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Thread: Am I way Off Base????

  1. #1

    Default Am I way Off Base????

    As of Today the NLA has now Taken a position on this issue:+
    NLA Endorses Support of Combined General Motors/Ford/Chrysler Approach for Manufacturers’ Economic Recovery

    November 26, 2008
    The National Limousine Association endorses member support of the combined Chrysler/Ford/General Motors approach for the manufacturers’ economic recovery and recommends that all U.S. members register the same sentiment with their own Congressional leaders now.

    You can do this very easily and very quickly by reading the following letter, which recently was disseminated by General Motors Corporation, clicking on the link in the third to last paragraph and then following the instructions on the landing page to submit your viewpoint.

    1-2-3 and your voice will be heard! We encourage you to do this today!

    Letter from General Motors Corporation: Auto Industry Crisis

    November 19, 2008
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – As an important partner of General Motors, you are probably well aware that the auto industry is at a crossroads. Companies that support millions of workers and families across the U.S. have been slammed by the worst economic downturn in 75 years. Particularly frustrating is that this crisis struck just at a time when these companies were successfully restructuring themselves and creating a new generation of cleaner, more efficient vehicles.
    This progress, and the very existence of the U.S.-based auto industry, is threatened.
    Discussions are now underway in Washington D.C. about government support for this vital industry through this downturn. We are asking for your support, too.
    The U.S auto industry has been hit at every level by the global financial crisis. Carmakers can't get loans to complete their restructuring and put advanced technology vehicles into production. Customers can't get credit for new cars, and consumer confidence has plunged to an all-time low. Suppliers and dealers can't get loans for routine business needs.
    This crisis caught the U.S. auto industry in the midst of a successful restructuring. Domestic carmakers have closed the productivity gap with their global competitors, and GM has closed the quality gap as well. New labor agreements are in place to make U.S. manufacturers' costs competitive with non-union transplant factories.
    Since 2005, GM has taken a series of bold steps to restructure its business and reduce its structural cost. In fact, since 2005, GM has reduced structural cost in North America by over $9 billion. And more recently, GM has outlined plans to enhance its liquidity position by $20 billion through 2009. And, we've tightened our belt in hundreds of other ways, large and small - some of which you have felt too.
    On the product front, we have introduced a series of award-winning products, including the Saturn Aura, Cadillac CTS, Chevy Malibu and Buick Enclave. Today, we have the most models that get an EPA-estimated 30 mpg or better on the highway, more vehicles capable of running on E85 ethanol than any other automaker and a wide variety of hybrids, one for every need. We are also testing the world's largest fleet of hydrogen-powered cars right now and are committed to building the Chevy Volt extended-range electric car in 2010.
    However, faced with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the worst car sales since World War II, this hasn't been enough.
    This current crisis knows no geographic boundaries. What happens to the U.S. auto industry also had an immediate impact on Main Street. U.S.-based carmakers have 105 plants in 20 states, including California, Texas, Kansas, Louisiana and Maryland. They support 14,000 dealers across the country, and these dealers in turn employ 740,000 people, with a total payroll of $35 billion a year. The companies buy $156 billion in parts and services from suppliers in every state. The auto companies provide pensions for 775,000 and health care benefit for 2 million.
    Because carmakers are so tightly woven into the fabric of the U.S. economy, the collapse of this industry would reach far beyond Detroit. The Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor predicts that a collapse of U.S.-based carmakers would lead to widespread failures of supplier companies, already pushed to the brink by the downturn, and this in turn would shut down the transplant factories owned by Toyota, Honda and other non-U.S. companies. Shockwaves through the economy would quickly put nearly 3 million people out of work. In the first year alone, personal income would drop by $150 billion, and tax and social security receipts would fall by more than $45 billion.
    Faced with these risks to the well-being of millions of Americans, and to the U.S. economy as a whole, it is clear to us that government support is a sound investment in an important industry, and in America itself.
    The Aura, CTS, Malibu and Enclave show that GM can compete with the best. Our aggressive restructuring and rapid global growth shows our commitment to reinventing our company. And the Chevy Volt and other advanced technology vehicles show our passion for being a leader in reinventing the automobile.
    Please share this information with all of your employees and other stakeholders. We hope you will ask your legislators and other political leaders to support the U.S. auto industry through this critical transformation. It's easy and turnkey. Please take a minute to go to http://gmfactsandfiction.com to show your support and let your voice be heard.
    To give you more context and the facts, attached are some industry talking points and the study recently released by industry analyst, David Cole, with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), entitled: "The Impact of the U.S. Economy of a Major Contraction of the Detroit Three Automakers."
    Thank you for your time and support.
    Respectfully,
    Betsy Lazar, Executive Director, Advertising and Media Operations
    General Motors Corporation
    Last edited by Towne Livery; November 27th, 2008 at 12:00 AM. Reason: nla changed position
    David C Bastian Jr.
    Commercial Sales Manager
    Towne Auto Group

  2. #2
    Senior Member PhillyLimoGuy's Avatar
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    You are not way off base....

    Towne - There is no question that Ford and GM have been very good to the NLA and the industry for a long time. But remember, the consumer has been good to them too. The consumer has helped them become the large giants they are now. The NLA taking a neutral stance on support is 100% their right. It shows me as a member, that they are promoting best interest on both sides without chosing a side to follow. The NLA relies on membership from operators just as much as they do from vendors. But utlimately, the NLA will promote what the needs are of the industry first.

    Also, Towne, I am very open to your thoughts and opinions on this whole bail out saga. You are in business too, and trying to move units is priority number one for you to put food on the table. I will never criticize you for your thoughts on this as they are very warranted, and with your best interest in mind.

    Overall, "WE" as an industry are in for a rough road ahead. No matter what happens, you, me, and the rest of the industry will figure a right path to make our companies succeed and survive thru these tough financial times.
    Philadelphia Limousine Guy

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    As a long time NLA member, an editor for the industry's largest magazine, an 18 year operator and a political activist, I am glad to see that they do not support this.

    This industry made the Towncar what it is today. This industry has purchased thousands upon thousands of Towncars to be used as sedans as well as being modified into limousines from base models. We made Lincoln what it is - Lincoln did NOT make us what we are. It has been demonstrated over and over that a limousine can be made out of a Honda, a Volkswagen or just about any other car in the world. It doesn't have to be a Lincoln. We chose them first and then they got on board with QVM long after coachbuilders had been modifying them.

    As far as the thousands of dollars invested in our shows, advertising etc.....hello? I too invest back in the people that regularly give me money for the sale of my product, which is service. I buy them lunches, I give them comp rides, I send them Christmas cards and gifts and acknowledge special events in their life. I sponsor their little league teams, buy yearbook ads from their kids etc. because it is the right thing to do to foster future business and thank them for past. So, don't look it or portray it as they did something special. We gave them all that money to do it with through massive purchases over decades. It is not our fault they mismanaged the money. It is not our fault they gave their president HUGE bonuses, pirks and a salary that no one in life should need.

    Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co.'s new president and chief executive officer, received compensation valued at $39.1 million during his four months on the job last year, according to an analysis of a federal regulatory filing made Thursday.

    You will find absolutely no pity and no desire to help rescue anyone from me. It is called management and yes, from my point of view, you are WAY, WAY off base and looking only at your personal interest selling cars in the future instead of looking at the past which is how these companies arrived where they are today. Once again, this is so elementary that I can't understand why you don't see it. You simply have to reel in spending when the money isn't there anymore and no one needs 39.1 million for four months of work. That is insane!
    Last edited by Limo Scene; November 25th, 2008 at 10:04 AM.
    Jim A. Luff
    Forum Moderator
    Contributing Editor & Consultant - LCT Magazine

    Limousine Scene - An Award Winning Company Since 1990
    Bakersfield, CA
    Limousines, Sedans, Vans, Charter Buses, Limo-Buses, Wheelchair Vans www.limousinescene.com

  4. #4

    Default Personal Interest in this issue....Yes!

    Jim,
    I respect your opinion but you are missing the point. As a person that relies on the sale of automobiles I am concerned. As an American ...I am more concerned. All of us are seeing every day in our local cities, companies from all industries laying people off or closing.Unemplyment lines incresing with each day! My 401k lose half it's value. Watching our national debt climb so high ...that maybe my Great Granchildren may be able to pay off. As an american I am concerned for OUR future.You should be too!
    Our economy is so messed up .. everything is affected.
    As a person that works for "the largest Limo Publication I would be concerned.
    A large portion of the revenue generated by the publications comes from advertising dollars that Ford, GM & Chrysler & its dealers provide. Many of the Limo trade shows are able to continue because Ford & GM in particular spend "Big money" on sponsorship deals.
    An unhealthy U.S Auto industry could affect some revenues your publication relies on. Its a domino affect.
    Maybe you should ask Sara how much money your publication alone would lose if GM goes bankrupt? How many jobs within Bobit could possibly have to be cut to cover the loss of revenue. This is all hypothetical and I hope none of this becomes a reality.

    Your correct when you mentioned that this industry helped build Lincoln & the big 3 . The US Auto Manufaturers and your industry have formed partnerships through the years & both industries have benefited from it.

    My whole point of writing this post is to say..America lets find a way to support an industry that is the back bone of this country. Lets find a way to solve the issues instead of arm chair quarterbacking by criticizing the greedy CEO's & Unions. Lets do something about it.Let your voice be heard!
    Please click the link ...watch the 4 min video and then voice your opinion to our elected officials. All of us regardless of the industry you work in is affected and we all have a personal interest vested in this issue.
    I have one question for you....based on your comments & biased opinion..i am guessing you drive as a personal vehicle an import?

    Support America!

    http://www.gmfactsandfiction.com
    Last edited by Towne Livery; November 25th, 2008 at 01:39 PM.
    David C Bastian Jr.
    Commercial Sales Manager
    Towne Auto Group

  5. #5

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    I'm all for supporting America. But $39.1 million for 4 months of work from a CEO is way beyond ridiculous. Something needs to change, and I'm not backing anyone that isn't willing to change their losing tactic's. It just seems like a big political joke and America is the one getting laughed at.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  6. #6
    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Default Asking The NLA To Support A Position

    Yes, I am biting the tongue for want of a better topic to attack the National Lackey Association on.
    Airport Limo Service Spring Hill, Brooksville, Citrus County FL
    http://gunnysairportlimo.com/tampa_a...ce_spring_hill

  7. #7
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    Default So far most of you just don't get it

    I really have been doing my best not to comment on this, and a similar thread. I didn't want it to look like I was posting only out of self-interest. But, there are some things that many of you just don't understand.

    Disclosure: My entire income is dependent upon the American automobile industry. Between Lincoln Town Car's stretched into QVM limousines, Cadillac Livery Sedans, Cadillac DTS-L8 Long Wheelbase sedans, Cadillac hearses and limousines plus American made buses - we are up to our eyeballs in the industry. Even our other dealerships are American owned i.e. Saab, Hummer, Cadillac (retail). So, yes, I do have an axe to grind.

    Most people don't realize that if money isn't pumped into the auto industry rather quickly the ramnifications will be felt by each and every one of you. Consider these points:

    1. Right now, even with excellent credit it's not only difficult to get credit to purchase a vehicle; but it's become very expensive. The captive financers (FoMoCO & GMAC) are having the same issues as industry finance companies - they can't get capital. In short, banks are not even lending money to banks right now.

    In the past week I had a 3rd generation funeral livery get turned down from a funding source that currently has over $500,000 of their loans. Have they ever missed a payment? NO. Have the p/g's credit scores gone down? NO. Is the business doing less funerals? NO. What happend? The leasing company from whom they borrow never printed money in their back room. They got their money on Wall Street by selling asset backed securities. This is what Merill Lynch did. Merill Lynch is gone and the leasing company no longer has access to money.

    Last week a client that had qualified within the last year to purchase vehicles under subsidized interest programs (0.0%, 2.9%, etc) was quoted a rate of 15.5% Why? The bank can't raise capital and can no longer be competitive.

    If you need to add/replace vehicles right now the deals are awesome; the problem is that many people can't get financing particularly affordable financing and specifically when it comes to for-hire vehicles.

    2. You have been enjoying no charge 150,000 mile warranties on QVM/CMC converted vehicles in addition to limousine/livery specific incentives. Do you realize that you buy a fraction of the vehicles that the rental car companies purchase but get them for less money with greater warranties? As Ford and GM begin to tighten their belts you can bet that these progams, from which you benefit, will be a thing of the past since they will be judged as being too costly.

    FYI- Most rental car companies purchase at cost less about a $2,000 fleet rebate and get either a 3 yr/36,000 mile warranty or a 4 year/50,000 mile warranty depending upon the vehicle. Compare this to the incentives that have been getting on livery sedans and limousines with 150,000 mile warranties.

    3. Please don't think that people don't want to buy domestic cars now. We have people coming into the showrooms everyday. Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible for these folks to get affordable credit even with great credit histories. Also, please don't think that this is just an American car problem. Last month BMW diverted 20,000 cars away from the North American market to markets where people buy (not lease) luxury cars. Also, take a look in Automotive News - Toyota, Honda, and Nissan (with Infinity) are way down in sales too. In fact, Nissan has just pulled out of the International Auto Shows.

    4. Need a part for your current car? GOOD LUCK! The economists have already said that if any of the automakers go under the first thing that would happen is that they would take the parts suppliers with them. The large parts suppliers make most of their profit from supplying the OEM's and not from selling replacement parts. The supply of replacement parts, at least in the near future, would be an issue to fleet owners.

    5. For every job at GM, Chrysler, or Ford there are ten (10) piggy-bacled non-manufacturer jobs. So, for every worker that might loose their job (+/-200,000) that means that upwards of 2,000,000 people that work for shipping companies, railroads, parts suppliers, steel companies, car dealerships, etc. will be out of work. Without a doubt, if we added 2,000,001 (I'm the other "one" to the unemployment line you will no longer have to worry about your ground transportation business. With that rate of unemployment the economy would be in such a deep depression while you might not be able to rent your stretches for nights on the town - but to the newly homeless as condos!

    6. Please get honest with the terms being tossed around. Many have posted that a bailout is free money. The automakers are looking for loans. (Remember the banks and Wall Street now are not offering loans). Major corporations were loaned money in the past i.e. Chrysler and the gov't was repaid the p + i. Why do you object to them being loaned money now that will truly help your business? I am not defending the excesses of the corporate boards or executive compensation. But, I think that right now we need to look much past that in order to satisfy the greater good of having the economy rebound.

    7. Lastly, mutual support goes in two directions. This week I received the newsletter from a limousine association that we have supported for the past 15 years. The president's letter in this issue suggested that their members refrain from buying new vehicles for the next year to shore up their resources. Funny thing, they also asked us vendors (car dealers/limo manufacturers) to support and defray the cost of their annual Christmas Party. Hmmmmm. I hope they don't stand outside at the mailbox waiting for my check.

    NB: On a related note: Gunny asked when the situation will improve for contracters, tradespeople, and home builders. The answer is when mortgage money (including home equity lines of credit, home improvement loans, etc.) again becomes both available and affordable. Without the ability to borrow both the auto and construction/re-modeling/home building industries are out.
    Last edited by Rick E.; November 25th, 2008 at 06:26 PM. Reason: typos

  8. #8

    Default Letter From Ford

    Thanks to everyone for the work you have already done to reach out to your two U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representative this past week. Your actions as a dealer, constituent and voter are critical as Congress debates the future of the domestic industry.
    In addition to your voices, members heard from domestic auto industry leaders, including Alan Mulally, who testified before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee as well as the House Financial Services Committee. His message to Congress was that Ford has a very bright future. We have a great plan in place to produce the safest, most reliable, fuel-efficient products and Ford is competitive with the best in the world. While a very positive vision for the future of Ford was presented, he acknowledged the near-term business realities in this extremely challenging economic environment.
    Despite these efforts, Congress did not reach agreement and concluded the week without acting on the request for a $25 billion emergency bridge loan. Instead, Congress has asked the industry to present its plan for the future by December 2nd. Ford welcomes the opportunity to provide its One Ford plan so Congress can better understand how we'll continue our transformation into a lean, profitable company.
    In the interim, the situation remains very serious. As an industry, we are highly interdependent. The failure of one of our competitors would create a devastating ripple effect across the industry and the broader economy. The loan the industry is requesting would directly address the current economic and liquidity crisis, and it would help build a bridge to the future so we can contribute to the national economic recovery.
    Therefore, I am asking you to continue to make your voice heard and encourage your employees, family and friends to do the same. Please take time during the Thanksgiving recess to contact your two U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representative while they are home. Ask them to support government funding in the form of bridge loans to help the U.S. auto industry. Our elected officials have a responsibility and need to understand the implications inaction would have on their constituency job loss, business failures, and further erosion of the tax base.
    As always, additional information and materials are located under the Public Affairs tab on FMCdealer.com. Also attached are suggested talking points along with a suggested letter for your use.
    Our voices should not go silent while Members of Congress are home for the congressional recess. As a unified industry, we must continue to fight for our mutual survival.
    I know I can continue to count on your support.
    Thank you,
    Ken Czubay
    Vice President, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury Marketing & Sales
    David C Bastian Jr.
    Commercial Sales Manager
    Towne Auto Group

  9. #9
    Senior Member PhillyLimoGuy's Avatar
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    LOL - So many fingers to point, so many heart burn pills to take!

    This subject hits home to operators and vendors alike. As much as people want a cleansing effect where we do nothing and let the big 3 settle amongst themselves, many others feel that their needs to be bailout for the big three to keep economic infra-structure alive. I sit here being a member of the forum for a very short time, and I already see the dynamics of the working American man and woman at each others throats. The biggest problem I see is there is too much blame on everything going wrong, and so much more uncertainity as to if these mistakes are going to be fixed. I don't know about you but we need a major wakeup call here folks. We need to setup shop from the inside out. Rick from Long Island spoken about lenders not being there anymore for their clients. Well rightfully so, this should be a god send to the smart observer because it will be the best lesson we learn in this ugly classroom called the American Economy. Look at history, and see what happened to the financial collapse of Japan in the late 80's- early 90's. In short, the Japanese gov't made every person possible go out and start internal savings accounts to break away from dependency on credit because credit collapsed their young booming economy during our little recession across the pond.

    We need to be smart, be conservative, and remember that luxury and stability is not given, but learned from times like these.

    I hope we can put to end this post with the understanding that we are all hurting from this economic dilema, that we are all right in our points posted on this forum, and we all depend on each other to survive into the future.

    God Bless the USA!!!
    Philadelphia Limousine Guy

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    David,

    For the record, I drive a Ford Expedition. My favorite vehice is my 1993 Ford Explorer. What a workhorse. Speaking of horses, I have beat this one to death. Yes, if the big three quit writing in the magazine, it would be bad - even horrible but again, I know that Toyota, BMW, Mercedes - someone would jump write in to seize our incredibly lucrative market and they would grace the same page that Ford once did.

    I also know this is a much bigger problem that just the big 3. I just don't support a bailout plan but respect your opinion and enthusiasm for your position.
    Jim A. Luff
    Forum Moderator
    Contributing Editor & Consultant - LCT Magazine

    Limousine Scene - An Award Winning Company Since 1990
    Bakersfield, CA
    Limousines, Sedans, Vans, Charter Buses, Limo-Buses, Wheelchair Vans www.limousinescene.com

  11. #11

    Default WOW Rick!

    Rick ,
    What you said was incredible!!! Awesome Post!
    Jim,
    I know that Mercedes or BMW or Hundai would step in ...but why let it happen.
    David C Bastian Jr.
    Commercial Sales Manager
    Towne Auto Group

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    Why not? We both know the Mercedes is a better vehicle than Lincoln although we might pay through the nose on maintenance. Mercedes might just give us a 200,000 mile warranty. Change is sometimes good. Look how many new jobs would be created if we changed and started buy Mercedes in mass numbers. Maybe they would have better financing terms that Ford Motor Credit.

    Again, I just want to find another answer other than funnel tax dollars into private enterprise that blew all their money. They gave the farm away in the form of excessive salaries, donations etc. and we, the people, should not be saddled with that burden. WE didn't do it. They did it to themselves.

    Also for the record, the opinions I express are my own and contrary to Bobit Publishing and LCT Magazine.
    Jim A. Luff
    Forum Moderator
    Contributing Editor & Consultant - LCT Magazine

    Limousine Scene - An Award Winning Company Since 1990
    Bakersfield, CA
    Limousines, Sedans, Vans, Charter Buses, Limo-Buses, Wheelchair Vans www.limousinescene.com

  13. #13

    Default Mercedes

    In Europe Mercedes is used as a cab.And no it is not a better made vehicle.
    Based on the JD Power & Associates Vehicle Dependability Study for 2008 , Lincoln rated higher. Check this out.
    .http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pdf/2006133.pdf
    David C Bastian Jr.
    Commercial Sales Manager
    Towne Auto Group

  14. #14

    Default

    One of the first things the Government should do is give the consumer(You and I) a tax credit on our income tax ..if you purchase a New car from the big 3. It starts with the consumers. They are the ones that are choosing to purchase these imports, which is killing our country. The money goes to Japan. Very little stays back in the US.
    David C Bastian Jr.
    Commercial Sales Manager
    Towne Auto Group

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Towne Livery View Post
    One of the first things the Government should do is give the consumer(You and I) a tax credit on our income tax ..if you purchase a New car from the big 3. It starts with the consumers. They are the ones that are choosing to purchase these imports, which is killing our country. The money goes to Japan. Very little stays back in the US.
    I agree with a tax credit and buying American, but I'm totally against the free ride for these spoiled CEO's crazy business plans. If the big 3 aren't willing to go through a radical change to avoid problems in the future, we should just let nature do it's thing. But I'm definately open to them adapting and overcoming their current problems.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

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