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There's no question that the Detroit-based auto industry needs a lot of help. There's a 100-year history of how it got into the problems it's in, and some of those problems are beyond management's control.

While there have been rumors and suggested candidates floated for the so-called federal "car czar" post, it now no longer looks like that position will be filled. That's because President Barack Obama has apparently gone cold on the idea. Instead, new reports suggest that he will look to a select group of senior economic advisers for guidance.

President George W. Bush will doubtlessly be remembered for many things things, but his parting legacy may yet be his eleventh-hour pledge of $17.4 billion in low-interest loans to General Motors and Chrysler (Ford Motor Company has said it does not require relief at this time).

Chet Czaplicka doesn't own one of the Big 3's suppliers or run a car dealership. Instead, he is the chief executive of a blood-processing firm in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, Michigan. But like most people in that part of the country, he has several autoworkers in his family. And, perhaps more importantly, he understands how extensively the overall US. economy is enmeshed with the production of automobiles.

With the U.S. Senate denying the Detroit 3 relief plan, it looks like oil prices might continue to tumble. Our sibling site BloggingStocks is predicting barrel prices might drop as low as $35 as a result. This comes on the heels of predictions of higher prices in the near future.

In some parts of the world, it's normal to take along saints or other holy images for a Procession to ask for rain, a good crop or other benefit. A similar idea caught the minds of people at Detroit's Greater Grace Church, where the pastor made a symbolic move on SUVday Sunday to pray for the future of the car industry. The objects of prayer? Three hybrid SUVs: a Ford Escape, Chevy Tahoe, and Chrysler Aspen. The holy trinity joined the Rev. Charles Ellis on the altar while many employees from th

What to do when you wanted $34 billion and Congress only gave you $15 billion? Try again, but this time go North young man. The Detroit 3 are now making a pitch to the Canadian legislature seeking an additional $6.8 billion from Canada where nearly 100,000 workers are employed in factories and dealerships bearing the Chrysler, General Motors or Ford name.

If we keep this up, we're going to best our record of six in a row, or whatever it was. The Autoblog Podcast crew returns for Autoblog Podcast #105 with Chris, Sam, and Dan discussing a paltry sweep of subjects as the quiet gathers before the storm of Congressional hearings is unleashed this week. We kept it shorter this week, but that doesn't mean that there's not plenty of witty repartee to go around. Enjoy!

We'll be hearing more about the Detroit 3 in the mainstream media this week as their homework entitled "What I Would Do With My Share of $25 Billion in Government Loans" gets turned in to Congress. While Detroit deserves much of the ribbing that's on the way, it irks our ears every time we read an op-ed piece from folks who flat-out do not know what the Hell they're talking about. Take Karen Wagner, whose opinion letter was published by the Chicago Tribune in which she claims that Ford should ca

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 f

Matthias Wissmann, current head of the Verband Deutscher Automobilhersteller (VDA, or Association of the German Automotive Industry for us non-German speaking folks), is none too pleased with the passing of a $25 billion financing package for the Detroit automakers. Under the terms of the legislation, which has been approved by the House and is expected to pass through the Senate as well, the Detroit 3 will receive low-interest loans in order to finance the cost of bringing more fuel-efficient c

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this afternoon approving a $25 billion low-interest loan for domestic automakers. The bill passed with an overwhelming majority – 370 to 58 – and is on its way to the Senate for a vote on Friday before the White House gets the opportunity to lay pen to paper on March 6, 2009. The rates and rules of the loan are required to be spelled-out by the U.S. Department of Energy within 60 days of the bill becoming law, but automakers could be al

Just less than a year ago, the Big 3 domestic automakers' combined market share dropped to less than 50-percent of the overall automobile market. That sobering statistic was made factual when the combined sales of vehicles from both Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea, were combined with sales from European companies, like Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It seems that this sad state of affairs did little to stop the bleeding coming from Detroit, as last month marks the first time in hist

Until Detroit automakers signed landmark deals with the UAW that shifted retiree health care costs to the union, it was cheaper to make vehicles in Canada. Government health care saved automakers about $6 per work hour, a savings of over $12,000 a year per worker. Since Ontario produces more vehicles than any state in the Union, that represented huge savings for the Detroit Three. However, after the new deals were struck with the UAW, that advantage has disappeared. To make the situation worse,

When sales slow, the old business adage dictates that you either cut expenses or raise rates. For the two big boys left in Detroit and the soon-to-be, if not already, sold off Chrysler corp, the latter seems to be the only viable option.

UPDATE: Thanks to Autoblog reader Steve M., you can watch the ABC News Towh Hall Meeting, all 45 minutes of it, after the jump. Please watch, if only to see the contorted facial expressions of our esteemed colleague at Jalopnik, Ray Wert III, who nabbed a seat in the front row.

On Tuesday, November 14, the CEO's of the three Detroit based car-makers finally got the White House meeting that they've been waiting for so many months. GM's Rick Wagoner, Chrysler's Tom LaSorda, and Ford's Alan Mulally got to sit down with the President in the oval office for about an hour. Today the three companies issued a joint statement about the meeting and it has some interesting details about energy policy. Among the highlights were a voluntary committment to making half of their annua

Bill Ford, Rick Wagoner and Tom LaSorda have been twiddling their thumbs since May waiting for the White House to confirm a date for the Detroit trio to meet with George Bush, the D.C. decider. Tentative times have come and gone, and as each one passed, the perception that the current administration cares little about the challenges facing domestic automakers continued to grow. In reality, those challenges that include health care costs and the price of imported raw materials like steel, just di

The Big 3 have been trying to shave their health care costs by cutting eligibility and the percentage of benefits for both retirees and current employees, but as it turns out, the three companies have found tens of thousands of people still receiving benefits despite their ineligibility. As a result, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and the Chrysler Group are purging their health care rosters and even forcing reimbursement from some of those on the lists.

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