Thursday, December 11, 2008

Calling Brad....

Dude, where brad at? Has Atlas Shrugged eaten him whole? I don't like having to work this much. Plus, there's a lot of stupid not getting the scrutiny it so deserves. Oh well.

For today's tidbit, let's take a look at one of McNotbasedinreality's latest pile of bullshit:

Alex Massie on the bailout:
The perception that GM and Ford and Chrysler build crappy cars is just another obstacle to recovery. And of course it's a perception that, even if out of date, is predicated upon the bitter memories of the crap cars they really did build. Turns out it takes a while for that perception to fade. One more reason why you shouldn't crap on your own brand. So the current crisis, driven by poor management and stupid unions, is also built upon the junk they spent years selling to gullible consumers taken in by the faux-patriotism of "Buying American".
Hmm, the perception is out of date, huh? Well, anecdotal evidence sure doesn't help that out. My 1996 Thunderbird was falling apart at the seems before it got totaled, with a new tranny, head gasket (twice), and other expensive repairs all before 80k miles. Compare that to my 1982 Integra which made it almost to 200k and then died when routine maintenance costss surpassed its worth. It was still getting 33 mpg highway at 13 years old. Now my 2003 Saab (now a GM company) is falling apart with less than 50k on it. Consumer Reports can give you so more concrete examples but it's pretty safe to say that American cars have been shit for the entirety of my 26 years. Maybe the new ones aren't going to get shredded by a stiff wind, but it'll take 10-20 years to find that out. So, yeah, she's starting off strong with her usual quoting-someone-who's-full-of-shit style. I swear she does this just to make what she writes look less stupid by comparison. Speaking of stupid:
That's one thing the "Car Czar" can't fix: the perception that the company apparently needs nearly unlimited access to government funds in order to prop up its failing operations is hardly going to restore America's faith that its automakers make good cars.
Um, by perception, you mean "actuality," right?
On the other hand, maybe people will buy them just to stop the tax drain. If they're going to take the money one way or another, you might as well get a car out of it.
Yeah, people might do that. There is a chance that people are as mind numbingly stupid as Megan is. Certainly could happen.

In another post, she rolls in some more bullshit:
One thing is clear about the bailout: congress intends to use it to push GM et. al. into manufacturing more fuel efficient cars.
Yeah, that's a horrible idea. Who the fuck wants a fuel efficient car these days?
When gas prices were high, a lot of people blamed Detroit's troubles on the fact that they hadn't learned to make awesome small cars. But Toyota isn't so successful in the US because of the Yaris and the Corolla; its core business, like Honda's, is American-sized sedans, station wagons, luxury cars, and so on.
But they're not making their money on gas-sipping hybrids and compacts, either. They, like Detroit, are making their money by selling cars that will need a pretty big refit to pass the new CAFE standards. The top selling cars in the US last January (midway through the price spike in oil, before the financial crisis):

1. Toyota Camry: 31,601
2. Honda Accord: 23,957
3. Nissan Altima: 21,635
4. Honda Civic: 20,993
5. Toyota Corolla: 20,736
6. Chevrolet Impala: 17,544
7. Chevrolet Cobalt: 17,310
8. Chevrolet Malibu: 14,105
9. Pontiac G6: 13,942
10. Ford Focus: 11,600

The Impala gets about the same MPG as the Camry, the Accord, and the Altima--actually, slightly better (32 rather than 31 highway).
Anyone that can tell me what the fuck she's talking gets a free referral to a psychiatrist. She's saying they aren't making money on fuel efficient cars because their top sellers are getting 32 mpg??!?!??! And what fucking CAFE standards is she talking about? 32 is as high as shit gets when it's not a hybrid. Her Mini only gets 34!!!!! As a side note, including a number on those cars in a top ten listy is complete bullshit. People aren't buying those cars because they're any good. They're getting bought by rental companies and government agencies who get great deals for buying in bulk and don't give a fuck if their cars perform like shit.
It is true that when gas prices rose, there was a temporary surge in the prices companies could charge for hybrids and small cars, but though I think that the memory of recent price spikes will offer some support to the smaller car market, I also think we'll see that market head back down along with oil prices. In short, the small, fuel efficient car market is still not some sort of gold mine that the Big Three have stupidly overlooked.
Right, cause the recent surge in oil shows us that oil is always cheap. I'm sure the downturn of its price recently is proof positive of that and not the overreaction to the burst of a bubble combined with the crashing of an economy. No sir. Cheap oil is here to stay forever. The fact that oil is still twice as expensive as it was less than 10 years ago is completely irrelevant and you're a NAZI for mentioning that. OIL IS OUR GOD GIVEN RIGHT AND WILL ALWAYS BE THERE!!!!
The question is, when the desire to make the companies refocus on fuel efficiency conflicts with the desire to make them profitable, which way does the Car Czar go? Because those goals are only reconcileable[sic] if oil prices shoot back up and stay there.
Duh, cause, people will always hate fuel efficient cars and not pay any money for them forever and ever and that's why GM is making so much money these days. They smartly realized this fuel efficiency thing is just a fad and that the real money is in the gas guzzlers.

For fuck's sake, she can't even be right about the fucking PAST! She's still clinging to the notion that GM can't make money on fuel efficient cars. How dumb is she? If that were true, their sales figures wouldn't be slumping like the fucking Hunch Back Of Notre Dame. WHAT IN THE FUCKING HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS STUPID WOMAN?


Simba B said...

I don't know. Full disclosure: My father and his grandfather spent the entirety of their careers at a GM (later Delphi) plant in central Ohio. My grandfather was a lifelong UAW man, although my father moved into upper management (locally) by the time he retired.

I think there is a perception problem out there. I could not be happier with my 2003 Grand Am, and it's got close to 60k miles on it. It has had some minor glitches, and there is a serious design flaw in it (google "N-body brakes"), but I guess I'm just lucky to own that car outright and it has not had any major issues (like over $500 to fix) since it was purchased. I could be in for a nasty surprise, I don't know.

I can't speak for Ford or Chrysler, I've never owned one of those nor known anyone who has. Although my partner has a 2002 Dodge Dakota that seems to have more issues than I'd expect for a car it's age. My parents were lifetime GM buyers until the Delphi spinoff, since then my father has leased from Audi and purchased (multiple times) from Hyundai. GM does a good job, better than people give them credit for, on the workhorse type medium/small sedans like the Grand Am I have. Does Toyota do better? You'd better believe they do, and you'd better believe that outside of the marketing crap, GM knows it all too well and has spent more resources than you'd think trying to copy Toyota's processes (not so hard) and corporate culture (very, very, very hard).

GM has a lot of problems, and they know it. Corporate culture is very hard to change, and that ultimately determines a lot of what you do as a company. They may not be able to turn the ship around before it's too late. But for all their problems, I do believe that they make decent cars, not as good as some others but better than their reputation says they do.

NutellaonToast said...

I don't know what you mean by some "good cars not as good as the competition." Your cars are only as good as the alternative. If ALL cars ALWAYS broke down, we'd deal with it cause it beats walking.

American cars break down twice as often or more than Toyotas, Nissans, etc. They also have fewer amenities, poor ergonomics, etc. That makes them bad cars. If Toyata, Nissan, etc, didn't exist, then, yeah, they'd be awesome cars.

My 1996 Thunderbird had such a poorly designed interior I wondered if anyone had ever driven it, ever before they started selling it. The ashtray was behind your elbow, for fuck's sake. No one ashes their cigarette behind them!

Mr. Wonderful said...

MM says the Japanese don't make money on small cars ("like the Corolla"), then shows a list in which the Civic and the Corolla are in the top five. And no. 2 is the Accord, which is in no way a "big American-style sedan" that people like in spite of its getting bad mileage. It's moderate sized, phenomenally dependable, and gets good mileage.

So, am I saying she's full of shit? Why, I suppose I am.

But then, I'm on page 100 of Atlas Shrugged, and I can tell you that any human being who admires that book, let alone calls herself "Jane Gault," is an idiot of titanic proportions. More on this later, of course.