Now that gas is once again (relatively) cheap, there's a renewed sense that adding a higher tax on each drop of petroleum might be a wise plan. It's often suggested that revenues from a higher gas tax are necessary to keep America's vast roadways in good working order, but some believe that there might be other uses for these taxpayer funds. For instance, we are all well aware by now that the Detroit-based automakers are losing money much faster than they are taking it in, which has led the Feds
Each month, the American Pulse Survey seeks respondents' opinions regarding various political, pop culture and economic issues. Seeing that the auto bailout is a hot topic these days, it is unsurprising that much of the latest survey centered on the $17.4 billion in so-called bridge loans to the Detroit 3 automakers. So, who's to blame for the Motor City's downfall? Survey says: bad management (78.8 percent), the UAW (63.8 percent) and global economic uncertainty (57.7 percent); so say 4,117 Ame
Toyota doesn't want one of the Detroit 3 to fail. Despite the fact that the Japanese automaker is a direct competitor and seemingly stands to gain long-term sales from the collapse of at least one of its American competitors, the reality is that it would be a major headache for the entire industry. The largest issue may be that a Detroit collapse, especially of General Motors, would take a number of key suppliers down with it -- suppliers that Toyota relies upon just as much as any other automak
With all signs pointing to White House action on an automaker bailout despite the the bill not making it out of the Senate last Thursday, Canada has its taxpayers' wallets on standby as well. Our neighbors to the north account for a 20% share of the auto industry, and both the federal and Ontario governments are ready to add a commensurate amount of money to the bailout pot if U.S. government action does take place. So, assuming President Bush instructs Henry Paulson, the recently-crowned King o
After spending the better part of two days giving the CEOs of the Detroit automakers every indication that they were going to be hung out to dry, Congress has at least partially caved in to the reality a large number of constituents would almost certainly loose their jobs soon if nothing was done. Late Friday, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced that a tentative agreement had been reached that would see Detroit get $15-17 billion in bridge loans from the Department of Energy fund meant to help pa
The plan to drive a slew of Detroit's best new cars from the Motor City to Washington, DC is over before it even got started. Amazingly, there was just too much support for the idea, which led to a complete lack of control over the event and leading to its cancellation. It's just as well, really. While it would have been an awesome display of support for the ailing Detroit 3, the notion of packing Washington's already busy streets with a few hundred more vehicles, not to mention their occupants,
Remember the growing movement to caravan a few hundred of Detroit's most fuel efficient vehicles to the automaker's next meeting with Congress? Not happening. Interestingly, it wasn't for lack of support. In fact, it was just the opposite. So many people had voiced their support and announced their intentions to join in that the event's organizers just weren't able to keep up. Talk about a logistical nightmare.
When the Detroit automakers went to Washington to press their case for financial assistance to get through their current cash crunch, the hope was to get $25 billion from the $700 billion fund that was set up to bail out Wall Street. The Bush administration was having none of that however, and by the time the CEOs headed home, the only idea that was getting any traction was to free up the money that had been set aside in the 2007 Energy Bill to fund development of more efficient cars. The Detroi
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
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
If we were going to continue numbering things, this would technically be Autoblog Podcast #103. We had tried to record this comeback episode once already about three weeks ago, and that turned out to be the only time I've ever toasted an audio file. Pro Tools said "uhh, what?" and that was that - our file was gone. So, before Chris Shunk headed out the door to the LA Auto Show, we sat down and breezed through a few subjects like what's in our respective Autoblog Garages, the new Mustang, the new
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.
Some U.S. policymakers believe that the domestic auto industry needs a multi-billion $hot in the arm, but the sticking point seems to be where to find the funds. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is calling for a portion of the financial sector's $700 billion TARP buyout to be apportioned to Detroit, but Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson doesn't like the sound of that at all. Instead, Paulson would like to see the automakers get the $25 billion they've already been promised, and suggests that it be mad
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