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Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet

George Bush has joined the malodorous southern Republicans in their heinous attempt to drive US automakers into bankruptcy. From the Washington Post:

An "orderly" bankruptcy may be the best way of handling the struggling U.S. auto industry, President Bush indicated today as he spoke before the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank. However, he said he hasn’t decided what action he will take, the Associated Press reports.

Perino said: "The president is not going to allow a disorderly collapse of the companies. A disorderly collapse would be something very chaotic that is a shock to the system."

Bush and the American auto killers are flat out determined to drive the country to ruin and kill the last remaining hard industry the nation has, it appears. And they are able to do so because so much of the country is ill informed to completely uninformed about the real nature of American auto.

In the previous post, Marcy described how Bill Ford schooled Larry King on the truth about Ford Motor Company and the backup credit line they wish to have available should it be necessary. Well, now I am here do a little edifying about General Motors.

Remember all that bashing administered by Richard Shelby, Bob Corker, Jim DeMint and so many other union busting types about "the failed business model", the "backwards out of date products", and the failure to transform to a company for the future? It is hard to tell whether this is a knowing lie or just rank ignorance. Time to school the foreign coddling, un-American, Dixie union and industry busters; a southern man doesn’t need them around anyhow.

First off, that plan for a profitable and sustainable future with progressive products that the Congress keeps demanding? It is already in progress; and, hey Republican nimrods, it has been for almost four years, since 2005. The following information bits are excerpted from various GM information releases forwarded to me by a senior executive at General Motors headquarters.

As to the need to shift from huge SUVs and large trucks and towards efficient cars and smaller crossover vehicles, GM is already doing that:

Eleven of our last 13 new or major launches in the U.S. were cars or crossovers.

Take the Chevy Malibu, for example, which has won 29 industry awards so far, including the 2008 North American Car of the Year. And consumers are reacting with enthusiasm… as the Malibu is turning on dealer lots faster than any other midsize car, with retail sales up 125 percent this year.

The Malibu is a great example of our commitment to product excellence, and our ability to achieve it, in consumer’s eyes. You’ll see more of this in our future new car launches.

Going forward, GM’s focus on cars and crossovers will accelerate. In fact, 18 of our next 19 new product launches in the U.S. will be cars or crossovers.

As to the efficiency of integrating globally:

The GM Board of Directors approved an all-new next-generation Chevrolet compact-car program.

This car will represent the first U.S. application of our global architecture strategy… an initiative we undertook several years ago, and which will pay major dividends as we fully leverage our expansive car development capability in Europe, Korea, and other locations, to accelerate the shift in our U.S. product portfolio.

This next-generation compact car will be pure Chevrolet in design and performance… it’ll be better equipped than today’s compact car… achieve benchmark safety and quality levels… and most importantly, have a 1.4 liter turbo engine that, when mated with a manual transmission, offers a 9 mile-per-gallon fuel economy improvement over Chevy’s entry in this segment today.

Production will begin in mid-2010, in our Lordstown, Ohio, plant, subject to final negotiations with state and local authorities.

As to integrated production of new engines and power plants for the future:

The GM Board also approved an investment to produce a highly efficient, small-displacement engine module in the U.S. This 1.0- to 1.4-liter engine achieves a superb balance between fuel efficiency and power, and will be the mainstream engine for the next-generation Chevy compact car I just talked about.

This engine is tentatively planned to be produced in Flint, Michigan – again, subject to satisfactory negotiations with local and state authorities.

This new engine module in the U.S. is another good example of the benefits we’re seeing from our global approach to running the business.

When you combine these recent Board actions with what we’ve recently announced, or are already doing… such as:

10 variants of our new six-speed transmission by 2010, which will allow us to produce more than 2 million units annually in the U.S….

expansion of our hybrid offerings to eight vehicles by year-end 2008, more than any other manufacturer… and then to over 20 hybrid vehicles by 2012…

our strategic alliances with two leading cellulosic ethanol startups to help jumpstart much needed growth in biofuels…

delivery of 81 of the 100 Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell SUVs we’re placing with customers to create the world’s largest fuel-cell test fleet…

The Chevy Volt is a game changing vehicle that stands to serve as a benchmark in the transformation of American automobile manufacturing, not to mention the way that American think about their cars. Jane Hamsher has described beautifully what the Volt is, and can mean, as well as what the bull headed ignorant talk of bankruptcy will mean to the project, namely likely death and capture by foreign interests of the technology and market lead. The Volt is not some pie in the sky concept, it is a reality and is at the forefront of GM’s vision for the future:

In other words, the Chevy Volt is a go… and we believe it is the biggest step yet in our industry’s move away from its historic, virtually complete reliance on petroleum to power vehicles.

What we’re saying with this approval is that the GM management and Board believe the technical goals of the Volt are not only achievable, but achievable generally within the time frame we previously outlined.

We intend to show the production version of the Chevy Volt publicly in the near future, and we remain focused on our target of getting the Volt into Chevrolet showrooms by the end of 2010. We are preliminarily planning to produce the Volt at our Detroit/Hamtramck plant, subject to successful discussions with state and local governments.

And, last, but certainly not least, actions to consolidate production, cut costs, streamline factories, become more modern and environmentally sound and otherwise plan for a progressive future:

On the other side of the mix equation, we need to address the rapid industry shift away from trucks and SUVs. Today, we are announcing our plan to, over time, cease production at four GM truck assembly plants:

Our Oshawa, Canada, Truck Assembly facility, where we build the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups – with the timing likely to be 2009.

Moraine, Ohio, where we build the Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, and Saab 9-7 – at the end of the current model run in 2010, or sooner if market demand dictates.

Janesville, Wisconsin, where we build the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Chevy, GMC, and Isuzu medium duty trucks. The medium duty truck line will cease operation by the end of 2009, and the SUV lines will discontinue production in 2010, or sooner if market demand remains weak.

And Toluca, Mexico, where we build Chevrolet Kodiak medium duty trucks -by the end of this year.

In addition to these assembly plant moves, we will consolidate the related stamping and powertrain capacity, consistent with the lower market demand for trucks and SUVs. We will communicate the affected plants as these plans are finalized.

With today’s announcements, we will be reducing our truck annual assembly capacity by over 700,000 units, and our total GM North America capacity to 3.7 million units by 2010.

We expect that these actions, along with the recently announced shift reductions at two other U.S. truck plants, Pontiac and Flint, will result in an additional GM North America structural cost savings of over $1 billion, on a running-rate basis, by 2010.

This is on top of the approximately $5 billion in savings by 2011 that we announced earlier this year… and also, of course, in addition to the $9 billion cost reduction accomplished over the 2006-2007 period in North America.

In short, all of the things that Washington has been screaming is wrong with Detroit, and specifically General Motors, have either been dealt with, or are in that process as we speak. The constant refrain from Washington is a load of bull to mask their desired to bust unions and, apparently, drive the United States into the severest depression possible. Oh, and relinquish our manufacturing base to foreign interests and make us completely dependent on the the funny money financial services fraud sector that we see collapsing in front of our eyes currently.

It is looking like forty two Senators and George Bush may kill General Motors, and the American automotive industry (including the suppliers, distributors and dealers down the line). This will be an unmitigated disaster for America and its economy. And the entire stated basis for it is a blatant lie.

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