Ford, GM have discussed merger, alliance

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The why did you respond, but not answer the question asked? Never mind, we know why anyway LOL
mike hunt


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Jeff wrote:

The Denver airport's baggage handling system was an example of robots complaining, repeating tasks perfectly wrong every time, and taking too many sick days. GM had its own fiascos with robots in the 1970s and 1980s, and more recently, there was a local highly automated airbag factory that was a true design disaster
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The robots do exactly what they are told to do. The problem was not that the robots didn't work properly, but rather, they weren't told what to do properly (i.e., programmed properly).
Jeff
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wrote:

That's just part of the story. Failure is the result of success. I agree with Brad- you can't stop it. Certainly politics has never stopped it. That's just ridiculous. It ain't ever been done.
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My father had a work truck that was a 1970 Chevy C-10 6-cylinder. The truck had over 100,000 mi on it. It never needed any major engine work. It went on thousands of trips of less than 1 mi and last about 20 years.

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because things like valve jobs and re-rings were considered routine maintenance up until the mid 70's. Nobody kept cars more than 3-4 years or 60,000 miles unless they had to. The drive trains were great. But you can not compare a truck of that era with a truck of today. If you had built trucks to the level of "creature comforts" today's buyer demands as standard equipment, your fathers 1970 C-10 would have cost as much as your grandfather's caddy sedan deville. And would you like to make the average wage from that era? Hell in 73 you could buy a three bedroom ranch with a one car garage, a full basement, on a 1/2 acre lot in Saratoga Springs NY for $22,000,(and that's one I will say was built a heck of lot better than one costing $175,000 built today)
Whitelightning
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The problem wasn't the engine design, but rather the lubrication oil and the fuel. I'd wager that a brand new 60s or 70s, hell even a number of 50s engines fed a diet of modern oil and modern fuel would likely last just fine with no other changes (minus any built in dependence on TEL).
If these engines survived the 70s, they've been just fine through the 80s and 90s. In fact, many of the engines were made into the 80s with no significant internal changes but with the additional durability indicating the problems were in the engine design and manufacturing but rather the quality of the available engine oil.

I would take the average wage of my profession in 1900 with 1900 prices. It would be a six figure salary today.
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reason the ricers seemed to be better back then, the owners took better care of them, because it cost three times as much to fix Toyata in the late 60's early 70's then it took to fix a Chevy. Dino oil is Dino oil, it hasn't changed all that much. detergent oil came out in the late 50's, as did detergent in gasoline. Lead had been in gasoline since 1921.
Whitelightning
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While it's true japanese makes convinced owners to care for the cars better, even with quick oil changes it wasn't that good.

Motor oil has improved a great deal as have gasoline additives. See the gasoline FAQ and oil certification grades.

And it hasn't been for close to 30 years now in most states. What I was refering to was valve seat wear, which may or may not be a myth.
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The valve seat wear was a myth as far as lead stopping it. Its why a valve job was considered routine maintenance. Lead's sole purpose for being added to gasoline was to stop knock..Ethyl alcohol was one of the first additives for knock prevention, and gasoline with ethyl commanded a higher price than "white gas". But Dupont got their hands on GM, and used their clout to push lead, which they produced. In my younger days any shop that did major repairs had a valve grinder, and valve seat stones and guides, and valve guide knurlers, knowing how to use them was part of being a mechanic, lapping in valves was job often given to apprentices and was done by hand with a dowel. Today I would wager that maybe 10% of mechanics know how to do a valve job, its now a machinists job, if you can find a machine shop any more. Then again cylinder heads today are throw away items.
Whitelightning
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Whitelightning wrote:

Tetra ethyl lead did indeed leave deposits when burned and those deposits had the surprising effect of reducing exhaust valve and seat wear. Valve jobs were routine up through the 1950s, but became much less common after that when TEL was being added to most fuel. It is true that TEL was added in order to raise octane ratings and thus support higher compression ratios, but the exhaust valve life improvement was a very real side effect.
When TEL was pulled away in the 80s it was a problem for some of the older engines which lacked hardened exhaust valve seat inserts. Now it is common practice to add those seats when rebuilding older engines in which the valve contacted directly onto the cast iron head surface.
John
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With a few keystrokes, you can just wipe away 30 years of materials engineering? That makes no sense.

The important thing is, it was a different reliable in those days. In 1960, everybody had to set the points in their cars. They did it without complaining. Tires lasted 10,000 miles. You might need a valve job a couple of times on the way to 100,000 miles. A good battery cost $50, and they still do 50 years later.
You can argue about this, but it's so obvious that you really shouldn't. Better to just accept that people look back on air cooled volkswagens that had a full overhaul after 50,000 miles and they remember how "reliable" they were. If you carried your tool box with you all the time, plus a spare set of points and a voltage regulator, they were reliable, except when they were vapor-locked. It's a different idiom, the reliability of today.
Like I said, you can argue, but I don't advise it. It's too obviously true. Cars are much more long-lasting today, but it doesn't seem so, only because people have changed.
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Oh lords of usenet forgive me for I made a typo. correction below:
'indicating the problems were _not_ in the engine'

$5000 in 1900 translates to over $100,000 in today's money. And by 1900 prices, the buying power of that dollar.

And it would cost about $5 in 1960 dollars now. The manufacturing advances have simply kept up with the decline in value of the dollar for that item.

Or one could have shelled out a little more for a maverick instead of a 1930s car (the bug).

Give a good late 60s model the following:
1) modern rust protection. 2) modern fluids. 3) at least a 1980s grade engine management system
You'll see reliability very close to that of today.
The proof is in the fact that many of the 1960s engines made it into the 80s and 90s. Not to mention some of the 70s platforms.
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That would be about 2 cents more than it's worth.
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What doubled and tripled the price of cars and trucks was all of the government regulation to meet CAFE, NHTSA, and OSHA rules as well as President Carters six years of runaway double digit inflation. All of which came to a head in the seventies. LOL
mike hunt

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I dont claim to know anything about business, but how does merging 2 failing companys make 1 good one?
<DIV> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>9/18/06</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>(Reuters) Senior executives at General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have discussed a merger or alliance, industry newspaper Automotive News reported on Monday.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>Citing several sources familiar with the talks, the paper said it was not clear whether the negotiations will bear fruit.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>As of now, the two companies, both struggling with shrinking market shares while restructuring operations, are not holding talks, and one source said there is a slim chance that anything will come of the situation, Automotive News said.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>GM and Ford declined to confirm any talks.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>"As we've often said, GM officials routinely discuss issues of mutual interest with other automakers," GM spokesman Brian Akre said. "As a policy, we do not confirm or comment publicly on those private discussions, which in many cases never lead anywhere."</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>Ford spokesman Tom Hoyt said the automaker does not comment on speculation.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>On Friday, Ford said it would slash $5 billion in costs and one-third of its work force as it warned its auto business would not make a profit in North America for another three years. It also suspended its dividend and pledged to revamp a vehicle line-up seen as weak by analysts.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>However, the No. 2 U.S. automaker ruled out an immediate sale of its Jaguar brand, disappointing investors who wanted Ford to press ahead with asset sales to raise cash, sending shares to their biggest single-day percentage decline in almost four years.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>Earlier this month, Ford named Alan Mulally, a former Boeing Co. executive, as chief executive, ending the troubled five-year stint of Bill Ford Jr. as the company's operational head.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>GM is in the midst of its own restructuring as it tries to recover from a $10.6 billion loss in 2005.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>Turnaround efforts at the world's largest automaker have gained traction this year as 34,400 workers -- about a third of its work force -- have accepted early retirement and buyout offers. GM is also closing 12 plants.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>Still, CEO Rick Wagoner is under pressure to show further improvement as GM studies a possible tie-up with Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Renault SA in which Nissan and Renault could buy up to a 20 percent stake in GM.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>That deal, urged by GM's largest individual shareholder, billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, has been widely viewed as a means of prodding Wagoner to speed up the company's turnaround efforts.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>Last year, GM and Ford agreed to jointly develop a new 6-speed transmission, which is in production in plants at both companies.</FONT></P> <P><FONT face=Tahoma>Yet another $.02 worth from a proud owner of a 1970 Mach 1 @ </FONT><A href=""><FONT face=Tahoma>http://community.webshots.com/album/18644819fHAehGJAjt </FONT></A></P></DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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petebert wrote:

That's a damn good question....
TNS
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Nay-Sayer wrote:

The Answer: It benefits the execs and members of the board.. They get rich on ridiculous bonuses based on false performance, bleed the post-merger company dry, retire with millions, if not billions, in the bank.. without a care in the world... Why should they care if they leave a dry empty shell behind?
Sounds like a good company to me.. at least, as far as the top level execs are concerned..
Sounds "Not so Good" for the 10's of thousands of people and families that once had jobs there...
(Sorry, just feeling angry and cynical today..)
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tony wrote:

But assuming there is a demand for cars - Toyota, Nissan, etc., will just build more cars and to build more cars, they will have to hire more people, etc. Therefore all those people that once had jobs at Ford and GM will just go to work for Toyota, Nissan, etc. Oh wait, Toyota, Nissan, etc, don't have the same sweet employment deals as the UAW extorted from Ford and GM - welcome to the real world. Moving Forward, Shift 2.0, - your own greed is screwing you (and this applies to both sides of the equations, the over paid UAW workers, and the people who think buying cars from foreign manufacturers won't affect them).
Ed
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