Episode 815 – Long-Term Recovery, The Price is Right Down Under, Yazaki Hit with Whopping Fine

January 31st, 2012 at 11:26am

Runtime: 6:57

Yazaki is hit with a massive fine for its bid-rigging scheme. Aussies are experiencing the lowest car prices in 36 years. And, just like a good pork roast, the economic recovery continues low and slow. All that and more, plus a look at Federal-Mogul’s innovative lighting solutions.

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This is Autoline Daily for January 31st, the last day of the first month. And now, the news.

LONG-TERM RECOVERY
The US car market continues to recover and the recovery could go on for years. Edmunds says that 8 million people deferred buying a new car between 2008 and 2010, and that as unemployment drops while consumer confidence grows, more and more of those people are coming back into the market. We’ll soon see if they’re right. Tomorrow, automakers will release their sales numbers for January. Thanks to the strength in the market, Bloomberg reports that automakers are lowering their sales incentives, and that means they’ll be putting more profit in their pockets.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT (subscription required)
But if you’re looking for a good deal on a car, maybe you should head down under. According to WardsAuto, new car prices in Australia are at their lowest levels in 36 years, if you compare average weekly wages with the cost of a new car. The average Australian needs to work 30 weeks to pay for a Holden Commodore or a Ford Falcon while a decade ago it would have taken close to 40 weeks. So why are cars more affordable? Wages are going up, tariffs have been reduced on imported cars and free trade agreements with countries like Thailand means more imported cars are competing in the market.

I BROKE THE LAW, AND THE LAW WON
As if the tsunami wasn’t bad enough. Last week we reported that Yazaki got hit with a record fine from the Japanese government over a bid-rigging scheme involving wire harnesses. Now Uncle Sam is punishing the company. According to the Detroit News, Yazaki will pay a $470 million fine for its involvement in the scheme. Four executives will serve prison time in the U.S. ranging from 15 months to two years, while the chairman and CEO will return half of their pay for three months. Auto supplier Denso must pay a $78 million fine and its top executives agreed to return 10 to 30 percent of their pay for three months. Last year Furukawa was hit with a $200 million fine by the U.S. for its involvement, and three of its executives will also serve prison time in the U.S. Investigators say the scheme led to higher car prices but declined to say by how much.

HIT THE ROAD, JAC
Some Chinese automakers have been ripping off car designs for years. And while we thought the practice had run its course, well, I guess some of them just can’t help themselves. China Car Times reports that state-owned JAC, the Jianghuai Automobile Company, is going to build a pick-up truck that blatantly copies design cues of the Ford F-150. JAC calls it the 4R3 and will likely export it to South America and the Middle East. No word yet on what Ford has to say about the matter.

INSTANT CLASSICS
Hagerty Insurance, the company that specializes in insuring classic cars, is predicting which new cars made today will become future classics. There’s the predictable list of low-production, high-performance cars. But what interests us are the not-so-exotic cars that made the list, like the Buick Regal GS, the first Buick in ages that offers a manual transmission. The Fiat 500 Abarth also made the Top Ten, as did the Volkswagen Golf R. Hit the link in today’s show notes to see all the cars that made the list.

Coming up next, a look at interior lighting technology from Federal-Mogul, we’ll be back right after this.

More automakers are turning to lighting to enhance the interior of the vehicle. Studies show that consumers perceive vehicles with ambient lighting as safer and of higher quality. Recently Seamus McElroy visited Federal-Mogul’s Tech Center to look at some of the lighting technology the company is working on.

First up is Federal-Mogul’s ambient lighting technology. It can be packaged just about anywhere in the vehicle thanks to its innovative light pipe which is able to evenly distribute light over larger diameters with fewer light sources.

One if its more cool technologies is its LED metalized lighting. It conceals ambient lights in trim surfaces with a metallic looking finish. So during the day it looks like a piece of metal and at night it lights up. The company says any kind of metal looking finish is possible and it can even work with plastics too.

Another neat lighting technology is its LED touch-free overhead lamp. It uses a capacitive sensor to detect when a hand is near it and automatically turns on. It even works when wearing gloves. One of its advantages is, it’s more durable and reliable since there aren’t any mechanical switches.

And lastly the company showed us its Ultrathin overhead lamp. Its thin design allows for more headroom and it’s also more durable because it just snaps into place, no screws are needed. Federal-Mogul says this helps reduce the warranty too. It also features what the company calls its NovaLens technology. LED lights vary in intensity and create hot spots. NovaLens is specifically designed to eliminate these problems to provide consistent lighting in the vehicle.

Federal Mogul says OEMs are looking at technologies like these to help differentiate their vehicles from their competitors while giving the consumer the opportunity to customize their car.

Thanks for that report Seamus.

Don’t forget to tune in to Autoline After Hours this Thursday night when our guest will be Chris Preuss, the former head of OnStar and the previous vice president of public relations at General Motors. You can expect a pretty lively discussion, so join me and the Autoextremist Peter De Lorenzo for the best insider information in the industry.

And that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

92 Comments to “Episode 815 – Long-Term Recovery, The Price is Right Down Under, Yazaki Hit with Whopping Fine”

  1. Autos101 Says:

    John,

    You never reported on how RIDICULOUSLY HIGH incentives have been in 2011.

    I DID, yesterday, post the AWFUL numbers here.

    JEEP’s incentives AVERAGED more than 17%!

    NISSAN’s were 15.7%!

    FORDs were almost as high!

    AND you did not tell us that this wonderful new FOcus with its dismal sales (far less than the Cruze), 45% of them wen to deeply discounted FLEETS!

  2. Autos101 Says:

    SO oF COURSE they will lower incentives, they were SO DAMNED HIGH in 2011, they would not be able to keep it up without going BANKRUPT

    AGAIN!

  3. W L Simpson Says:

    Re: JAC—-ZO! vot elz iz noo?

  4. T. Bejma Says:

    John McElroy – Should not be much of a surprise about the Regal GS… Having the highest SAE horsepower-per-liter in the industry at 135 should be enough of a reason. That is one sexy (and fast) sedan!

  5. RS Says:

    More “Smoke” I see

  6. HtG Says:

    RS, you think T. Bejma is Hyundai/Smoke? He’s being up front about working for GM.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Fu-King FK 150 250 and 350 with chinkoboost and weasel V8 engine choices for under $15k look out Ford!

  8. T. Bejma Says:

    And I’m not even getting paid for it ;-)

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    No, last I heard Smokey is in a North Korean prison for illegally crossing the border to attend the demi-despot’s funeral.

  10. W L Simpson Says:

    Dear FedMog, forget all that cute stuff, give me
    a pure digidash.

  11. Autos101 Says:

    Just make sure you don’t go BANKRUPT on us again, GM.

    With utter flops like the Stupid, Stupid Volt you may well be headed there again.

    I have ZERO confidence on that auto illiterate clown Akerson.

    Everything tells me it’s the SAME bad old GM over and over again.

    2012 will be TOYOTA’s year in the US.

    Watch my words and see them come true starting Tomorrow’s Jan sales nos.

  12. C-Tech Says:

    @ #10
    Chicks dig the cute stuff.

  13. HtG Says:

    9 Probably getting plastic surgery so he can be a double for the newest Dear Leader model.

  14. HtG Says:

    12 If they can get the colors to change to match gals moods and shoes(like there’s a difference) maybe they’ll have a winner with those lights.

  15. C-Tech Says:

    The “snap-in” light, I’m not sure how it reduces warranty costs. It does seem to me that down the road when a light segment burns out, it will be more expensive to repair. Can you replace a bulb as you can now? Do you throw away the whole overhead lamp?

  16. C-Tech Says:

    Not sure if the Buick will be an “instant classic” just because it has a stick. Same with the Golf AWD RS on the list. I believe they may go for a premiun on the used car market like the Eagle Talon / Mitsu Eclipse AWD models from the 90′s. The Porsche 911 and GT-R on the list, what softball picks! Give us something we haven’t thought about, something more controversial.

  17. Autos101 Says:

    Very few four-doors ever become classics.

  18. LS ford Says:

    I have this mood lighting in my car today. Its very cool stuff. Nice ambient feature, and it looks cool. I have not had any lights burn out, and if they did, its probably a warranty issue. The LED lamps are for some 40-50 thousand hours so the car will probably rust before the lights burn out.

    The plus side, you can see the ambient lights through the rust holes in the car….

  19. tj Martin Says:

    UPDATED TAX PAYER LOSES DUE TO AUTOMOTIVE BAILOUTS

    Current price tag ? – $23.77 BILLION !

    And what have we gotten for that $27 billion you ask ?

    1) A slew of crap cars , badge engineered , overpriced fluff and cars that go POOF ! e,g, Car- BQ’s

    2) Cities across the nation being held hostage by the automotive manufactures we’ve bailed out in order to NOT close down their factories and move production to Mexico

    3) One ‘ Cult of Personality ‘ over paid CEO after another , eating away at the monies we’re ‘ donating ‘ for their own personal greed while in fact accomplishing NOTHING !

    4) Part time and temporary jobs guaranteed not to pay enough to put food on the table , provide health insurance etc

    Oh yes we’re getting it alright . Right smack dab in the middle of the back with a rusty blade , salt thrown in the wound , gasoline dumped on our heads and the match being lit by all those fine companies we’ve so kindly bailed out

    ——-

    BWTM – Before y’all get all excited about Chrysler soon to be announced Hyper Inflated profits they’re about to announce in the next 48 hours , you might want to pay attention to the fact that their figures DO NOT take into account all of Our funds ( tax payers dollars ) they’ve lost as well as the loses incurred by their FIAT in the US debacle

    Convenient piece of bookkeeping on Chryslers behalf , dont wouldn’t you say ?

    ;-)

  20. tj Martin Says:

    #11

    technically speaking , in light of all the unpaid loans , etc

    GM is for all practical purposes bankrupt . e.g what they owe far and away exceeds their current assets if we were to sell them all tomorrow . assuming we could sell them . to anybody

  21. tj Martin Says:

    Good Pork Roast my ( BLLEP ) !

    More like the slowest con job ever performed on a majority of US citizens in its entire History . This one making Madoff look like a Saint in comparison .

    Oh well . More ‘ Mushroom Principal ‘ reporting from the Media as expected

    Bet you ten to one I can predict to the word what the reports will be when Chrysler announces their delusional figures this week

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Will the Chinese F150 have a Mitsubishi 4 cylinder like the Chinese Roller?

  23. Autos101 Says:

    Just looked at new Porsche 911 and Panamera prices, took the base version, and even tho you get almost TWICE the car with the Panamera, it is actually CHEAPER by several $1000 than the 911!

    Shows u how overpriced Perfection is..

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just saw the Jerry Seinfeld Acura NSX super bowl ad, I must be turning into a cranky old gaseous discharge, but I did not find it funny one iota.

  25. Autos101 Says:

    the new NSX looks great, but I wonder what the specs and esp the price will be.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    I doubt it will continue to be the “affordable” exotic it once was.

  27. Lex Says:

    Just what will the Federal Government do with these massive fine imposed on the wire harness makers? Will they ever collect this money?
    I bet they settle out of court for pennies on the dollar and impose only a slap on the wrist with no real jail time.

    The Asian’s are masters of reverse engineering!
    They can build it and sell it everywhere in the world except the US. What can Ford do to protect itself? I hate to say it but we are in store for more of this in the future.

  28. Autos101 Says:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2012/01/29/infographic-which-automakers-gave-the-biggest-discounts/

    I posted this yesterday, but it is SO important so I post it again today.

    THIS is FAR BIGGER and more DEVASTATING NEWS than anything John and his buddies tell us here all day long.

    add to it the fact that the brand new FOcus not only lagged PITIFULLY in sales behind the CRUZE,

    45% of these few, lousy Focus sales went to deeply discounted FLEETS!!!

  29. Autos101 Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    January 31st, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I doubt it will continue to be the “affordable” exotic it once was.

    WHa?

    The NSX was NEVER an affordfable exotic, new or used.

    It was a very RELIABLE, but way overpriced near-exotic.

    Check used prices too, for a really obsolete model of 20+ years, they are stinking high!

  30. T. Bejma Says:

    #19

    In the Automotive Capital of Michigan anyway…

    5) Improvement in Housing prices and number of foreclosed houses for sale (I know because I have a half dozen friends looking for homes right now)

    6) GM Hiring several people in the last year and a half. Don’t have the exact numbers but 10 people in my department alone

    7) Unemployment drop to single digits for the first time since 2007

    And just a general confidence in the industry (remember, I work with several suppliers, so it is not just from and OEM perspective). I realize it is just a gut feel but it does come from someone who WORKS IN THE INDUSTRY NOT A MUSICIAN THAT CAN’T CLOSE A CAR DOOR WITHOUT SMASHING HIS HAND!!!

  31. HtG Says:

    NSX ad for superduperbowl. I can’t help but wonder if Jerry and Jay are in this ad because of their connection to NBC, which is the network the game will be shown on. I also think these guys are past their funny date, but then the superduperbowl is a vanilla world event. As for the NSX, Honda better give that concept a character injection, because to me it looks generic.

  32. tj Martin Says:

    A WORD TO THE WISE

    re; The Media ; A History lesson

    Bernie Madoff – Oh the media could not sing the praises of Bernie M loud enough at the height of his heyday . The Golden Boy Investment Genius who could do no wrong making 1000′s millions overnight .

    The whistle blowers and naysayers such as myself ( Bernie’s prospectus showed up in my mail box ) and one or two exceptions in the media being soundly condemned by everyone …. until that is … the veil dropped and reality hit like a ton of matzah

    Housing Bubble – Oh once again the media reporting this was the deal of the century . Quick money to be made . Never gonna end . The world is beckoning at your doorstep to make you the next millionaire

    With once again each and every naysayer being condemned by the media as a whole as well as the banking community

    And now gentlemen , here we are with the latest round of Media blitzing behind the scenes con jobs . The Automotive Industries impending recovery . All while Detroit is on the verge of being taken over by the State of Michigan ( NYTimes CNBC etc ) Cities and communities being held hostage to keep GM FORD and Chrysler factories from not moving to Mexico etc etc

    A hint ? When what your eyes are seeing is in direct contradiction to what the Media is telling you …

    BELIEVE YOUR EYES !

    You’ve been advised .

  33. HtG Says:

    what sparked 32, tj? Somebody from your PersonalCNBC give a you a ring?

  34. T. Bejma Says:

    #30

    6) Oh yeah, they were ALL direct hires, not Contract workers…

  35. tj Martin Says:

    #30

    Like the platform for the ATS T Bejima you know NOTHING

    The only thing slowing down forecloser’s is the Banking system not being able to keep up with the numbers

    Jobs ? What freaking jobs you GM mouth piece ! Those jobs are costing the communities they are in More Money than they are bringing in with KC,MO being a prime example !

    Unemployment ? Perhaps you’re unaware that Unemployment numbers ONLY reflect those still eligible for benefits with those having lost their benefits off the list . Actual figures are closer to 20% of people ACTUALLY unemployed

    As well as the number has been 8. ? % for well over ten months

    GM has let go of more people then they’ve hired over the last 12 months and is barely keeping up with current redundancies

    General Confidence ?

    Best have a talk with the man on the street , the financial pundits bankers investment brokers etc because saying there’s any REAL confidence other than the BS the media is shoving down everyones throat is Delusional Thinking personified

    Stick you nose above ground T. Step away from the pile you;re immersed in and have a good look at reality because the GM rhetoric is in fact getting you and this country No Where !!!!

    All for a mere $23.77 Billion of my hard earned tax money

    And thats NOT taking into account the Billions States , Cities and Communities are shelling out for that Ransom GM FORD and Chrysler are charging to KEEP their factories open

    According to several overseas bankers , investment brokers , financial experts as well as the whistle blowers here in the US the ACTUAL bailout numbers if all that States etc have paid out comes to ……

    hold onto it ..

    sit yourself down T Bejima cause this is gonna hurt

    $175 Billion ! . And thats just an estimate

    But hey T like others nationwide …. you just keep your head in the sand ……. keep believing the rhetoric and propaganda …. keep playing GM CheerLeader ( god i hope at least they’re giving you a cute dress to show off yer ____ ) and we’ll see where you’re at in say …. two years

    I’ll bet on the dole

  36. tj Martin Says:

    #33

    Cause i know what coming tomorrow or Thursday ;-)

  37. tj Martin Says:

    NSX

    Well 101 once again we come to a point of disagreement

    The NSX wasn’t and exotic ? Really ? Funny thing it kicked the crap out of its Ferrari and Porsche competition

    Wasn’t a bargain ? Really ? Funny that while it was kicking the crap out of Ferraris Porsches and Lamborghinis it cost a hell of a lot less

    As well as being the reference point for Gordon Murray when he was designing the McLaren F1 road car

    And why are the used prices so high on the old NSX ?

    Well all of the above plus the fact that UNLIKE its Ferrari and Porsche competition of the day NSX’s are still running like a top , don’t cost a fortune to maintain and are actually quite usable as Daily Drivers … unlike the Ferrari’s and Lambo’s of the day

  38. HtG Says:

    #36 Greece sails away from Europa?

    on the costs of the bailouts around the globe? We’re talking decatrillions+regulators looking the other way.

  39. T. Bejma Says:

    What’s wrong with Fairfax? They got the replacement Malibu and the old Malibu is even running longer to fill the rental car fleet. Keeping jobs in your backyard. Is KC paying to keep GM there? We don’t have any other plants just laying around to move it (or left to sell to Fiskar).

  40. tj Martin Says:

    @33

    Also because I’m witnessing first hand what all those Bailout jobs , ransom monies the Big Three are charging , the tax breaks and abatements etc is costing the cities and communities involved and its making me sick . Literally

  41. HtG Says:

    You need to put on your Keynesian robes, tj. Whatever the money is being aimed at, it’s the govt being countercyclical. God help us if the spigot gets turned off. JMHO

  42. tj Martin Says:

    #38

    No the Chrysler BS thats about to hit the streets in the next day or so .

    Chrysler ( chiseler ) almost making GM look honest in comparison

    Almost

    #39

    KC and every other community in the US with either a FORD Chrysler or GM plant is currently being held for ransom , be it tax abatements , graft given directly to the companies or tax breaks in order to keep those plants where they are .

    Get a dose of reality T . The World as you think you know it is not the World that actually is . GM Dogma is just that .

    Dogma . Having little or nothing to d with reality what so ever

  43. tj Martin Says:

    #41

    I wouldn’t mind it so much if we were actually benefitting from the expenditures , but the fact is the only ones benefitting are the company executives and a few in government while we’re getting the shaft from both directions

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    Since I don’t seem to know crap about the subject of cars, it would be better if I just read comments and made none from now on.

  45. HtG Says:

    I shudder to think about what would have happened in America if the carcos had not been propped up. Bush also understood that it couldn’t happen. It’s wastes like Fister that get my ire, though. And I’m cognizant that the economy around me was supported through the wall street bailouts; plus, you should go see the DC metro area-so much effing money is getting poured onto them, it’s like a ten mile radius Potemkin village.

  46. tj Martin Says:

    Here’s what all those Tax Breaks etc KC,MO has handed out to GM FORD and Harley Davidson to keep their factories open

    1 ) The Worst public school system currently in the Nation , with KC schools on round five of having lost accredidation

    2) The most understaffed , under paid and under performing PD and FD of ANY City in the lower 48 , with KC being ranked # 2 in the nation for murders per capita

    3) Amongst the worst ( we make NYC streets look like billiard tables in comparison ) streets and highways nationwide

    4) One of the worst crumbling infrastructures ( sewers etc ) in the US

    All because of the money KC pays out , as well as the money not being taken in to keep all those so called Jobs

    That at least partially explain it HtG ?

  47. tj Martin Says:

    #44

    Why’d you say that after i just came to your defense over the NSX pedro ?

  48. tj Martin Says:

    enough

    I need a break and so does my paw

  49. Aliisdad Says:

    The best way to help the US auto industry would be to only purchase a car actually built in the United States regardless of manufacturer…Buyere would also have to do their part by looking at labels which might require qutie a ad campaign…
    Where the hell are the unions who collect huge required dues? Why do they support NAFTA and other things not good for their people? They would have to actually support the companies that support them…Also, they need to be reasonable in their expectations…Workers should also be defended when they are right and not when they are wrong; that way “union labor” would be of value to the employer and the would want union employees…We need unions;however, they need to be reasonable or they will destroy their industries!!
    Finally, the US auto makers need to stop building crap for the domestic market and stop playing “marketing” games such as badge engineering and cutting corners…
    Wow, pretty cool, I’ve solved all the problems of the US auto industry in a couple of minutes!!
    But, seriously, if real changes are not made soon, we will be right back where we were two years ago….

  50. HtG Says:

    46 Yes. I point out DC because around there what you see is public and private expenditure galore. DC is making more of the economic decisions, so business sycophancy must rise. If you drive along the western end of the beltway, there’s tons of roadway construction and more midsize business buildings going up. I went to the Pentagon sited Costco on Sunday, where you saw hordes of people shopping, new buildings, defense contractors, and of course security cameras mounted to the street signs. I can’t help but think the population of DC isn’t feeling what the rest of the country does.

  51. Autos101 Says:

    #44 why take it personally? I just said what I know abt the NSX

  52. Autos101 Says:

    HtG Says:
    January 31st, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    “I shudder to think about what would have happened in America if the carcos had not been propped up.”

    For DECADES the onetime big 3 SQUANDERED their HUGE DOMINANCE in the US car markets.

    GM saw its market share PLUMMET from 60% almost, to as low as below 20%today.

    It took decades, they had plenty of time to react. They 100% DESERVED to die and let the fit survive.

    In the LUXURY segment, an even bigger debacle! Lincoln and esp Cadillac had a 90% SHARE of that profitable segment, now they together have less than 17%!!!!!.

  53. Autos101 Says:

    Aliisdad Says:
    January 31st, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    “The best way to help the US auto industry would be to only purchase a car actually built in the United States regardless of manufacturer…”

    This would help US citizens that work for the automakers, domestic or foreign. ANd the choice is quite wide, but there are segments of the industry where NO car is made in the US, either by the big 3 or the foreign makers.

    For example, flagship sedans- S class, 7 series, A8 are all made in Germany and the LS460 in Japan and the Indian Jag, I assume still in the UK.

  54. Aliisdad Says:

    #52…That is right..And, it’s a shame considering what we had (Didn’t GM have 70% or so of the market in the fifties and sixties??).

  55. HtG Says:

    52. Ford also hit the wall earlier, but were able to go to wall street to get loans. When GM got in trouble in 2008, there was a meltdown in the credit system. The scale of the calamity in finance is barely appreciated, and it was a political decision not to allow Chrysler or GM to go down. Letting the free market take care of GM is one thing, but being consistent and allowing all the banks, all the insurance and pension funds, the balance sheets of major companies around the world, the money market accounts of individuals, etc. to all face the market, would have taken balls filled with pure evil. JMHO

  56. Autos101 Says:

    #54 I saw a graqph of its market share at TTAC a while ago and GM peaked at a little less than 60% back then, but the big 3 combined could have peaked at more than 80%, even 90% at some time.

    #55: The decision to bail the makers out was 100% payback to Corrupt Obama’s buddies in the UAW. He owed them big time for the $tens of millions the UAW management gave him from the dues of the rank and file, despite their protests.

    That’s why they screwed the dealers and the CREDITORS, who normally get FIRST cut at whatever remained of GM and Chrysler. I wonder if what they did is even legal, but it sure was corrupt and 100% unfair.

    ANd the way the UAW rank and file reacted to the bankruptcies, you would think they would instill the fear of God in them and make them work productively, but Nooooo! They went back to boozing and smoking dope on their lunch breaks, and got slapped on the wrist for this grotesquely irresponsible behavior.

  57. HtG Says:

    The creditors were also supporters of Obama. Also, Obama screwed the trial lawyers whose injured clients couldn’t go after GM anymore. No?
    Plus, why didn’t Bush decline to assist the UAW, by throwing some money over just to tide over the corps for a few months?

  58. Autos101 Says:

    HtG Says:
    January 31st, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    The creditors were also supporters of Obama.

    WHy? Who were they, and what proof do you have that any of them supported him? are you kidding me?

    If Obama was not in the Pocket of the UAW, he would not have screwed the system and given them a break instead of doing it LEGALLY, a legal bankruptcy, where the CREDITORS go first!

    G W Bush yielded to the blackmail of the worthless, incompetent and irresponsible BANKS (which were also big Obama contributors later, as were the big Wall street firms), because Banks are the lifeblood of industry, it can’t exist without them lending it $.

  59. Autos101 Says:

    PS and creditors are NOT just a few big banks and brokerage houses, they are also the millions of widows and orphans who invest in “safer than stocks” GM and Chrysler Corporate Bonds! THEY got screwed too, to pay back the precious UAW!

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    According to Edmunds, an NSX cost $90K new in 2003. I guess that was a bargain compared to Italian exotics, but it was almost twice as much as a Corvette which was, by then, a seriously well performing car. Maybe the coming of the C6 ‘Vette in ’05 sealed Honda’s decision to drop the NSX.

  61. Autos101 Says:

    “G W Bush yielded to the blackmail of the worthless, incompetent and irresponsible BANKS (which were also big Obama contributors later, as were the big Wall street firms), because Banks are the lifeblood of industry, it can’t exist without them lending it $.”

    If I were in his place, and despite being for capitalism 100%, I would not bail them out, I would effing NATIONALIZE their worthless posteriors!

  62. Autos101 Says:

    By 2003 the NSX was a has been with barely any sales. BUT it cost an arm and a leg back when it was introduced, maybe $90k ALSO, in 1990 or so, when $90k was REAL MONEY and not Obama dollars! ANd you could buy a flagship Mercedes S class for $50k and a Lexus LS400 for 35k!!! Ferraris were barely more expensive in 1990.

  63. Autos101 Says:

    “In 2003, our editors compared the NSX to three American sports cars. On a racetrack, they reported that the car’s midmounted engine gave it a distinctly different feel than the front-heavy American iron. Its limits were high, but crossing them meant that drivers had to be ready to gather the car up in a hurry. On the street, the Acura NSX was easy to drive thanks to its excellent forward visibility, easily depressed clutch and smooth shifter. Overall, our editors said the car was exhilarating to drive but not worth its then new $90,000 asking price.”

  64. HtG Says:

    Yeah, direct holders of bonds got hosed(that’s why one diversifies; and why did they think their yields were so attractive?). But would you have liquidated the carcos to give a fractional payout to bond holders? They only would have gotten what the parts of the carcass would have been worth in a ruined landscape.

    Another class of creditors that got no joy from Obama were the CDS holders, who were keen to see a bankruptcy to collect their insurance. I can’t remember exactly how this played out, but I don’t think these contracts actually paid out; these are the kind of swaps that you buy to make money when your neighbor’s house burns down.

    You want that A1? There would have been more consequences to a BK than not paying off political supporters like the UAW.

  65. Phil in Burlington, Ontario Says:

    I hate to say it but the Chinese knock-off F150 actually looks better than the original – they got rid of many of the character lines and creases that plague current F150.

  66. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Waiting on the January numbers; wow, first month of 2012, gone already. A lot of great product out there (foreign AND domestic).

  67. HtG Says:

    Oi, tj.

  68. cwolf Says:

    @ Auto101
    Why do/did the auto companies owe money to the UAW?

  69. cwolf Says:

    @56: No money from dues is used for political purposes. There is a seperate and voluntary political action fund used for these purposes.

  70. cwolf Says:

    I have no doubt the Fiat 500 Abrith will become a classic. That is because there will be very few in operable condition.

    The Regal RS may be. I saw my first one on the road the other day. It looked and sounded good,plus had some zip to it. Buick has potential!

  71. QuietStormX Says:

    I’m sure Ford has a Big Issue with JAC and China. So Blatant when everyone has access to a webphone with camera.

  72. Autos101 Says:

    NSX prices, 1995-1997

    I checked some wonderful car review volumes I got from Autoweek from the mid-90s and was appalled at how high NSX prices were.

    It was posted here that it was $90,000 in 2003, but evewn back in 1997 it was $87k, and in 1994-95 the base NSX was 75k, $15k more than the base Porsche 911!

    No wonder sales DWINDLED fast.

    The NSX aimed high, not at porsche but at the entry-level Ferrari 355 which at that time cost $120,000. It looked very similar, and very different than a 911, and it does make a compelling proposition, to have a reliable mid-engined car, BUT at what cost? $87k in 1006 was REAL $! It could NOT cost $15k more than a base 911!!!

  73. Autos101 Says:

    cwolf Says:
    January 31st, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    @ Auto101
    Why do/did the auto companies owe money to the UAW?

    ????

    Why are you asking me this question???

    It has NOTHING to do with what I wrote.

    Read my posts again.

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s not surprising that the NSX was pricey. They built fewer than 10,000 during the 15 model years they were made. Also, they went off the deep end in some ways that ran up the cost. As I remember, they had titanium connecting rods. That wouldn’t be cheap.

  75. bob e K Says:

    Why has this so called automotive web site forum turned into a political forum ?

  76. Autos101 Says:

    Thew NSX was GROSSLY overpriced. Honda miscalculated.

    ANd when the obvious result was TERRIBLY LOW SALES, Honda., instead of lowering the price, raised it to ABSURD LEVELS,

    $15K OVER THE PRICEY BASE 911 IS INSANE.

  77. Autos101 Says:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/toyota-drowns-in-orders-for-game-changing-engineering-feat-prius-c/#more-428941

    The Awesome Aqua-Prius C proves TWELVE TIMES more popular than even Toyota expected, in Japan. 100% confirms my earlier posts that it will be a huge hit here AND an even BIGGER hit there.

  78. HtG Says:

    75 Looks like Obama may make the bailout of the industry into a campaign issue.

  79. HtG Says:

    77 I looked at the C. I got the belly feeling like I want that car and so will other people. But maybe it’s a bit small for americans.

  80. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Honda designed and marketed the NSX to be a bargain, and reliable Ferrari, not a 911 competitor. At the price, though, it should have had more than 6 cylinders, even though it had an exceptional V6, as V6′s go.

  81. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #77,
    I bet it will be a while before the Prius C can be bought at MSRP.

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Toyota has been hesitant in establishing hybrid production outside of Japan.”

    I remember Toyota had considered building Priuses in one of their U.S. plants, but reconsidered because of potential quality problems with building the complex car here. Maybe they will reconsider building hybrids here, if Prius C demand is as high as expected.

  83. Autos101 Says:

    http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120131/OEM01/120139965/1490

    When you’r hot, you’re hot.

    VW UPS the production of the brand new and AWESOME Passat in its US plant, since sales far exceeded its own expectations and production plans.

  84. Autos101 Says:

    “HtG Says:
    February 1st, 2012 at 8:50 am

    77 I looked at the C. I got the belly feeling like I want that car and so will other people.”

    It did not look so great in the pics, BUT Forrm Follows Function, if it can get 65 real MPG HWY I’ll overlook the weird shapes.

    ” But maybe it’s a bit small for americans.”

    I already noted that, that’s why it will be an EVEN BIGGER Hit in JAPAN which is the primary market this was designed for. BUT if Americans get sober, it will be a perfectly adequate commuting car, Yaris-Fiesta-Fit sized.

  85. Autos101 Says:

    Today sales are out, and Chrysler rushed to report theirs before even 9 AM (usually the reports rush in around 1-3 PM)

    THey did well, Jeep up 37% and Ram up.. 47% (from dismal levels maybe?)

    BUT the BIG question is,

    did they do it by continuing their RIDICULOUS 17.0%++ discounts on Jeeps and similar double-digit discounts on Chryslers, Rams etc, as they did in 2011????

  86. HtG Says:

    84 I felt it had good proportions and gentle creases. I’m biased, as I like little cars. It’s quite agreeable, while the others two Priuses make more of a statement. The one at the DC show was a light leafy green.

  87. Autos101 Says:

    PS “Chrysler’s Jan. sales advance 44% on strong Jeep, Ram demand
    Ford rose 7% while Nissan advanced 10.4%; Infiniti slips”

    100% confirms my view that japoanese Luxury mnakers are TOAST, only Lexus is holding up, BUT has been dethroned by BMW and will slip further. they JUST don’t get it.

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/#ixzz1l8u4RoZl

  88. Autos101 Says:

    86 nothing to do with small vs big cars, the VW Golf always looked far better than its Toyota etc competitors.

    It is called CLEAN LINES, the C does not have them, BUT, again, I will overlook it if FORM FOLLLOW FUNCTION and it can catch mice, aka go 64 HWY.

  89. Autos101 Says:

    I like the Mini (excellent exterior) and even the 2nd gen Fit (the first looked like a damned AVEO!), so it is clearly nothing to do with large vs small.

  90. HtG Says:

    A1, I just meant that I tend to like the look of a car merely because it’s small. Except for that awful first gen Fit. Oofa.

  91. Autos101 Says:

    Volkswagen AG said it sold 27,209 VW models in January, a 48 percent increase over a year ago.

    (Including Audi, I believe the whole VW group is up 44%.)

    these numbers above look like ALL TIME HIGHS for VW in the US (at least in several decades)

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20120201/RETAIL01/120209995#ixzz1l999ivZU

  92. Autos101 Says:

    GM however was down 6%, with Chevy only 1% off, but Caddy and Buick down 20-30% each!