31 pages long, and like you we're not about to spend our Monday evening reading through the whole thing. Thankfully, some real auto journalists over at The Detroit Free Press have done that for us.
Ten years before Chrysler introduced the world to minivans, General Motors had already developed its own version. Toyota sold the Prius at a loss for years before it became popular while GM leased a fleet of electric EV1s for three years before deciding it would never turn a profit. Honda and Toyota both sold small, efficient vehicles for decades even though their sales were relatively small and profits less than stellar. Meanwhile, GM spent billions to establish Saturn to compete with small imp
When ants need to cross some dangerous span in order to get to the thing they want, certain ants in the colony will sacrifice themselves to build a bridge that other ants can cross. That's how you get the honey. In GM's case, the honey is a $12 billion government lifeline. The dangerous span is, well, extinction. And the sacrificial ants in this case could be Pontiac, Saturn, and Saab.
Malcolm Bricklin surely has an interesting view of the American automotive industry after having successfully launched the Subaru brand in the United States. Bricklin then went on to create his own car company, one that manufactured less than 3,000 Bricklin SV-1 automobiles. Although this unsuccessful company went under, Bricklin pressed on, bringing in Fiat X1/9s and the automotive punchline that was the Yugo, itself an older Fiat design that was manufactured in Yugoslavia. Another failure, des
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 pr
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 billio
General Motors' CEO, Rick Wagoner, who's been manning the helm for the last eight years and a part of its staff since 1977, has taken some heat for asking the Feds for a bailout. A possible condition for those funds may be the symbolic sacrificial death of its current leader, according to a slew of analysts polled by Bloomberg. Whether true of false, there seems to be a sense that the CEOs of U.S. automakers are some of "the dumbest people in the world," according to ex-Chrysler prez. Thomas Sta
When Congress wants to hand out money, it apparently wants to include everybody. Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is likely to propose a measure that lets automakers tap into the $700 billion vein of rescue dollars that's ostensibly intended for financial institutions, yet is being hungrily eyed by everyone.
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