Rep. Thaddeus McCotter – Fighting for a Big Three Bailout

November 26th, 2008 at 12:20pm

Runtime: 17:40

As the Big Three prepare to head back to Washington next week for bailout talks round two, the questions persist on whether or not congress will grant the $25 billion bridge loans that GM, Ford and Chrysler are looking for. One of the lawmakers assisting with the process is Congressman Thaddeus McCotter from Michigan’s Eleventh District (Livonia). In this Autoline exclusive, he sits down with John McElroy to discuss the auto loans, what went wrong the first time in front of congress, and what the Michigan delegation is doing behind-the-scenes to help procure the money.

Video after the jump …

19 Comments to “Rep. Thaddeus McCotter – Fighting for a Big Three Bailout”

  1. John Says:

    “We Don’t Fear Reality” … is the Battle Cry!

    1. Thank You John McElroy and Congressman Thaddeus McCotter for the reality check and the discussion that reveals the “KEYS” to a winning Strategy for the December 6, 2008 “Education of Congress and the Media” in Washington DC.

    2. John McElroy, could you take a sheet of paper and watch this segment and make a list of the “Key” points to be covered on the trip to DC , in the DC area, and in the hearings on December 6th, and provide it to the Big Three, Midwest Elected Officials, Labor, Affected Suppliers and their State Elected Officials outside the Midwest ? What to do. What not to do.

    3. Ask Lee Iacocca to ride to Washington DC in a vehicle from each of the Big Three alternative fuel caravan to Washington DC in December and provide his insight to “Educate” Congress .

  2. Linus Chappell Says:

    Rep. McCotter

    I am a Ford retiree in Arizona who retired from Ford’s Arizona Proving Ground. APG has now been sold due to Ford’s downsizing.
    This downsizing has been a painful experience for our local economy and for younger employees who did not have vested retirements. We know personally about the sacrifices that our Company have already had to make to survive.
    I appreciate your efforts on behalf of the American Auto Companies.
    Thank you,
    Linus Chappell

  3. Bob Nogueira Says:

    While I feel Mr McCotter made many good points,
    especially refarding the issue of Citibank, I feel he was a bit off base regarding his closing comment. He is trying placing the blame
    for not getting a bridge loan at the feet of the ‘liberal’ Democrats but it is party which has steadfastly opposed the loan. The Republicans want to simply ‘give’ the big three what they were promised and not given while the democrats appear to want to give help in addition to what was promised.

  4. Kurt Mechling Says:

    … being a GM dealer on Main Street USA I share similar feelings to those expressed by Thaddeus. I do feel robbed by Victor Pandit and Prince Altaweed, I do feel insulted by Congress’ double standard for assistance, but I also feel as if my dealership and its employees are being thrown to the wolves. This is not evolution and its not darwnism… it is about a house bubble created by gov’t policy to solve problems of the tech bubble that burst and a criminal like creation of a securities market for junk mortgages that were injected with greed and corruption at all levels.

    Couple that with the fact that GM has spent the last 8 years doing little more the “badge engineering” of turning chevys in to pontiac etc and nationals sales events.

    I am not optimistic that GM (or the others) will go back to washington with little more than a recap of all the things they are currently doing (volt camaro product -plant clsoing and the new labor agreements).

    The fact is they need to restructure. They need to shelve Pontiac Buick GMC or sell it to SAIC and commit to two channesl of distribution (1) Chevy – Cadillac, and (2) Saturn – Hummer. Saab needs sold to Scania, and the European union needs to buy Open and Vauxhall. Holden is a ??? for me but they need to go to world markets with their core brands. Think about it… BMW is a BMW the world over, MB the world over, VW the world over, Porsche the world over, Ford the world over, Toyota the world over, Nissan the world over.

    This is so obvious. As the owner of three GM brands in one location I can attest to the fact that GM would sell just as many trucks and SUVs if they were all badged Chevy vs some being badged GMC.

    My question is – why is it so obvious to everyone else and it evades the GM leadership and their board?

    If congress gives them money and doesn’t demand that they address the over dealering issue and over branding/model issue I will be as ashamed of them again as I am that they gave money to Victor Pandit or Vikram Pandit or Prince Vic or whatever his name is – I call him Mr. I am 53,000 job while paying a billion dollar dividend!!! And a few other choice word!!!

  5. Kurt Mechling Says:

    That should read

    I call him “Mr.I cut 53,000 jobs while paying a billion dollar dividend”!!! And a few other choice word!!!

  6. Ken Whitmore Says:


    The big banks already have received a few draws on the TARP and probably haven’t completely allocated the bucks…yet? Congress could induce the banks to use those first draws by guaranteeing loans made to the big 3. Warrants should also be issued just like they did decades ago with Chrysler. And of course executive pay limits would be specified too.

  7. Les Odgers Says:

    I think the $25b bridge loan should be done, but no money for retiree health care. I’m tired of subsidizing health care for the population age group with the lowest incidence of poverty in the USA! Try airline workers who’s entire retirement has evaporated, we are now all on SSI or maybe a weak 401k.

  8. peter haeckl Says:

    Putting politics aside,we know the inevitable!
    Just like RCA,Zenith,Philco which stopped investing in the future
    in the 60ties,just like Vcr’s,cameras etc.did not invest in the future,they were busy pleasing their stock holders.We lost that market too!The big three kept their bean counters instead investing in engines,transmissions,and platforms.Some of the vehicles had engines 40 years old!
    Let them file for bankruptcy,invite Toyota,Honda to buy in,and build some decent Cars!

  9. Bruce Hall Says:

    Peter, unfortunately you have the same 1980s perspective of the automobile industry as most Americans.

    Here is somewhat more recent information:

    JD Power and Associates has released its annual automotive dependability study, and for the 14th straight year, Lexus stands atop the list. Overall, the dependability of the average new car has improved over last year, according to Power’s analysis.

    The study ranks vehicle brands by the number of problems reported for each 100 vehicle sold. The AP reports, “Lexus had 120 problems per 100 vehicles, down from 145 last year.”

    The five most reliable automakers in the study included two domestic makes. “Ford Motor Co.’s Mercury brand ranked second, followed by General Motors Corp.’s Cadillac. Toyota was fourth, and Honda Motor Co.’s Acura luxury brand was fifth.” The lowest-performing brand in the study, Land Rover, showed 344 problems per 100 new vehicles.


  10. Zieke Says:

    I would like to see Congress tell Mr. Gettelfinger and the automakers to do whatever is necessary to bring costs in line with the other carmakers selling in this country. Maybe get rid of the jobs bank, unload some healthcare costs both for retirees and reg. employees, have the correct # of employees needed instead of a required # , and pay the correct wages for their skills. Just do it & then we’ll talk about a loan. And while we’re at it, make sure the execs. know they are on the hook if these loans are’nt paid back…

  11. Bruce Hall Says:


    … and while Congress is at it, they should control health care costs exactly the same way that the Japanese government does:

    … of course, this comes with other problems:

    The Japanese auto companies benefit; the Japanese consumers/taxpayers get stuck. Still, if you think that unloading the health care costs from the company and shifting it to the public sector [as our new president seems to favor], I think the automobile companies will be very happy with that change.

  12. peter haeckl Says:

    Dear Bruce,
    I also read the JD Powerstudy.The problem is: Its short term.
    After 40 years in the carbussines,I know what i’m talking about:
    The American carbuyer wants to buy a car which will give him good gasmileage,good resale at tradeintime,low maintenance,
    and of course : prestige and satisfaction of Purchase.Bruce,name me one Detroit iron that accomplished those things.

  13. Bruce Hall Says:


    You are correct that the U.S. automobile industry earned a deserved reputation for bad product in the 1980s-90s. Unfortunately, reputation last far longer than reality. I guess once a whore, always a whore.

    Of course, the Japanese were especially smart about the way they built a reputation for quality. One of the tricks they used was to never let a customer know they had a problem. If you bought a Japanese car, you HAD to bring it to a dealership for service or the warranty was voided. Service was expensive… much more so than for U.S. manufacturers’ vehicles, but the customer wanted the warranty protection, so he went to the dealership.

    The dealers were forced to do inspections on any vehicle brought in for service and, if the vehicle was under warranty, fix the problem WITHOUT TELLING THE CUSTOMER. The manufacturer was going to pay for the problem anyway, so why give the impression that anything was wrong? Simply let the customer think that NOTHING EVER WENT WRONG with their vehicle.

    The U.S. manufacturers didn’t see the advantage in that strategy until it was far too late.

    Vehicles are basically of the same quality for all major manufacturers. That’s no longer the issue. PERCEPTION IS REALITY now. That’s why Honda may come in 4th in the J.D. Power survey, but still comes in 1st or 2nd in the minds of consumers.

    So, I guess you are saying that if you did things wrong 20 years ago and fixed that, you still deserve to go out of business. Hope you never made any mistakes when you were working in that industry.

  14. peter haeckl Says:

    Dear Bruce,
    Your only excuse now, is a conspiracy by the” Quality Automakers”
    I rest my case

  15. Bruce Hall Says:

    A conspiracy of Toyota, Honda, Ford, GM???

    Amazing how one can read something and not understand anything. Let me repeat the last paragraph so you can read it slowly….

    “So, I guess you are saying that if you did things wrong 20 years ago and fixed that, you still deserve to go out of business. Hope you never made any mistakes when you were working in that industry.”

  16. peter haeckl Says:

    Dear Bruce,
    Here is the main difference between succesful manufacturers
    and the big three(sorry,the small three)
    If an assemblyworker in detroit spots a problem and stops the line he gets yelled at.
    If it happens in germany or japan,or even the unionfree plants
    in the states,the same person gets a bonus.

  17. Linus Chappell Says:

    The public is not getting accurate information from Washington nor the media about the Big 3 bridge loan. Ford along with others in the Big 3 are being assaulted for not building “the right kind” of fuel efficient vehicles needed in the market today.
    Consumers buy vehicles they need for work and family needs, that is until we have an economy in crisis, high gas prices or the gas shortages that we saw in the 1970’s. No doubt, the Big 3 needs to gear up to make more vehicles that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil but the real problem right now is finding consumers that can buy their vehicles now.

    The point I want to make is that consumers are not buying vehicles from American or foreign auto companies no matter how fuel efficient they are. Consumers are not buying homes and other products either. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and millions more have lost good paying jobs. Millions of Americans pay no taxes because they have no jobs so Local, State and Federal governments are suffering too.

    Washington you need to wake up! You will never do anything to fix this economy until you first and foremost do something about JOBS. You should be spending bailout money for preserving and creating good paying American tax paying jobs like those in the American Auto Industry.

    Why should Washington provide this bridge loan Big 3 Automakers? The answer is simple. The bailout will preserve good paying American taxpayer jobs.

    If you think the economy is bad now, lose a few more million American taxpayer jobs and there will be no end in sight. This bridge loan to the BIG 3 will hopefully preserve a few million American taxpayer jobs that are still out there, but it will not fix the economy.

    The problems with the economy are reliant on people working and spending. Washington, the ball is in your court. Are you going to continue patching a worn out economy or are you going to do something about preserving and creating jobs that will help fix the economy?

  18. John Says:

    Linus Chappell ,

    I totally agree. JOBS, Jobs, Jobs for Legal U.S. Citizens.

    Not Jobs for ILLEGAL Aliens.(lowering wage rates)

    Not Jobs for H1-B Visa Over Stays. (lowering Saleries)

    Hank Paulson is 110% focused on Liquidity and Financing.

    Yo Hank, You can’t pay monthly payments without a JOB!

  19. John Says:

    Sorry for the typo. It should read :

    Not Jobs for H1-B Visa Over Stays. (lowering Salaries)