December 30, 2008
Ninety Things to Watch in 2009 -- JWT's Annual List
JWT, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, has released its list of 90 things to watch in 2009.
"Our list points to the broader trends we're seeing, showing the ways in which these shifts will manifest in our everyday lives," says Ann Mack, director of trendspotting at JWT. Among these shifts, the recession will make the biggest impact, says Mack. "A lot of what to watch in 2009 relates to consumers' adaptation to the economic situation, from 'affordable nutrition' to 'more under one roof,'" notes Mack.
JWT's list of 90 Things to Watch in 2009 (unranked and in alphabetical order):
1. 21st-Century Networking
2. Affordable Nutrition
3. Amy Poehler
4. Apatow-esque Humor
6. Building a Beauty Arsenal
7. Buraka Som Sistema
8. Career Reinvention and Extension
9. Chat-Avoidance Services
10. The Cleveland Show
11. Cloud Computing
12. The Collective Consciousness
13. Creativity in the Informal Economy
14. Credit Card Dieting
16. The Decline of E-Mail
17. Distraction as Entertainment
18. DIY Repairs and Renovations
22. Electric Bikes
23. Elizabeth Banks
24. Emma Stone
25. The Energy Race
26. Environmental Exercise
27. Family-Friendly TV
29. Gerard Butler
30. Girl Talk
31. Giving Circles
33. Good Old-Fashioned Cooking
34. Graphic Novels Hit Hyperdrive
35. The Green-Collar Class
37. Holographic Projection
38. Home as Castle
40. Homemade Beauty Treatments
41. How to Talk to Girls
42. Incognito luxury
43. Inconspicuous Travel
44. Innocent Cosmetics
45. Lady GaGa
47. Lance Armstrong
48. Lykke Li
49. Maria Pinto
50. Marketing with Aromas
51. Michelle Obama
52. Microfinancing's Second Wave
53. Mobile Phones Get Personal
54. More Under One Roof
55. NASA's Kepler Telescope
58. No "Paper" in Newspapers
59. Nutrition Replaces Dieting
62. Online TV Network Crackle
63. Online Video Ads
64. Outliers (as a term)
65. Palin's Grandson
66. Personalized Travel Guides
67. Pisco Sours
68. Presidential Sightseeing
69. Prince William Wedding Watch
70. Product Source Tags
71. Radical Transparency Meets Genomics
72. Readers + Social Media = Revenue?
73. Residential Market for Solar Power
74. Ricky Rubio
75. Russell Brand
77. The Small Movement
78. Smart Garages
79. South Africa
80. Stuart Karten
81. Sustainable Fishery
82. T. Boone Pickens
84. Touch Screens
85. Twitter Copycats
86. Virtual Reality Therapy
87. Virtual Socializing
90. Xbox Streaming
Headquartered in New York, JWT is a global network with more than 200 offices in over 85 countries employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. JWT's parent company is WPP and its clients include Bayer, Cadbury, Diageo, DTC, Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg's, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft, Nestle, Nokia, Rolex, Schick, Shell, Unilever, and Vodafone.
U.S. Federal Government has done all it can currently do to sustain the ailing domestic (as well as global) economy.
It is a crime to put all the blame on the managements of the bankrupt or struggling American corporations and make them scapegoats.
The blame must be shared by all those who have been blind to (or unaware of) the Highest Law of Economics and have been advertently or inadvertently contributing towards the propagation of the easy-money excessive greed culture originating in the USA.
Such contributors include the Top American Business & Financial Newspapers & Magazines, Relevant Leading Advertising Agencies, and some Industry Specific Labor Unions.
Posted by Editors at 12:18 PM
December 18, 2008
2009 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
The North American International Auto Show will open its doors in less than 30 days and plans continue to build anticipation for this flagship event in the automotive industry. On Jan 11th global eyes will turn to Detroit as the press days open the show with 44 product unveilings.
"Detroit will soon be welcoming more than 6,000 national and international media to the 2009 NAIAS," said Joe Serra, co-chair for the 2009 NAIAS. "While the automotive industry is in the midst of an obvious time of adjustment, the interest in the future of cars has only increased. What better place to see the future of automotive than in Detroit."
The public and media will be treated to a number of world debuts of highly anticipated vehicles from exhibitors such as General Motors, Chrysler, Kia, Volkswagen, Audi, Honda and Toyota. As the environmental impact of vehicles increasingly moves to the forefront of buyers' minds, many of the debuts will include vehicles designed with a 'green' mindset including the 2010 Toyota Prius, and 2010 Honda Insight.
One of the largest media events in North America, the NAIAS is the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world.
Photo: Detroit, Mich.: At the 2008 North American International Auto Show, attendees enjoy all the sights and sounds of Public Days.
NAIAS 2009 EXHIBITOR PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
(THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
Sunday, January 11, 2009
7:00 am Media Credential Office Opens / Oakland Concourse
8:30-8:55 am Johnson Controls / D2-15
9:00 am Show Floor Opens
9:10-9:30 am NAIAS 2009 Opening Ceremony / Michigan Hall Stage
9:30-10:00 am North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards
10:10-10:35 am General Motors
10:50-11:15 am Lexus / Riverview Ballroom
11:25-11:50 am Ford / Cobo Arena
12:00-12:25 pm Chrysler
12:35-1:00 pm BMW
1:10-1:35 pm Volkswagen
1:45-2:10 pm Bentley
2:20-2:45 pm Kia
2:55-3:20 pm Audi
3:30-3:55 pm MINI
4:05-4:30 pm Lamborghini
4:40-5:05 pm Subaru
5:15-5:40 pm Jaguar / Main Show Floor
5:50-6:15 pm Volvo / Main Show Floor
Monday, January 12, 2009
7:00 am Show Floor Opens
8:30-8:55 am Michelin Corporate
9:05-9:30 am Lincoln-Mercury / Cobo Arena
9:40-10:05 am Maserati
10:15-10:40 am General Motors
10:50-11:15 am BYD
11:30-11:55 am Toyota / Riverview Ballroom
12:10-12:35 pm Brilliance
12:45-1:00 pm Lamborghini Fashion Show / Lamborghini stand
1:10-1:35 pm General Motors
1:45-2:10 pm Fisker
2:20-2:45 pm Revenge Designs
2:55-3:20 pm Michelin Challenge Design / Michigan Hall
3:30-3:55 pm Alpine / O2-44
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
7:00 am Show Floor Opens
10:00-10:25 am DENSO / Michigan Hall Stage
10:35-11:00 am Johnson Controls / D2-15
11:10-11:35 am EyesOn Design Awards at the NAIAS / Michigan Hall Stage
"At the Detroit 2009 North American International Auto Show, the first thing the press and the public would wish to know about an Automobile Manufacturer is its CURRENT REPUTATION."
Posted by Editors at 11:31 AM
December 15, 2008
RENAULT NEW TWINGO: ENHANCED PERFORMANCE, LOWER FUEL CONSUMPTION
Building on the success of Twingo, which stands out as the best-selling car of its category in France and one of its category's three best-sellers in Europe, Renault has extended the city car's catalogue of diesel engines to include the dCi 85.
Renault Twingo dCi 85 eco2 combines enhanced performance and driving pleasure with low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The dCi 85 engine is available for both the Dynamique and GT versions of Twingo and sales are due to start in France on January, with prices starting from â‚¬14,850.
It is equipped with a low inertia turbo which offers response and motoring enjoyment from low engine speeds in all traffic situations.
Renault Twingo dCi 85 eco2 is available in two versions: Dynamique and GT (depending on market). These two equipment levels both feature a specific dynamic front bumper, while the GT version is recognizable by its satin-finish grey lip spoiler and chrome exhaust tail-pipe. Twingo dCi 85 features independent, sliding rear seats which ensure unmatched cabin space, and comfort.
Twingo is market leader in France and is one of the three best-selling cars of its category in Europe. Launched in June 2007, Twingo is available in 18 west-European countries and its sales continue to grow in Europe. With a total of 108,000 cars sold since January 2008, Twingo's share of the west-European market is almost 10%, which is double than what it was in 2006.
Twingo is also turning its attention to international markets and the month of November saw its introduction into both Japan and South Africa.
Posted by Editors at 10:32 AM
December 11, 2008
GM'S COMMITMENT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
Photo: Team Chevy NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick takes the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle for a test drive after being shown its General Motors advanced technology Friday, August 29, 2008 in Fontana, California. (General Motors News Photo) (United States)
Photo: Chevrolet Volt Director of Design Bob Boniface (left) shows off the Chevrolet Volt to media as the vehicle makes its West Coast debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California Wednesday, November 19, 2008. The Volt delivers up to 40 miles of gasoline and emissions-free electric driving with the extended-range capability of hundreds of additional miles. (General Motors News Photo) (United States)
Following is GM's letter published in Automotive News :
GM'S COMMITMENT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
"We deeply appreciate the Congress considering General Motors' request to borrow up to $18 billion from the United States. We want to be sure the American people know why we need it, what we'll do with it and how it will make GM viable for the long term.
For a century, we have been serving your personal mobility needs, providing American jobs and serving local communities. We have been the U.S. sales leader for 76 consecutive years. Of the 250 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads today, more than 66 million are GM brands -- nearly 44 million more than Toyota brands. Our goal is to continue to fulfill your aspirations and exceed your expectations.
While we're still the U.S. sales leader, we acknowledge we have disappointed you. At times we violated your trust by letting our quality fall below industry standards and our designs become lackluster. We have proliferated our brands and dealer network to the point where we lost adequate focus on our core U.S. market. We also biased our product mix toward pick-up trucks and SUVs. And, we made commitments to compensation plans that have proven to be unsustainable in today's globally competitive industry. We have paid dearly for these decisions, learned from them and are working hard to correct them by restructuring our U.S. business to be viable for the long term.
Today, we have substantially overcome our quality gap; our newest designs like the Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac CTS are widely heralded for their appeal; our new products are nearly all cars and "crossovers" rather than pick-ups and SUVs; our factories have greatly improved productivity and our labor agreements are much more competitive. We are also driven to lead in fuel economy, with more hybrid models for sale and biofuel-capable vehicles on the road than any other manufacturer, and determined to reinvent the automobile with products like the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle and breakthrough technology like hydrogen fuel cells.
Until recent events, we felt the actions we'd been taking positioned us for a bright future. Just a year ago, after we reached transformational agreements with our unions, industry analysts were forecasting a positive GM turnaround. We had adequate cash on hand to continue our restructuring even under relatively conservative industry sales volume assumptions. Unfortunately, along with all Americans, we were hit by a "perfect storm." Over the past year we have all faced volatile energy prices, the collapse of the U.S. housing market, failing financial institutions, a stock market crash and the complete freezing of credit. We are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Just like you, we have been severely impacted by events outside our control. U.S. auto industry sales have fallen to their lowest per capita rate in half a century. Despite moving quickly to reduce our planned spending by over $20 billion, GM finds itself precariously and frighteningly close to running out of cash.
This is why we need to borrow money from U.S. taxpayers. If we run out of cash, we will be unable to pay our bills, sustain our operations and invest in advanced technology. A collapse of GM and the domestic auto industry will accelerate the downward spiral of an already anemic U.S. economy. This will be devastating to all Americans, not just GM stakeholders, because it would put millions of jobs at risk and deepen our recession. By lending GM money, you will provide us with a financial bridge until the U.S. economy and auto sales return to modestly healthy levels. This will allow us to keep operating and complete our restructuring.
We submitted a plan to Congress Dec. 2, 2008, detailing our commitments to ensure our viability, strengthen our competitiveness, and deliver energy-efficient products. Specifically, we are committed to:
• produce automobiles you want to buy and are excited to own
• lead the reinvention of the automobile based on promising new technology
• focus on our core brands to consistently deliver on their promises
• streamline our dealer network to ensure the best sales and service
• ensure sacrifices are shared by all GM stakeholders
• meet appropriate standards for executive pay and corporate governance
• work with our unions to quickly realize competitive wages and benefits
• reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil
• protect our environment
• pay you back the entire loan with appropriate oversight and returns
These actions, combined with a modest rebound of the U.S. economy, should allow us to begin repaying you in 2011.
In summary, our plan is designed to provide a secure return on your investment in GM's future. We accept the conditions of your loan, the commitments of our plan, and the results needed to transform our business for long-term success. We will contribute to strengthening U.S. energy and environmental security. We will contribute to America's technical and manufacturing know-how and create high quality jobs for the "new economy." And, we will continue to deliver personal mobility freedom to Americans using the most advanced transportation solutions. We are proud of our century of contribution to U.S. prosperity and look forward to making an equally meaningful contribution during our next 100 years."
"GM's foregoing appeal to the U.S. taxpayers leaves a negative impression on the shareholders and on the Investors-in-Waiting -- the key players that matter the most. The appeal makes no sense to them. They are looking for any tangible positive catalysis at GM.
If General Motors Corporation emboldens the shareholders and the Investors-in-Waiting by any courageous rational move, that would enable it to pull itself through."
"G.M. said it planned to focus on four core brands -- Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC -- and sell, eliminate or consolidate the Saturn, Saab, Hummer and Pontiac brands.
Despite having downsized its operations in the last three years, G.M. said it would cut more than 20 percent of its remaining jobs, shut nine factories, seek to renegotiate the terms of $66 billion in debt, and push to reopen contract talks with the United Automobile Workers to reduce labor costs."
-- Article in The New York Times
"Bankruptcy, whether it's structured or not, would destroy demand for that company's vehicles and put dealers out of business."
-- Annette Sykora, Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association
"The terms of the loans will require auto companies to demonstrate how they would become viable. They must pay back all their loans to the government, and show that their firms can earn a profit and achieve a positive net worth. This restructuring will require meaningful concessions from all involved in the auto industry -- management, labor unions, creditors, bondholders, dealers, and suppliers.
In particular, automakers must meet conditions that experts agree are necessary for long-term viability -- including putting their retirement plans on a sustainable footing, persuading bondholders to convert their debt into capital the companies need to address immediate financial shortfalls, and making their compensation competitive with foreign automakers who have major operations in the United States. If a company fails to come up with a viable plan by March 31st, it will be required to repay its federal loans.
The automakers and unions must understand what is at stake, and make hard decisions necessary to reform. These conditions send a clear message to everyone involved in the future of American automakers: The time to make the hard decisions to become viable is now -- or the only option will be bankruptcy."
-- President George W. Bush on the administration's plan to assist U.S. auto makers. December 19, 2008.
Posted by Editors at 2:55 AM
December 10, 2008
DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report: White is Most Popular Color
Photo: The 56th annual DuPont Color Popularity report show white and white pearl coat remain the top color choice for North American consumers for the second year in a row.
The just published 2008 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report says white is the top vehicle color choice in North America for the second straight year, and is a strong player globally, with "white effects" allowing consumers to differentiate cars subtly to express their individuality. Black and silver with effects also turned in a strong performance globally. The term "effects" refers to special pigments that lend a pearl or iridescent appearance to coatings.
White and white pearl scored 16 and 4 percent, respectively, black and black effect scored 11 percent and 6 percent, while silver, which led the pack for six consecutive years, garnered a 17 percent share of the North American market.
Photo: Blue hues, such as seen in the Saturn Aura, are increasingly popular according to the 2008 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report
A leading supplier of coatings to the global automotive market both for new cars and in the collision repair industry, DuPont this year broadened the global scope of the authoritative Automotive Color Popularity Report to include specific data from emerging markets India and Russia. The automotive industry is expanding rapidly in both countries.
North American color choice highlights several trends. First, there is a continuing convergence of color choice globally with color preferences becoming more homogeneous across the globe. Additionally, DuPont continues to report white as a "palette cleansing" color signaling a pause after a long running trend and in advance of a new trend. The 2007 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report announced the end of silver's seven year reign.
Photo: Blue hues, such as seen in the Kia Sportage, are increasingly popular according to the 2008 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report
"We're seeing basic colors like black, white and silver continuing in the lead but consumers are looking for differentiation with tri-coat and other effects," said Karen Surcina, color marketing manager -- DuPont Performance Coatings. "These colors and effects provide a higher degree of customization and luxury-effect which allow consumers a conservative differentiation from the traditional color palette." A tri-coat paint system consists of a basecoat, a midlayer which contains the color and specialized "effect" pigments followed by a clear coat.
"While black, white and silver continue to remain strong, we are seeing interesting trends developing," Surcina continued. "The popularity of true chromatic colors such as blue and red are on the rise, with blue growing worldwide as consumers look to more environmental themes and lifestyles."
Photo: The 2008 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report shows a strong preference across the globe for black effect colors, like the Black Magic on the 2009 Volkswagen GTI, which provides a unique customized appearance.
"Blue is being utilized as the 'new green' because it is well understood by people all over the world that blue can also represent the preservation of nature," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of Color: Messages and Meanings. "Imagine a clear blue sky mirrored in a pristine blue lake and you will get the picture. It is a universal favorite."
Global Convergence and Regional Differentiation
The global review of color popularity reveals that preferences are converging around the world, but within the convergence there is subtle differentiation between markets. As DuPont reported in June 2008, blue is becoming more popular, and currently ranks among consumers in North America with 13 percent of the overall market. Blue has garnered 12 to 13 percent of the market for the past few years and is a top five color choice in every market with the exception of Brazil.
"Neutral colors like silver and light gray shades capture a high volume, but long term they show a decreasing tendency in almost all regions," said Nancy Lockhart, DuPont color designer for North America. "Moving forward, it will be imperative to refresh styling of these popular colors with different effects that can restore their popularity."
Europe is dominated by the popularity of black vehicles in all segments. Black with effect, white/white pearl and silver are most popular across the board with a rise in bright reds in this year's report. The rankings remain consistent for black/black effect with 26 percent of the market, silver with 20 percent and gray with 18 percent.
White/white pearl saw a slight increase in popularity, rising from 8 percent last year to 10 percent in 2008. The warm neutral tones of beige and brown regained popularity in 2008, reaching 4 percent -- up from 2 percent last year.
"Current preferences are strongly influenced by ecological concepts, with demand growing for light, pure and sophisticated looks and the strength of blue showing optimism for the future," said Elke Dirks, DuPont color designer for Europe. "In the long term, we believe that European consumers will ask for a more colorful and individualistic palette from car makers."
Russian color preference shows an overwhelming use of silver at 30 percent, black and red at 14 percent and slight differences between green (13 percent), blue (12 percent) and white (10 percent). Though Russia leans toward the silver and black color spaces, red and green are more popular there than in any other region, demonstrating the diversity of color trends.
India's market shows a strong preference toward white and white pearl with 17 and 11 percent respectively, followed by silver with 27 percent. As in Russia, strong chroma colors made a good showing with red at 12 percent and blue at 8 percent. Black and black effect with 6 percent and 1 percent, respectively, was even with yellow and gold at 7 percent.
Silver remains exceptionally strong in the Asian countries of China, South Korea, Japan and India. In South Korea silver represents 50 percent of the market, up from 39 percent last year. Silver is the top color with strong growth shown in China as well at 32 percent for 2008, up from 23 percent in 2007. Japan and India report white/white pearl in the top color position (8 and 24 percent and 17 and 11 percent, respectively) with silver making a strong showing with 28 percent in Japan and 27 percent in India.
"Candy white and tri-coat pearl are extremely popular in most of the Asia Pacific area," said Emily Hung, DuPont color designer for the Asia Pacific region. "In Japan we see an overwhelming preference for white pearl or white with effect.
"In India and China we see a wide range of colors offered to attract young buyers to compact cars," Hung said. "Additionally, dark blue metallic is popular and we're fine-tuning a variety of shades for the region."
Mexico and Brazil
White and black are tied for the most popular color in Mexico at 20 percent each, with silver at 17 percent and gray at 13 percent. Following these cool-neutral shades, blue shows strength with 12 percent and red follows at 11 percent. Neutral spaces dominate Brazil with silver (31 percent), black (25 percent), gray (16 percent) and white (11 percent). Red is the most popular chroma color with 8 percent of the market.
DuPont "Time for Color" Trend Show
"Time for Color" is the theme of this year's DuPont global color trend forecast for the auto industry. Time is an important factor in the evolution of color. Consumers are increasingly focused on individuality, expressive car designs, small vehicles and fuel economy. These elements require innovative shades for a futuristic view of technology as it evolves. DuPont presents its annual trend show to automotive designers globally to showcase new trends, color availability and the new coatings technologies available to the market.
Posted by Editors at 11:29 AM
December 2, 2008
Ford Motor Company Will Re-Evaluate Its Strategic Options for Volvo Car Corporation
Ford Motor Company has just announced in Dearborn, Michigan that it will re-evaluate strategic options for Volvo Car Corporation, including the possible sale of the Sweden-based premium automaker.
Ford said the decision to re-evaluate strategic options for Volvo comes in response to the significant decline in the global auto industry particularly in the past three months and the severe economic instability worldwide. The strategic review of Volvo is in line with a broad range of actions Ford is taking to strengthen its balance sheet and ensure it has the resources to implement its product-led transformation plan.
"Given the unprecedented external challenges facing Ford and the entire industry, it is prudent for Ford to evaluate options for Volvo as we implement our ONE Ford plan," said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. "Volvo is a strong global brand with a proud heritage of safety and environmental responsibility and has launched an aggressive plan to right-size its operations and improve its financial results. As we conduct this review, we are committed to making the best decision for both Ford and Volvo going forward."
Ford said the review likely will take several months to complete. In the meantime, Ford will continue working closely with Volvo as it implements its restructuring plan under CEO Stephen Odell, who was appointed to lead Volvo earlier this year.
Photos: Volvo XC60
"Outstanding safety, an increased focus on environmentally friendly vehicles and contemporary Scandinavian design will continue to be the foundation upon which we will build a strong Volvo business for the future." Volvo CEO Stephen Odell said. "We intend to build upon our strong brand heritage and to appeal to our global customers with vehicles like the new XC60 -- the safest car Volvo has ever built. Volvo also will introduce seven low-emission models in 2009, giving us the best environmental product range in the premium segment. We have a strong brand presence in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region, and are growing in key markets such as China and Russia, where we are the leading premium brand."
Ford Motor Company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda.
"If any struggling Big Auto-Maker is serious enough in remaining viable and jumping ahead of the competition, it must immediately switch its preferences to producing and marketing such small cars that meet the minimum safety standards, are practical, are handy, are fuel efficient, are environment friendly, and most importantly, can be paid for by the majority of common car buyers, not with loans, but out of their own pockets.
Stop selling 'Refrigerators to Eskimos'. Sell them 'Microwave Ovens' at Optimum Prices (determined using scientific techniques such as Cost Accounting)."
"As we told Congress, Ford (NYSE:F) is in a different position. We do not face a near-term liquidity issue, and we will not be seeking a short term bridge loan. But Ford fully supports an effort to address the near-term liquidity issues of GM and Chrysler, as our industry is highly interdependent and a failure of one of our competitors could affect us all."
-- Ford Motor Company, December 8, 2008 (Ford Motor Company Statement on Proposed Congressional Automotive Industry Bill)
"It is an interest that is important to our economy, to our industrial base, the workforce concerns that are important to our country. We want to be able to review the performance of the auto companies as we go forward. In order to do that, it is important for us to pass legislation that will set criteria for restructuring and reorganization of that industry and the companies within it.
It is important to note that unless the restructuring that is called for in this legislation and the goal of viability is achieved by March 31, there is no justification for spending any more taxpayer dollars. Now it has been said this is a loan of $15 billion because it's for a different purpose than under Section 136; 136 is for innovation...
But come March 31, it is our hope that there will be a viable automotive industry in our country with transparency and accountability to the taxpayer. We think that is possible...
But if they don't meet the conditions of restructuring, there is not going to be an endless flow of money to this industry, left to their own devices and the practices they have engaged in.
So we will see how willing everyone is to go into the future, but we want to recognize the importance of the automotive industry to our country. Their survival is essential to our economy. If they cannot survive, then we have to make a re-evaluation of the leadership as well, because we will not give up on our automotive industry. It's just a question of how it is manifested and how it is led.
I am very encouraged by the conversations so far. We are on the path. I will only support using Section 136 with the assurance that we will get it back in a number of weeks. And in fact, in a number of weeks, if the Big Three are not on the path to viability, we may want our money back sooner than March 31 instead of over the longer term that would be built into the bill should they again be a thriving, competitive, innovative auto industry for the future."
-- Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. December 8, 2008
"Running a multi-billion-dollar automobile company with thousands of employees, retirees, suppliers, dealers and communities counting on you is not for the weak of heart or for the timid or the untried. Especially the untried.
Having been there, I do not agree with the sentiment now coming out of Congress that the management should be changed as a condition of granting loans to the Detroit automakers. You don't change coaches in the middle of a game, especially when things are so volatile. The industry has been brutalized by a totally unpredictable series of events over which it had little control and that is beating it unmercifully into the ground.
The companies may not be perfect but the guys who are running them now are the only ones with the experience and the in-depth knowledge and understanding of how the car business really works. They're by far the best shot we have for success. I say give them their marching orders and then let them march. They're the right people to get the job done."
-- Lee Iacocca, Former Chairman and CEO of Chrysler and Former President of Ford Motor Company, on Auto Industry Loans. Los Angeles, December 9, 2008.
Posted by Editors at 11:13 AM