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Pres. Obama Set to See Auto Industry’s Resurgence With Auto Show Tour

Legacy likely to include bailouts and safety moves.

by on Jan.20, 2016

Then-candidate Obama at a Jeep plant.

In the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, then-candidate Barack Obama found himself focused on an American auto industry plunging into one of the worst downturns in its history. Among his first duties as president, Obama approved billions of dollars in loans to keep two of Detroit’s bankrupt automakers afloat.

Now, as the two-term president enters his last year in the White House, he’s heading to Detroit for what might be dubbed a victory lap, a chance to see firsthand an industry reporting record sales and, for many companies, record profits.

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As the center of the trip, President Obama will make a stop at the 2016 North American International Show which opened its doors to the public last Saturday after a two-day media preview that brought the debut of about 50 new cars, trucks, crossovers and concept vehicles. Preliminary attendance suggests turnout for the show could also reach record numbers.


GM, Ford Could Soon Be Profitable

Auto Task Force Chief Ron Bloom is looking for big payback to U.S. taxpayers on their GM stock.

by on Aug.05, 2009

The government wants to sell off its GM stake ASAP, but setting a hard timeline would be counter-productive, according to Auto Task Force Director Ron Bloom.

The government wants to sell off its GM stake, but setting a timeline would be counter-productive, according to Auto Task Force Director Ron Bloom, who foresees a big taxpayer payback.

On balance the federal bailout of the U.S. auto industry has been good not only for carmakers but also the U.S. economy, say several key industry experts.

Rod Lache, top automotive analyst for Deutsche Bank, said that the private sector’s general approval of the GM and Chrysler bailouts has been signaled by the increase in the value of certain auto stocks.  The restructuring of the auto industry not only has given General Motors and Chrysler a new lease on life, but also could lead to Ford Motor Co. becoming profitable again by the end of 2009.  And its is quite likely that GM will be profitable in 2011, Lache told a crowd of industry leaders at the annual Management Briefing Seminars, in Traverse City, Michigan.

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Meanwhile, the head of the Presidential Auto Task Force that bailed out GM and Chrysler reiterated that the federal government will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of either company. The government wasn’t involved in the decision on whether Bob Lutz should stay on at GM as vice chairman, said task force boss Ron Bloom. That, along with other personnel changes that have followed the company’s emergence from bankruptcy, were all left strictly in the hand of GM’s management, said Bloom, a former official with the United Steel Workers and a successful investment banker.


Right Wing threatens to launch boycott of “Government Motors.”

Will the call to action gain traction - or backfire by sending import-oriented liberals to GM showrooms?

by on Jun.04, 2009

GM Boycott?We live, it’s often pointed out, in a polarized society, and few things, of late, have been more divisive than the debate over the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler.

When first proposed, late last year, surveys found a solid majority of Americans opposed to using billions of taxpayer dollars to prop up the two financially floundering manufacturers.  And though that position is beginning to soften, there are still “certain parts of the country that do not like the concept,” concedes GM Chief Financial Officer Ray Young.

In fact, among the hardcore right wing, that opposition appears to be increasing, for any number of reasons, not all of which is specifically due to the issues of saving the automakers.  Nonetheless, the bailout is triggering a backlash that has some arch-conservatives calling for an all-out boycott of the makers, and especially of “Government Motors,” as critics call it, which will emerge from bankruptcy with the Treasury Department holding more than 60% of the “new” GM’s stock.

Among those who have given voice to the idea of a boycott is the conservative host Hugh Hewitt, who made the bailout a pet peeve on his nationally-syndicated talk radio show, as well as in the blog he posts on the website,

Subscribe to“In the two days since the nationalization of GM was announced, the callers and e-mailers to my program have been 10 to 1 against the Obamaization of the American car business,” contended a June 3rd  posting, by Hewitt, who added that, “This is a decision that must be reversed. GM must be denationalized.”