Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Consumers Turning Nose at Government Car Makers

Today's WSJ news -- that "The three biggest car makers in America called a bottom to the long decline in U.S. auto sales" based on June sales -- contains a nugget of information that may be interesting to watch in the future.

Namely, GM and Chrysler -- the two U.S. government and union owned automakers -- reported reeling sales.

GM said its sales fell 33% to 174,785 vehicles, Chrysler Group LLC's declined 42% to 68,297 and even Toyota's were down 32% at 131,654.

Ford, the only one of the Big Three Detroit auto makers that didn't require government bailout loans and stayed out of bankruptcy-court proceedings, reported its sales declined just 11%, to 154,873 cars and trucks. That total allowed Ford to outsell Toyota for the fourth straight month. thinks Americans already may be suspicious of the prospects for government owned autos. No warranties, poor workmanship, service desk run arounds (even more so than now). They don't want to own anything that the government and unions will have future control over. Who's going to trust government workmanship?

Indeed, rental car companies don't want any part of the GM/Chrysler vehicles:

The sharp declines at GM and Chrysler were caused in part by significantly lower sales to fleet customers such as rental-car companies. GM's fleet sales were down 49% and Chrysler's 95%.

We'll have to watch sales the next few months to see whether this is just a one-month market reaction or general skepticism.


Anonymous said...

And here's why I'll never buy a Chrysler product again.
My son, a NYPD officer and volunteer firefighter, bought a 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck in February 2009. On March 18, 2009 while responding to a rescue call as a volunteer the truck was hit by another car that was making an illegal U-turn. Fortunately nobody was hurt. The repairs to the truck were completed on April 10, 2009, minus one part, an antilock brake sensor. We were told that there is a nationwide backorder for this part. I called Chrysler corporate customer service for assistance. That proved fruitless and only raised the anger level. They continually give us empty delivery dates. Dates starting at 4/16, 4/29, 5/7, 5/23, 6/10, 6/29 and now after today’s call 7/6! Keep in mind that this part was ordered on or about 3/25. At least this week customer service admitted that “some delivery may have started” for this part. The nationwide backorder for this part is 443 pieces. I requested that Chrysler expedite the part from whoever the supplier is, or take one from the now closed production plant. I even offered to pay the Fed Ex charges to drop ship the single part. Again, a scripted answer,” I apologize for the problem and we will call you back in 2-3 days. “ A call back has never happened in the past.
It is unconscionable that is allowed to happen. Even after billions of Federal bailout dollars, one can only conclude that Chrysler is on credit hold by their suppliers. Here is a company that our tax dollars supports and their services and parts supply chain jobs are off shore. How does that help our overall unemployment problem? Why are the recipients of our tax dollars allowed to outsource services? Why shouldn’t the American consumer just by an import from a stable company? Here is a 26 year old police officer and volunteer firefighter making monthly vehicle and insurance payments as the truck with 884 miles sits idle, and for who knows how long, due to the inability of a bankrupt shutdown manufacturer to supply a $145.00 part. Over the past several weeks I have emailed President Obama, who has not responded; Senator Schumer who responded that he gets a lot of emails so there may be a delay; AG Cuomo who sent a form to fill out and Tappy Philips no response Diane sawyer and Charles Gibson after a GMA segment about how great Chrysler is assisting their customers. When I did get to someone from Chrysler who was obviously in the states and requested Nardelli’s email, the response was “are you out of your mind” and she hung up. What are we to do?

Anonymous said...

This is a pre-cursor to government run health care, too.