Archive for the Automobiles/Automobile Industry Category

Volkswagen (VW).  The Bottom Half Of The German Engineering Class Must Go Somewhere.  Boeing? (July 1, 2019)

Posted in Automobiles/Automobile Industry, Collapse on July 1, 2019 by

. . .

K          “Pressure from a valve on the spare tire was used to propel the windshield washer fluid on the wind screen.  The shortcut was innocuous and the source of some prideful stories by owners who limped into a gas station on the spare tire with a dirty windshield.”

J          “The solution to deliver the solution is clever, quirky, goofy, weird, beautiful, and idiosyncratic at the same time.”

K          “Benign, amusing and harmless.  That is not my quarrel.”

. . .

K          “The lifeless VW 411 was VW’s limp response to the legendary Volvo 122S and featured an air conditioning unit placed right behind the newly-legislated five-mile impact front bumper so that the slightest tap destroyed the cooling unit.  The location was glaringly ill-conceived and definitely not Teutonic.”

J          “And the corporate suits with VW mounted a full scale, full contact defense of their transgression and never even offered a ten dollar off coupon.  The decline of the company was driving in fifth gear.”

. . .

K          “They tinkered further and spewed the VW Jetta that features an aluminum oil pan facing forward a few centimeters above the tarmac and splits with only a modest impact.”

J          “And if you do not stop immediately, the “Change engine light” flashes red insistently.”

. . .

K          “And the general public is not even aware that the executives took a play out of the Harvard Business School playbook and doctored all the emissions figures while spewing pollution.”

. . .

K          “Should a company with such a deep-rooted vile and evil culture be disbanded and its assets sold to the highest bidder?”

J          “Then what would the bottom half of the German engineering class do?”

K          “Boeing is interviewing.” 

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

The bottom half of the class makes the top half of the class possible

Terrorized By Trumpi’s Tariffs (March 5, 2018)

Posted in Automobiles/Automobile Industry, Banks and Banking System, Blue States / Red States, Currency, Kleptocracy, South, Tariffs, Trumpi, War on March 5, 2018 by

. . .

K          “In his latest Twitter tantrum, Trumpi announced that he is going to terrorize the world with tariffs.”

J          “He is a twit.  Everyone but Trumpi knows that tariffs are tarrible.”

. . .

K          “Trumpi may place tariffs on foreign cars.  The BMWs manufactured in the foreign country of South Carolina and the Volkswagens made in the foreign country of Tennessee and the Mercedes made in the foreign country of Alabama all will be tariffed.”

J          “The South is the New Germany.  Lindsay Graham is the Senator from South Carolina, New Germany.”

K          “The South is also the New Japan.  The Toyotas from the foreign country of Kentucky also will be tariffed.  Mitch McConnell is the Senator from Kentucky, New Japan.  Someone said that other countries may place a tariff on Kentucky bourbon.  That will get Mitch in a tither.”

J          “What if other nations boycott Harley-Davidson?  They are made in Paul Ryan country.”

. . .

K          “Makes you wonder if most of the Red States are actually foreign countries.  We may soon need a passport to visit and transit.”

. . .

J          “Tariffs are a toll that takes such a toll.”

. . .

K          “A boycott of Harley-Davidson . . . now them is fighin’ words.  And that’s the problem.  A trade war often becomes a war war.”

J          “Trade wars often become currency wars.  Currency wars often become trade wars.  A currency war combined with a trade war almost always becomes a war war.”

. . .

K          “Putin sent a message on March 1 to the U.S. that seems to have been lost in translation and buried in the cacophony of chaos.  If the U.S. attacks, Russia will respond.”

J          “No one is listening over the din.”

K          “No one is listening.  Too many hurricanes are hurling toward the house of cards.”

. . .

[March 8 – International Women’s Day]

[See the e-commentary at “Bankruptcy Auto Companies (December 8, 2008)” on the auto industry in the South.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The chaos is getting even more chaotic.

Trade War -> Currency War; Currency War -> Trade War; Trade War + Currency War -> War War

Less Government Regulation Series: Homebuyer Tax Credit (Oct. 26, 2009)

Posted in Automobiles/Automobile Industry, Housing, Less Government Regulation Series, Taxation on October 26, 2009 by

A clunker of an idea.  The Homebuyer Tax Credit is another terrible scheme.  The government allows individuals to take an $8000 credit for the purchase of a home.  The government should quit trying to implant everyone in a single family house and instead allow individuals to live in a structure they can afford.  The mortgage interest tax deduction and the exemption from income of $250,000/$500,000 on the sale of a personal residence under defined circumstances should be rescinded.  The real estate market must be allowed to settle down rather than being jump-started with federal money.  Meddling is muddying the mess more.

And, once again, the deficit-loving Republicans are also behind this raid on the public fisc.  Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), a free-spending “socialist” from Georgia, is supporting the extension of the act.

Seems that the houses and cars are being sold to buyers who were already planning to acquire a house or a car anyway.

[See the “e-ssay” dated August 3, 2009 entitled “Less Government Regulation Series:  The Terrorist Tax Again” discussing among other things the clunker program for cars.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Like giving steroids to a grandmother

Government Tax Credit: Get A Home Without It

Less Government Regulation Series: The Terrorist Tax Again (August 3, 2009)

Posted in Automobiles/Automobile Industry, Energy, Gas/Fossil Fuel, Less Government Regulation Series, Taxation, The "Terrorist Tax" on August 3, 2009 by

July, 2008:   Gas:   over $4 a gallon   Toyota Prius Hybrid Car:  $3000 over MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) and a line of buyers occupying the showroom.

July, 2009:   Gas:   under $3 a gallon   Toyota Prius Hybrid Car:  $3000 under MSRP and a flotilla of the cars littering the car lot.

The Volkswagen tdi (turbo diesel injected) cars followed the same price arc in response to the price of diesel.

The market should maintain its central role in American society.  Embrace it.  Taxing gasoline/diesel at a “quarter a quarter” per gallon contemplates a twenty-five cent ($.25) increase in the tax on fuel each financial quarter (90 days).  [See the “e-ssay” dated December 18, 2006 entitled “Pass The ‘Terrorist Tax’”]  As a compromise, raise the tax twenty-five cents a year every year.  Any tax by its nature contracts the economy which in this situation is akin to the body politic sucking in its stomach a little.

Implementing the tax while the market price of fuel is low is timely and crucial.  The market is ready.  More Prius cars will be built without the government passing legislation requiring more Prius cars.  More resources will be invested creating a more improved hybrid car or a new more efficient car without further government directives to create improved and new vehicles.  Although not fundamentally a revenue-generating measure, the tax funds can fill the fisc and reduce the country’s dependence on Chinese money.  So many other positive economic changes will result without any further government action.

O’Bama must deliver a speech on the proposal as compelling as his speeches in Philadelphia and Cairo.  He can sell it.  Writing the speech would be fun.

The Cars Allowance Rebate System (CARS), the “Cash for Clunkers” Program, is a short-sighted, expensive and misdirected use of government resources and misuse of public resources.  Too much government money is being spent to spew vehicles on the road that require substantial resources to produce and consume substantial resources to use.

Bumper stickers of the week:

25 cents a quarter

Stop funding terrorists

Bankrupt Auto Companies? (December 8, 2008)

Posted in Automobile Bailout, Automobiles/Automobile Industry, Bailout/Bribe, Bankruptcy on December 8, 2008 by

Congress recently rejected the request by the “Big 3” (GM, Chrysler and Ford) auto companies who came in with their palms out and instead asked them to go out and come back with a plan in hand.  Congress already passed a Plan.  The Plan is part of Chapter 11 of Title 11, the reorganization chapter of the Bankruptcy Code.  The Code, in particular Section 365, provides the debtor with the power to avoid contracts and leases when necessary.  This provision is discussed in previous “e-ssays.”

Roam an auto show.  Kick the tires.  Open the doors.  Sit on the seats.  Turn the buttons.  Toggle the switches.  Slam the doors.  Look under the hood.  Peek in the trunk.  Check the workmanship.  Read the specs.  Scrutinize the consumer reviews.  Check recall notices.  Repeat.

Georgetown, Princeton and Cambridge make better cars.  In Kentucky, Indiana and Ontario (Canada), three of the Toyota plants in North America.  The management in Detroit has designed and manufactured lousy and energy-inefficient vehicles for decades and made Detroit irrelevant.  The trio from Detroit did not propose real compensation concessions to match the pay packages of their far more successful counterparts in Tokyo and Munich and elsewhere.

Southern Republican senators smell an opportunity to bust a union, the United Autoworkers of America (UAW), and support the non-union plants in their states.  However, the employees in the non-union states only receive the wages they receive because they can point to the higher wages possible if they were to unionize like their brethren in the North.  Cripple the UAW and undermine wages.  The Civil War, the War Between the States, the War between the Red States and the Blue States, the War between the North and the South continues unabated.

The Bankruptcy Code still provides the most promising legal mechanism to reorganize (organize?) the automobile companies.  The logic of Chapter 11 is that a going concern has additional value that should be preserved.  The problem seems to be that Chapter 11 may be inadequate under the circumstances.  The amount of the proposed bailout is squandered by the U.S. in a few days in Iraq.

The Trillion Dollar Bailout/Bribe of Wall Street was and is a travesty.  Is a bailout of the Big 3 necessary or appropriate?

Bumper sticker of the week:

See the USA owning Chevrolet?

Ford, Betty and Gerald (January 1, 2007)

Posted in Automobiles/Automobile Industry, Ford, Society on January 1, 2007 by

Betty Ford is a classic and a contemporary woman, mother and wife.  She talked to her kids about pre-marital sex and marijuana rather than lecturing them.  She observed publicly that abortion is a private not a public decision.  Her efforts on behalf of breast cancer detection and treatment warrant a Nobel Prize in Medicine or Peace.  She confronted her demons and helped others detect and treat theirs.  She wore her beliefs on her sleeve not up her sleeve.  She wore an “ERA” (Equal Rights Amendment) button while her husband wore a “WIN” (Whip Inflation Now) button.  He confronted his demons – stagnation and inflation – with mixed success.  He did not lose the foreign policy demon of his day.  Although not elected, he elected not to exacerbate the many foreign policy mistakes of others in Vietnam.  The (Nixon) Pardon is still problematic; there was a sotto voce understanding which is not surprising among politicians.  The “Profile In Courage” award was appropriate because the decision to pardon, right or wrong, was courageous under the circumstances.  Not a saint and not a Lincoln, Ford is an endangered specie, a Midwestern Republican who preached and practiced personal integrity, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and a nuanced military polity.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Well-behaved women rarely make history