Episode 702 – UAW Fights Two-Tier Wages, China Slowing Faster than Expected, R&D Spending

August 15th, 2011 at 11:41am

Runtime: 7:20

The UAW is urging its colleagues to vote “no” on continuing the two-tier payment plan. The car market in China is cooling off faster than expected with one analyst expecting sales to grow just 1 percent this year. Heavy-truck sales in the U.S. and Canada were up over 30 percent last month. All that and more, plus we take a look at which car company spends the most amount of money on research and development.


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This is Autoline Daily for August 15, 2011. And now, the news.

The rank and file in the UAW don’t like the two-tier wage structure. According to The Detroit News, a dissident faction called “Auto Worker Caravan” is stirring things up. It even held a rally last weekend, which was not well attended. New workers only earn about half of what veteran employees make . . . and they’re not happy about it. They’re urging their colleagues to vote “no” on continuing the two-tier payment plan. But this could actually play into the hands of UAW president Bob King since it could give him leverage as he negotiates with the Detroit automakers.

We’ve been following how car sales in China are slowing down this year but Ward’s reports the market is cooling off faster than expected. One analyst says sales may only grow 1 percent this year, compared to a 46 percent increase in 2009 and 32 percent in 2010. The low-end of the market is faring worse than the luxury segment, but it too could be hit by the end of the year. Overall, foreign joint-ventures are doing better than the domestic automakers. Despite the slowdown this year, the same analyst predicts double-digit increases in sales starting next year through 2015.

And sticking with the Chinese market for the moment. Hawtai Motors is in talks with Malaysian automaker Proton about a possible partnership. Not too many details are known because the tie-up isn’t official yet, but analysts speculate Proton is looking to get into the Chinese market and Hawtai is interested in building cars in Malaysia to avoid import fees. You might remember that Hawtai was one of the companies rumored to buy Saab and Proton owns Lotus. I think we’ll see more of these smaller players trying to become bigger players by joining forces.

HEAVY-TRUCK SALES SOAR (subscription required)
Heavy-truck sales are rolling strong in the North American market. They were up more than 30 percent in the U.S. and Canada last month. But do you know who the players are? In Class 7 and 8, the biggest semi-trucks, Daimler is the dominant player American market with four brands: Freightliner, Western Star, Fuso and Sterling, though Sterling is being phased out. Next comes International. In third spot is PACCAR, with two brands, Kenworth and Peterbilt. And then comes Volvo truck, which sells two brands, Mack and Volvo. Hino, which is part of the Toyota group, and UD Trucks round out the big truck brands in the North American market.

Here’s a story for all you vintage Bimmer fans out there. Autoblog reports a BMW dealership in Ontario, Canada closed its doors in 1988. Ok, that’s not a very big deal, but here’s the kicker. Rather than selling-off all of the inventory, the owner left two pristine, brand-new cars in the showroom – a 635csi and an E25 5 Series, PLUS there’s allegedly an underground storage facility with even more vintage treasures. If you’re already foaming at the mouth don’t get too excited. Apparently the proprietor has ZERO interest in selling . . . I just thought we’d tease you today.

Coming up next, a look at which car company spends the most amount of money on research and development.

Car companies can’t come out with new products unless they spend the money to develop them. So we dug through piles of annual reports to find out which automaker invests the most money in R&D, which is where the car companies book their expense for new product development. We also looked at which companies spend the most on R&D as a percent of total revenue. So let’s take a look, shall we? Seamus McElroy filed this report.

It’s no surprise to see that the top three R&D spenders are also the three largest automakers in the world, Volkswagen, Toyota and General Motors. VW spent over $9.2 billion last year which is close to a billion more than Toyota, which spent a billion and a half more than GM. Looking at the rest of the list, there isn’t much variation between where a company ranked in R&D spending and how much revenue it brought in for the year.

But if you look at R&D as a percentage of revenue, only VW remains in the top  three. BMW and Honda jump to the top of the list, each spending 5.5 percent of revenues on R&D, with VW just a tenth back from both. Perhaps the biggest shock is how far Toyota falls, nearly out of the top ten. It spends just 3.8 percent of revenues on R&D. Ford also takes a tumble, barely staying ahead of Toyota. Of course, Toyota is about to launch a product offensive, so these numbers could climb.

With all the success Hyundai and Kia have had recently, it’s surprising to see both companies at the bottom of the list in both categories. Does this mean Hyundai-Kia could lose its momentum over the next several years with so little spent on research? Or does it mean they simply get more bang for their buck? We suspect it’s the latter.

Fiat and Chrysler are also at the bottom of the lists. Maybe Chrysler was holding back on spending while it was still partly owned by the U.S. and Canadian governments. If you combine R&D spending for the two, they’re still middle of the pack. And as a percent of revenue, they’re still at the bottom.

Thanks for that report Seamus.

By the way, these are numbers the investment community tracks closely for a hint of who will have a stronger product line in the future. Click today’s show notes at our website, AutolineDetroit.tv, to download a file that contains all the R&D spending numbers for the automakers.

Before we go: don’t forget you can download an all-new episode of RoundAbout at AutolineDetroit.tv. This week: a new app that aggregates the world’s most fun roads, an unlikely actor who crashed his McLaren F1, and a scooter that can seat a whopping 25 passengers. All that and more right now in the John’s Journal of our website.

And on Thursday don’t miss Autoline After Hours from the Woodward Dream Cruise along with our Signature sponsor, MOPAR. That will be a great night.

But that wraps up this show, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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

69 Comments to “Episode 702 – UAW Fights Two-Tier Wages, China Slowing Faster than Expected, R&D Spending”

  1. JB Says:

    Cool show Mr. McElroy!

    Fascinating information about R & D spending!

    Very surprising….that VW is spending the most…

    Wow!!! Inefficiency at its best? Is spending more always the most impressive? I’d suggest best new vehicles is more important than whose spending is greatest….


  2. dcars Says:

    Just wondering, I bet the number of vehicle platforms plays in to the the amount of money spent on R&D. Thinking back to the news from last week of GM’s desire to reduce platforms makes sense. VW’s reliance on vehicles that share the same platform, ie Jetta, Golf and Bettle it gives them an advantage.
    I would also wonder why VW’s vehicles aren’t better than they are.

  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    EV maker Aptera refunding deposits for their upcoming? electric cars. I guess another one bites the dust b4 it even gets one single vehicle on the road. Long live ICE!!!

  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    How about VW spending some of that cash on quality control? and based on their last offerings Honda is not spending their money wisely.

  5. tj Martin Says:

    BMW Tease – Cold blooded , simply cold blooded :(

    R&D Spending – So here we have the amounts , but the real question in light of the junk VW , GM and now Toyota are dumping on us , just what the heck are they spending it on ?

    Trips to Aruba ? Private Jets ? Wild After Hours parties ? ( complete with ” entertainment ” )

    What ???

    Cause its sure as heck not being spent on R&Ding their products to any degree of quality and reliability ( especially VW )

    So….. Again . Just what toilet is all that R&D money being flushed down ?

  6. HtG Says:

    the one marked marketing expenses.

    I’m back, baby

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    That BMW dealer is gonna wait a few years so these cars go up in value before selling them for a nice profit. perhaps he should auction them off, I guess he doesn’t need the bread.

  8. tj Martin Says:


    Well all you UAW members out there . Like your idiot counterparts at Verizon , might I suggest you get a clue ?

    This IS 2011 . e.g. Mass unemployment NationWide . Households in every financial strata barely able to afford three squares a day . 60 % of all new jobs offering next to ZERO Health Insurance . No reasonable amount of NEW jobs being created to replace the 1000′s lost every week . 40% of MIDDLE Income households now on Medicare !

    So wake up all you Union Members .

    1) You’ve got a decent paying job with reasonable benefits

    2) The companies you’re working for , other than their very ( read Mulally ) OVERPAID CEO’s are on the edge of disaster

    3) You ARE replaceable , with 1000′s of US citizens , never mind all the illegals just waiting to take your jobs

    So learn a thing or two from the current mistakes of our US Government AND LEARN HOW TO COMPROMISE !!!

    Because those Unemployment lines may be waiting for you if you don’t !

  9. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    And about ____ time let me say !

  10. tj Martin Says:

    Let the weeks festivities ( Recalls & investigations ) begin ;


  11. tj Martin Says:

    # 8 should of read “Medicaid ” not Medicare

    Oops :(

    Also # 9 should of included a :o

    Double oops

  12. HtG Says:

    I did read Friday’s Comments in re Sergio M. Holy Canaloni, I should have brought popcorn. That was some show!

    I saw a new driving trick in DC, this time. People waiting at a red light now place their car directly over the pedestrian cross walk. Blowing red lights also seems to be winked at. DC is a great place to reset your automobile pleasure meter; Hint, DC metro area is zero.

    Senna movie opened in NY. East Houston St. Soon to open in St. Louis MO, tj. Saddle up.

  13. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’m not a Kia/Hyundai fan (so take this for what’s it’s worth, just my biased opinion). :) So Hyundai/Kia makes some good stuff (and are at the bottom of R&D; hmmmm, perhaps reverse engineering other people’s stuff doesn’t cost as much.

  14. Lex Says:

    @ # 13 Chuck Grenci.

    As Sherlock Holmes would say “I believe you are correct Mr. Watson”!

    Why reinvent the wheel when somebody else has already spent the R&D money on it. It is better to spend your money on the final product and give it a better warrant than other OEMs to build consumer confidence in your vehicles.

  15. MJB Says:

    #8 +2

    (minus the overpaid exec. clause) We’ve gone there before, tj. I agree to disagree.

  16. dcars Says:

    #13 Interesting that your would say that. A friend of mine owns a body shop and one of his most recent comments on cars was about the Hyundai Sonata and it’s amazing mechanical similarity to a Honda Accord!

  17. tj Martin Says:

    @ Chuck Grenci

    # 13

    Too True . Too true ! H/K whipping them out of the Copy Machine as fast as they can load the paper ( metal )

    Why do something original and quality when you’ve made such a strong business model out of selling Blatant Cheap Copies to an unsuspecting uneducated and clueless public ?

    Heck… Lady Gaga’s made a small fortune being a clone !

  18. tj Martin Says:

    #16 Thank you !

  19. tj Martin Says:

    @ MJB

    I’m not totally sure I’m understanding your response , but let me add to # 8 the multitude of Overseas Auto Factories ( read Mexico , former Soviet Block countries India etc ) just dying to take over any and all US production .

    Along with the Execs of said US manufactures showing over the last decade that they are more than willing to send it all overseas , just to save a buck , never mind dealing with an obstinate UAW .

  20. Scott Says:


    Where will you be broadcasting from Thursday night?

  21. MJB Says:


    I meant I totally agree with your take from #8 – with the exception of your second point about Mullaly being overpaid.

  22. tj Martin Says:

    @ MJB


    Fair enough .

  23. tj Martin Says:

    Reality vs Myth of Fleet Sales stats for July 2011 ;


    Read em ( and the article ) and weep . When all’s out on the table , perspectives change a bit … don’t they .

    @ pedro – Brilliant site ( well excepting their review of the GLK which showed they barely drove the thing, not going far enough to have the adaptive tranny kick in as well as missing out on the Sport button if they really wanted aggressive shifts ) Hope you don’t mind me sticking up the links . So much quicker than quoting TTAC especially on something like this

  24. tj Martin Says:

    Here’s the kind of ” Green ” logic and common sense one wishes we’d see more of from the general public , government etc ;


    I’ll stop now . Been way too busy here today and time to move aside for the rest of you .

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    Be my guest,sir. I like to share info with fellow motor-heads and TTAC is an excellent source of info from around the world. From this chart don’t you agree that the General is on its way to dominating the American market once again, and with fewer brands also. Let’s just hope they don’t mess it up with recalls and quality issues again.

  26. dcars Says:

    So the US government spends billions to save jobs and works out the huge Labor issues that helped send GM into bankruptcy. GM keeps it’s word plans on adding jobs and build a small car in the US. Now the UAW wants remove one of the single most important issues that helped bring this car here.
    It sounds like the US tax payers wasted a lot of money.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    UAW acting as the spoiler bullies that they are, once again clouding the semi bright future the Detroit 3 may have going for them. Based upon that chart on July sales, it proves that Americans will buy American if the product is good. Period.

  28. Tom L Says:

    Just a thought..
    The USA needs the UAW to keep wages high.
    These are the people that keep the economy going.
    It’s called the trickle down effect.
    They keep Target and JC Penny in business.
    If everyone made low wages, Wal-Mart would be the only winner.
    Earning more money= nicer car.
    UAW- keep up the good work.

  29. Tom L Says:

    Just a thought.#2
    What every happen to the 24 volt battery.
    Wouldn’t be a good time to go there, with all the electrics in the new cars

  30. MJB Says:


    In a perfect world, Tom, where the entire global economy expands and contracts in unison, where global currencies are equally valued, and where workers make comprable wages gloablly – yes. I’d likely agree with you.

    But we are so far from that utopian place it’s not even funny.

    Higher wages here only give companies license to outsource.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    I would also like to live in Celebration, Fl.

  32. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    Read the article . GM doesn’t look so pretty ( neither does Ford ) when the facts are all lined up . Like TTAC said . its a little early for congratulations for any of the Domestics .

    Trickle Down ;

    Now didn’t we , what with HRH Reagan get to see first hand the results of the ” Trickle Down ” theory of Economics ?

    If I remember correctly the only thing ” Trickling Down ” was the income of the Middle and lower classes .

    Seems to me , if I remember as well , that it was the Creator of that Trickle Down Theory , HRH Reagan that initially broke the backs of the Unions as well

    So maybe we should conclude that Trickle Down was , is and always will be an abject failure

    And here’s something else to consider there Tom L ;

    IF the Unions don’t compromise , keeping the UAW AFL/CIO members etc gainfully employed , the CEO/CFO’s and Shareholders may just decide to move ALL manufacturing Overseas , leaving said Union Members , not with reasonable pay , but with ZERO pay !

    Then what would happen to Target Wal Mart McDonalds etc etc etc

    Trickle Down indeed . If it weren’t for Site Moderation I’d tell you what really Trickled down back in the day .

  33. G.A.Branigan Says:

    No matter what anybody thinks the reality is this:If labor costs increase,American jobs will decrease…..it’s a no-brainer.

  34. pedro fernandez Says:


  35. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all.

    comment #1,

    you are correct when it comes to volkswagen ag. they are considered to be the most inefficient auto company in europe. when earlier this year martin winterkorn listed quality as number 4 on his to do list to be number 1, there are going to be problems for them in the future.

    the uaw. it is a dissident faction that does not like the two-tier wage system. it sounds good for one side only. and the uaw has conceded to chrysler, ford, and gm for many years. however, management/leadership did not hold their end up. do not estimate bob king. even though there are those who do not like him because of his sabre rattling. that is a part of the game of negotiating. it is nothing new.

    hawtai and proton. two government entities forming a partnership. hmmmmmmmm. hawtai would like to sell in the asean countries, but cannot because of very high import taxes. i will wait and see on this one.

    heavy trucks. no surprise with daimler. i thought renault owned mack. i guess they recently sold mack to volvo trucks.

    bmw dealer in ontario, canada. “eccentric” owner. meaning rich owner doing what he/she wants to do.

    r&d spending. no surprises there including hyundai/kia. i have news for the chaebols in korea. you will have to spend much more than you are right now. you filled a gap, and customers are rooting for an underdog right now. it is easy to let someone else spend the money researching things such as direct injection or dual-clutch transmissions, then be a customer of a tier-one supplier of such. it is another to be the one who pioneers such technologies. and that is where you fall short right now. it is only going to be tougher from this point onward. nonetheless, you seized the opportunity and are being rewarded for it.


  36. MJB Says:

    Hey Tom L, you wouldn’t happen to be the same Tommy L. that’s a forum member over at CGarchitect.com, would you?

  37. Tom L Says:

    No. But I do like straw houses and SAABs and Studebakers

  38. tj Martin Says:

    Other end

  39. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    After hours so I’ll say this .

    As to Friday’s Marchionne Battle Royal , PDL finally came out with some facts about the madman and a couple from the Gallery protested

    Once I’d realized my main opponent was woefully uninformed not only about Marchionne , but the Auto Industry in general ( guess he’d missed out on GM and Fords three decades long attempts to establish a ” World Car ” platform ) I signed off for the weekend . Kind of hard to argue when your opponent hasn’t got a clue of the Past , Present or Future , never mind a specific current event .


    On a positive note . A Quiz for you ( and anyone else wanting a try )

    Mr & Mrs Tj are heading to another high country vacation in mid September . So here’s the clues ;

    1)The theme of this one is ;

    Boots & Bugatti’s

    2) Once again we’ll be looking down on the World , this time from 6900 ft ( well 10,000 as well depending on which part we’re in )

    3) TJ’s new car manufacture is a major sponsor

    So where will we be that Boots ( cowboy ) and Bugattis will be plentiful ?

  40. pedro fernandez Says:


  41. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    No way in heck I’m driving all the way to St Louis for the ” Senna ” movie ( I’m not a fan of the city )

    I’m hoping since the same Art House Movie Theater chain is here , it’ll come to KC as well . If not , well I did catch it on the computer screen while Netflix still had it up and will just wait either for PFV or DVD release . But the Big Screen would be awfully nice

    BTW did you know a lot of the new Blue Ray DVD players have a Netflix and Pandora function built in ? I’m in the process of sussing that one out for purchase .

  42. tj Martin Says:


    Yellow snow being the hint :o

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    A dude ranch in Saudi Arabia or vicinity?

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    A ski resort where they serve a lot of alcohol?

  45. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    Would one of you experts please explain exactly how you determine whether some person or group is “overpaid”?

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    according to TTAC’s review of the new Americanized Passat, VW missed the mark big time. Unlike the best selling Camry with its much more expensive “feel” to it, the Passat comes off tinny and noisy as if it was built in the 90′s. I guess VW does not really know what Americans really want , just look at the attributes of the popular Cruze, substantial. quiet, solid build.

  47. HtG Says:

    Santa Fe, tj?

    Bob in Atlanta-I gather it’s the difference between what Mulally makes and what the workers do which gets some people riled up. I’m OK with it as long as it’s investor money rather than Ford treasury.

  48. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG Nope !

    @ Bob in Atlanta – That’d be when said executive is being paid for his celebrity than any actual accomplishments on his/her part because in fact said executive is not making the decisions he/she is being lauded for , but rather it is in fact the multitudes beneath him/her , as well as the investors and shareholders that are in fact making all the actual and viable decisions , with in fact the said Executive playing more the role of Figurehead than any actual and tangible leadership

    FYI this is standard MO in the corporate world , with the exceptions in this day and age being far a few in between

    e.g. Welcome to the Zeitgeist of the Post Modern Age . Now Brow , where the ” Story ” is in fact more true then the reality that surrounds it , regardless of how incorrect the ” Story ” is

    A little History to end this debate on my part ;

    In 1977 a CEO of a Major Corporation , at most made 10 times as much as the lowest paid employee in the company while in fact being the Major decision maker for said corporation

    In 2010 the Average CEO of most major corporations makes anywhere from 100 to 1000 times as much as the lowest paid employee . While in fact being more ” Figurehead ” than decision maker .

    FYI I don’t care who’s money it is , its all coming out of the companies checkbook . And its wrong .

  49. tj Martin Says:


    Should of read No Brow instead of Now Brow

  50. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    I think it comes down to experts knowing the price of everything, but the value of nothing. Like knowing what the “best” car is.

  51. HtG Says:

    tj, if AM is being compensated in stock and options, then isn’t that investor capital rather than company(dilution notwithstanding)? How would you raise incomes at the lower end? Do you believe UAW leadership is on the same page as the members?

    On ‘NoBrow’

    I read that book years ago, but may have taken a different meaning from it than you. I though the author was arguing against distinctions in quality and status. That high and low were mixed up. It’s been a while for me, so can you explain what you found?

  52. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    re; VW

    Herr Winterkorn e.g. The Kaiser , couldn’t care less what the American public wants or needs .

    In his mindset HE knows what we want and need better than any of us actually spending our hard earned $$$

    Therefore in the VW – Audi way of thinking ” You vill buy vat ve send you and you vill be happy vis it . Verstehen ? ”

    Of course they’ll inundate us with a plethora of Marketing ploys to convince us thats what we really want .

    But ultimately its VW- Audi making the decisions for us . If we let them .

  53. HtG Says:

    @50 come on now Bob in Atlanta, the ad hominem stuff is too easy. Why do you think AM is correctly compensated. Compensation should align with the interests of whom?

  54. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Incomes – Pay the CEO less .

    ” No Brow ‘ Re-read the last few chapters . In them he’s saying very clearly how much his descent into No Brow has cost him , making it very clear it was a descent , as well as the abject waste of time he spent pursuing it . In the very last chapter ( confirmed by an interview with him ) he’s saying he has no clue of how to exit from the mindset and the hopelessness he feels because of the time/effort/money he’s thrown away .

  55. tj Martin Says:

    @ Bob in Atlanta

    If you think Celebrity is worth more than Reality …. well then what can anyone say to convince you otherwise .

    You’ve bought full on into the Myth . Congratulations . You’re a bonafide Post Modern Adherent .

    As far as the ” best ” car ? Now what would that be pray tell there Bobby ? I purchased the ” Best ” car for my needs . For someone else I’d recommend the car that met their needs not mine .

    THE Best Car . Yeah right .

  56. HtG Says:

    AM was paid in stock in addition to his salary. The media reports only a number, without breaking out the components. Unless he sells, he only has paper. If the price of F goes down by half, he has substantially less wealth. (I do get that he can go to a bank and get a nice loan against his shares anytime he wants)

    Sorry, tj. I only borrowed the book. So the argument was against leveling?

  57. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    So…… is it the Mercedes . The fact that 90% of the time I’m right ( because I only argue on the subjects I know well * ) or just the old adage of being the Lead Dog ?

    Because this is round two in less than four days of someone confronting me without any facts or information to back it up

    * To quote the sage Popeye ;

    ” I knows what I knows . And What I knows I know well . But I knows I don’t know everything “

  58. tj Martin Says:

    #56 Definitely !

  59. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    So ….. what’s to stop AM from selling off tomorrow should he see the ship beginning to sink ? And please in this day and age don’t quote ethics and regulations

    We both know either can and are regularly circumvented

  60. HtG Says:

    @57. It’s the internet. It’s too easy to take a cheap shot. Hit send without consideration. Whenever I write something, I expect a harsh response(sometimes I am even lying in wait). I’m surprised when people use their real names, as one can say more if it’s just their screen name brand that needs to be protected. But you tj, do have access to information most like me don’t, so if you make a strong point, sometimes it will conflict with what others think is the case. Ferrari SUVs for example. But you definitely are the Straw that Stirs the Drink.

  61. HtG Says:

    @59. If AM sold, the market would wonder why. He probably has a schedule for selling shares over time which will be reported as per the law(sorry, had to say it). If he sees the company getting in trouble, and sells, he’ll be telling the market the same. If other execs do the same, uh oh.

  62. cwolf Says:

    I have to chuckle at you guys who call anyone belonging to the UAW idiots.Especially when you are the ones who are acting foolishly. Those complaining about the tier system are nothing but a gathering of lower tier workers voicing their discontent and not the UAW as a whole. But perhaps you missed that part! Anyway, these folks would at some point earn the normal wage for that job;I think 2 years. This is negotiation time,so don’t get bent out of shape until the contract is signed. By the way,tj, the UAW no longer sets the wage trend;the non union plants do. And if you are stupid enough to work for less than a job is worth, then you are the idiot and I have a high mile Milan to sell ya for a steal at 30,000 bucks,if you are that nuts!

  63. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    1. Did Uncle Sam “overpay” for GM?
    2. Did Uncle Sam “overpay” for Chrysler?
    3. Is AM “overpaid” by Ford, which Uncle Sam did not have to bail out?
    Everyone is entitled to an opinion on anything. Warren Buffet thinks you should pay higher taxes because he can. Experts and idiots alike have opinions. Consider the sources.

  64. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    Sorry . You misunderstood me . Its the Union folks at Verizon who are currently sabotaging and cutting phone lines ( including 911 ) blocking gates with baseball bats in hand , stealing the wheels off of repair vehicles that I was calling IDIOTS . Not the folks at the UAW who in my opinion just need to get a grip on the reality of the age we’re in and do a bit of compromising

    Pardon the misunderstanding though i can see why you might of thought I was calling the UAW idiots

    And how do I know about the Verizon debacles my accusers might inquire ? ( not you cwolf ) Because a life long friend is in management currently on assignment to fill in for the idiots on strike

  65. tj Martin Says:

    @ Bob in Atlanta

    Still waiting to see a few facts to dispute my statements .

    Until then the Idiot mantle falls on the accuser .

    As to your questions ;

    Well if you don’t already know the answers , here they are though in truth they’re quite obvious to anyone with a modicum of Business Sense

    #1 YES
    #2 A resounding and emphatic YES !
    #3 Damn right he is . You’re still on that Celebrity is Worth more than Reality syndrome .

    What facts can i present ? How much did the US get from FIAT for Chrysler ? Less than we paid . Same with GM ( we still haven’t got our money back and probably never will .)

    Business 101 – If you have to sell a purchase for substantially less than you paid for it YOU OVER PAID !

    If the actual value of an individual is less than what you’re paying him ( do you think anyone else would pay AM his current salary ? ) YOU OVER PAID

    Obviously you’ve never RUN a business have you ?

    Balls in your court !

  66. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Methinks I’m a dad burned supercharged blender sometimes , never mind a stir straw :o

    Oh well . People need to hear the facts as much as it may hurt sometimes :(

  67. Dave Says:

    It’d be interesting to find out how much Honda spent on development for the new Civic that’s been such a disaster, as well as other disappointing things like the CrossTour, CRZ, Ridgeline, and recent Acura stylings. In the case of the new Civic and Acura’s overall styling the last few years they would have been much better off spending zero and just continuing to make the same old same for a few more years. R&D spending is obviously critical in this business, but I think some of these companies have become their own worst enemies when it comes to forced product cycles, and end up making a car that’s new but not necessarily better (and sometimes actually worse) than what it’s replacing.

  68. dcars Says:

    #67, I agree. I never liked the most recent additions of the Civic, the steeply raked wind shield and the digital dash are strange. The Crosstour, Element, Insight are odd. I might be out of touch with the styling of the Pilot and Odyssey but they don’t appeal to me.
    The Accord and Fit appear to be their best cars.

  69. tj Martin Says:

    HONDA’s WOE’s

    This may explain it ;


    Or at least it shows Honda IS paying attention

    Recent news also shows SCION is on the march , which may also explain Toyota’s seeming complacency , focusing on the ” Little ” brand whilst letting Toyota coast for a bit .


    Me thinks betting against either Toyota or Honda would be a fools paradise indeed . Though there is that hideous CrossTour . Eeesh !