Re: Ford Posts Loss of $5.8 Billion, Worst Since '92

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The American government kept Chrysler afloat. Over night Dodge replaced the jeep built 5/4 ton truck with an over rated under powered dodge, those that served will remember the M880 and M890 series trucks as the junk they were.. Ford Mavericks disappeared out of the TMP Motor Pools and were replaced with Dodge Aspens. Ford Medium duties disappeared and Dodges came in their place. Iacoca took a stripped down Simca 1100 design, slapped a VW 1.7 ltr engine in it to get it through emissions and sold the snot out of them, along with the K-cars that followed. Damn things didn't even have automatic brake adjusters on the rear brakes. Dodge Diplomats became the number one cop car.
Whitelightning
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On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 23:45:24 GMT, "Whitelightning"

dumpster, but so did a lot of other people. Chrysler pushed a lot of technology into the American marketplace at that time as well. Pretty much inventing the concept of the minivan and bringing the concept of frontwheel drive vehicles into the big threes frontal lobes. While both cars may not have been much. They certainly sold the hell out of them. Chrysler has been sitting on the sidelines through the entire SUV war until now just bringing out the Aspen which may be to little to late for them in that market segment. I'm surprised they've waited this long to compete in that area.
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ZombyWoof
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I know. It is not like they bought a company that makes SUVs. Wait, they did. They bought Jeep. Plus, they made a ton of money on the Durango.
Jeff

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and lets not forget the Dodge Ramcharger and Plymouth Trailduster.
Whitelightning
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How about front wheel drive is cheaper to build. That's the only reason every manufacturer that has jumped on that band wagon has jumped on it. a transaxle is 40% cheaper to manufacture than a transmission assy and rear differential assy. The rear suspension is cheaper to manufacture because it doesn't have to be strong enough to handle the torque of moving the vehicle. which means the chassis doesn't have to be as strong ether. Its got nothing to with technology and everything to do with cost. I don't see Mercedes jumping on the front wheel drive band wagon. And with the exception of the Mini Cooper I don't see BMW doing it ether. But beyond that, Chevy had the Citation out in 1980, and it was Motor Trends car of the year in 1980. GM actually had the car in 1979 wanting to race it as the X-11 in the SSB/SCCA class. Ford was actually working on the front wheel drive escort with its European counterpart in 1978 as replacement to the rear wheel drive Escort MKII. Sad really, I had a 1975 Escort MK I, the last year for the body style, its was a real runner and embarrassed more than a few muscle cars on the autobahn, and in the mountains.
As to the mini van concept, I think the VW Micro bus and the Chevy Corvair Greenbrier Van both predate chrysler's mini van entry by about three decades. Not to leave out the entry in 1961 of the Ford Falcon Van, the Chevy Sport Van in 64, , and the1964 Dodge A100 for that matter
>While both cars may not have been much. They certainly sold the hell out of

Given the number of Yugos imported, Yugo sold the hell out their cars too. They were cheap. Mitsibishi sold the hell out of the Precis, and Hyundai its clone of it, the Excel. I wouldnt wish none of them on anyone, well maybe on one or two people. The fact they sold so many just proves the point that there are too many idiots that would rather buy a piece of junk new car, rather than a dependable used car.
Whitelightning
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something wonderfully witty:

model. The don't have to run an entire plant just to make one run of cars, but they do have to run a flight if it isn't fully booked. The Airline business is very capital (fixed asset) intensive. The variable costs per passenger is pretty small.
When auto sales slow down they can idle a plant, cut back shifts, layoff workers. When planes are flying at less then capacity its a bitch.
However, I agree with you that something has to be done to control the escalating labor costs facing domestic automakers. Hyundai must be making a small fortune on its vehicles because I know they don't pay their workers at the same level as us. I personally haven't seen that big of a price differential between their cars and domestically produced Big 3 ones. Perhaps I'm missing something.
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wrote:

Yet, it costs a lot to design a vehicle and retool a auto plant.
Plus, both airlines and car makers had a lot of overhead costs with pensions and health care.

They can cut back the number of planes that they fly or fly smaller planes (or atternatively, other airlines can fly smaller planes).

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Because there isn't one. Lets look at 1971. A Chevy Nova, six banger, auto, ac, ps,pb AM radio was $2,200, a Ford Maverick similarly equipped was $2,100, a Plymouth Duster w/o ac was $1,975, and a VW Beetle 4 spd manual, no ac, no power steering, no power brakes, no radio was $2,350. The VW was advertised as a low cost car, yet cost more than the big 3. The Toyota entry was the Corolla and it was $1,960, the little shit box Honda was $20 cheaper. The Datsun 210 sedan was same price as the Corolla. None of them had AC, PS, or automatic tranny at that price. The whole "cheaper" thing was all an illusion, but advertising made it seem otherwise, and the American public will swallow anything. A lie told often enough becomes "truth". The Opel Kadette was $1,800, had more room than the three ricers, a cheaper price, and a better engine, why didn't it take off?
The biggest issue I see is the big three have some of the lamest advertising on the market GM's best car ad in a long time was the one for the Cobalt where it bumps the Vette. Mitsubishi is a pile of fertilizer, yet they sell like hot cakes, they have great advertising. again a lie told often enough........
Whitelightning
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On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 03:02:25 GMT, "Whitelightning"

Because the Opels were in the shop more than they were on the road and had a lousy reliability rep. They were NOT very good cars. How could they be? They were a GM product!

DING DING DING...we have a winner! After castigating auto workers for making a good living and other stupidity, someone's finally hit upon a big chunk of the problem.

You've got it...in spades. The Japs learned in the '80s (from us) the power of false and hyped advertising, and the advantage of pummeling couch potatoes with tons of it. Log your cable or broadcast viewing any given week...Toyota and hell, even Subaru and Mazda will out-advertise GM OR Ford by as much as 3 to 1.
One has to remember...Americans, by and large, aren't very bright. They fall for advertising scams like this every time, and have for over a century.
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DeserTBoB wrote:

on? It looks like really good stuff.
Mark
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Ed White
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Ed, the common buyer doesn't know all of what you just stated, he only knows what he sees on TV, and what the biased car buyers mags like hachettes car and driver say(hachette, its a fitting name most everything they publish is a hatchet job) The "young" market buying Mitsi's and Honda's aren't looking at anything but the "kool" factor. The older market has had the myth of Toyota quality and American lack there of shoved down their throat so long they don't know anything else, even though in 2005 the Toyota Camry had 4 times the number of recalls and service bulletins than the Ford Focus.had, and its been that way for years, but it never makes the media. I wonder why not? it's like the earlier poster's comments about Opel, cant be any good because its a GM product, yet it was the number one selling car in Germany, and the only thing I saw more of on the road over there were VW's when I was there in the mid 70's. My family had one, a '67 wagon, old man beat it to death, and it just wouldn't quit. In 69 opel was the number 2 import car in this country. Biggest issue, the 1.1 ltr was gutless, the 1.5 a lot better the 1.9 was a good engine. Never understood why Ford didn't bring in European Fords. yeah we got the Capri, why not the Escort? The German Escort was a great little car and bore no resemblance at all to the American one that came later, it was offered as a standard looking two door and 4 door sedan, and so was the German Taurus and Tanus. Oh what a feeling means they were nice enough to use Vaseline.
Whitelightning
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something wonderfully witty:

of our wages go to the man, when the big 3 ain't paying taxes were left picking up the slack.
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ZombyWoof
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SnoMan wrote:

your wrong there- how "bad off" can they be, when GM is #1 in sales units, and Ford is #3 ??
Toyota is number 2, gee, they must be worse off than GM then, aren't they...
stop listening to CNN and the gloom and doom liberal press- the American Big Three are alive and well.
If Ford "lost" 5.8 billion, and had 50 billion in assets, well 2nd grade math says, they still have 44.2 billion in assets. And that "loss" can be disputed, as it's an accounting loss, taking in wasting assets, depreciation, bad debts, etc. Lots of stuff they can write off and save on taxes with.
that's a lotta dough, pal !
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wrote:

much per vehicle to produce. Toyota can be #4 for that matter and be making a killing. For example, Ford can cut the price of their vehicles in half. Sales would go way up as people flocked to get half price cars, but they could not exist long in doing so. John John
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SnoMan wrote:

The real culprit in all this is over-regulation by the federal government. All of the "safety" and "emissions" regs the automakers have to put up with are driving the cost of vehicles beyond the point where someone making an average salary can't afford one. I was just reading today that the average US family income is $34,500. The average cost of a new car is up around $22,000. By that token a new car costs 2/3 of income. And a lot of the cost is all this safety and emissions equipment. And the feds keep piling it on. I heard somewhere that in the 2010 model year all cars are required to be drive-by-wire with electronic stability control. By the time the feds are done regulating only CEO's and Senators will be able to afford a new car!
Mark
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something wonderfully witty:

employers must have as well. Workers Compensation, Unemployment Taxes, Social Security Taxes, Health Insurance, the list goes on. On average it is safe to assume about another 33% over and above salary in additional costs for each employee. So the Bubba making $34,500 is costing the company $45,885.00.
On the other hand poor Bubba isn't seeing his $34,500 because the Feds & the State are chewing away from it at the other end as well. Same story for Bubba. He's got to pay Social Security taxes, FICA, State Taxes, Medicare, Health care, Sales Taxes and his list goes on. Usually again to the tune of about 33% so when all is said and done his $34,500 magically turns into $23,115 which is right about the price of a new car. Bubba can't freakin win.
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wrote

I don't think there is a mandate for health insurance. And there is not one for retirement, except for Soc. Sec.
The mandates are not larger for big companies than small companies.

That is true for all companies, including airlines and Walmart.

The same thing is true for teachers in school and the workers at Walmart.

But Bubba can buy a used car for about 1/4 of that. Alternatively, he can take public transportation, like I do.
Jeff

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something wonderfully witty:

eating away on both sides of the equation taking money out of the functioning economy. This hurts both the people producing products and those buying those products. When people can't buy products the company that makes products don't need as many people to make them which leads to less people making money and hence a death spiral into Burger King jobs.
I'm glad that you have good reliable public transportation where you live. I certainly wish I did, but I realize that the economics of it simply don't work. I could walk about 45 minutes to the Mall where there is a bus stop, take a two-hour bus trip to go twenty miles to work, and then walk about another thirty minutes to my work place, but I think you can see the overall logistics issues that presents.
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ZombyWoof
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wrote

Yet, people also benefit from the federal government. The Soc. Sec. taxes go towards retirement, people get government-sponsored health care, Congress gets paid to make laws, the courts get their share, grants made made for fire trucks and training, schools get money, a lot of research gets done, transportation dollars go for highways and subways, soldiers get pay so they can defend the country, etc.

Well, ride a bike or set up a car pool.
Jeff

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