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JakilaTheHun (99.94)

The Fifty Worst Cars of All-Time

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December 11, 2008 – Comments (10) | RELATED TICKERS: GM , F

While we have the auto bailout (or potential non-bailout) saturing news coverage, I thought this was a very interesting article from Time:

The Fifty Worst Cars of All-Time

Even though most of these cars were flops, a lot of the early stuff at least reminds one of how inventive an industry can be in its infancy.  It's also a reminder that young companies tend to be innovators.  Oftentimes, I wonder if it's not just better to let old companies die once they've become too conservative and run out of ideas. Which is why I'd almost rather see GM go bankrupt and see a bunch of American investors swipe up their good assets and make it into something better.  I realize that's probably not the likely outcome, but wouldn't it be great if it were? 

In any case, I always find it somewhat amusing that the earliest cars were always envisioned as sorts of "horseless carriages." 

10 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 11, 2008 at 12:29 PM, socialconscious wrote:

TheHuney I aprreciate the article about the fifty worst cars. IMHO bankruptcy for the BIG 3 is not an option. The American consumer will not buy cars from companies that are bankrupt as per many surveys because  they equate bankruptcy not with reorganization but non-existence. I discussed this in an earlier blog if you wish to read its...

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/ViewPost.aspx?bpid=116464&t=01001154058673654380

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#2) On December 11, 2008 at 12:38 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.94) wrote:

Socialconscious, it's certainly a debatable issue, however, my thought on this is that the American public already *perceives* the Big Three to be effectively bankrupt.  If that's the case, then how does making it a legal reality change that?  I'd also be less averse to government interference if the automakers declared bankruptcy first --- that way, even if it's true that American will worry about buying cars from bankrupt companies, the American government guarantee would at least make them feel safer; all the while making the companies more viable. 

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#3) On December 11, 2008 at 1:20 PM, socialconscious wrote:

I agree it is a debatable issue on many grounds.I agree there should have been a bailout for NO ONE because

 A) It was domed to fail beacuse they government is not a banker and would bail out the wrong enterprises and would require no guarantees. Hence the horror of no Lehman bailout and banks hoarding their TARP.   

B) I just find it elitist that we wish to rescue banks and educated banker's and not 3 million autoworkers, parts distrubutors and related businesses.  

Respectfully submitted in a fun energetic debate. Social C

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#4) On December 11, 2008 at 1:55 PM, stanton17 (< 20) wrote:

Personally, I'd love to own a 1913 Scripps-Booth Bi-Autogo.

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#5) On December 11, 2008 at 2:10 PM, DemonDoug (60.67) wrote:

social, i agree with huney.

besides, anyone willing to pay for a lower quality car that breaks down more often, gets less gas mileage, and costs more, well, why wouldn't they buy from a bankrupt company?  never stopped them before...

p.s. people buy cars from bankrupt companies all the time.  no one is selling any new packards :P

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#6) On December 11, 2008 at 2:16 PM, Gemini846 (60.08) wrote:

There is something to be said about having the money to innovate. The coruption from the management of the Big 3 to stamp out thier competitors has been the focus of several movies including the Tucker and recently Flash of Genious.

Its no more cut-throat than say MSFT over APPL. I'll give SJ some credit he held onto his company long enough to find a niche (ipod) that would get him back to the mainstream much like Sony is trying to do with Blueray.

I disagree on the bankrupcy issue. I would see it as a sign of much needed change. A re-emerged company with cheeper more fuel efficent cars would actually be encouraging for those of us who haven't bought American in years and have no intention of buying American.

SC's thesis that 70% of us won't buy from a company that has declared bankrupcy is hogwash when you understand that 70% (not necessarily the same 70%) won't buy from an american car company anyway regardless. A re-org would make me think more positivly of the newly transformed company knowing it just sat on the bankrupcy throne and took a big dump.

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#7) On December 11, 2008 at 4:47 PM, FoolishChemist (97.17) wrote:

I still think the DeLorian is the best car ever.

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#8) On December 11, 2008 at 5:02 PM, socialconscious wrote:

First DDoug I would buy a subway token, Packard or an eight track tape as a collectors item but wouldnt expect there to be a place to use them or to use them everyday. I would expect to pay a hefty premium for a packard radiator or fan belt.Again everday usage versus hobby/collectors usage.

AS for the point that people will buy cars from bankrupt companies I present George Will v. Huiffington Post. the latter having more facts and less conjecture

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/11/18/ST2008111801104.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/80-of-consumers-wont-buy_b_148695.html

I wanted a bailout for no one and for the first time in my life I      was more conservative than conservatives. It was my opinion on prior post and my most recent post that the government can regulate but cannot administer government well never mind private business More importantly if you AGREED to bailout on Wall Street why are we not agreeing to the bailout on the motor city.All parties have agreed to major concessions.Selective corporate welfare for college grads only?

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#9) On December 11, 2008 at 5:16 PM, socialconscious wrote:

Gemini the percent of cars that are sold from the big three is 46%. Typically when in numerous surveys like CNBC, Huffington post Autoblog, etc 50% of people will not buy a car from a bankrupt company. Thus market share would be cut in half  to 23 % range or (.46)(.50). I know cars and again I present my research from the WSJ for the 46% figure

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122809320261867867.html

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/11/14/poll-would-you-buy-a-car-from-a-company-in-bankruptcy/  

"Would you buy a car from a company in bankruptcy?" Would you buy a car from a company in bankruptcy? Sure, why not? 2169 (19.1%) Absolutely no way! 3549 (31.3%) Maybe, depends on the car. 5628 (49.6%)

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#10) On December 11, 2008 at 5:27 PM, socialconscious wrote:

Also several pundits have likened flying bankrupt airlines to buying cars from bankrupt companies.There is a big difference between a plane ticket and a car. After the flight, there is no expectation of ongoing service.With a car you own it for 5-7+ year and spare parts need to be available on an ongoing basis as well as convenient readily accessible service not distant whatever service.Given those requirements of a car, a chapter 11 filing could be a death sentence for a manufacturer as customers look elsewhere.

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