Linked below is one of the most astute analyses of the decline of the Big 3 U.S. auto companies. The article linked below by NY Times chief financial writer Floyd Norris focuses on one of several factors that led to the decline--going farther and farther into debt as a result of failure to adjust capacity to declining market share.
I would add that the market share decline was inevitable as the trickle of imports in the 1970s became a torrent in the 1980s and 1990s and "transplant" assembly plants popped up like mushrooms in the right-to-work states in the South. The Big Three managers apparently didn't see the handwriting on the wall that they were facing a big decline in market share as a result of free entry of imports into the U.S. car market (and their own failure to deal with product quality and durability issues).
Norris points out the irony that the government is now teaching capitalism to GM and Chrysler, forcing them to bite the bullet and reduce their production capacity and dealer network to match their market share.
"U.S. Teaches Carmakers Capitalism" by Floyd Norris in the NY Times, November 20, 2009 (Floyd Norris, chief financial writer of the NY Times, is, in my opinion, the best in the business.)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/20/busin … .html?_r=1
I'm English and it's been the same over here. Seems like the trick was to build small affordable cars that are good all-round instead of big V8's, V10's etc. American manufacturs tried to counter this with cheap materials but the build quality was never there. The Caddy SVT is like plastic parts stuck together compared to the Germans who have much higher standards.
I just wrote a hub - "Why cars are expensive" and the source article is explaining a lot about the (American) auto industry.
You can read the full article here:
http://www.cars-10.com/2010/03/why-cars … g-premium/
http://www.freep.com/article/20100420/B … P-autonews
GM keeps loan promise
BY JUSTIN HYDE
FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF
WASHINGTON -- General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre is to announce Wednesday that the automaker will soon pay off $5.8 billion in loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments well ahead of a June 30 deadline, a move it has promised since last year.
Whitacre is to announce the payment at GM's plant in Kansas City, Kan., and then fly to Washington to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Michigan's congressional delegation, people familiar with the plans said Monday.
GM is to use the move to highlight its steps toward issuing shares to the public and helping the U.S. government get out of its 60.1% ownership stake in the automaker. GM officials have said the company could break even this year, thanks to massive cost cuts under bankruptcy. The automaker reported a $4.3-billion loss for the last half of 2009.
The automaker's payments are to include $4.7 billion to the U.S. Treasury and $1.1 billion to the Canadian government; it had already paid $2.3 billion on both loans. The money comes from a $16.4-billion escrow fund set up by the two governments as part of GM's bankruptcy that the automaker is required to pay back by June.
The U.S. government has put nearly $50 billion into saving GM from collapse, an amount Obama administration officials have said was unlikely to be returned entirely when GM begins to sell shares publicly. Based on analysts' estimates, the government's stake could approach the $30.1 billion spent by the Obama administration solely on GM's bankruptcy.
by pgrundy 14 years ago
Does anyone else think this is getting out of hand? I read yesterday that GM will close 5 more plants and lay off 20,000 more U.S. workers but they need $14 billion to do it. How many jobs could we lose for $28 billion? How many billion do we have to fork over to get them to eliminate ALL the jobs?...
by Medvekoma 3 years ago
Do you think the world is becoming less religious?When asked about their religion in the most recent global survey that was conducted in 2012, it turned out that the lack of religion and faith was the third most prominent one in the world, overtaking Buddhism and Hinduism.Do you think religion is...
by Robert P 8 years ago
I have been hub hopping lately and I am disgusted with the incoherent garbage that I am coming across - nothing but poorly translated articles of about 400 words, usually without even any formatting. I would say that more than half of the articles I randomly encounter are clearly nothing but spun...
by phion 10 years ago
Taxpayers pay for $49,000 of the $89,000 dollars it cost to build a Chevy Volt. Sound like a good deal to you? That President Obama really wasn't joking when he said energy costs will have to sky-rocket was he? What a joke. See what happens when we rely on government?
by Holle Abee 12 years ago
I thought this article was interesting, especially since it appeared in the NYT. According to this guru, costs will INCREASE, not decrease. This is the same guru that democrats hailed as wonderful when he challenged Bush. Don't worry, though, costs will increase by only a few billion, and what's a...
by CHRIS57 10 years ago
I love America. I was raised in Michigan, i do business in the US, but then - i don´t live in the US. Professional life takes me all over this planet. May be that allows a more unbiased view on the state of the US and allows to compare developments in the US with other places. Results and my...
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