Trump Opposition Finds Best Reason Yet To Impeach: His Failure to Design Successful Passenger Cars

(edited)

Trump Opposition Finds Best Reason Yet To Impeach: His Failure to Design Successful Passenger Cars

 

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The biggest automotive and business news yesterday was the announcement that General Motors will be closing several assembly plants in North America, laying off thousands of workers, and eliminating a handful of passenger cars - including the much vaunted Chevrolet Volt, the electric car that kick-started the modern era of electric passenger vehicles.

To listen to analysis from the general news media and political opponents to President Trump, you would think that he's to blame for this drastic financial downturn for GM...as if Donald Trump was personally responsible for designing and building a car that no one wants, or for staking GM's future on the hope that the Chinese people will buy Buicks and Cadillacs instead of Mercedes, Audis, BMWs Volvos, Nissans, VWs, and of course their own domestic brands. (See: Best Selling Cars in China)

GM's China gambit was predicated upon a preference that the pre-communist Chinese elite had for Buicks and other GM vehicles. I guess no one told the present-day GM management that things have changed in China since the 1930's and 1940's, and that given the opportunity to experience other options, modern China would discover what modern America discovered: Japanese, Europeans, and South Koreans build vehicles that are considered better.

But it is funny to see Trump's opponents try to blame the GM downfall on his tariff policies. Buick and Cadillac build cars in China. American tariffs wouldn't impact sales of these specific cars in China. Sales of these cars in China - the auto market that is/was expected to become more important than North America - is affected by design and quality, not on the fact that the last Chinese emperor owned a Buick.

On the other side of the coin, at least one general news media outlet (Breitbart) has took a bit of a swipe at Barack Obama for presaging the demise of the Chevy Volt because he expressed interest six years ago in owning one. (See:

Personally, I've always felt that the bailing-out of General Motors was bungled and that it was done for all the wrong reasons with the wrong intentions. (From 2008, See: The Gasoline Companies Should Fund the Big Three Bailout)

 

ALSO SEE: The Rise & Fall of General Motors and the Subjugation of the Industrialized World.

Edited by Marc J. Rauch
misspelling typo
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As I quoted else where he did promise he was going to save their jobs.

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2 hours ago, Marc J. Rauch said:

Personally, I've always felt that the bailing-out of General Motors was bungled and that it was done for all the wrong reasons with the wrong intentions. 

I couldn't possibly care less what the motives were for bailing out GM or the banks or whatever. It matters not what the reason was. Under a capitalist society businesses will come and go. Some will fail while others succeed. When businesses go, people are out of work. When new businesses come, people find work. Such is the circle of life. Or maybe that was something else about something to do with the animal kingdom... anyway, there is no such thing as too big to fail. Let them fall, let them crumble. If you can no longer compete, society has spoken: we have no use for you. 

I say all of that not lightly, because I live in automotive country. Still, keep up or get out.

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19 minutes ago, Rodent said:

I couldn't possibly care less what the motives were for bailing out GM or the banks or whatever. It matters not what the reason was. Under a capitalist society businesses will come and go. Some will fail while others succeed. When businesses go, people are out of work. When new businesses come, people find work. Such is the circle of life. Or maybe that was something else about something to do with the animal kingdom... anyway, there is no such thing as too big to fail. Let them fall, let them crumble. If you can no longer compete, society has spoken: we have no use for you. 

I say all of that not lightly, because I live in automotive country. Still, keep up or get out.

I agree!

 

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Great piece, Marc.  And the angle you chose to present your case with is spot on: Trump should have designed better cars (GM has bungled it)!  Fantastic!  We debated this topic a couple of days ago and we were going on about the paltry, roughly 1% of cost the steel and aluminum tariffs added to the price tags of the Big 3's product lines ( @Jan van Eck ), and that GM has wasted one of the most financially corporate friendly eras in modern times with incredibly poor management.  Your piece from 2008 was also full of foresight that is a credit to you and your organization as well.

We all grieve for the workers, really grieve, but the fact is the management of the Big 3 has stuck it to everyone, including the Chinese who are voting with their wallets as well.  This is NOT Trump's fault.

Excellent work, Marc!

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14 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

Great piece, Marc.  And the angle you chose to present your case with is spot on: Trump should have designed better cars (GM has bungled it)!  Fantastic!  We debated this topic a couple of days ago and we were going on about the paltry, roughly 1% of cost the steel and aluminum tariffs added to the price tags of the Big 3's product lines ( @Jan van Eck ), and that GM has wasted one of the most financially corporate friendly eras in modern times with incredibly poor management.  Your piece from 2008 was also full of foresight that is a credit to you and your organization as well.

We all grieve for the workers, really grieve, but the fact is the management of the Big 3 has stuck it to everyone, including the Chinese who are voting with their wallets as well.  This is NOT Trump's fault.

Excellent work, Marc!

Thanks for taking the time to read the piece(s) and for your comments.

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3 hours ago, Marc J. Rauch said:

Trump Opposition Finds Best Reason Yet To Impeach: His Failure to Design Successful Passenger Cars

Not really sure where you got this from. Somehow I don't think it's a mainstream left sort of idea, maybe more of a right side that thinks the left must be thinking this.

But apparently trump has said he will looking at cutting federal subsidies to GM, although no one is quite sure what subsidies he is referring to. The federal government does give tax credits for EV's although as GM will probably hit the 200,000 cars sold limit this year this will fade away anyway. This has help to knock off about 2.5% value of GM, which doesn't help things to much.

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1 hour ago, DA? said:

Not really sure where you got this from. Somehow I don't think it's a mainstream left sort of idea, maybe more of a right side that thinks the left must be thinking this.

But apparently trump has said he will looking at cutting federal subsidies to GM, although no one is quite sure what subsidies he is referring to. The federal government does give tax credits for EV's although as GM will probably hit the 200,000 cars sold limit this year this will fade away anyway. This has help to knock off about 2.5% value of GM, which doesn't help things to much.

I got it from headlines yesterday where people were blaming - and chiding - Trump for causing GM's financial woes. Did I then add sarcasm? Of course, that's what people from Brooklyn (and the other boroughs) do. Why do you think the other name for giving someone a "raspberry" is called a "Bronx cheer?"

So if you now understand where the premise of my story comes from, the sarcasm about Trump not being able to personally design cars should be understandable. This is along my editorials over the years about the auto industry, with all the nonsense heaped upon Trump for Atlantic City failing as the new Las Vegas of the East.

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17 hours ago, Marc J. Rauch said:

This is along my editorials over the years about the auto industry, with all the nonsense heaped upon Trump for Atlantic City failing as the new Las Vegas of the East.

Please tell us more about Atlantic City and Trump.  Seriously.  All I have EVER heard about it is that Trump failed there.  The old line being "if you can't make money in a casino, you must be a loser".  Do tell the other side of the story.

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(edited)

25 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

Please tell us more about Atlantic City and Trump.  Seriously.  All I have EVER heard about it is that Trump failed there.  The old line being "if you can't make money in a casino, you must be a loser".  Do tell the other side of the story.

That's the point, he didn't fail in Atlantic City. He built a building, he built two buildings. Trump isn't a casino operator, he's not a croupier, he's not a hotel manager. He builds buildings, that was his job. The buildings didn't fall down in the first rain or wind storm. He had nothing to do with New Jersey casino rules. He didn't cause Atlantic City to become unfashionable, again. He succeeded; Atlantic City may have failed, but Trump didn't.

Likewise, Trump didn't design cars for GM. Trump didn't do something to the auto market to make "passenger cars" unpopular (and SUVs and vans more popular). Trump didn't advise GM to put most of its eggs in the China-basket. GM falied all by itself, again.

Edited by Marc J. Rauch
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18 minutes ago, Marc J. Rauch said:

That's the point, he didn't fail in Atlantic City. He built a building, he built two buildings. Trump isn't a casino operator, he's not a croupier, he's not a hotel manager. He builds buildings, that was his job. The buildings didn't fall down in the first rain or wind storm. He had nothing to do with New Jersey casino rules. He didn't cause Atlantic City to become unfashionable, again. He succeeded; Atlantic City may have failed, but Trump didn't.

Likewise, Trump didn't design cars for GM. Trump didn't do something to the auto market to make "passenger cars" unpopular (and SUVs and vans more popular). Trump didn't advise GM to put most of its eggs in the China-basket. GM falied all by itself, again.

Aha!  I didn't make that connection before.  Makes sense.  Trump built/builds buildings.  He sells his name to be put on the front of buildings (he really likes that part, I think), but it is almost always someone else who gets the operations contract, right?  Thanks for the "inside story", so to speak.

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