OT: why American businesses are in trouble

Page 2 of 3  


Do you remember seeing the UAW bumper stickers in the 70s that said "Buy What America Builds"?
Too bad that management never figured out that the Japanese were eating them for lunch with a different approach: Build What America Buys.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote in

the beancounters can confuse things to the public so that labor costs are "postponed", but eventually it comes out somehow, and the labor contract needs changes,or the company goes "bankrupt" and the pensions are converted to something the "government" "guarantees".
--
Best regards
Han
email address is invalid
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Exactly so. Too bad the government decided that it "had to" bail out Chrysler when they were belly-up. That distorted the action of the free market, and allowed the mismanagement to continue, thus postponing the point at which Ford and GM would get the message.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote in

of righted itself and paid the loan back, even ahead of time. I think that the current state of affairs is mainly a product of "collusion" between the accountants and the labor benefits people, so that everything was postponed on the balance sheet until later (which is really soon now, when the older workers really retire). That's why I think that for pensions and health care contributions defined benefits are bad, and defined contributions better, from a true accounting standpoint. Somehow we are going to have to learn that there is a real cost to benefits, and we should take responsibility. Question is how to make people pay (one way or another) for the costs of preventive healthcare vs. cancer treatment. Example is that women apparently choose not to have mammograms if there is a copayment. How many will then get breast cancer that is detected too late???
--
Best regards
Han
email address is invalid
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Han wrote:

There was't a loan from the government. What Chrysler got from the government was "loan guarantees", in other words the government effectively cosigned the Chrysler loan application. The taxpayer would only have been on the hook if Chrysler defaulted, which they did not.

That's my big objection to socialized medicine. It gives the government a legitimate reason pry into matters that traditionally have remained private.

--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

True, but even so, why should the government be cosigning loans for private businesses which are such poor credit risks that they can't otherwise qualify for those loans? Had the government not cosigned the loans, Chrysler would have gone bankrupt. Perhaps that would have prompted GM and Ford to realize that they could or would be next if they didn't change their ways, and start building what America buys.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Because at no cost (in fact at a profit) to the tax payer it preserved a 100,000+ good paying jobs....At the time Chrysler had a very short term temporary problem.
Had the government not cosigned the loans, Chrysler would

That is just plain silly......GM and Ford have sold a lot of cars, obviously more than anybody else world wide in the years following the loan......From parts to chassi they have to compete world wide with much lower wages(often at rates well below a living wage here)...in fact even quality issues are impacted as one can afford fewer hours on quality control and/or detail.....Incidently GM sells more cars in China than anyone else (built in China).....Rod
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
: :> :> True, but even so, why should the government be cosigning loans for :> private :> businesses which are such poor credit risks that they can't otherwise :> qualify :> for those loans? : Because at no cost (in fact at a profit) to the tax payer it preserved a : 100,000+ good paying jobs....At the time Chrysler had a very short term : temporary problem.
: Had the government not cosigned the loans, Chrysler would :> have gone bankrupt. Perhaps that would have prompted GM and Ford to :> realize :> that they could or would be next if they didn't change their ways, and :> start :> building what America buys. :> Regards, :> Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com) : That is just plain silly......GM and Ford have sold a lot of cars, obviously : more than anybody else world wide in the years following the loan......From : parts to chassi they have to compete world wide with much lower wages(often : at rates well below a living wage here)...in fact even quality issues are : impacted as one can afford fewer hours on quality control and/or : detail.....Incidently GM sells more cars in China than anyone else (built in : China).....Rod
But thirty years after the loan, they still don't build cars that are anywhere as good as Toyota, Honda, and Nissan do.
So Doug's point remains.
    -- Andy Barss
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

in
I thought Chrysler had trouble getting loans. It was the government acting as a 'co-signer' that made the difference. The loan itself was private money.
Untied Airlines is another story entirely. It sure looks like the company was deliberately run into bankruptcy as a ploy to dump their pensioners off onto the taxpayers. Now as a consequence of years of mismanagement, United Airlines has a big advantage over the others who still support their pensioners.
Had UAL been dissolved, its current employees would have mostly been able to hire into the better managed airlines that would be expanding to pick up UAL's old business.
The problem with corporate pensions plans since the 1970's have been mis, non, or malfeasance on the part of management coupled with de (or non) regulation, allowing corporations to underfund them or even declare and take back 'surpluses' when they were really running at a deficit by any honest accounting practice.
A defined benefit package is fine, but only WITH the appropriate planning.
--
FF

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You hit the nail on the head Lew. Additionally they paid workers benefits that were bordering on reckless. The big 3 never had to compete. There was always too many buyers until the Asian and German automobiles started to catch on. I retired at 40 from the automotive business and from age 23 to retirement I worked for an Oldsmobile dealership and later a wholesale AC/Delco/3M distributor that sold strictly to GM dealers. I was always in upper management and the BS GM would pull left me with no sympathy for the now gone Oldsmobile division. They are getting what they deserve.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lew Hodgett wrote:

the consumers but rather the stockholders. Build a car that is reliable and efficient (see Toyota, Honda) and I will buy it.     gloom,     jo4hn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add safety and performance and an assured resale value and that car becomes expensive. Reliability and efficiency isn't enough, IMHO.
Another factor, and I'll mention a local example of this, is service. A local dealer of a pretty good car is a rip-off artist. He doesn't get many sales "because you gotta be nuts to own that car in this town." Today's car buyer wants everything for nothing. They all promise you the moon, but the wars are won in the service departments. As consumers we are very vulnerable in service related matters.
likes to go fast
r
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robatoy wrote:

Yep, same here where we are. There are two Toyota dealers, after mistakenly stopping at one of them to compare to the first dealer we visited, I can emphatically state that I will never darken their door with my presence again. I thought that style of "what's it gonna take to get you to drive out of here with this today?" high-pressure sales tactics had gone by the wayside in the 70's. Sadly not so. OTOH, the dealership we did buy our Toyota (good sales staff, no pressure, etc) from appears to have put all their weasels in the service department.
This has been the case forever and in more than just cars. Years ago, you could drive around the country and tell which tractor dealerships had the best sales and service by looking at the predominance of a specific brand.

--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I bought my first Toyota, the Tundra in July. Had Honda offered a bigger pickup I may have gotten one of those. My local Toyota dealership was/is very easy to deal with and treated my wife and I like royalty even after the sale. Normally you pay for that type service when buying the vehicle and expecially when there is no high pressure. They invited me to shop the competition and their prices and then come back and buy the Tundra. I am sure I probably could have gotten it cheaper but "drive out", $6k under sticker was good enough for me. I figure close to $8k off when considering the savings of TTL, alarm, and tinted glass being included in the drive out price. I did notice a small ding in the quarter panel after going home and was provided a free rental car while they massaged the ding out and a free rental car again when the brake light switch failed. They will be seeing me again.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I bought a Toyota Avalon last year. I live out in the sticks and the closest Toyota Dealer is 45 miles away. I used the internet to shop dealers within 100 miles of where I live. I found that Toyota dealers are no different than any other dealers. Some are great, others so-so and some just suck. I was working with one in Newburgh NY (85 miles away). They quoted me a price for a Blizzard Pearl Avalon XLS and asked me to come on down so they could evaluate my trade in. I told them I didn't know if I was going to trade a car or not and was only interested in the price of the Avalon. I agreed to visit them, but I also made arrangements to visit other Toyota dealerships along the way. When I got to Newburgh and intoduced myself to the salesman that I had been dealing with and he asked me to leave the keys to my car on his desk so they could evaluate my car as a trade in. He then told me me that the Avalon we had been dicussing had been sold the previous afternoon and, since it had been his day off, he didn't find out in time to call me. Damn, I felt so unlucky. Fortunately he said he would be able to get another, but he didn't think the salesmanager would approve it at the same price since sales incentives had changed two days prior. Again my bad luck. He asked how much I could afford per month for a new Toyota. I answered him with "as much as required". He said "No, I mean what monthly payments can you handle". Again I said "whatever they are". He then said "I need a dollar figure so I can work with you". I said "give me a price on the car and if I like it I will buy it from you". I'm not sure if the twit thought I meant the car or the price. At this point the sales manager walked into the office. He explained that that the monthly payment I could afford would assist them in providing with the absolutely best deal I could ever hope to find. I again said "I can afford whatever the monthly payment is". I remarked to the them that it seemed that I was being double teamed. Being the ignorant type that I am, I felt reassured when they stated they had only what was best for me in mind. My fears now allayed, we started to negotiate the price of the car. I was sitting in the salesman's cubicle and looking out at the parking lot and noticed my car was in the exact same spot I left it. The salesman then told after evaluating my car as a trade in they could only offer me xxxx since they found so many things it needed. My bad luck again. I then asked them for a price on a Toyota Avalon XLS in blizzard white. They again responded with "how much can you afford per month so we can structure a loan to meet your needs". I was now getting a little tired of the games we were playing and had an appointment at another dealer across the river (in Wappingers). I then told them I would like a 1 month note and would make one payment and that was all I could afford. I also mentioned that I noticed my car hadn't been moved and their diagnosis of its difficiencies was truly wondrous. They assured me I was mistakened. Toyota dealers are 'CAR DEALERS'. Some are great and some suck; just like dealers of all other brand. I ended up getting a great deal (in my mind) from the dealer in Wappingers. (2006 Toyota Avalon XLS)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hank wrote:

Sounds exactly like the dealership I will no longer even glance at when I drive by. I certainly agree it's not the brand being sold but the weasels selling it that make the difference. As I said, the other dealer was a dream to deal with as you found with the dealer with whom you ultimately did business. Actually, that was my point, a lot of the issue is with the dealer in terms of the dealing. The quality of the vehicle is a function of the manufacturer (or at least highly correlated, everybody has their hangar queens, just some more than others). OTOH, the dealer that had the great sales office had a bunch of weasels in the service department; my trust level was severely lowered on several occasions to the point I started using independent service (less expensive in the long run anyway).
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

SWMBO and I saw that high-pressure stuff last time we were shopping for a car... with flat-out lies on top of it. Told the salespeople at every dealership we visited that we were looking for a used car, a few years old, small to medium size, and fuel-efficient (specifically, 30+ mpg on the highway). One guy tried his damnedest to sell us a 1992 Cadillac DeVille. Claimed it would get 32mpg. Yeah, riiiiight.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

years The metal rusted out under the back window before I got it paid off. The only reason the quality improved was because of the imports.
Virgle
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You mean like the Hundai Pony? The Yugo?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robatoy wrote:

I can see your tongue planted firmly in yer cheek, Rob.
The Pony was a POS for sure, but I also remember the early Toyotas from the late 60s, early 70s that rusted even in Sarnia, where not as much salt is used.
I don't know about the durability of the current Hyundais, but there are a hell of a lot of them on the road, so I'm assuming that at least some of the owners are pleased with them.
Toyota seems to have corrected their initial foray into North America.
The Yugo. 'Nuff said there.
--
Tanus

This is not really a sig.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.