Thursday, November 20, 2008

In honor of the proposed auto bailout

Here you go.

Sorry, Patti. I just couldn't resist. But in fairness, let's take a look at the numbers and see if they work out for a bailout package. According to sources found by Jim, Toyota has an appoximately $3800 per car profit advantage over GM. Let's see how it breaks down:

Labor; at $73/hour for 34.3 hours of labor for a vehicle, GM is paying about $1150-1200 more than does Toyota, which pays $48/hour for 28 hours of labor for its vehicles here. A bailout doesn't help this in the least, but Chapter 11 would help immensely.

Debt: GM has $44 billion in debt, meaning $3-5 billion annually to cover the interest alone. A bailout loan could reduce the interest, netting about $500/car. Chapter 11 would likely do the same.

What we find; unless a loan would fundamentally restructure GM (or Ford or Chrysler), it just buys time. Even bankruptcy only gets about $2000 back per vehicle. What is needed for the Detroit 3 to be profitable?

I'd suggest a repeal of CAFE standards would be a great start, along with other misguided regulations that make GM more of a regulatory compliance company than a car company. New blood in management wouldn't hurt, either.

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