Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cadillac- Luxury with GET UP & GO!!

Over the course of the last ten years or so, it seems that luxury and American built were not often found in the same sentence, unless it was in a negative factor, ie; the luxury of the vehicle is not up to the standards of the German and Japanese vehicles.

as American manufacturers continue their overhauls, the benefits are finally coming available to the consumer. Pictured above is the Cadillac CTS that has luxury combined with Get Up and Go! If you are one who loves detailed reviews check out MOTOR TREND.

If you prefer simplicity, I suggest you give it a test because I found that it was comfortable, appealing, and very responsive when you stepped on the gas.

For those of you who are out there and have bought the Cadillac, please be kind enough to share your story with me so we can get the word out and encourage Americans to buy American cars. It makes good sense for the future of our country!
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Thursday, January 1, 2009


As the World economy continues to deteriorate, automobile manufacturers around the world have growing concerns about the future. As foreign cars continue to Pile up on docks with no place to go, America’s Southern auto workers, where state subsidized factories have considerably changed the landscape, with the creation of the Little Eight have concerns about their futures.Unless the financial situation eases up, and credit once again begins to flow, car sales will continue to lag, and dealers, with massive inventories will no doubt continue to fold under their financial burdens. We will continue to see governments support their respective auto manufacturers, and we will see consolidation of offshore manufacturers, as I would expect to see with GM and parts of Chrysler.

The job of the auto czar will indeed be a difficult task, especially with a very shortened time frame of March 31. All three companies have been in the process of re-structuring, and have definitely improved the quality of their offerings, but the American car buyer remains more skeptical than they should be. Old beliefs die-hard and this is the number one obstacle that I believe has to be addressed and overcome. However, no re-structuring plan can succeed without the support of us, the American consumer. We will need to stand up and be counted to make a difference.

For example, from GM, the Chevy Malibu, an old name that has been totally revamped, was voted the JD Powers #1 in initial quality, and is a very strong alternative to both the Camry and Honda Accord, in quality and affordability. Check out the Malibu and take a look at the awards it has won. While you’re at it, why not check out the Ford Fusion, and the Chrysler 300, all of which are greatly improved and able to compete with their offshore counterparts.

I believe that we as Americans must do what we can to support the few manufacturing industries we have in this country, and the automobile industry is one in which we are capable of competing, and with a strong domestic market, supported by our citizenry, we can grow our base create jobs which is something we desperately need to do.

Don’t forget to check out the other offerings of what used to be the Big 3, as they are making and selling both quality and value that enables them to compete with their rivals.

We, with a commitment to support our local manufacturers can MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY


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Monday, December 22, 2008


As you may have deduced if you’ve read my previous posts, (if not, have a look) I am not much of a fan of our President George W. Bush. I have no doubt he’d be a wonderful guy to sit down and have a beer (non alcoholic for him) with, and perhaps a pretzel or two if he promises not to choke, but I must say I’d rather he stayed the owner of a baseball team, rather than becoming the (not very arguably) worst President in history. I often wonder who makes up the 11% of his approval rating, other than wife, daughters, and Vice-President

However, after a good deal of procrastination,he made the right decision to come out in support of auto manufacturers GM & Chrysler, while Ford stayed on the sidelines, for at least the foreseeable future. So I say ATTA BOY! Mr. President. Even though it came at the end of your administration, and brought a good deal of flack from your Republican mates who only wanted to subsidize foreign manufacturers based in their home states, and screw the rest of the nation, you finally got a set of Gonads and got something right! And yet you were still able to maintain your perpetual ambivalence as you consciously authorized just enough to put it onto President Elect Obama’s already jammed “fix it platter.” Good JOB!

We will see in the coming weeks, I believe Europe started already, significant loans to their manufacturers, and the current lion of the industry, Toyota, as reported by Business Week has started a major discount program, and will report their 1st ever operating loss

This is not just a Detroit problem, it is a World Wide economic meltdown, and one of the most important things, we as Americans need to understand, is that we MUST keep Congress accountable as they give away our money to undeserving failed bank executives. We must let them know this cannot continue as we move toward ethics in Government, a HUGE challenge.

If we are going to use bailouts, let’s finance something that can make a difference and provide jobs, like the automobile business, rather than under performing Executive pockets. Now that we as citizens are all partial owners of our GM & Chrysler with our bailout, we should know something about our investment.


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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ford's New Look

American Ingenuity is alive and well and living in Brazil. This is the type of goal that can be accomplished when everyone is on the same page! America can compete!

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Same Old Republicans??

With the same prevailing attitudes that have reduced the relevancy of the Republican Party over the past two elections, (irregardless of the incompetence of the presidency) they were able to create a stalemate and bring the Auto loan process to a halt. This is a true indicator of what President Elect Obama speaks to when he says we need to operate differently, for the good of the Nation. It is apparent, to me at least, as I have heard Senator Richard Shelby. (Rep) from Alabama, speak out several times against the loan process, that he is more interested in the State of Alabama, than the State of the Nation. In an open letter to Senator Shelby, from Peter Karmanos, Jr., chairman and CEO of Compuware Corporation, to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, he quite clearly makes the case about Shelby spearheading the effort to subsidize a Mercedes Benz facility, as well as others, in his state. A true American working for his country, and an excellent example of why we need term limits.

But, although he was a key figure in shooting down the auto loans, he was by no means alone. There were others, in opposition to the loan, but the splits fell mainly by states that had previously subsidized foreign manufacturers to manufacture in their respective states. This to me smacks of politicking in its purest form rather than concern for our nation. Not to mention the fact that many believe that bankruptcy would be less expensive in many areas, then loaning the money. The bankruptcy burden

I am by no means an advocate for blindly handing over billions of dollars to our car manufacturers to continue on the track they had been pursuing through the eighties and the 90’s. But in reality, this is not the case. They have been restructuring for at least three years now, and they currently build cars that are competitive with foreign manufacturers in quality, and at a very competitive price.

I am not convinced that a car czar with unlimited power is the answer to the situation. I believe we need a strategist from outside the business, and I would recommend someone like Michael Porter of Harvard Business School, who recently wrote a compelling article about the need for a US Economic Strategy in Business Week magazine, for which the automobile industry would be a factor for consideration.

It appear as if the last opportunity for some sort of loan will have to go through the White House, and will perhaps represent the opportunity for President Bush to do something good for the Nation. However, at best it will only represent a token of what needs to be done, as it will then be handed off to the already beleaguered Obama administration, that already has a full plate, and an enormous challenge.

I believe that, rather than a car czar with unlimited power, that there be a measurable plan put in place with milestones that when achieved, additional loans may be granted. I also think it is time for the Boards of both General Motors and Ford to step up and be accountable, as there is indeed lots of brainpower in that group. Cerberus to me is quite a different story as they are privately owned by a company that appear to be steeped with cash, and if that is indeed the real story, they should pony up rather than burden the taxpayer with debt for a private company.

This is a very complicated situation, and as I have said earlier, a good case can be made for both sides. But as the world continues to change, and it is changing now faster than ever, we will need to manufacture. Foreign manufacturers now produce cars in America (thanks to State subsidies) creating jobs for Americans, but the profits still go to the home company. I have felt for a long time that we would rue the day we gave up our manufacturing base, but as it evolved with so many industries we were unable to compete with Nations that work for pennies a day and be able to support an American lifestyle.

We are able to compete in the automobile business, as has been proven with the success of GM & Ford on global basis, but we need to bring that success home to America, and it is still our choice if we choose to BUY AMERCIAN and support our companies and their employees.
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Is it in the Bank?

It’s been a long weekend for Congress as they continue to work on the terms for a bridge loan to our struggling US auto manufacturers. No one should believe for one minute that this is an easy choice, as a good case can be made for each side. However with the backdrop of Friday’s Job loss reports of 533,000+ bringing the total job loss for the year over the 1,000,000 mark, I think the decision to go forward with some type of bridge loan as reported by the New York Times is a decision that makes sense.

I watched the debate extensively, and I must say I was impressed with the both the quality of the questions, and the depth of thinking that went into them. It appears as though they will agree on some interim financing that will give the companies life into March of 09, where it will become the problem of the Obama administration.

The CEO’s,Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan Mulally of Ford, and Robert Nardelli of Chrysler, owned by Cerberus, a private equity firm, have all agreed to work for $1.00 annually, and that ought to help bring about a real sense of urgency. It is also a sense of fairness in line with the layoffs that will be coming as they re-structure. No matter what, and President Elect Obama concurs there will be tougher times coming for not only the auto workers, but for Americans in general, as we weather our current recession.

With all that has happened in the auto debates, I still have not seen or heard of ideas that will ensure success. There has been talk of a committee, and we should all know that Washington committees take forever, and rarely produce positive results. I have also heard talk of a car czar with Jack Welch being mentioned, but I would like to see someone of the ilk of Michael Porter of Harvard University (recognized as one of our country’s leading strategists) who recently wrote an article for Business Week on our need for a national economic strategy.

Of course, any strategy the companies look to implement needs to be in conjunction with the UAW and it’s President Ron Gettelfinger, who seems to understand the urgency in getting this done. We are way beyond niceties, and into survival mode. Others that need to be involved going forward will be suppliers, bondholders, and anyone else with equity stakes.

However, no one mentioned above can do anything about the situation as WE CAN, with we being the car buying public. We alone, as suggested in my earlier post, have the deciding power to determine the fate of our automobile manufacturers, buy either buying or not buying their cars. We will be the ultimate decision maker!

Check out the line of cars and special offers of our American manufacturers!
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Can we save our Automobile business

Well, as requested, the auto execs submitted their plans for the future to Congress, and as anticipated, they include employee layoffs, executive pay cuts, plant closings, and the elimination and/or sale of certain brands as reported by the New York Times..

To show their support for the manufacturers, the UAW (check out the FACTS) said it would be willing to work with the companies and have already agreed to reduced/postponed health care payments for retirees and are considering revisiting the Job Bank issue, that guarantees laid off employees 95% of their pay. It is difficult to compete unless concessions are made, and again, not to be redundant, half a pie is better than no pie at all!

Already, more than 900 US dealers have closed over the course of the past year, and the ripple effect of the closings is already being felt in towns throughout the country. However, it would be nothing compared to the seismic proportions of any of the Big 3 going under. All three, are already in the midst of a re-structuring that began 3 years ago, and they, like everyone in the industry is feeling the ramifications of the credit crunch brought on by the sub-prime lenders and their mercenary and unscrupulous tactics. The Edmunds Auto Observer very clearly illuminates what is going on in the industry, and it’s not just the US market, it’s global.

This is, and will continue for a while, to be a very difficult time in the history of the United States of America, and perhaps, just perhaps, it is part of the calling for us as a Nation, that we had the courage to elect an African American to the presidency of this great country! Perhaps it was meant to be and he will turn out to be the right man in the right place at the right time, and we will emerge from this crisis having overcome our issues accepting diversity, defeating bigotry and racism, and re-capturing the spirit and drive that made us the greatest and most envied nation in the world!

To be continued, but for now, let’s together save our auto business and the millions of jobs and benefits it has provided. There is enough on our collective plate without having to deal with another crisis that we can save by BUYING AMERICAN CARS!

Let your Senators and Representatives in Congress know that you know what is good for America. Timing is of the essence and critical.

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