Re: R.I.P. General Motors (1908-2006)

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Selling more helps, but they have to be sold above cost of manufacture. That is difficult when you have a 1950's style contract to compete against 2006 car companies with less restraints and costs for retirees and others that are not productive.
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Manufacturing costs are around 1/4 of dealer net invoice, which is around 85% of MSRP, generally
mike hunt
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Manufacturing or material? That is typical in most industries. What I meant was the total cost of doing business. Much as I like to see the working man have a nice long retirement, we can't afford to pay one car maker to do it when another does not. I read that GM spends $1200 per car for health benefits for retirees.
Many contracts with workers are based on what was written 50 years ago when business was growing rapidly and the life expectancy was many years lower. Workers were given a decent pension, health care, and with social security, you could be reasonably comfortable. Those days are gone and most of us will depend on our 401k to take care of us. SS will barely take care of property taxes, surely not good health care.
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It is ironical that Bush is killing GM
The oil prices are rising and giving GM trouble
The oil is rising because Bush is making threats towards Iran
Oil has risen as the dispute over Iran's nuclear research program escalated, threatening a conflict that could disrupt exports from the world's fourth-largest oil producer
Bush said this week that ``all options are on the table'' to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons
Bush is always invading one country after the other in the hopes of getting cheaper oil but the results are always the opposite
Using seven eleven as an excuse does not hold water
The real reason is to kill GM
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We know President Bush is responsible every thing that is wrong with the world, but how do you come to that conclusion? GM offers for sale more vehicle that get over 30 MPG than does Toyota. The fact is more buyers prefer to buy larger, safer, more powerful vehicles that get fewer MPG.
mike hunt

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First you complain GM is paying too much on healthcare and good pensions for its workers, then complain the government does not pay enough in retirement benefits and to pay for heath care. Who exactly should pay for pensions and heath care? Perhaps if the import manufactures in the US paid their workers as much as do the domestic manufactures and offered them the better benefits and pensions that are paid by the domestics there would be fewer costs that would need to be paid by the government who simply takes the money from the taxpayers. Particularly when one realizes imports vehicles cost more to buy in the first place. American are quick to buy imported products but then like to blame the government and others for all of the lost production and good paying jobs in their own county. ;)
mike hunt

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The same people that actually pay for it now. The working person. Just as businesses don't pay taxes, they don't pay healthcare either. They pass on the cost to the consumer.
GM add in enough money to cover the worker fairly well. Wal Mart and McDonald's don't. Where does GM (or any other company) get the money from? The customer, the working man, just like you and me.
Same with the government. They take our money and then re-distribute as they see fit. Take that SS deduction and invest it in a 401k or any stock fund and after working for 40 or 50 years, see what benefits you will have. You don't fall for that line so often used that "it won't cost us anything, the government is paying for it" do you?
My point is that for a business to be competitive they must be able to control real costs. Agreements made 50 years ago do not always apply today, but strong unions prevent them from changing and newcomers don't have to play by the same rules.
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If that is the what you believe, buy a Toyota that is only assembled in the US of mostly imported parts, putting even more Americans out of work and taking the profits out of the US, federal tax free. Toyota does not pay their workers as well as GM, they give them fewer benefits, less desirable health coverage, and do not offer a defined pension, only a 401K. Of course the Toyota does not sell for less, it will cost you more to drive home than a comparable equipped GM vehicle of the same size. In the end you will only give the government more money to care of those Toyota workers who pay lower taxes, have less to spend and invest, and who will be even worse off than the GM workers when they get old. ;)
mike hunt

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That may be your opinion but it is contrary to US law. Every Sienna I have ever seen has a 'J' or a '5' as the first number of the VIN. By federal law that indicates the vehicle was made Japan (J) or was only assembled it the US (5) of less than 40% North American parts. The only Japanese vehicles sold in the US with a '1' are the Honda Accord and those made in the GM/Toyota plant in California all others are either a '4,' 40% to 70% North American parts, or '5'
As to retail value used, domestics have a better return on average of the original investment. Domestics return a higher percentage of the actual drive home price than does Toyota. If you look at a three year old mid size domestic V6 in NADA Guides you will they are indeed listed at around $4,000 less on average than a V6 Camry. However when you factor in the $6,000 higher drive home price of the three year old Camry when it was new, it is obvious which has the best return of around $2,000 on the original investment. The domestics on average are actually better, not worse.
mike hunt

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Better start again, the competitive vehicle to the Accord was the Taurus. The competitive vehicle to the Contour was the Civic. If you want to compare vehicles by MSRP, rather than actual selling price, the comparable Ford to the Accord is larger V8 the Crown Vic. ;)
mike hunt

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Apples to pears. I bought a fully load 2000 V6 Mercury Mystic, that cost me $16,000, $,6000 less than the Accord in you example. One of my grand children still has the car it has been trouble free for its 80,000 miles ;)
mike hunt

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If you knew that why did you compare the Contour an Accord? you said:

No wonder you are having a problem you are using a less accurate source. If you want to find at which prices vehicles are actually trading in the market place at wholesale and retail, you most use the most accurate source, nadaguides.com

No it didn't it costs more new
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That is because you are assuming they cost the same when new. In fact it cost at least $3,000 more to drive home the Civic in 1997. The Contour has returned at least $1,000 more of it original investment than did the Civic.
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I guess we can assume you are not a math major. What you believe is WRONG because they did not cost the same new. The Civic is worth more today but by a lesser amount the its higher price when new. Therefore the Contour returns a greater percentage of its value, not the Civic. A $1,000 greater ;)
mike hunt

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