Friday, December 05, 2008

Going down?

It was interesting to watch GM's CEO Rick Wagoner in the parking lot yesterday outside the Russell Senate Building talking to the media as he inserted an electical plug up his Chevy Volt.

And I couldn't help but wonder if this trip to D.C. might have been unnecessary if GM hadn't pulled the plug on, recalled and destroyed every last copy of their popular electric EV-l auto, then sold the battery patent technology they had over 10 years ago to Exxon Mobil Corp who immediately horded it away from public view?

But be impressed everybody. GM's working on the future of the auto industry: electric powered cars! (again)

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9 comments:

D.K. Raed said...

ooooh, that GM ship looks like a breaching whale, Dada ... hopefully one that was not (self)harpooned & breathing its last gasp, but merely displaying normal leviathan behavior. but hey, Fran & I are talking about the Volt on my Tranche post, mostly in the comments, if you're interested.

Border Explorer said...

Your graphics are always a treat, Dada. And I like your new blog skin, too.

Fran said...

I am so confused now about the big 3, in part a victim of their own folly, lack of vision, even failure to at least copy the most successful cars- the hybrids.
The more I hear of these jokers, I'm not convinced giving them $$ would actually help.
But now they are in a vicious circle.... if they fail they take down the workers benefits, if we bail them, it won;t fix the economy & lack of jobs & cash flow.
Bankruptcy would force them to restructure-- but no one is going to want to buy a big ticket item from a company in bankruptcy.... fearful their 7 year warranty will be worthless if the company fades away.

Bailing them out while mainstreet goes down in flames, is a part of the circle.

What do you think is the solution?
What wold Dada do if he were in charge?

Wave as the ship sinks?

If we lend them money & they go down anyway, the loan will never be repaid.

And what of the jobless people not consuming the goods?

Dada said...

D.K. Thanks for the heads up on your Tranche post. I did read it with particular interest, esp. on the "V" or GM Volt and its comments.

I know you, Fran and I touched on this over at eProf's just a bit ago talking about the EV-1. I see this morning's news includes a plan for the gov't to shovel something like $9 billion or so to the automakers as a kind of stopgap measure. (Throw a bucket of water on the flames til the fire trucks get here.)

GM's CEO Waggoner says “What exposes us to failure now is not our product lineup, or our business plan, or our long-term strategy,” but I'm not so anxious to 'throw out the babysitter with the bath water' as he. I think some of these may be very valid reasons our domestic auto industry is going down despite the best efforts of mice or men. (Wow, am I into cliches or what this morning? Hurry coffee - "Kick in!")

That and the plain fact our system's 'profits above all' mien in the short term and consumers choking on heaps of cheap debt in the long term - shoved down their throats (willingly) - has had many of us living beyond our current means it seems.

No it seems we are now in the process of slamming head-on into our future. And it's gonna be a pretty damn messy one for most all of us I fear.

Dada said...

B.E. - Thanks B.E. I often spend more time on a simple graphic than I do with the thought that goes along with it but that's probably obvious. But it's a kind of pleasure that takes my mind of the topic its designed to illustrate. (oooh, redundancy, huh? Sorry)

But, hey, it was so great to see you and Mr. B.E. downtown; to know we'll have you around for the next 5 mos or so (barring total economic collapse, in which case you may leave forever or be stuck here for eternity! ~grin)

And I love the new blog skin, too, save for how it appears on Macs where every little change or edit I made on a graphic jumps off the page at you because it's a different color. Obviously, you must have a PC.

Let's see...did we say the High Desert Brewing Company is in our plans for later today? Alright!

Dada said...

Fran: Thanks for expressing so nicely what's probably on the mind of millions of us.

As I alluded to above in D.K.'s comment and said on eProf's, "our upcoming future holds a collapsing dollar, soaring energy prices (as a result of a worthless currency and declining oil supplies in greater and greater demand*) we're sure as hell not going to need Three Big Big Three automakers because there simply won't be a demand nor the capacity for near the cars as the old paradigm supported. Better they should 'evolve' to reflect where the rest of the world is going and join us all there.

"Perhaps they can become something more useful, like manufacturers of a nat'l mass transit rail system or, of course, more of the industry/arm of the Defense Dept., providing its voracious appetite with the requisite materiel a collapsing empire so demands its citizens all sacrifice for."

That said, I truly believe we are on the treshold of a huge paradigm shift. It's the underlying theme I founded this blog on - "the largest mass extinction since the dinosaurs" and it's footer that reminds us to "Keep in mind that this planet is no model for rational thought, and that what passes for sanity here is sending chills down the spine of the remainder of the universe."

I am confused as you about what to do. But I lean towards letting those that need to, seek shelter under the bankruptcy protections provided 'em without tweaking Nature's obsession with survival of the fittest by piling obscene shovelfuls of increasingly worthless dollars on the problem. And I say that believing we are truly in a paradigm shift.

I feel badly for auto workers, some who have several generations of the same family that have workerd for the big three. But already the unions are granting concessions as they plead to congress for their lifeblood's salvation. I'm not sure the unions are going to survive either way this goes.

But I loved your idea to 'wave as the ship sinks'! I wish when I was tweaking the graphic for this particular blog that I didn't insert my recent creation, Dorothy, in the foreground waving as the GM ship slips suddenly beneath surface.

Meantime, I sometimes find myself musing about the pyramids which when brand new could be seen for miles and miles by the sunlight they gleaming surfaces reflected. But in time their beautiful outer shells disappeared to become building material for those in a poorer economic time. Something that's beginning to happen here already to foreclosed and abandoned tenements, apartments and homes all around the nation in places like Michigan, Nevada, Florida.

Indeed, may we live in 'interesting times.'
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[*re declining oil supplies: Mexico, one of our major suppliers, has seen their oil output decline 9% last year. Their biggest oil field's production dropped a whopping 15%, all while their own country's thirst is increasing, leaving less to export, of course. And this is happening in every oil producing nation.]

If we're going to spend our way out of this DEPRESSION with public works that include highways, I think we're going to end up a nation with thousands of miles of the best paved walking and biking trails of any place on Earth!

Fran said...

This one is a damned if you do or don't scenario.
I just think the big 3 are going to produce a whiz bang electric car-- that no one can afford, them forgetting we are in a recession & people need affordable cars, that are environmentally responsible.

Huge paradigm shifts are in order, but are the big 3 too lame to get it?

Why is big oil skating on this, whit their record profits, while the big 3 zoom to bankruptcy....
they have been in bed together all these years, suddenly, they are not talking?

Experts say bankruptcy would force the necessary restructuring, but then who will buy a car (big ticket item) from a bankrupt company?
Will the warranty be useless, and parts not manufactured down the road?

The more I listened to the corporate monkeys, the more disturbing the whole scene becomes.

Either way we are screwed.... paying to bail, or paying out unemployment & the financial hit the demise would create a catastrophic ripple effect.

Ugh! Safe to call it a lose-lose situation??

Dada said...

Fran said: "Ugh! Safe to call it a lose-lose situation??"

Yeh, I think so. This is the point we've been building towards for a long, long time. I see no way out of slamming head-on into the future when most often our actions taken are based on our "endless futures" of next quarter's sales or next fiscal year's profits.

Let's be sure we "bucket up." We're in for the ride of our lives!

enigma4ever said...

yeah...lose lose situation...I have no idea WHAT happens next- they need money to declare bankruptcy I heard this weekend....I love the graphic- perfect....

I don't think we should be handing the money to the same buffoons that made alot of the mess...and not without some Contracted promises to employees and their families....the workers should be garanteed Something....

And WHY was Paulson in China this week- instead of listening the hearings ?

3 Million people's jobs are at stake...

I do hope the Health issues will also be dealt with...if these people lose their jobs and their Health care, it will be a real mess....but it might happen...I also do think that it is an industry that could and should have been transformed.....and it was time for BIG cars to go, it was time for small energy effecient cars- atleast 5 years -7 years ago....and affordable cars....not 35,000 dollar Hybrids...working man cars....like MrFord thought of when he made the Model T's....

time for Everything to Change, and the Fat Cats to be stripped of their Armani suits and their gluttonous bonuses and time to end the Plight that Greed hath caused....In other words....time Us the Working People to get Our damn country back....