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April 04, 2009

Overhaul of General Motors

It’s never been more apparent to me that the demise of the auto giant General Motors was caused by its executives’ failure to lead. All the while, the auto industry continued to bring to the public what they thought we needed in an automobile when it should have been the leader in providing an education and commitment to the future of ourselves and this planet.

It’s a wake-up call for all automobile manufacturers. They must be efficient and provide stewardship to the naïve public as to what transportation products should be. Quality without quantity, efficiency without gadgetry, and keeping our energy needs green and sustainable. It should come at an expense to both the executive and worker in compensation. No more rewarding poor stewardship.

There is plenty of demand for automobiles. The public just needs to be educated or coerced into making good decisions as to quality, fuel-efficiency and planet-saving choices. The new auto manufacturer needs to be the leader in teaching the public how to use transportation with these ideas in mind.

Kenneth K. Wier
Blue Springs

When did Obama become the controlling stockholder in General Motors and Chrysler? Obama loaned taxpayers’ money to both firms. This made the taxpayers their bankers. It did not authorize anyone to sell an American car company to a foreign entity.

Granted, GM has been badly managed, but it is up to the real stockholders to improve upper management, not a banker who just lends money.

  Obama is out of bounds with his actions. We have always respected the office of the presidency, but no more. The Bolsheviks have arrived!  

Gentry W. and Shirley R. Robinson
Pleasant Hill



So Obama and his recycled Clintonistas who have never managed anything except a "rally" or an election campaign know just how to organize and run a manufacturing company?
The real problems with the "Big Three" stem from the "Heritage" cost which in tern stem from the UAW and the governments backing of the UAW.


Know why the F150 was the best selling vehicle last year ? Because selling it was good for Ford. Not because it was good for me or anyone else in my neighborhood.

And thanks to that good logic Ford and GM are both sitting pretty... right ?
Oh wait a minute ... they're just weeks or months from bankruptcy and the shame of it is that the fat old white guys who brought them here won't ever have to pay.

Big companies do NOT have our interests at heart.


The US Army came to Kansas City in 1940 and built a government plant for B-25 manufacturing next to the Fairfax Airport.

The Army put the plant up and turned it over to North American Aviation for operation. It was a government owned facility run by NA until after the war when it was leased and eventually sold to GM for auto mfg. The old plant built F-84s next to Buicks during the Korean War but otherwise it was an auto plant until the mid 80s when it was demolished and the current GM-Fairfax plant built on top of the old airport site next door to replace it. The old Army/North American/GM B-25 plant site is now a vacant lot NW of GM-Fairfax off Kindleberger Road.


Government aircraft plants were fairly common in the leadup to WW2. I think Honeywell/Bendix in South KC was a Navy plant put up to build radial engines for fighter aircraft. B-29s and B-24s were assembled in both private and government owned plants. Ford City in Chicago was another Army plant put up to build Wright radial engines for B-29s, turned over to Ford after the war.

The Asian tranplants have always paid near UAW wages to keep their employees just happy enough to just keep the UAW out of their plants. When or if the Detroit threat fades, the transplant wages will eventually fall. Either Toyota or Honda has already come out and said they'll, in the future, align their pay more with what mfg local to their Southern plants pays instead of Detroit's wages. Mfg/factory wages down South are commonly $10/hr. The Asian transplant line workers will eventually find themselves working for $10-15/hr instead of the $25 they're making now.

red rover

A good point was made on the front page today about the GM Fairfax plant being pressed into service to build planes for WW2 in the early 40's. I wonder if your ancestors whined about the government being involved in that matter? GM was fighting the Japanese then and they're fighting them now.
nice guy, I am UAW and I'm not a thug nor do I know any. And the transplant plants are usually not organized, so of course strikes are not a problem. If their employees are known to try to bring in the union, well let's just say those people just don't work there any more. Also with the downfall of the UAW, their wages will fall also. And when they get close to retiring, see above, they just won't need those employees services any more. I suppose the transplants employees will be in for a number of unpleasant surprises in the future.

mike d

"planet-saving choices"

I always love hearing that. The planet, Ken, is going nowhere. Humans, on the other hand, will be shaken off this earth like the bad case of fleas that we are. Planet 1, Humans 0


I wonder if the smart cars and new electric coffins will have 22" rims and 18" woofers as a factory option? I also wonder of plugging your iPod will reduce your "mileage". Nothing better than having to recharge every 40 miles.
Invest in extension cord manufacturers, they will be the next industry to ge targeted for "wind fall" profits when the "greenies" start whining about the cost of them. (Everything should be free for a few and paid for with OPM).


Well said NoMo.....Of the 20 vehicles that are profitable at GM 11 are SUV's or light trucks. Mr. Wier has obviously been toking on his "green doobie" too long. The American people do not wish to own European "Cab-Over roller skates". They want larger vehicles that can accomodate their families, tow their boats, and haul their gear.

What's that you say about "global warming"?? Hey, send some my way, I hear we are getting snow today almost three weeks into Spring.....I could really use some "global warming". Where is Al Gore when you need him?


First of all the American public does decide what it wants regrading products and services, inclusive of automobiles.
Not every consumer wants a Prius or a hybrid and they are not practical for everyone either. Electric vehicles fall into the same category. The #1 selling VEHICLE last year? Ford F-150. Not the Prius or the Smart car.
There are many components to why GM and Chrysler are ahving problems and expect welfare. It is not entirely the UAW's fault although the hold their equal share of blame. Toyota does not seem to have a problem with their workers striking and it is my understanding they pay equally as well as the UAW without the thuggery.
GM should have simply utilized bankruptcy and it would have faired better. In the end they will probably end up going that route and we several generations forward receive another big fat debt we did not incur.


"The public just needs to be educated or coerced into making good decisions ..." - Kenneth K. Wier.

"Obama is out of bounds with his actions. ... The Bolsheviks have arrived!" -Gentry W. and Shirley R. Robinson

No, Kenneth is obviously the Bolshevik. The American taxpayer only has funds on deposit at the First National Bank of Obama. Obama is the banker. GM's shareholders are out of the picture.

Anyone who thinks a banker "just lends money" with no followup interest in how the debt ridden, failing company he's writing the loan checks to is operated ... is mistaken.

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