Episode 380 – Honda Reports Profit, New Dodge Police Car, More Loans For China

April 28th, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:40

Honda’s profit report shows the industry is really turning around. Chrysler announced it will make a stronger push in the police-car market with the new Dodge Charger. The Chinese government will make it easier for car buyers to get a loan. All that and more, plus John answers a viewer question about GM’s claim that it paid off its government loans in the “You Said It!” segment.

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Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Honda’s profit report shows the industry is really turning around. Dodge will beat Ford to the market with a new cop car. And automakers want to get the Chinese hooked on car loans.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Wednesday, April 28, 2010. And now, the news.

HONDA’S AUTO PROFIT SURGES
Another financial report from another automaker which clearly shows the auto industry is turning around. Honda reported a profit of $2.8 billion, a 96 percent increase from a year ago. This despite the fact the company’s revenues fell 14 percent. But it was not an even recovery. Profits at its motorcycle operations dropped 41 percent. Honda lost money on its power products like lawnmowers and snowblowers. However, profits at its car operations shot up a jaw-dropping 416 percent. Honda lost money in Japan and Europe, and turned a profit in Asia, but the big surge came in North America. $2.4 billion of Honda’s $2.8 billion profit came out of North America.

MORE REGULATION COMING
Two Democrats in the U.S. Congress are drafting legislation to mandate brake-override systems and event-data recorders commonly known as black boxes. Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Congressman Henry Waxman of California are writing the legislation. Here’s my Autoline insight. Why do we need legislation to make this happen? Many automakers already have these items as standard equipment. The cost of doing so is next to nothing. This is where the rest of the industry should just get together and voluntarily agree to put this on every single vehicle that they make. You know the car companies could avoid a lot of regulation if they would just tackle some of the simple issues on their own.

CHRYSLER TARGETS POLICE-CAR MARKET
Chrysler announced it will make a stronger push in the police-car market. According to the Detroit News, the company will introduce a police car based on the new Dodge Charger that’s coming out later this year. Chrysler worked with a police advisory board while developing the new Charger so it could outfitted for police use. This could be great timing for Chrysler, since both GM and Ford won’t have new police car models ready until late next year.

CHINA RELAXES LOAN RULES
The Chinese government will make it easier for car buyers to get a loan. Currently 90 percent of Chinese buyers pay with cash, which is almost the exact opposite of the U.S. where 85 percent of buyers get a loan. According to Bloomberg, making it easier for buyers to get a loan should help keep sales steady, and encourage them to buy more expensive models.

CARBON FIBER MORE COMMON
Carbon fiber is going to play a BIG role in future vehicles. More and more automakers are figuring out ways to incorporate it in their cars. A few weeks ago BMW announced that it was building a plant in Washington State to manufacture the material. Now, Reuters reports that Daimler has partnered with Japanese textile maker Toray Industries to push the technology. Components from the partnership will debut in 2012 on the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. Toray is the world’s largest maker of carbon fiber, but this is the first time it has developed car parts. It has supplied yarn to Ferrari for its sports cars, though.

NANNY NATION
Yep, I think it’s official. We’ve become a nanny nation. According to the Vail Daily, a bill requiring that children stay in booster seats until they’re 8 years old is on its way to Colorado’s governor. The final version would allow police to pull over vehicles that are suspected of having improperly restrained children in them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. In the U.S. 55 percent of all traffic fatalities are from unbelted people. 55 PERCENT! That’s 20,000 lives each year that could be saved if people just wore their seat belts. This is where we should be putting all our safety efforts.

Did General Motors really pay the government back or is it just trying to mislead the public? We’ll tackle that right after this.

And now it’s time for some of your feedback.

A number of you wrote in about GM’s claim that it paid-off the government. Typical of your letters was this one from Todd Jaspers who, by the way, works for the Miami Dolphins. He says, “Most of the guys around training camp know me as the ‘car guy’ here, so I’ve had a couple of people come up to me saying, ‘Hey, did you hear that GM repaid all their loans?’ Unfortunately, I think they all actually believe that GM has repaid every cent of taxpayer money that was given/loaned to them. I really, really hope you take the time to prove/disprove/clear-up some of this for me.”

Well Todd, once again, GM blew it in the court of public opinion. Instead of humbly paying off their TARP loans and promising to repay the rest of the money, they beat their chest and tried to make everyone think they had repaid it all. All they did was leave themselves open to charges of deception.

Here’s what’s going on. GM did repay its loans, but it repaid them with money the government gave it, not from cash generated by its own operations. The good news is that GM gave that money back because it doesn’t need it. And it gave this money back four years sooner than required, which shows how quickly the company is turning around.

However, the government gave GM a lot more money than just the loans. There is another $50 billion of taxpayer money that we sunk into the company. In return for that money the government got 60 percent of GM’s stock. When GM goes public again, probably later this year, the government will be able to start selling its shares on the open market.

This is the point that GM should be emphasizing. If Uncle Sam sells those shares on the NYSE in a controlled and disciplined manner, it could get every penny back and possibly make a profit.

Ford stock has gone up nearly 1000 percent in the last 14 months. I’m pretty sure GM’s stock will perform quite well, depending on how they price the IPO. If the sale goes well, and the government gets back every penny, then GM will finally have a legitimate reason to beat on its chest and brag to the world.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog, The Auto Channel, Car Chat, WardsAuto.com and WWJ Newsradio 950

54 Comments to “Episode 380 – Honda Reports Profit, New Dodge Police Car, More Loans For China”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    Well John, if my wife is any indication, GM may lose a significant amount of sales with this PR Faux Pas.

    She is a strong fiscal conservative, as well as a loyal GM buyer…but this slight of hand, (deception?) has pushed her away from the General, perhaps for good. She wasn’t happy with the bailout to begin with, but understood why it took place, but this was beyond the normal hyperbole you expect from the industry.

    I expect her next car to be wearing a Blue Oval instead of being the Buick LaCrosse or Regal that was leading the way.

  2. Todd Says:

    “Here’s my Autoline insight. Why do we need legislation to make this happen? Many automakers already have these items as standard equipment. The cost of doing so is next to nothing.”

    The bigger question is: Why do we strive to make cars more and more idiot proof? Passive restrains come to mind. Now laws against texting while driving are needed. Wouldn’t it be better to not allow idiots to drive?

    GM totally deceived the public. Why all the up in arms talk when it’s Toyota and shoulder shrugging when it’s GM?

    GM is a chariot without wheels (competitive product) it’s horses (capital) died of exaustion dragging around that chariot without wheels. The government’s solution: Give them more horses.

  3. Todd Jaspers Says:

    I’d really like to see GM come out of this. The government needs to let-go and let free market trade do what it needs to do.

  4. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Once again GM is putting out trash (talk).They can not be trusted in speech,which leads me to think and believe that their products are not to be trusted.Way to go GM,that’s showing us.

  5. Nick Stevens Says:

    I’d like to never see the clueless face of that charlatan Whitacre on my TV again. Ever. He is saturating all channels with his BS bragging, and he does not know squat about cars. At least Mullaly tried to LEARN!

    While we are at it, I would also appreciate it it I don’t see any more ads by the dumb lizzard of Geico, the even dumber ‘perky’ readhead at that other insurance outfit, and that big gorilla of Hollywood and sitcom fame at the third one. If you want to REALLY save $ on car insurance, you should all demand that they stop blowing your hard-earned insurance premiums away at these MORONIC, brainwashing ads!

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I guess I’m one of those rare people who bases car buying decisions on what serves my purposes and what I like, rather than political or ideological reasons. I also don’t seem to have any particular “brand loyalty,” given that I have a Mini, a Chevy, a Dodge, and a VW.

  7. Nick Stevens Says:

    I was on business travel, drove about 1,500 miles total from Sunday until yesterday at 11 PM, and I am in FAVOR of the lane-changing warnings, and I wish my car had one! Fortunately nothing happened, but I got very sleepy as I was driving back on I-80 West, and did fall asleep or almost asleep and woke up to realize I was changing lanes and was close to hitting an 18-wheeler in front of me on the right lane. All of this happened because I did not have enough coffee on Tue, and was solved by stopping in the next rest area and getting one (which tasted awful, but did the job for the rest of the 580 mile drive back). That return trip took me from 2 PM to 11:15 PM and included couple pitt stops for gas and rest.

  8. Nick Stevens Says:

    Kit: it is hard to imagine how you own four cars, none of which is a japanese model, let alone from Toyota and Honda whom Consumer Reports praises all the time, and given you believe their rankings and tests. Does Honda and toyota combined make no models that “serves your purposes”?

  9. Nick Stevens Says:

    between trips, i visited an old friend and HS classmate I had not seen in 30 years! He noticed my 7 and understood I am into cars, so he opened a garage and there it was! A shiny MASERATI 2-seater convertible he bought from some wall streeter in distress for $65,000, a 2006 model with 7,000 miles (now has 10,000) last may. (price new is twice that). However, he does not drive it in the rain (!) and asked me to take the 7 to the dinner, and because the front passenger seat was taken, he sat in the back and sure was impressed with the huge cabin and comented it looked like new even after now 133,350 miles!

  10. dcars Says:

    McElroy you hit the nail on the head. Auto manufactures shouldn’t need a government mandate to put override systems on their cars; they should just do it. The cost of lawsuits alone should be enough to put this item in our autos. Too many regulations and too little common sense.
    GM blew it, the more the truth comes out the worst they’ll look, weren’t they paying attention to Toyota’s PR mishaps?
    I also wonder if Honda benefited from Toyota’s problems.

  11. Andy S Says:

    Nick, I hope you warned your old HS friend that the newer Bavarians are “not worthy” – low rent materials, insane HMI, poor fuel economy, premium fuel only. I also hope you don’t spend all your 401K money on service parts.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick Stevens says:

    “Does Honda and toyota combined make no models that “serves your purposes”?

    I obviously have way more cars than I “need,” but just like cars, and variety. At the time I bought these cars, there were no Honda or Toyota models that “served my purposes” (or my wants) as well as the German/Canadian/American/British mix that I have.

    In the order I bought them:

    ’86 VW Cabriolet—I wanted a smallish convertible, and that was the “only game in town” except maybe Cavalier, Dodge 600, and Chrysler LeBaron. The VW just seemed like the better car, and I think I was right. If the Miata had been around in ’86, I probably would have a Miata rather than the VW since I didn’t need a back seat.

    ’89 Dodge Caravan—I wanted this mainly to transport largish RC airplanes. The Chrysler vans were still considered to be among the best at the time. Also, I wanted a more “interesting” power train than the usual mandatory automatic. My van has a 2.5 turbo/5-speed manual.

    ’06 Malibu Maxx—This was the best value at the time in a largish hatch or wagon that could carry 4 people comfortably, and carry all except the largest model airplanes. This car would serve me fine as an “only car” now.

    ’08 Mini Cooper—I wanted a car to leave at my Florida condo, and wanted a car that is fun to
    drive, cute to look at, and gets good gas mileage. The Mini fits the bill well, since I didn’t need a usable back seat or much cargo space in this car.

  13. Salvador G. Says:

    In the words of Steven Colbert “If you repeated, it becomes the true, ff you repeated, it becomes the true and as long as you repeated it will become the true and through repetition It Will Be Known as the true”

    -So I guess as long GM keeps saying it, it will so.

    2.Finally, I guess since California is basically a bankrupt state and Arizona is a facist state, I honestly got not problem with Colorado becoming a Nanny state.

  14. Nick Stevens Says:

    Andy: My HS friend never asked me anything about Bimmers, he knows a lot and in addition I doubt he is considering to buy o ne, after all he drove MAZDAS all his life until 2009 when he bought the midlife-crisis mobile.

    Re your comments, I never liked the “Bangled” exterior designs of most currenrt BMWS, but they are getting better now. The new 5 is an incredible bargain, yopu really get a $100k SEVEN for the price of a 5. (almost half).

    As for my 401 and parts, you really need not worry one bit. Are you new in this forum? I owned bulletproof reliable Hondas before the BMW, and I can tell you the bimmer is as much or even MORE reliable than they are!! Esp. systems like the exhaust, it never failed on the BMW while I had to replace parts of it every two years on the Accord. THat’s due to hard driving conditions (cold starts, short trips), but the BMW has superior exhaust materials.

    To Summarize, I have owned my 7 for 5 years now. And last year in particular, it made me a PROFIT!!!!!!! No kidding! It needed next to NOTHING beyond the oil change, and the $2,000 or so I got for the 4,000+ miles I drove it on business, at $0.55 a mile (2009 rate, this year it is $0.50) more than paid for the $500ish annual insurance and the $250 licence fee and the $120 oil change&etc and the $150 wiper arm plus labor I replaced. it was not only a hugely satisfying drive, but also a financially extremely rewarding one! I am repeating things here for the regulars, but you apparently are new to the group…

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    On last night’s Top Gear tv show they really went out of their way to make fun and criticize the X6. I had no idea it’s all wheel drive was so lame. BMW really struck out with this turkey.

  16. LEX Says:

    I agree with McElroy’a summation regarding GM’s Current Loan Repayment scenario. Ed Whitacre is deceiving the America Public and not disclosing the whole truth (Transparency) concerning GM’s indebtedness to the Federal Government and the American People. I would like to know how many shares is represented by the 60% stake we have in GM? What is going to be the IPO price of a share of New GM Stock once it is floated on the NYSE? I can’t believe it will be more than $5.00 to $7.50 per share. What is The New GM going to do flood the market with Ten Billion shares of stock to potentially allow the Government to recoup our money? This might best be answered by David Welch (Business Week / Bloomberg)next time on AAH.

    Congratulations to Honda for Besting Toyota in the Revenue Column for the First Quarter of 2010! Keep Up the Good Work!

  17. Tom Cain Says:

    First, we don’t need the government mandating event data recorders. Second, every buyer should be savvy enough to ASK if an EDR is equipped. Third, it needs to be VERY CLEAR that the EDR belongs to the owner of the vehicle; not the government, police, or insurance company. While we will all likely be coerced into providing the data to an insurance company via clauses in our policies, access by the government needs to require a search warrant.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    Did any of you read 1984?

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    this is all part of the govt plan to tax us by the miles driven and NOT by the gas we buy. They mean to put tracking devices in all vehicles and to remove it would be illegal like it’s with the cat converters. It would be a Federal violation and jail time +hefty fines.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    While I agree that the government shouldn’t require EDR and brake over-ride, I am very glad that they got into regulating some aspects of car design.

    How bad would the air around LA have gotten without regulation, first the simple, cheap positive crankcase ventilation, and then exhaust emission control? Pretty bad, I suspect. The car companies had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, every inch of the way, saying it couldn’t be done, but guess what? They cleaned up the exhaust, and within a few years, made the cars more powerful and more fuel efficient at the same time.

  21. naif Says:

    Well it is like this, GM has a long history of its mouth not exactly telling the truth.

  22. Nick Stevens Says:

    Of course I am not in favor of bureacracy, but when it comes to auto safety I’d rather have some guarantees that the idiots in Detroit do not screw up AGAIn. If I trusted them, I’d not mind, but these are the clowns that co mplained that safety belts, $5 items today, were too expensive and would destroy the new car markets way back when.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    from the govt. is run by boneheads dept: Miami-Dade county expressway authority will remove all toll collectors and replace them with cameras that will photograph your tag and bill you for the tolls. They will lose million is uncollected tolls and these poor people will lose their jobs, what’s the purpose of this? To save money. how are they gonna collect from all the out of state tourists, trucks and rental cars. It is really pathetic.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Chrysler was “selling safety” in the 60′s. My dad’s ’64 Dodge Dart, which I later owned, had seat belts as standard equipment, while belts weren’t required by law until 1968.

  25. T. Diggs Says:

    Nick Stevens wrote:

    “…and that big gorilla of Hollywood and sitcom fame at the third one.”

    Since no one else is going to call you out on this, I will. Why must Mr. Haysbert be referred to as a “big gorilla?” Surely you are aware of the implication in using such wording in reference to a Black person.

    You’re better than that. Check yourself.

  26. Todd Jaspers Says:

    @pedro fernandez, Miami Dade is not removing the toll booths. They are adding cameras to intersections to issue tickets when people run red-lights. The existing tolls aren’t being affected.

  27. Pedro Nicksky Says:

    Did GM pay back the loan?

    Yes.

    Of course some people are trying to read more into it.

    But no matter what. GM paid it back.

    You guys want a clue?

    Since the market turned last year, I’ve cleared twenty some percent on my investment assets. No GM hasn’t left “government” cash in a savings account making a half percent. So they made enough off cash on hand to clean up a stinky debt.

    What it all boils down to is you need to turn off Fox News and see what reality really is like. I fully expect the clueless to now demand to see GM’s birth certificate.

    John, you are wrong this time.

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    I stand corrected, it will be only the Homestead extension of the Pike by next year, but if it works out I’m sure they will copy the system. And yes they will remove collectors and all booths. It is costing $98 million.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick Stevens says:

    “Does Honda and toyota combined make no models that “serves your purposes”?”

    Neither Honda nor Toyota has any mid-size wagons or hatchbacks, just the too-heavy, too-tall, and/or too ugly Venza and CrossTour. A wagon or hatch that is a car, without trying to be a “crossover,” is what I’d want if I had only one vehicle and needed to replace my Malibu Maxx. The one Toyota or Honda I’d consider, especially if I drove more than my ~12K miles/year is a Prius.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    April 28th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    “I stand corrected, it will be only the Homestead extension of the Pike by next year, but if it works out I’m sure they will copy the system. And yes they will remove collectors and all booths. It is costing $98 million.”

    I assume they will use “Sunpass” transponders to collect the tolls, and will use the camaras for those who don’t pay. Is that correct?

  31. Nick Pedrosky Says:

    Loan paid, who cares.

    The people complaining are the same ones that watch “fair and balanced” Fox News.

    Why don’t you just go demand to see GM’s birth certificate instead.

  32. Frank Dunne Says:

    Hello, old friend. A comment from retirement land on the discussion about GM’s repayment of federal funds. First, money is fungible and it is impossible to separate dollars generated from a sale from those from any other source, whether it be a bank or the government. As you noted, the news is good for all concerned, not least the taxpayers who have realized income and now,at least on the loan, have reduced their expoure. As to the balance, it is a little misleading to say the government “gave” the money to GM. In fact, the Gov’t purchased a slew of assets that hopefully will prove to have been a good invesment. And in acquiring its interest, it accomplished a lot of goals, among them essentially asuring that the UAW workers, an important constituency of the Adminisration, were made whole on their retirement benefits. The bond holders were not so well treated, having been almost wiped out and the owners of GM, the shareholders lost their entire investment. On balance, the Gov’t gave nothing to the old GM, and now owns free and clear all the best assets of that fine American icon. Hope all is well.

  33. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    This Country is destroying itself. The nanny State is clamping down on a generataion of people (Mines) which has a historical perpensity even in adulthood to not respond to authority very well.

    Think about it, in my generation’s time there has been 8 major and minor riots in small towns and big cities, and we’re not even in a real social movement, yet. The key term is, yet.

    For the most part we are kind of taking it easy. The system is not bad enough yet for us to really take advantage of it and do what we truly want to it. We’re looking for the system to collaspe so we can start anew.

    You guys with your nanny state laws, the purposeful and wanton rigging of the economy, holding on to 20th Century beliefs, the lack of true diversity, etc…..

    Yeah, we dont even have to have a true movement. You’re doing the work for us so we can walk right in and force what we desire. You will have to accept what we desire too, becuase if you dont society will collaspe with the way you guys are rigging things.

    Then again that’s what you want.

    So thanks guys.

    F-ing 8 year olds in car seats, wow are they absolutely bonkers.

  34. David B. Fishburn Says:

    Regarding the issue about the legislation to require EDR’s and Brake overrides; They’re just a couple of politicans who want to say to their constituents back home,”i did something”. Even though the auto companies have already put EDRs in the cars for years. They’re just blowing hot air over an issue that already has been handled, and are wasting time and money on useless legislation down there in DC.

  35. GPL Says:

    Before you guys go too crazy about “8 year olds in car seats”, note that the article says “booster seats” not “car seats”. There’s a big difference. A booster just raises the child up to help center their torso on the upper strap and bolsters their smaller posteriors to keep them planted in the middle of the seat.

    I just looked at a growth chart. At 8 years old, my son will only be about 58 pounds and 4’2″. That’s hardly large enough to be adequately secured by a seat and belt system designed to also accomodate adults several times his size, so law or not, mine will probably still be in a BOOSTER at age eight as many kids already are.

    That said, a minimum height/weight standard would be more appropriate than age.

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, no Sir, they will deploy cameras at all Pike toll sites along with sunpass, if you don’t have sunpass they will take a photo of your tag/car and mail you the bill for the toll. This seems incredibly stupid, but it is coming next year only on the Homestead extension of the pike (for now)Its supposed to make the trip faster and safer. But I’ve heard from sources where they will charging tolls in just about every expressway, when they complete the 826/836 interchange in 5 yrs.already on the 878 they got the Sunpass overhead thingy ready to go. Tolls and more tolls up our ying yang my friend, if you look up the Turnpike website you will see it.

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    Nick: just curious: is there any American car you would consider buying used 5 or more years from now?

  38. Miradart Says:

    I wonder if the brake override system will have a way that a guy can still do a burnout, if he “needs” to?

  39. motorman Says:

    pedro the Pa turnpike uses this setup and if you try and run the gate without either a transponder or paying cash they take a picture of your plate and you get a big fine in the mail. it happened to me because my transponder did not register but the fine was removed because they saw i had a registered transponder once i called them.

  40. Miradart Says:

    Just a thing.

    Some of you seem way too angry. A booster seat shouldn’t be thought of as some kind of ‘end of Liberty for all’. It’s just a good idea. The kid is too big to sit in a car seat, and isn’t big enough to have the factory seat belts properly restrain him. It solves the problem. After all, little Jimmy shouldn’t become a missile, just because some jackass blew a red light and cut you off.

    The problem is that some people feel the need to have legislation in front of them before they will implement what is obviously a pretty darned good idea. In fact some will protest against it. I think some of these same people would protest against AIR if Congress decreed that AIR was to be “The exclusive source of oxygen for all people, unless otherwise prescribed by a doctor.” It’s crazy.

    On another note a booster seat will likely be the easiest transition you will ever have to make with your child do, as they grow. It will become a ‘rite of passage’ thing for the kid. In addition he/she will get to sit up higher and see outside better.

    At the end of the day, it’s simple. We’ve got to keep the children alive, so we will have someone to move in with when we get old. ;)
    That’s my time. G’night.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    April 28th, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    “Kit, no Sir, they will deploy cameras at all Pike toll sites along with sunpass”

    Thanks for the info. I can’t imagine but what it would cost more to collect the toll the “new” way given what it will take to read those license plates and mail out the bills, many of which will never be paid. I guess I’ll find out when and if this happens in central Florida too.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Miradart Says:
    April 28th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    “I wonder if the brake override system will have a way that a guy can still do a burnout, if he “needs” to?”

    Presumably, the brake override will be actuated by the same switch that works the brake lights. You could override the override by putting a switch on the dash in parallel with the stop light switch and, when you want to do a burnout, flip the switch. The stop lights would remain on until you flip the switch the other way, but it would override the override.

  43. First On Race Day (FORD) Says:

    Yes, we are a “Nanny nation” and it has little do with car seats. The Govt is mandating everyhting it can for our “good”. We are all too stupid to live our lives. This is just more Nanny Govt. Stop the insanity.

  44. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Things that make us a nanny State:

    1. Criminalistic, Racist, and Clascist Drug War.

    2. Anti Smoking Legislation.

    3. Criminally underinflated speed limits.

    4. Silly Booster seat laws at outrageous ages.

    5. Criminally overinflated Anti Vice Taxes.

    6. Speed Cameras.

    7. The Patriot Act.

    8. Anti Gang Laws-the opposite approach to solving the problem+FAIL.

    9. Anti Gun Laws-the Opposite approach to solving the real problem=FAIL.

    10. Anti Profanity Rules.

    11. The Forced Secularization of Schools without a fair place for all Faiths-including the religion of Athieism. Yes, Atheieism is a Religion too. They advocate Anti God to the point to where that itself has become a religion. What an Oxymoron, LMAO.

    12. Allowing Ex Military to Serve in the Police force=the Militarization of the police Force using people trained to kill for general community police actions. No Wonder why so many people get shot and tazed by the cops.

    That’s my Civil Libertarian side coming out, though Im not a true Libertarian.

    Corporations are nannies too:

    1. The increased control of the government via outsourcing.

    2. The Overhyped Cry baby securitization of facilities making doing business HELL!!!

    3. Coroparte espoinage via multiple sources. Example: Google Earth

    4. Purposely destroying the fabric of the American economy to do things such as:

    A. Lower birth rates Via Economic Coersion.

    B. Delay the Professional Growth of young people to keep them in a state of labor to prevent any social movements that can be started on their free time, and A.

    C. Control the messages in the media VIA Monopolization of a few media Companies.

    D.Control the masses of Workers by charging them Criminally overinflated prices, and paying the Serfdom Wages regardless of education at many places. Thus, keeping them in a state of dependency.

    E. Controlling Both Political prties through America’s Trojan Horses-Lobbyists that only allow the corporate Agenda to reign as opposed to what the people actually WANT and NEED.

    F.Paying helping professionals such as Teachers, Social Workers, etc like slaves to control them. As those professions hold the most societal change potential.

    I can go on all night but YES WE LIVE IN A DAMM NANNY STATE AND WE’RE GETTING MAD TIRED OF IT!!!

  45. Alex Kovnat Says:

    Re More Regulation Coming: Henry Waxman hates the automobile industry with all his heart. Always has, always will. Why do we have to have more and more stuff on our cars, stuff that adds cost and weight and takes up precious space, just to satisfy this man’s ego needs?

  46. Nick Stevens Says:

    ” T. Diggs Says:
    April 28th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Nick Stevens wrote:

    “…and that big gorilla of Hollywood and sitcom fame at the third one.”

    Since no one else is going to call you out on this, I will. Why must Mr. Haysbert be referred to as a “big gorilla?” Surely you are aware of the implication in using such wording in reference to a Black person.

    You’re better than that. Check yourself.”

    I did not realize the word is so sensitive. I did not even know the guy’s name. I am not at all irritated by his skin color, of course. I call all kinds of people of all ethnicities all kinds of names from the animal kingdom, and from the most intelligent (allegedly) of all animals, apes and their like.

    I am simply very irritated at all three insurance commercials, the Redhead perky girl, the green lizard, and the dark guy, all of whom claim they are saving you $ on car insurance, while, actually, they are WASTING your premiums on ads instead of on cash back to those of you that are so misguided as to have insurance with these three!

    That was my point.

  47. Nick Stevens Says:

    Come to think of it, Ray Lahood is a cross between mr. Bean and a Baboon. Or is it a different ape?

  48. Nick Stevens Says:

    PS Why is Mr. Haysbert making these commercials? Is he some kind of an expert on insurance? What is so screwed up in the brain of the average viewer that they will be willing to listen to a Hollywood Actor or an Athlete to decide who their insurance co should be? THEY probably know much more about insurance than these clowns.

    Are decisions today made by 12 year olds? The ads seem to imply that.

  49. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Pedro Nicksky Says:
    April 28th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Did GM pay back the loan?

    Yes.”

    YOur statement is about as true as your name.

    YEah, they paid a small part of their govt help they got, WITH GOVT MONEY.

    And then they bragt about it?

    WHat A-hole this clown Whiceacre is!

  50. Nick Stevens Says:

    “HyundaiSmoke Says:
    April 28th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    This Country is destroying itself. The nanny State is clamping down on a generataion (sic) of people (Mines) (sic!) which has a historical perpensity (Sic) even in adulthood to not respond to authority very well. ”

    Obviously the one who destroyed this country were your Teachers. If you went to a private school, which is unlikely, you should ask for your money back. But it is far more likely you went to one of our overfunded, failed public schools. The goons who allegedly taught you and their unions are giulty of HIGH TREASON, since they have indeed destroyed generations of americans by leaving them illiterate, (in all kinds of ways, grammatically, historically, and above all economically and mathematically!

  51. Nick Stevens Says:

    “# pedro fernandez Says:
    April 28th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Nick: just curious: is there any American car you would consider buying used 5 or more years from now?”

    I’d rather wait to see the 2011 models, if I had to choose among the 2010 or older, I’d give a look at a Corvette or a Pontiac G8, but I probably would not end up buying it. I like what I have a lot and may get a younger copy from a similar model and maker.

  52. Nick Stevens Says:

    From today’s obits in the NYT: Irrelevant to autos, but good!

    “She ( Cunningham, a famous black journalist etc that died at 94) also interviewed sports and entertainment figures.

    When she visited Louis Armstrong at his home in Queens, she asked him about the classical music he was listening to.

    “It’s Beethoven,” Armstrong said. “Y’know, I play a lot of it. You can learn a lot from them cats.””

    That’s for sure! Beethoven WAS a BIG cat, and had the mane to prove it too!

    I like Louis even more after seeing this.

  53. Dave Mathyk Says:

    “GM blew it in the court of public opinion. Instead of humbly paying off their TARP loans and promising to repay the rest of the money, they beat their chest and tried to make everyone think they had repaid it all. All they did was leave themselves open to charges of deception.

    Here’s what’s going on. GM did repay its loans, but it repaid them with money the government gave it, not from cash generated by its own operations. The good news is that GM gave that money back because it doesn’t need it. And it gave this money back four years sooner than required, which shows how quickly the company is turning around.

    However, the government gave GM a lot more money than just the loans. There is another $50 billion of taxpayer money that we sunk into the company. In return for that money the government got 60 percent of GM’s stock.”

    What deception? They owed the money. They paid the money back – 4 years before they had to. The fact that that the governments loaned them money (they wouldn’t have loaned it to them unless both sides thought they needed it) and now GM finds that it really isn’t needed says something for how well things are progressing at GM, doesn’t it?

    The governments have a big role to play in determining whether the $50 billion equity investment is returned, too. It’s probably true that, depending on timing, the investment could be worth less or more than $50 billion, depending on when the governments decide to sell their stake.

    I think your assessment that GM is leaving themselves “open to charges of deception” is way off base. You’re fishing for reasons to badmouth GM’s success, unlike your assessment that all the problems with Toyota’s vehicles are really driver error!

  54. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick, its called typos. Typos arent a learned behavior you know. Its called the keys are barely big enough for my finger tips, as I do have pretty big hands.