No s***, Sherlock!

I was both amused and annoyed by a headline today:  “Survey: Auto Bailout is Drag on GM Truck Sales“.  The article noted:

A consumer survey taken last week on behalf of the National Legal and Policy Center confirms that public disapproval of the auto bailout continues to dog General Motors, and is likely hurting pickup truck sales, a highly profitable segment of its line.

. . .

In September, GM’s full-sized pickup trucks fell 8% from the same month a year ago, while Ford and Chrysler saw sales increases. The survey data tends to confirm assertions … that many consumers in the truck buyer demographic are avoiding GM products in response to the bailout.

There’s more at the link.

I’m not surprised by this in the least.  The only surprise I have is that GM (and, to a certain extent, Chrysler) are still shilly-shallying around the problem, never talking about it, trying to pretend it doesn’t exist or that it’ll go away of its own accord.

It won’t.

I said in 2009:

I shall never again buy any new Chrysler or General Motors vehicle or other product, unless and until the issues raised by their bankruptcies have been resolved in accordance with the current (i.e. today’s) law of the land, and any and all benefits unjustly accruing or unfairly transferred to political stakeholders have been nullified and withdrawn forever.

I was far from alone in expressing those sentiments, and I’ve held to them since then.  My determination to do so has only been made stronger by more recent revelations of the shenanigans that accompanied the auto industry bailout.

Many of us have long memories.  I still recall the Firestone tire scandal, when that company’s arrogant and self-exculpatory behavior angered many consumers.  I was one of those who vowed at the time never again to buy Bridgestone or Firestone products.  I’ve kept my promise, and will continue to do so.  Why should I behave any differently towards GM and/or Chrysler?



  1. I recently went car-shopping and I didn't even look at GM or Chrysler products because of the bailout. The UAW and CAW (Canadian Auto Workers) did not allow one dime of their compensation to be cut and were bailed out by people making half the wages that they are. Absolutely disgusting.


  2. I also will not buy GM products. Been eyeing some fords pretty hard, but I gotta pay off the bike loan and then save. I refuse to finance another vehicle.

  3. Bridgestone/Firestone was unjustly martyred in that. Ford held a large amount of the blame there by not following the manufacturers specifications. They have plenty they should be answering for, but that one isn't one of them. I am privy to information on the situation that was not released to the public.
    Like you, I will not purchase a GM or Chrysler for the same reasons

  4. If resentment of the bailout is causing the decline in sales at GM, why are Chrysler sales increasing?

    Mind you, I won't buy from either, specifically because of the bailout, but it seems that Chrysler ought to be seeing a decline, not an increase, if that's the reason.

  5. My wholesaler friends tell me they are very cautious when buying anything GM or Chrysler. Dealers are finding the public attitudes extend even to used vehicles.

    Another factor is the financially marginal customers are again being financed by the captive lenders. Any major economic downturn and the repossessions will again knock down the dealer's used inventory value.

  6. I'm buying any GM or Chrysler vehicles either, for the same reason. They already got enough of my money.

    I haven't purchased any Firestone/Bridgestone tires since that scandal, but then I got bit personally. I had gotten two new tires from Firestone for my van a month before the scandal went public, and the tread came off of one while my daughter was driving it on the freeway a week later. The dealer wasn't even going to replace the tire, stating that I must have damaged it somehow. Never again!

  7. @Jennifer: If you have private information, I can understand you'd have a different opinion. Unfortunately, that doesn't help the rest of us, who can only judge according to information in the public arena. I would have thought that after so long, the 'private' information would have come out, to exculpate Bridgestone/Firestone if at all possible. I wonder why the company hasn't taken steps to get it out there?

    (I'm not doubting you, you understand – I just find it very strange that any positive or less-negative information that might improve the company's reputation wasn't circulated. Sounds like an expensive way of putting feet in corporate mouths . . . )

  8. Peter,

    IIRC, what Ford did was specify a significantly lower air pressure in the tires than what the tire manufacturers told them was proper for the application. Ford wanted a more compliant ride, and instead of re-doing the suspension, they decided the tire could do it for them.

    This is incredibly stupid thinking. Lower pressure invites more carcass flexing, which generates heat, which is the major failure mode of a highway run tire.

    I suspect the lack of this knowledge in the average person is why it never got much play in the news coverage at the time. It might have been the reason the idiotic idea got the ok at Ford, for that matter. Frankly, whoever was responsible for it should have been crucified, literally. They had no business overriding the people who designed/built those tires.

  9. Politics and the like. Mostly it's that NDAs were signed in an attempt to make it go away.
    I try to avoid them because of what they did to their employees in OKC. They had them train their Mexican counterparts prior to closing the plant and laying off all the workers there. But finances being what they are, being able to use my dad's employee discount since he worked at that plant for over 30 years makes them harder to avoid.

  10. Yup. Run your tire pressure 25% low and you're tempting the tread to separate. I'm not saying that it absolutely will, but it's far more likely to.

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