Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Pimp My Ride: Presidential Task Force On The Auto Industry
What if Chrysler and GM built a car and no one wanted to buy it? What if our federal government employees charged with overseeing their return to competitiveness refused to own it? Would you feel comfortable loaning them money as a part of a bailout?
The Big "O" formed a task force, Presidential Task Force On the Auto Industry, to tackle the process of monitoring Chrysler and GM and determining if they can get more of your money to stay in business. The task force will be co-chaired by Timothy "TurboTax" Geithner and Lawrence Summers, the White House National Economic Council Director. There are 6 other members on this task force along with 10 senior policy aides. There are two openings on the committee but they have not been named as they would be the secretaries of Labor and Commerce, who have not been appointed by the Big "O" yet. Initially the Big "O" promised that he would appoint a Car Czar to oversee the auto industry but that was scrapped in favor of a committee. You see Democrats believe in Mob Rule. Let's get a group of experts together and vote on how to run a company.
According to the Detroit News, both of these gentlemen own foreign automobiles. Geithner, a 2008 Acura TSX and Summers a 1995 Mazda Protege. Of the entire group, two do not own an automobile and only two own American models. Now you wonder why the automobile industry is in such dire straits. Americans always vote with their wallets. We want value, reliability and great looks in our cars. Yet Detroit automakers continue to lag behind their Japanese counterparts in providing these things. I am not saying that American automobiles are far less reliable but their is a perceived unreliability that goes back over 25 years on American cars.
Our Democratic controlled congress would have all corporate CEO's make a maximum wage of $500K but overlook the fact that the people chartered with oversight of bailout money to GM and Chrysler be allowed to own foreign vehicles. Because Obama believes in fairness then make these overseers divest themselves of their foreign automobile and buy a new Dodge Challenger or a Chevrolet Malibu. C'mon, its only fair. They get to tell Chrysler and GM how much and what they need to do but they don't support buying American. For them to drive foreign automobiles to work daily would be the same as a Coke employee bringing a Pepsi Cola to drink during their lunch break. I am not opposed to Americans owning foreign cars as this is a free market place, I am just putting the hypocrisy back at the Obama administration and the Democrats who think that they should always tell others what to do with their money.
Both Chrysler and General Motors presented their business plans to the White House as part of the terms of the agreement from December. Chrysler's plan consists of 177 pages (mostly fluff) little in the way of planing and GM's plan has a total of 117 pages which will include focusing on its core brands, GMC, Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet. The Task Force on Auto Industry will have until the end of March to review and decide whether to grant further government aid to these failing behemoths or to structure a controlled bankruptcy filing.
Will these automakers survive? Not if they are not allowed to fail. They must fail in order to fix their cost structure and focus on efficient manufacturing and assembly of cars that Americans want to buy. Failure is an option and should be explored.
Car selling should be simple. Make what people want to buy. Price it where people are willing to pay(successful market research and branding). If they buy it make more of it and make improvements to it. If they don't buy it stop making it and mark it down to liquidate immediately. Automakers sometimes stay with a model too long before discontinuing it. I like what Detroit used to make. Maybe I will see more of these on the street really soon!
That's my word! Post yours!