For some reason, the media
continues to portray untruthful information about our domestic
carmakers. Why they are doing this is baffling when they know
better, but, as David Rockefeller said, “If you tell people the same
thing over and over gain, even if it’s not true, they will begin to
believe it”. Repeated misrepresentations by the media have led to
the same bad information being rewritten in blogs like a chant from
a lynch mob saying “hang ‘em”, “hang ‘em”, “hang ‘em” over and over
again with no one actually having seen the evidence or even willing
to step outside of the mob to learn the truth.
Now that our carmakers are
suffering because of the economic disaster brought on by financial
institutions here are a few of the untruths being used to turn the
American population against their own and the related
Untruth: No one wants or buys their
Truth: General Motors, Ford
Motor Company, and Chrysler LLC sold 8.5 million vehicles in the
United States last year and millions more around the world. GM
about 1.2 million vehicles in the United States last year and holds
a U.S. lead over Toyota of about 560,000 so far this year. GM in
2007 remained the world's largest
automaker, selling 9,369,524 vehicles worldwide
or about 3,000 more than Toyota. Ford outsold Honda by about
850,000 and Nissan by more than 1.3 million vehicles in the United
States last year. Chrysler sold more vehicles here than Nissan and
Hyundai combined in 2007 and so far this year.
Untruth: They build
Truth: Consumer Reports
recently found that "Ford's reliability is now on par with good
Japanese automakers." The independent J.D. Power Initial Quality
Study scored Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC,
Pontiac and Lincoln brands' overall quality as high or higher than
that of Acura, Audi, BMW, Honda, Nissan, Scion, Volkswagen and
Power rated the Chevrolet Malibu the highest-quality midsize sedan.
Both the Malibu and Ford Fusion scored better than the Honda Accord
and Toyota Camry.
Untruth: They build
Truth: All of the Detroit
Three build midsize sedans the Environmental Protection Agency rates
at 29-33 miles per gallon on the highway. The most fuel-efficient
Malibu gets 33 m.p.g. on the highway, 2 m.p.g. better than
Accord. The most fuel-efficient Ford Focus has the same
highway fuel economy ratings as the most efficient Toyota Corolla.
The most fuel-efficient Chevrolet Cobalt has the same city fuel
economy and better highway fuel economy than the most efficient
non-hybrid Honda Civic. A recent study by Edmunds.com found that the
Chevrolet Aveo subcompact is the least expensive car to buy and
operate. The most fuel-efficient full-size pickups from GM, Ford and
Chrysler all have higher EPA fuel economy ratings than Toyota and
Nissan's full-size pickups.
Untruth: They already
got $25 billion.
Truth: None of that money
has been lent out and may not be for more than a year. In addition,
it can, by law, be used only to invest in future vehicles and
technology, so it has no effect on the shortage of operating cash
the companies face because of the economic slowdown that's killing
Untruth: GM, Ford and
Chrysler should not have invested in pickups and
Truth: The domestic
companies' lineup has been truck-heavy, but Toyota, Nissan,
Mercedes-Benz and BMW have all spent billions of dollars on pickups
and SUVs because trucks are a large and historically profitable part
of the auto industry.
Untruth: They don't
Truth: Ford and GM each now
offers more hybrid models than Honda or Nissan, with several more
due to hit the road in early 2009. Ford’s Fusion will be the most
fuel-efficient mid-sized hybrid on the market next year at
pensions are breaking the car companies.
Truth: At the time that the
pensions being paid were earned, the carmakers were making plenty of
money to pay for them. If the taken the money as it was earned and
put it in secure investments like municipal bonds, the pension fund
would be running over with cash today to pay the retired workers.
Instead, with stockholders demanding more and more, they chose to
incur a future liability and distribute the money as dividends. This
is exactly the same thing that our federal government has done with
Social Security except, in the government’s case, they chose and
continue to choose to spend the money on things that they were not
and are not supposed to do.
make $73.00 per hour.
Truth: The automakers
arrived at the $70+ figure by adding up all the costs associated
with providing wages and benefits to current and retired workers and
dividing the total by the number of hours worked by current
employees. The average wage per autoworker today is $29 per hour
with another $10 for benefits. That $10 may sound high, but it’s a
good deal for taxpayers because it includes pensions and retirement
healthcare saving massive amounts in taxpayer funded healthcare and
Untruth: Domestic carmaker
problems are a result of bad management.
Truth: In the days when the
Big Three were making healthy profits, major financial institutions
and wealthy investors held large chunks of stock and no CEO would
keep his job without paying out healthy dividends. As a result,
investments in R&D and new manufacturing technology suffered as
company coffers were pilfered. As the abilty of the carmakers to
make money was taken from them, the institutional investors, who's
only purpose is to make money, sold their stock and got out causing
the stock to drop in value and the carmakers' ability to raise
needed capital to vanish. The CEO pawns who were complicit in
this process also moved on. Now, the institutionally owned
media would have you believe that it was the UAW that brought these
Other truths to think about
include that while taxpayers are up in arms over loaning our
carmakers money, foreign countries regularly invest in their car
companies’ future and our own states are giving away hundreds of
millions of dollars of taxpayer money in order to entice foreign car
makers to build assembly plants in their states.
Before you throw the rope
over the tree, take a breath to make sure that you have the right