• elroy Posted: 12/5/2008 5:33pm PST

    From a franchise profitability perspective, the G5 gives the Pontiac dealers another small car. They should have the sedan too -- it's sold in Canada but not in the US.
    I wouldn't take much to make it more of a Pontiac....make the only suspension the Opel designed super sweet Cobalt SS suspension. It's already engineered.
    Get new seats or change the trim to look more sporty ... no mechanicals there.....Recaro or Lear Siegler gotta be hurting too and would probably do handstands for the business.
    Spend a couple of dollars on the grille -- put chrome trim on it like the G6 to dress it up.... Gotta be lots of aftermarket wheels and rubber which can be easily added too...
    Showrooms would have all the Road Racer parts from the SPO warehouse for the customizers, just like Honda does so well.
    Target competition needs to be Honda Civic, Mazda 3 or similar, not Chevy!!!
    The idea is good....but the execution is lousy!!!!
    For ideas and a non-GM viewpoint, make an Apprentice-style contest, go to several prominent MBA schools to recruit teams and see their proposals to increase sales, profitability, etc. You would get lots of ideas for minimal costs!
    It's time for new ideas guys.......and not just for Pontiac!
    Instead, the GM marketing folks will probably add some cladding to make it different!!!! (Just joking.....I hope!)

  • Bill Burke Posted: 12/5/2008 5:52pm PST

    Marty, I'm working on a story "Fifty cars Japan needs to dump on unsuspecting American buyers after Detroit goes belly up" Any suggestions?

  • JKD Posted: 12/5/2008 6:18pm PST

    I hate the idea of G8 pickup but that photo and the color of this El Camino replacement made want to get one :-) It's a beauty but I'd still prefer the Australian wagon.

  • Marty Padgett Posted: 12/5/2008 6:38pm PST

    Bill, you could just list them all and that would work. Make sure the Koreans are included too.

  • Ray Garrett Posted: 12/5/2008 6:44pm PST

    Mark LT, Navigator
    Flex, Explorer, Explorer Sport Trac, Taurus X
    Suburban, Trailblazer,
    Durango, Caliber

  • Vincent Posted: 12/5/2008 6:49pm PST

    the problems with the american auto industry are being magnified by journalists like YOU. Instead of building positive hype about American cars like Pontiac, Buick, and Mercury you talk like they're already dead. All you do is have to come out and say that they're GOOD. Niche brands need to be around because base brands like Honda, Chevrolet, and Hyundai can be dull and too mainstream and pristigious brands like Lincoln and Cadillac scare away the average consumer. Niche brands make the average American feel "slightly above the rest." No one is being positive at this time and it starts with the MEDIA because if the media starts writing positive things, then it rubs off on everyone else. It's time to show a little support.

  • Marty Padgett Posted: 12/5/2008 8:13pm PST

    On the contrary, we've written nothing but good things about the G8, the Mariner Hybrid and the Enclave -- because we like them and they project the image Detroit needs to have and should have. It's these cars that tarnish those good efforts.

  • odineye Posted: 12/5/2008 9:04pm PST

    @ Vincent - "It’s time to show a little support."
    Support for a *business* is a lot like respect - it's earned rather than given. The American car manufacturers are absolutely getting exactly the level of support they've earned in the marketplace.

  • Harriet Posted: 12/6/2008 12:33am PST

    Over the years, American cars have greatly improved. However, the media continues to beat up the American automobile makers, every chance the get. I continue to see plenty of old U. S. cars on the road everyday, that's saying plenty about the longevity of our, American, automobiles. Don't you think?
    It drives me crazy that Americans are never proud of what they have, be it cars, television, movies, culture, etc. They're always whining about how much better the Europeans do this, or the Asians do that, or the Japanese walk on water, blah, blah, blah.
    Media is the very much a major factor in the lack of sales of American products.

  • R2dad Posted: 12/6/2008 2:49am PST

    Well put. The Ranger and Towncar have been around for ages, still are crap, and are still being made. How can anyone in Detroit defend themselves with product like that? Where are the product improvements? All I ever see are cost reductions. No one who ever bought one of them ever bought another. Both vehicles are rolling advertisements for their competitors. If the models have value, save them! If it's going to be around for 20 years, isn't it worth doing right? If you had sexy and reliable products, consumers would be much more likely to give your dealer network another chance.

  • P. HANI Posted: 12/6/2008 4:32am PST

    Police depts. around the country like the Ford Crown Vic. for good reason. If you buy one out of rental service, it's the best automotive value there is. On the "+" side: 300k reliability, comfortable and safe (next to those trucks and SUVs), reasonable fuel economy (20 mpg in south Seattle urban driving, 25 to 27 mpg open road), easy to service. On the "-" side: needs to be updated, lose 300 to 500 lbs, add 3V-4.6L v8 and 6 speed auto already in other Ford models.

  • JKD Posted: 12/6/2008 12:10pm PST

    The image is one thing but Rangers and Crown Vics actually make money since they're so cheap to produce and all the design, development, and capital investment have already been recouped. Cars like the Mariner hybrid (and even the G8) are sold at a loss and their production is limited (especially the hybrids) It's a tough call; we want more hybrids and fancy and efficient drivetrains but it takes economies of scale that they should have reached a long time ago (like Toyota) when they could afford to lose a little. It's that poor judgment that now has them cornered...

  • Jerry G. Posted: 12/6/2008 12:45pm PST

    I beg to differ with some of the analysis and following comments, especially about the American small truck.
    Are you suggesting the US automakers rid themselves of all small trucks?
    You who say the Ranger is crap: Have you ever owned or even driven one? I've had two and had zero problems with either of them. Drove the wheels off of them and traded not because they were worn out, but because I wanted a new model. I currently own a Sport Trac and am active in the MySportTrac.com forum. We all LOVE our little trucks and so do people I come across that ride with me in my comfortable, dependable and versatile truck.
    I don't want a full size truck and I don't want a foreign small truck. Leave us some choices to buy what we need from domestic sources.

  • Marty Padgett Posted: 12/6/2008 1:22pm PST

    Jerry, as a matter of fact I leased a Ranger for three years and it did everything I asked it to do--except make me want to drive it. That was SIX years ago and it hasn't changed substantially. Read my line about "cars that thrill us." Is Ford really going to convince anyone it's a company of the future so long as it sells that aging truck?
    And as for choice, it's good for you to have a choice - but that doesn't mean every country building cars HAS to build one for you to choose.
    Same rationale for the Crown Vic.

  • Bill burke Posted: 12/6/2008 5:18pm PST

    Marty, Come on now big guy, you really expect anyone to buy your point of view? It's decidedly pro-import and lacks objectivity. You rag on the Liberty-Nitro, in my personal driving experience, good products. Drove in a new Honda Pilot and thought it was inferior to the Liberty in every way. Of course that's my point of view, but unlike yours,it's original and not a result of journalistic imbreading of opinions,compulsively influenced by the need to conform and repeat an excessive spin of hyper critical accessment of American product. I think all you guys shared the same "anti-establishment" journalism professors, reading from the same crib-notes. How shallow!

  • odineye Posted: 12/7/2008 12:08am PST

    @Harriett - "It drives me crazy that Americans are never proud of what they have...Media is the very much a major factor in the lack of sales of American products."
    Apple is an American company doing exceptionally well even in the current economic climate. They make a premium product that people want, and back that product with a phenomenal level of service. They have earned the respect and support of the American marketplace with those products and that level of service.
    You also say "every chance the get. I continue to see plenty of old U. S. cars on the road everyday, that’s saying plenty about the longevity of our, American, automobiles. Don’t you think?"
    No - I don't. The three domestics accounted for the largest share of sales in the country until very recently. Statistically speaking you should be seeing a lot of old U.S. cars on the road everyday. This phenomenon speaks as much to volume as to longevity.
    But let's say for the sake of argument that you are right about longevity. Having a poor product last a long time is hardly much of a victory. We bought a GM vehicle - a Chevy HHR - in 2006 because they'd finally built a vehicle that looked attractive and I believed the *media* reports that they'd really improved in build quality. Unfortunately my personal experience doesn't support that. We've encountered all sorts of quality issues, and not in high end, new technology areas - seats that are uncomfortable, problems with the windshield sealing properly, the radio working properly, the automatic shift interlock failing, the door handles failing, and seat fabric that takes stains faster and more easily than any material I've ever seen.

    This will be my last GM product, and likely my last domestic car as they have failed to *earn* my business. Alternately I will continue to use Apple products - a fine American product - because they have earned that business.

  • R2dad Posted: 12/7/2008 9:26am PST

    The only Ranger we could bare to own was an early 80's version--lasted about 80K miles over the course of 10 years and massive repair bills. Anemic 4 cylinder, bad brakes from the start, handled like a hippo on heels. We were afraid to put anything too heavy on the rack. Replaced it with a NUMI toyota pickup, which lasted 140K miles over 7 years, never saw the inside of the Toyota dealer service bay. A friend got a great "deal" on an early 90's Ranger, so I carefully inspected all the hardware. Things had marginally improved, but a wave of nausea overcame me just sitting in it listening to it idle.

  • Marty Padgett Posted: 12/7/2008 12:30pm PST

    Bill - this is a story only about American brands that need to survive. Want a list of Korean cars that need to go? Or German cars? Or Japanese? There are plenty. This piece is about American cars.
    And just as you might suspect, I didn't have a journalism professor.

  • Edward Posted: 12/7/2008 1:47pm PST

    "Bill burke
    December 6th, 2008 - 4:18 pm
    Marty, Come on now big guy, you really expect anyone to buy your point of view? It’s decidedly pro-import and lacks objectivity. You rag on the Liberty-Nitro, in my personal driving experience, good products. Drove in a new Honda Pilot and thought it was inferior to the Liberty in every way. "
    You SURE have NO CLUE what the hell you are talking about.
    The EXECRABLE Liberty is not even in the same vehicle class and type that the Pilot is. It is INSANE to compare the two, or at least UTTERLY CLUELESS.
    The NEW pilot has a horrible grille, but apart from that, it is a GREAT Crossover, far superior to the Silly Flexes, Obese Traverses etc.
    But why am I wasting my time with the likes of you. I know you WELL. YOU are the biased ones. I have colleagues that do not even bother to visit any import dealer (or even owner) before they buy. They only harm themselves and their families by paying an arm and a leg (TOTAL LIFE TIME COST, NOT your Cheapo FIRST COST), and even put their families at a safety risk.
    If the big 3 made cars PEOPLE WANT TO BUY, they would NOT be bankrupt.

  • JKD Posted: 12/7/2008 3:52pm PST

    We live in the country of freedom (I disagree but let's say we do) where we can make our conscious choices and then the red freaks (Alaska included) blame the "media" or the "journalists" (it used to be the Jews or the Communists) for the excessive spin on issues that doesn't fit their (usually flawed due to the lack of education or blind beliefs) point of view. Want to drive a Nitro? Buy one and don't insult the intelligence of others who don't.

  • Chris Dodd (aka Jack) Posted: 12/7/2008 5:34pm PST

    Bring me the head of Rick Wagoner !

  • Seano Posted: 12/7/2008 7:38pm PST

    I'm not going to disagree with your selections here simply because (as a non US type person) I know very few of them.
    However, I'm not sure that Marty adequately described why all of these cars should 'die'. Do they need to die because Marty doesn't like them or because the US industry will die if they don't? If the former then this list is useless. If the latter then....fair enough.
    The G8 ST is in no danger of dying whether it is introduced to the US or not. If it is then grate we'll sell a few more and if not....easy. And why do US people think this is a US made car? It is an import that just happens to be made with GM money!!
    The Ford Ranger could easily be replaced with its much later generation Thai built sister....the Ford Ranger.
    The Ford Crown Vic has long been talked about getting replaced.....for as long as that has happened, the Australian market Ford Falcon or its now defunct long wheelbase derivative, the Fairlane, has been posited as a replacement. It's slightly smaller but is RWD and is engineered for LHD...as well as for V6, inline 6, V8 and diesel engines...
    As for the Nitro being 'the same' as a four door Wrangler....both are pretty ordinary (in my view) but one is built for the city and the occasional dirt road (Nitro) whilst the other (Wrangler) is a ladder on frame off roader which is better off road than on!! Different...not same. Whether the US car industry still need either is moot.

  • Reece Posted: 12/7/2008 8:39pm PST

    "Singing bye, bye miserable american pie, drove my chevy to the levy but it just died"

  • JKD Posted: 12/7/2008 9:10pm PST

    No one thinks the G8 is a US made car - the pickup just needs to die here, that's all. Quite a few other “domestic” cars are not US-made (usually Mexico, Canada, Korea, and lots of Chinese parts). That's why I hate the idea of giving them money, so they can "retool" the Mexican F-150 factory to make the Fiesta for example- seriously, screw that, but the money will be given nevertheless and not just this time :-( All of those corporate jet "scandals" are just smoke screens in front of the eyes of the dumbass taxpayers like us.

  • DanC Posted: 12/7/2008 11:33pm PST

    Oh, this article hits the nail right on the head. There are cars that need to be killed off, but there is more that must be axed in the name of survival. The Big Three, especially GM, need to do away with the multitude of divisions and badge engineering. Manufactures like Honda, Nissan and Toyota have a mainstream brand and a high end brand (Yes I know Toyota has Scion, but that's a rant for a different time). This is what needs to happen:
    -Chrysler needs to stick to being just Chrysler. Sell Jeep to the highest bidder, ditch Dodge and unify its product line under the one name. They never really had a division to compete with Cadillac or Lincoln, so that's that.
    -Ford has already divested itself of it PAG so the only thing left is to kill off Mercury. Ford is the mainstream brand of affordable (and I hear well built) cars, Lincoln focuses on taking on the Acuras, Cadillacs, Infinities, Lexuses, etc.
    -GM needs to be ruthless as they are in the most trouble and have made the most mistakes. Bye-Bye Pontiac, Buick, Humer, Saab, Saturn, GMC...basically they only keep Chevrolet and Cadillac (Opel/Vauxhall can stay in Europe, but please stop trying to push Chevy there). This way there is only one of each model with one badge, not as many models and brands as they can come up with. Cadillac fulfills the same function that Lincoln does at ford: Luxury models that can compete with the other high end brands.

  • Lincolnman Posted: 12/8/2008 3:52am PST

    Agree with all except the Lincoln TC, Merc Marquis and Crown Vic - these cars actually make money - even with major rebates - given their tooling was amortized years ago.....

  • JKD Posted: 12/8/2008 11:49am PST

    DanC - But they're not doing any of that. Bye Saab and Hummer (maybe if the Arabs or the Russians want it) but that's all. They're keeping the rest and they still lose twice the amount of money on every hybrid they produce. As Lincolman stated, the $16K Grand Marquis GS is the only shining light for Ford since it actually makes them money :-) I don't think GM makes a dime on anything, maybe the Corvette. But, hey, what's another $15 billion?

  • Bill Burke Posted: 12/8/2008 12:06pm PST

    I can't believe the defeatist attitudes! Don't buy into all the hype, there is no need for the Big Three to dump anything, in my opinion. There is enough brand identity and market share to support the whole range of product. I for one would not concede a single brand. As a Chrysler loyalist, I would look to make big/minor improvements in most, but I think Chrysler for one has a solid product line-up. From Viper to the Upcomming co-branded, Nissan allianced small car, they have it covered, including the best Mini-Vans in the world, the best large truck on the market and the exciting Challenger. With innovative new product on the way, why make any stupid and premature moves? Stick to the plan and with a more level playing field, I predict Chrysler will be in a position to expand product in all three brands. The opinions being expressed about Chrysler and it's product are just so off target and uninformed, it makes me puke. Big Three message: STAY THE COURSE. Marty- How about an article on imports that need to go? I'd enjoy that! Make it a long list so you can make my day. Keep up the interesting articles.

  • Ed Posted: 12/8/2008 12:33pm PST

    Bill Burke:
    Obviously you have no connection to reality.
    I will not waste any time to argue with you about how bad Chryslers are, the consumers have answered that for you, if you wanted to look it up.
    But you must be the only person on the PLANET, Including Chrysler's CEO (!), who really believes that Chrysler will survive this. Everybody I know believes it will not only go BANKRUPT, but it will also never rise from its bankruptcy. it will be sold for "parts", and its only parts worth buying are 1. SOME Jeeps, and 2. The MINIVANS.
    The rest will go to the scrap heap of Auto History, and good riddance. Far, FAR Better Brands have gone there in the 30s (Duysenberg!!!) and even in the 50s (Packard!)

  • Dave Posted: 12/8/2008 2:12pm PST

    My God enough of the Chrysler bashing. Ed i agree with you on some things but enough of why Chrysler should go away. Why should it go away along with hundreed of thousands of jobs. Why should it stay? Well lets start with as of Nov 30, 2008 Chrysler LLc brands sold 1,363,309 this year. Impressive and in Sep, Oct,Nov Chry out sold Honda and is ahead of Honda i believe for the year. Also Dodge alone has sold more cars than Hyundai and Kai combined. Dodge is also ahead of Buick, Caddilac, Lincon, Mercury, Pontiac, Saturn. Chrysler LLc outsells all Euro brands combined, and the sell more minivans in North America than any other manufacturer. Chry LLc sells more light trucks and SUV,s than any other brand and the Jeep Wrangler is the most popular sport utility behind the Chev Tahoe. So why should they go away when recently they have proven that there products are getting better since leaving the so called "merger of equals" when Daimler RAPED Chrysler and left them for dead. Thsy have been down before and they will be back better than ever.

  • Ed Posted: 12/8/2008 2:28pm PST

    "But you must be the only person on the PLANET, Including Chrysler’s CEO (!), who really believes that Chrysler will survive this. Everybody I know believes it will not only go BANKRUPT, but it will also never rise from its bankruptcy. it will be sold for “parts”, and its only parts worth buying are 1. SOME Jeeps, and 2. The MINIVANS.
    The rest will go to the scrap heap of Auto History, and good riddance. Far, FAR Better Brands have gone there in the 30s (Duysenberg!!!) and even in the 50s (Packard!)"
    Correction. You and DAVE here are the only TWO, not one, persons on the planet that really believe Chrysler has half a chance to NOT go under, and, more importantly and UNLIK EGM, FOR GOOD.
    But at least Bill Burke is BIASED, a Chrysler Cheerleader, which explains his Blindness. WHat's Dave's excuse?

  • Dave Posted: 12/8/2008 3:06pm PST

    Man Ed talk about biased. I dont want to see any automaker go under for the reason of the hundreds of thousands of workers. I hope they wont go under but yes there is a chance. What I am saying people keep bashing them when the proof is that yes thet sell cars and in my last post I proved it! They do need to reorganize what they do. They should be making money if they sell more cars than Honda. They need to get there heads out of there asses but it may be to late. Lets hope this is a big wake up call and scares the powers that be half to death. Yes Ed I do like my Chryslers (I own a 4 door Wrangler,a Town and Country, 69 440 6 pack Road Runner) and have also owned other brands,I recently drove Infinitis. I dont thing there is a holy grail of autos. But why part a company out if I proved all the cars they sold. Should we part out KIA, Huyndai if Dodge sells more than them, how about honda and so on and so forth. Making any major car company go away helps NOBODY! And be carefull what you wish for, thay have said if any of the big 3 go away we coud go into a depresion. And we are not the only 2 that think they should stick around, there are over a million people this year who thing otherwise. So no I am not biased, I just care about the US Automakers and I have not beed drinking the import cool aid ike some people.

  • Ed Posted: 12/8/2008 3:22pm PST

    December 8th, 2008 - 2:06 pm
    Man Ed talk about biased. I dont want to see any automaker go under for the reason of the hundreds of thousands of workers. "
    And you think that others DO want to see them go under? Are you effing STUPID?????? Do you think we do not realize that this is NOT a Bailout but as BLACKMAIL???? The AMERICAN CONSUMER AND TAXPAYER IS BLACKMAILED TODAY. Either we Buy the CRAP from your beloved LOSERS in Detroit, who have been losing HOME GAMES for 35 years in a ROW, OR we will have to regularly inject them with $25 BILLION a semester to keep them afloat. They will be a CORPSE 10 times more expensive than AMTRAK to keep alive.
    I am sick and tired of this preferential treatment, WHEN the SAME SCUMBAG Big 3 CEOS drove their SUPPLIERS into the ground, many, many bankruptcies, since 2000 or so, and NOBODY bailed THEM out. Apparently all idiot CEOS are Equal, but some are more equal than the others.
    And YOU call ME biased? You obviously DO NOT KNOW what the word biased MEANS.
    "I hope they wont go under but yes there is a chance."
    NOT FOR CHRYSLER. GET INFORMED! They even hired Bankruptcy lawyers on their own (CHRYSLER Did)
    " What I am saying people keep bashing them when the proof is that yes thet sell cars and in my last post I proved it! "
    You have no effing clue what you are saying here. WHat a waste of my time.
    "They do need to reorganize what they do. They should be making money if they sell more cars than Honda. "
    "They need to get there heads out of there asses but it may be to late. "
    WE ALREADY TOLD YOU A MILLION TIMES, FORD is iun the b est shape of the three, GM will be BAILED OUT by the TAXPAYER at huge cost and probably will survive, injured and more pitiful than EVER, at a HUGE HUGE Cost to people, MOST OF WHOM make MUCH LESS than the UAW FAT CATS!
    "Making any major car company go away helps NOBODY!"
    Are youy OUT OF YOUR EFFING MIND>????????
    YOUR precious CHRYSLER gobbled up All kinds of small and l;arge US auto companies, and GM many more!!!!! American motors is only ONE Example!
    Do you know NOTHING of US automotive history?
    DO you reallt think business must be STATIC and freozen in time and every company, no matter how CRIMINALLY MISMANAGED and BLOATED, should be bailed out by $10 an hour waitresses and McDOnald's Servers, so their $73 an hoiur BOZOS idlers still have a job and can go buy CHINESE sneakers and KOREAN TVs with that?????
    "and I have not beed drinking the import cool aid ike some people."
    UTTER BULLSHIT, but unfortunately you are TOO GOD DAMNED STUPID to know it.
    I am FED UP replying to morons, that think that their MEXICO MADE FORD FUSION And KOREAN MADE CHEVY AVEOs are .... "AMERICAN", and the MILLIONS of BMWs, MERCS, HONDAs, TOYOTAs and many other so-called "Imports" made RIGHT HERE IN TZHE USA WITH AMERICAN WORKERS, YOU MORON, are so-called "IMPORTS"
    You have the brain of a dumb 4-yr old if you believe so, and the kid was mighty glad to be rid of it!

  • Dave Posted: 12/8/2008 3:58pm PST

    Ed you are a total MORON! If its domestic auto related you have nothing but BASHING and BS to say. 1st I NEVER said chrysler did not gobble up other automakers. 2nd "what i am saying is people keep bashing them when the proof is that they sell cars and I proved it on my last post" What I proved that Chrysler sells more than Honda and now you are pissed off? Oohh poor baby!! Its fact man up! I have a mind of a three year old, If anyone dissagrees with you or proves you wrong you start calling people names! Boo hoo face the fact that there are people who like domestic cars and believe they can come back. And yes Ed I do think you want to see not only Chrysler go under but Ford and Gm to, that would be your perfect world. Dont bother responding, Im not only done with this blog and peoples one sided minds but done with this web site period!

  • ed Posted: 12/8/2008 4:31pm PST

    don't let the door hit you on the way out, you uninformed retard!!!!!!
    good riddance to bad rubbish!!!!!1
    ps this clown dave has the GALL TO CALL THE KETTLE BLACK!!!!!
    YOU AND YOUR INCOMPETENT DETROIT 3 ARE THE true blue, 100%, USDA choice morons!

  • Mike Posted: 12/8/2008 4:41pm PST

    Ed- You are the retard. You should go away, not Dave !!!

  • Ed Posted: 12/8/2008 5:10pm PST

    December 8th, 2008 - 3:41 pm
    Ed- You are the retard. You should go away, not Dave !!!"
    MORON: All of you idiots PUT TOGETHER don't have 1% of what I got.
    I should go only to stop WASTING MY TIME with brain-dead retards LIKE YOU and DAVE.
    I cannot even BEGIN to explain to you your UTTER CLUELESSNESS AND STUPIDITY.
    And, given how BREATHTAKINGLY DUMB you are, I have no confidence I will ever succeed.
    100%, USDA choice MORONS.

  • GM AD: Posted: 12/8/2008 5:29pm PST

    "DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp on Monday unveiled an unusually frank advertisement acknowledging it had "disappointed" and sometimes even "betrayed" American consumers as it lobbies to clinch the federal aid it needs to stay afloat into next month.
    The print advertisement marked a sharp break from GM's public stance of just several weeks ago when it sought to justify its bid for a U.S. government on the grounds that the credit crisis had undermined its business in ways executives could never have foreseen.
    It also came as Chief Executive Rick Wagoner, who has led the automaker since 2000, faces new pressure to step aside as GM seeks up to $18 billion in federal funding.
    "While we're still the U.S. sales leader, we acknowledge we have disappointed you," the ad said. "At times we violated your trust by letting our quality fall below industry standards and our designs became lackluster."
    The unsigned open letter, entitled "GM's Commitment to the American People" ran in the trade journal Automotive News, which is widely read by industry executives, lobbyists and other insiders.
    In the ad, GM admits to other strategic missteps analysts and critics have said hastened its recent decline.
    "We have proliferated our brands and dealer network to the point where we lost adequate focus on the core U.S. market," the ad said. "We also biased our product mix toward pick-up trucks and SUVs."
    But GM also says in the ad that it was hit by forces beyond its control as it tried to complete a restructuring earlier this year.
    "Despite moving quickly to reduce our planned spending by over $20 billion, GM finds itself precariously and frighteningly close to running out of cash," the ad says.
    A failure of GM would deepen the current recession and put "millions of job at risk," according to the ad, which also highlights the automaker's pledged restructuring and intention to begin repaying taxpayers in 2011.
    GM spokesman Greg Martin said the ad was an attempt by the automaker to present "a pledge directly to the public."
    "We believe we need to deliver this commitment unfiltered since quite a bit of media commentary has not kept pace with our actual progress to transform the company," Martin said.
    Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut who is central to the effort to craft an auto bailout bill, on Sunday said GM should replace Wagoner.
    GM says Wagoner has the support of the company's board."

  • Bill Burke Posted: 12/8/2008 5:42pm PST

    Ed,Dave COOL IT! Let's hope this auto crisis works it's way out, for the good of thousands of workers and support industries. Yes guys, I am influenced by my Chrysler devotion, but not blind. If the Big three goes under who makes up the production? Imports can't. Do you want to say bye bye to our tech development? Do you want us to buy our future technology from a foreign company and at what price? Sure I'm cheerleading for Chrysler because I know first hand they have good product. I've owned seven or eight straight Chrysler products in a row with not one problem. My Durango was perfect from day one till I sold it. I own a 70 Challenger, just like it came from the factory,except for regular wear and replacement items it runs great. How many Hondas can claim that? Sure I love Chryslers, they make some great products and they have struggled so to do it. Just love an underdog who keeps plugging away. Oh yea, why would Nissan, Volkswagen and Mitsubishi use re-badged Chryslers if there so bad? They admit they can't do better on their own. No surprise to me or Jim Press.

  • Ed Posted: 12/9/2008 9:10am PST

    I only read the two first words of your post.
    I only want to tell you this: If you want to pass judgement, go back to the BEGINNING of these posts, and you will see that I NEVER, EVER! (repeat! NEVER, EVER) INITIATED (repeat, Initiated) ANY personal attack against ANY individual posting here, and I CONSTSANTLY ONLY REPLY AND RECIPROCATE when personal attacks and utterly CLUELESS COmments are hurled against me by people who OBVIOUSLY do not diddly squat about me.
    I ONLY Criticize the Detroit 3 CEOS etc, and have done so long before they put us into this huge MESS. The usual sucpects here can't handle the truth, and attack the messenger instead, and present UTTERLY Irrelevant factoids in their responses.( Such as Chrysler selling more vehicles than... HONDA. AS IF THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING!!!!!! GM sells more than anybody else, and Gettelfinger told Congress that it is in worse shape than ANY of the Detroit 3! (and FORD, which sells far less than GM, is in FAR FAR better shape than GM. But why am I throwing my pearls at....

  • J. Blackwell Posted: 12/13/2008 12:19am PST

    Well I have owned a 1955 Ford, 1960 Monza, an old 1960's VW Bug, a Pontiac Station Wagon, a blue 1990 Honda Accord, a red 1990 Honda Accord, a silver Miata, a white Miata, and now two Mercury Grand Marquis. The bug has bitten me for a 2009 Grand Marquis. I must make decision before end of year. HELP! Grandma

  • L. Vaz Posted: 12/24/2008 6:51am PST

    I agree with most of the models above except the Ranger. Right now since all of the competitors have moved up in size, it stands alone in it's class in size and fuel economy. From the complaints I have heard from people driving mid-size trucks regarding the fuel economy not being much better than a full size, the Ranger looks to be right sized.

  • R Lepan Posted: 12/26/2008 11:35pm PST

    The Ford Panther Platform cars are 3 examples of great cars that sell and are profitable but have been terribly neglected by Ford for the last 10 years. The 2003+ models with updated suspension/steering actually drive very well. I am 26 years old, race open wheel cars and motorcycles, sell Ducati motorcycles for a living, and I have only owned manual transmission cars with 1 exception: Mercury Grand Marquis. These cars are from an era where cars were made to be fixed, not recycled and thrown away. The low price, the strange allure of feeling like your in a time warp where people were proud to drive American cars, 25+ mpg highway, a trunk bigger than the rear luggage area of most SUVS/Crossovers, and the desire to point it across the county on a 2 lane road make the Ford Panthers an experience that can't be denied.

  • Brent Horschel Posted: 9/10/2009 11:02am PDT

    The town car, crown victoria, and grand marquis are great cars. May not perform well when compared to sportier styled front wheel drive luxury cars but they will outlast them. I've seen personally town cars with 600 to 800 thosand miles. One that had 1,300,000,000. Try that with your honda or lexus. I've seen police crown vics with many miles also. Truth be told the old body n frame rear wheel drive design will outlast any front drive, strut, transaxle car. I own a 1992 town car that has been the most reliable cheapest to maintain vehicle i have ever owned and I can get 25 mpg and be comfortable on long trips. If I had the money I would buy a new one right now before they screw it up like gm did with the cadillac.