Bye GM; hello Gov’t Motors
First the flowers then the flower pot. GM's eight divisions have been whittled down to four, its money-losing Opel unit has been sold to...
First the flowers then the flower pot. GM's eight divisions have been whittled down to four, its money-losing Opel unit has been sold to Canadian auto parts maker Magna, and the company says it will get out of bankruptcy within 30-90 days. Don't believe that last part.
GM has lost its customer base and the company has a half-million unsold vehicles rusting away in parking lots. Major quality deficiencies still affect most of its line-up, notably American-built front-drives and imported pickups. Owners cite unreliable powertains, poor braking performance, electrical problems, and subpar fit and finish as the main offenders.
Unlike Ford, GM has thousands of angry workers and terminated dealers who just don't believe in the company any more. Henceforth, GM will stand for "Government Motors" with government owning 72.5 percent of the new company, the UAW owning 17.5 percent, and the remaining 10 percent going to GM bondholders to wipe out $27 billion in unsecured debt. When GM does finally come out of bankruptcy I expect only Chevrolet to survive—with an expanded lineup that includes China-built small cars.
A YELLOW PERIL? No, I'm not talking about Panama taxis. General Motors' increased reliance on factories in China to build economy cars for North America is a scary thought. Imagine, not only are bailout funds to be used to create jobs in China, but North Americans will also have the dubious pleasure of driving some of the worst-made automobiles in the world, imported from the same country that sold us kids' toys coated with lead-laced paint and poisoned pet food. Move over Fiat, here comes Chery reliability and Brilliant crashworthiness (don't take my word that these are bad cars— watch the European crash videos). Incidentally the name Chery is used in China because GM threatened to sue if the automaker continued to use the name Chevy.
An interesting conclusion on Chinese manufacturing, according to several independent studies, product safety and quality are trumped by price in that country. Your car has no brakes? No problem. We will give you a 10 percent discount, a free key chain, and shoot the company president.
MEDIA MADNESS. A PRD insider tells me that both former Panama presidential candidate Balbina Herrera and VP candidate Juan Carlos Navarro are considering offers to do regular shows on TV and radio. Balbina would be the hostess of a regular open line radio show with "Corazon" in its title. Navarro would do a similar gig for television. Shhhh? don't tell anyone.
HISPANIC HYSTERIA. Gotta love those Republicans. First, they lose the last presidential election to a Black man, and now they are losing Hispanic support by attacking the nomination of America's first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor. Tell me if you don't think this is sheer lunacy: "Sotomayor is a racist. Nominating her is the equivalent of nominating Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke for the job," said former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Vicodin- challenged, lard-ass Rush Limbaugh. Watch the Republican Hispanic poll numbers move downward.
A SMART REPUBLICAN. Peggy Noonan, a competent and fair-minded Republican was George Bush's speech writer in 1988. She has dismissed as "idiots" those conservatives who attack or try to misrepresent Sotomayor. My prediction: cooler Republican minds will prevail and Sotomayor will be confirmed as the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.
President Obama's choice of a Hispanic to sit on the Supreme Court is a political master stroke which tears away the Republican veil that 'brown folks' are welcome in that Party. On the other hand, the President's $50 billion bailout of the auto industry is a major error: the companies are exactly where they would have been if no money was given out. Hmmm? In a recession, I guess we are all socialists.