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      12-11-2008, 01:48 PM   #16
BlackjackMulligan
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I read this, any thoughts? (sorry it's lengthy)

Interesting Article !

*Incredible editorial from one of our Dealers in the
Pittsburgh Region. *
*Attached is a well written "Letter to the Editor" from
Elkins Fordland*
*. *
*Editor: *
*
As I watch the coverage of the fate of the U.S. auto
industry, one alarming and frustrating fact hits me right
between the eyes. The fate of our nation's economic survival
is in the hands of some congressmen who are completely out
of touch and act without knowledge of an industry that
affects almost every person in our nation. The same lack of
knowledge is shared with many journalists whom are
irresponsible when influencing the opinion of millions of
viewers.

Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama has doomed the industry,
calling it a dinosaur. No Mr. Shelby, you are the dinosaur,
with ideas stuck in the '70s, '80s and '90s. You and the
uninformed journalist and senators that hold onto myths that
are not relevant in today's world.


When you say that the Big Three build vehicles nobody wants
to buy, you must have overlooked that GM outsold Toyota by
about 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S. and Ford outsold
Honda by 850,000 and Nissan by 1.2 million in the U.S. GM
was the world's No. 1 automaker beating Toyota by 3,000 units.

When you claim inferior quality comes from the Big Three,
did you realize that Chevy makes the Malibu and Ford makes
the Fusion that were both rated over the Camry and Accord by
J.D. Power independent survey on initial quality? Did you
bother to read the Consumer Report that rated Ford on par
with good Japanese automakers.


Did you realize Big Three's gas guzzlers include the 33 mpg
Malibu that beats the Accord. And for '09 Ford introduces
the Hybrid Fusion whose 39 mpg is the best midsize, beating
the Camry Hybrid. Ford's Focus beats the Corolla and Chevy's
Cobalt beats the Civic.


When you ask how many times are we going to bail them out
you must be referring to 1980. The only Big Three bailout
was Chrysler, who paid back $1 billion, plus interest. GM
and Ford have never received government aid.


When you criticize the Big Three for building so many
pickups, surely you've noticed the attempts Toyota and
Nissan have made spending billions to try to get a piece of
that pie. Perhaps it bothers you that for 31 straight years
Ford's F-Series has been the best selling vehicle. Ford and
GM have dominated this market and when you see the new '09
F-150 you'll agree this won't change soon.


Did you realize that both GM and Ford offer more hybrid
models than Nissan or Honda. Between 2005 and 2007, Ford
alone has invested more than $22 billion in research and
development of technologies such as Eco Boost, flex fuel,
clean diesel, hybrids, plug in hybrids and hydrogen cars.

It's 2008 and the quality of the vehicles coming out of
Detroit are once again the best in the world.


Perhaps Sen. Shelby isn't really that blind. Maybe he
realizes the quality shift to American. Maybe it's the fact
that his state of Alabama has given so much to land
factories from Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes Benz that he is
more concerned about their continued growth than he is about
the people of our country. Sen. Shelby's disdain for
"government subsidies" is very hypocritical. In the early
'90s he was the driving force behind a $253 million
incentive package to Mercedes. Plus, Alabama agreed to
purchase 2,500 vehicles from Mercedes. While the bridge loan
the Big Three is requesting will be paid back, Alabama 's
$180,000-plus per job was pure incentive. Sen. Shelby, not
only are you out of touch, you are a self-serving hypocrite,
who is prepared to ruin our nation because of lack of
knowledge and lack of due diligence in making your opinions
and decisions.


After 9/11, the Detroit Three and Harley Davidson gave $40
million-plus emergency vehicles to the recovery efforts.
What was given to the 9/11 relief effort by the Asian and
European Auto Manufactures? $0 Nada. Zip!


We live in a world of free trade, world economy and we have
not been able to produce products as cost efficiently. While
the governments of other auto producing nations subsidize
their automakers, our government may be ready to force its
demise. While our automakers have paid union wages, benefits
and legacy debt, our Asian competitors employ cheap labor.
We are at an extreme disadvantage in production cost.
Although many UAW concessions begin in 2010, many lawmakers
think it's not enough.


Some point the blame to corporate management. I would like
to speak of Ford Motor Co. The company has streamlined by
reducing our workforce by 51,000 since 2005, closing 17
plants and cutting expenses. Product and future product is
excellent and the company is focused on one Ford. This is a
company poised for success. Ford product quality and
corporate management have improved light years since the
nightmare of Jacques Nasser. Thank you Alan Mulally and the
best auto company management team in the business.


The financial collapse caused by the secondary mortgage
fiasco and the greed of Wall Street has led to a $700
billion bailout of the industry that created the problem.
AIG spent nearly $1 million on three company excursions to
lavish resorts and hunting destinations. Paulson is saying
no to $250 billion foreclosure relief and the whole thing is
a mess. So when the Big Three ask for 4 percent of that of
the $700 billion, $25 billion to save the country's largest
industry, there is obviously oppositions. But does it make
sense to reward the culprits of the problem with $700
billion unconditionally, and ignore the victims?


As a Ford dealer, I feel our portion of the $25 billion
will never be touched and is not necessary. Ford currently
has $29 billion of liquidity. However, the effect of a
bankruptcy by GM will hurt the suppliers we all do business
with. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy by any manufacture would cost
retirees their health care and retirements. Chances are GM
would recover from Chapter 11 with a better business plan
with much less expense. So who foots the bill if GM or all
three go Chapter 11? All that extra health care,
unemployment, loss of tax base and some forgiven debt goes
back to the taxpayer, us. With no chance of repayment, this
would be much worse than a loan with the intent of repayment.


So while it is debatable whether a loan or Chapter 11 is
better for the Big Three, a $25 billion loan is definitely
better for the taxpayers and the economy of our country.


So I'll end where I began on the quality of the products of
Detroit . Before you, Mr. or Ms. Journalist continue to
misinform the American public and turn them against one of
the great industries that helped build this nation, I must
ask you one question. Before you, Mr. or Madam Congressman
vote to end health care and retirement benefits for 1
million retirees, eliminate 2.5 million of our nation's
jobs, lose the technology that will lead us in the future
and create an economic disaster including hundreds of
billions of tax dollars lost, I ask this question not in the
rhetorical sense. I ask it in the sincere, literal way.


*Can you tell me, have you driven a Ford lately?*
*Jim Jackson **
*Elkins **
__________________
I can't complain, but sometimes I still do........Life's been good to me so far.

- Joe Walsh