Planning for the future is perhaps an alien concept to big business – even automakers, with their protracted product development cycles. Take a cue of what not to do from them, then, and start planning now for next Christmas. May we suggest that your 2010 wishlist starts with what's destined to be a hotly-anticipated tome: Steven Rattner's memoir of his spearheading the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. Tentatively titled "Overhaul," the cloyingly-named book will tell the story of th
With all the rescue/bailout talk going on here at Autoblog and, oh, just about everywhere else, you may find that it's tough to keep up with it all. Thankfully, the scribes over at Detroit Free Press have consolidated the discussion down to one easy-to-read but tough-to-comprehend figure: $97.4 billion. That's the total you get when adding up the initial $25.4 billion that automakers were promised to help retool their plants to build more fuel efficient cars; the $25.5 billion that auto supplier
Little guy Porsche is taking huge swings, and not just at the giant that is Volkswagen. Porsche head Wendelin Wiedeking had fierce Teutonic words for General Motors and Ford, and banks. His Rindfleisch – beef, that is – with U.S. automakers is that, through unsound practices, they have thrown absolutely everything into turmoil. In the words of the Guardian, in fact, they have driven "the industry to the brink of ruin."
GM has seven planes (four of them are for sale), and one of them was recently and infamously used for a brief sojourn to Washington for head honcho Rick Wagoner. When the public found out about it, well, let's just say the polling numbers weren't exactly favorable. For reasons that might or might not be related to that episode, GM has asked the FAA to block its planes from being able to be tracked on sites like FlightAware.com. This is something that private plane owners -- a group of folks who
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.
Bill Ford, great-grandson of Henry Ford himself, is reportedly hedging his bets on green technology for the automaker that bears his name. Ford has spoken directly with President-elect Barack Obama about energy, especially as it relates to the automotive industry, and the Blue Oval exec likes what he hears from our next President. According to Mr. Ford, he's shared his plans for his company's future with Obama and has plans to continue to do so. One big issue Bill Ford sees with future automotiv
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
There have been so many different arguments for why The Detroit 3 should or shouldn't get a bailout that we could make a casserole out of them. One argument against a bailout -- or at least, a reason for the futility of a bailout -- that we don't recall hearing yet is "vehicle density."
Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, former entrant in the marathon to win the White House, and current automotive industry expert (who knew?) had a few things to say in the New York Times today on the potential auto industry bailout. The opening paragraph says it all: "IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guarantee
So here's a breakdown of what's going on in Congress concerning federal aid for U.S. automakers. A Senate bill expected to be voted on this Thursday would expedite funds for Ford, GM and Chrysler so that they could actually get the cash they need within 22 days after the bill becomes law -- should the bill become law. The $25 billion loan, paid back at an initial rate of 5-percent, would come out of the $700 billion bailout fund for financial institutions. The Senate's stipulations would be that
At a press conference on Thursday, shortly after announcing plans for a new engine plant in Flint, Michigan, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner said his employer, "should be able to put to good use its portion of a $25 billion government loan package."