CARS, TRUCKS AND POLITICS

GM now stands for Government Motors.   Obummer placed a 24-member federal auto task force on the job to oversee and dominate the disastrous dissolution of the private sector American auto industry that we have all known our entire lives.

Not to give credence to the executives that allowed the meltdown to occur, but the new oversight commission’s total combined experience in the auto industry is less than that of an assembly worker who was hired a week ago.  There is speculation as to whether all of them even drive cars, much less know how to run a major corporation involved with designing, producing and selling cars.

To exemplify the point; the man Obummer has designated in charge of dismantling General Motors is a very recent graduate of Yale School of Law (if he has graduated).  It is his first government job (possibly his first job ever given that he is only 31 and has been in school most of his life) and he is in command of re-identifying the American automobile industry.

We now have a President who has no experience running even a lawn mower, much less a business and certainly not a government entity, appointing intelligent, but inexperienced people to make major changes in industry, commerce and the financial foundation of the country.

Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”  He said nothing about government takeover.

With new CAFÉ standards directed by Washington D.C., and with the enhanced workers’ benefits that will come via the unions, we will soon see the American equivalent of the Yugo.  Remember that dream?  That car was guaranteed to break down within the first 1,000 miles.  If it didn’t, you could take it to the nearest dealership for a warranty service that would render it incapable of ever running again for less than the price of another new one.

The Yugo was cheap, even by the standards of 1985.  The EPA mileage estimate was outstanding (probably because most of the mileage was accumulated from pushing).  Also, when it did fall apart (generally within two years), the parts took up less room in the garage than the assembled vehicle.

What this and other task forces are actually doing, it appears, is guarantying that the U.S. government will be in charge of as much of what once was private sector,  free enterprise as possible.  I agree that the recent meltdowns require change.  But for the government to fire the executives and seize control from the private sector, I believe is a bit of a Marxist twist from what this country has always represented to the world.

The ‘government mandated’ closing of Chrysler dealerships goes well beyond sensible and prudent.  First: of the dealerships that are targeted for closure, Republicans or Republican donors own all but one.  The one not owned by a Right Wing Extremist (as this administration labels anybody who doesn’t either bow or swoon in the presence of Obummer) is apparently being closed simply because the owner did not contribute to the Obummer campaign.  Second: every closing dealership is within a 15-mile radius of another Chrysler dealer who did contribute either to the DNC or the Obummer campaign directly.  Coincidence?  I think not.  This action overshadows politics with totally unwarranted vindictiveness by our Narcissist in Chief.

The closing of the dealerships also represents the ignorance and lack of business acumen of the takeover team.  Two of the last things you want to do with a viable but under-funded business before conceding failure are to stop advertising and fire your commissioned sales people.  You continue advertising to attract business and make a profit.  Commissioned sales people (franchised dealerships in this case) don’t cost the company anything and they, too, can only help derive the last few profit dollars from the inventory on hand.  They only get paid when the sale is consummated and a profit is generated for the franchise owner.  Attrition will close the under-performing outlets without any government intervention.

What was the purpose of giving GM almost $20 billion of our money?  They spent most of it on their plants and labor force in Brazil, France and Germany.  It didn’t help our economy and it didn’t save the company.

We’re in for a long, cold winter this summer.  And it will only get worse come November unless there is a major awakening.

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