What’s Next for Chrysler?

Chrysler announced last week that another 1,000 salaried people would be terminated from the company in addition to the already announced cuts.  Chrysler also announced that they lost $431 Million in the first three months of this year.

Additionally, both GM and Chrysler announced that they would no longer lease vehicles.  The reason given is that the residual value isn’t enough to resell the vehicles without losing money.

Folks, this is bad.  What’s next?

An article in the American Spectator muses the following:

But the diagnosis is much worse for Chrysler Corp. Some analysts believe that unless a transfusion of money and other resources can be found via a buyout or partnership with a healthy automaker such as Nissan/Renault (or even the Chinese), Cerberus — the private company that currently owns the sickly husk of Chrysler Corp — will cut its losses and dump the whole shebang.

Time frame? A year, at the most. Maybe less than six months.

Unlike GM and Ford, which are still publicly traded corporations, Chrysler is little more than an asset (a liability, actually) held by Cerberus — which can decide tomorrow night if it wants to that it’s time to cut bait. And given the awful condition of Chrysler — and worse, its equally awful prospects — that decision may come sooner rather than later.

It goes on later in the article…

… But it made a fatal error in the late 1990s when it “merged” with (in reality, was bought out by) German automaker Daimler AG. At the time, it seemed like a great deal — to people who were clueless about the auto industry, anyhow. Benz sucked the company dry, tossing it a few bones in the form of shared platforms/parts that let Chrysler build and sell cars like the 300 (based on the Benz E-Class) and Crossfire (based on the Benz SLK) while it drank deep all the profits its Chrysler arm was earning through Jeep and elsewhere. This cash went straight to the Fatherland; it was not used to invest in new passenger cars for Chrysler.

Once it was through feeding, Daimler burped heavily, backed away from the table — and left the remains of Chrysler for the rats.

So there you have it, stuff that the majority of us already know and more.  Chrysler is in deep due to the shortsightedness and greediness of managers looking to make a quick buck and make their parachutes gold with platinum pinstripes.  And that leaves a lot of people out in the cold.

I’m not talking just about the remaining managers and workers at Chrysler, but of the first, second, and third tier suppliers that need Chrysler’s business to survive.

I personally am not confident in our new management to pull the company out.  They’ve already made their millions, and continued cutting is not the answer.  The answer is product that people will not only want to buy, but fall all over themselves to purchase.  Cutting people that can make that happen is suicide.  As the article states in various sections:

Chrysler has an aging, not-right-for-the-times lineup that includes overweight gas guzzlers…

Chrysler doesn’t even have the Neon anymore.

For some inexplicable reason, Chrysler did not invest in a replacement for this once big-selling economy compact. So it has absolutely nothing right now in the way of a 30 mpg or better small car — at a time when such cars are as hot-selling as V-8 SUVs were five years back.

It has already announced the cancellation of several models…

GM recently introduced a whole family of new mid-large crossovers — the Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia. Ford has the Taurus X and Edge and the new Flex.

Chrysler does not have even one comparable crossover. [Not True – Chrysler is introducing the Dodge Journey.]

The only profitable asset the company still has is its Jeep brand…

Better make sure that resume is up to date.

Do the Democrats (Especially Obama) Have a Clue?

This is from a response to an article in The American Thinker entitled “Obama is Just Another Politician.”

I have considered myself an Independent ever since I could vote. I take great pride in the fact that I do not buy into ANY party line, and research the candidates and the issues at hand. I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans in my lifetime. This is the first year, however, I am actually considering voting straight-ticket Republican come November 4th.

The feuding between the two parties has reached ear-splitting levels these past few years, with politicians on both sides wanting to play the gotcha game more than trying to actually SOLVE ANY PROBLEMS! But my tipping point has finally been reached thanks to a few factors. First, what is happening to the Democratic Party scares me. These far left crazies are a frightening bunch, and the fact that they have hijacked that party indeed shows something rotten in the state of Denmark. Even worse is that sensible minded Dems either can’t or won’t shake free of the chokehold those loons have (with the exception of Joe Lieberman).

My second point hits closer to home, literally. I have the pleasure of living in the wonderful state of Michigan, and have seen firsthand the damage that comes from Democrats in power. Thanks to our “esteemed” Governor and Democrat controlled House, our economy is one of the worst in the nation, businesses can’t get out of the state fast enough, and the people are running right behind them! Our housing market was wrecked BEFORE the market crashed and burned. The result of the mass state emigration is an annual budget shortfall to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. The Democrats answer? Trim outdated, or redundant, or luxury programs from the state budget? Of course not! Raise taxes on everyone still here! Raise the state income tax! Raise property taxes! Raise taxes on service based businesses! The only thing stopping this madness was our Republican controlled Senate (yes, Michigan is one of few states with a bicameral legislature – yet another item that can be trimmed from the state budget), who seemed like the only governing body listening to what the people of Michigan actually wanted! Cut spending! Simplify the tax on businesses! For God’s sake, don’t raise taxes! The showdown ended up with a state government shutdown for a couple of days, because the Democrat thugs were acting like petulant children. Or worse, elitist snobs who knew the best answers for us lowbrow folk. How are we possibly to know what is best for us?

Anyhow, I suppose my rather long winded point (sorry) is this, in Obama, you have all of the worst aspects of the Democratic party rolled into one candidate. Far left policies? Check. Elitist attitude? Check. Heavy on words and promises, but short on substance? Check. Plus the added bonus of a Democrat controlled FEDERAL government! If they can turn one measly state into an economic void, just IMAGINE what they could do with an ENTIRE COUNTRY! Oh, the possibilities! God help us if this man reaches the white house.

I have looked over Obama’s website for his vision of the future.  I see more promises of incentive this, grant for that, subsidies for another, and as an afterthought, to all be paid for by raising taxes on people earning over $250,000.  In some areas of the country, that is barely enough to live on.  Nowhere (at least at this point in time) is there a mention of trimming the Federal budget, and God forbid halting or otherwise canceling any Congressional pay raises.

And now this past week, there is something else to pay for – the rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack.  Yes, these quasi-government financial institutions are going belly up while their executives pocket millions in bonuses, and we, the taxpayer, are going to foot the bill (again!!).  The Democratically-controlled Congress rushed through a Bill to save their baby, which by the way, was also conceived by an earlier Democratically-controlled Congress.

Congress believes that they have a blank checkbook, and the taxpayer is the bank with a blind accountant keeping the books.  Congress also believes that the voters of this country are stupid, and in some respects, they are right.  But then again, we’re too busy trying to earn enough money to live on to pay attention.  I guess that’s the reason the previous post’s video is both humorous and sobering at the same time.

Yes, I fear the Liberal Democrats in both the White House and in the halls of Congress.  Their spending habits have not benefited this country in the long run.  Otherwise, our public schools would be turning out academic geniuses every year instead of graduates that need remedial reading classes before they start attending college.  The war on poverty would have been won many years ago instead of dragging on for more than 40 years.  Welfare and Medicaid would not be collapsing in on themselves.  Need I go on?

While some of the Democratic Liberals out there reading this may attack these generalities, I would like to ask you one specific question:  No matter who was in the White House, what Party had control of Congress the majority of the time since 1933, the era of FDR?

This country is in bad shape.  Shame on us for not holding our government accountable for their role in the decline of our country.

Political Cartoons and Reactions

Let’s compare and contrast the following magazine covers:

To be fair, neither one is complementary to either Presidential candidate. So where is the difference?

The difference is the reaction of not only the candidate but of their supporters. So far, John McCain is not paying attention to (and even going along with) some of these humorous political pokes in the eye. Barack Obama, well, just doesn’t see that this stuff comes with the territory. If he didn’t pay attention to the political cartoons flaming the previous Presidents and their wives (especially HRC), then he’s absolutely clueless.

Then we have the media, who is firmly behind Obama. We’ve all observed the outrage that came with the New Yorker cartoon, but where is the outrage on the Vanity Fair one? From my limited news sources over here, there isn’t any. The media is playing favorites, and they are outraged when one of their own has anything negative to say about their chosen one.

Now onto the supporters. Haven’t read anything about the McCain supporters calling for apologies, retractions, or anything else of that nature. On the other hand, the reaction of the Obama supporters can best be characterized by a cartoon of their own:

If Obama is elected, expect more of the same intolerance that the tolerance-spouting Left-leaning Libs can dish out. And that’s the change you can count on!

Obama’s Overseas Trip

I have followed with some interest Obama’s travels this past week. First the the Middle East, then Germany, and now he is in France (soon to visit Great Britain). But for a while, we were both in the same country. While he was in Berlin, I was in Stuttgart.

It wasn’t far enough as far as I was concerned – I would have preferred that he wasn’t here at all.

When was the last time a Presidential candidate visited another country, much less on a whirlwind tour? As far as I can remember, none. So the next question or thought that I have is – Why?

An article in Friday’s Financial Times had this statement about Obama’s speech in Berlin:

The open-air speech was seen as important in Mr. Obama’s efforts to bolster his foreign policy credentials…

And that is the problem that I have with Mr. Obama. There is a lot of hype about his capabilities, but I believe that there is very little substance behind the claims. And besides, jetting around the world making speeches before being elected to the office is in my mind, very presumptive, which translates as arrogance.

Consider for a moment this thought. I have met with presidents of various companies, some large, some small, in various countries around the world. Does that in some way qualify me to conduct business and sign contracts with their companies? No, it does not, and by the same token, meeting with heads of state does not give one the experience or credibility to do the same. Credibility comes with experience, of which I do not believe that Mr. Obama has.

Yes, I know that the junior Senator from Illinois is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But when was the last time he took a trip anywhere related to his responsibilities for that Committee? From this article, he made trips in 2005 to former Soviet states to observe the dismantling of nuclear weapons, and in 2006 made trips to Kenya, Israel, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, and Kuwait. This was before his formal entry into the Presidential race in February 2007, but was it really part of his membership on the Committee or laying the groundwork for his Presidential bid?

What also bothers me is that Mr. Obama is making this trip around the world on taxpayer expense. Secret Service protection, staffing accommodations, & transportation do not come cheap, and quite frankly, Mr. Obama does not have any real official standing that I am aware of to be visiting various European & Middle East countries, meeting their Heads of State, and making speeches which may or may not be construed as commitments on the behalf of the United States.

Last, I just think that Mr. Obama’s trip is just wrong. I just do not see any reason for it except for what it is:  One big photo-op for personal political gain. Perhaps I’m just a cynical, bitter, overwrought religious person hanging on to my guns, but that is my perception.

Goodbye, Dear Friend…

Got a call midnight local time from my wife telling me that one of our cats needs to be put down. He has coronary disease, and no amount of medication or treatment will ease his condition. He cannot breath on his own without being in oxygen.  It’s time to let him go.

Patches was a great companion, always wanting to be around you no matter where you were at. He was our buddy.

Goodbye, Dear Friend.  You will be missed.