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I'm stealing this from another forum site, but thought that many of you would find this very interesting. The article was so well written that I just had to forward it as a bcc to my entire personal e-mail list, so what follows is my header or intro to the editorial, the editorial, and then my signature message at the bottom of my e-mail. Enjoy:

Hi everyone,

I just read the following editorial that was in the paper in the Pittsburgh region by an owner of a Ford dealer. The dealer owner's manufacturer is immaterial in this case as it could have come from any of the 3 American automaker's but the content of the letter is what you should focus on. Fact of the matter is, the largest industry in the U.S. is hurting because the American consumer is oblivious to the fact that we make excellent vehicles today. Unfortunately many people are still going by quality problems which occurred some 20+ years ago. I know that many of you drive American vehicles and kudos for you for that, but for those of you that don't, well maybe you should step back and take a look at the U.S. economy and rethink about helping the country you live in. I admit to having bought one foreign car in my lifetime and I didn't own it for long before going back to an American car because it just didn't feel right to own it for me personally. Most of you know that my blood is Ford Blue, but to be honest, if Ford wasn't around, I'd buy GM products and then Chrysler products. I don't think I've ever paid more attention to the politics of the country and the economy as a whole and I probably wouldn't have sent out a message such as this if I still lived in Vegas. However, the fact of the matter is that I live in the Detroit metro area now and I see firsthand how the economy is affected here in MI and next door in Ohio and I can tell you that should something happen to the American manufacturers, this will be a domino effect that will affect the entire nation in uncomprehensible ways. There are over a million jobs that are affected by these three auto manufacturers which will affect even the foreign manufacturers on American soil. I think it's time that we as Americans wake up and realize that we need to support our fellow man. Even Obama is trying to gently push the "Buy American" thing as he knows that is what is needed. Most of you voted him in, so you should think twice about your stance and make the right choice because what you choose today will help all of us tomorrow and into the future.

Thank you for listening to my own editorial....and now here is the paper editorial....



Editor:

As I watch the coverage of the fate of the U.S. auto industry, one alarming and frustrating fact hits me right
between the eyes. The fate of our nation's economic survival is in the hands of some congressmen who are
completely out of touch and act without knowledge of an industry that affects almost every person in our nation.
The same lack of knowledge is shared with many journalists whom are irresponsible when influencing the opinion of
millions of viewers.



Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama has doomed the industry, calling it a dinosaur. No Mr. Shelby, you are the
dinosaur, with ideas stuck in the '70s, '80s and '90s. You and the uninformed journalist and senators that hold
onto myths that are not relevant in today's world.


When you say that the Big Three build vehicles nobody wants to buy, you must have overlooked that GM outsold
Toyota by about 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S. and Ford outsold Honda by 850,000 and Nissan by 1.2 million in
the U.S. GM was the world's No. 1 automaker beating Toyota by 3,000 units.



When you claim inferior quality comes from the Big Three, did you realize that Chevy makes the Malibu and Ford
makes the Fusion that were both rated over the Camry and Accord by J.D. Power independent survey on initial
quality? Did you bother to read the Consumer Report that rated Ford on par with good Japanese automakers.


Did you realize Big Three's gas guzzlers include the 33 mpg Malibu that beats the Accord. And for '09 Ford
introduces the Hybrid Fusion whose 39 mpg is the best midsize, beating the Camry Hybrid. Ford's Focus beats the
Corolla and Chevy's Cobalt beats the Civic.



When you ask how many times are we going to bail them out you must be referring to 1980. The only Big Three
bailout was Chrysler, who paid back $1 billion, plus interest. GM and Ford have never received government aid.


When you criticize the Big Three for building so many pickups, surely you've noticed the attempts Toyota and
Nissan have made spending billions to try to get a piece of that pie. Perhaps it bothers you that for 31 straight
years Ford's F-Series has been the best selling vehicle. Ford and GM have dominated this market and when you see
the new '09 F-150 you'll agree this won't change soon.



Did you realize that both GM and Ford offer more hybrid models than Nissan or Honda. Between 2005 and 2007, Ford
alone has invested more than $22 billion in research and development of technologies such as Eco Boost, flex fuel,
clean diesel, hybrids, plug in hybrids and hydrogen cars.


It's 2008 and the quality of the vehicles coming out of Detroit are once again the best in the world.
Perhaps Sen. Shelby isn't really that blind. Maybe he realizes the quality shift to American. Maybe it's the fact
that his state of Alabama has given so much to land factories from Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes Benz that he is
more concerned about their continued growth than he is about the people of our country. Sen. Shelby's disdain for
"government subsidies" is very hypocritical. In the early '90s he was the driving force behind a $253 million
incentive package to Mercedes. Plus, Alabama agreed to purchase 2,500 vehicles from Mercedes. While the bridge
loan the Big Three is requesting will be paid back, Alabama's $180,000-plus per job was pure incentive. Sen.
Shelby, not only are you out of touch, you are a self-serving hypocrite, who is prepared to ruin our nation
because of lack of knowledge and lack of due diligence in making your opinions and decisions.


After 9/11, the Detroit Three and Harley Davidson gave $40 million-plus emergency vehicles to the recovery
efforts. What was given to the 9/11 relief effort by the Asian and European Auto Manufactures? $0 Nada. Zip!



We live in a world of free trade, world economy and we have not been able to produce products as cost efficiently.
While the governments of other auto producing nations subsidize their automakers, our government may be ready to
force its demise. While our automakers have paid union wages, benefits and legacy debt, our Asian competitors
employ cheap labor. We are at an extreme disadvantage in production cost. Although many UAW concessions begin in
2010, many lawmakers think it's not enough.


Some point the blame to corporate management. I would like to speak of Ford Motor Co. The company has streamlined
by reducing our workforce by 51,000 since 2005, closing 17 plants and cutting expenses. Product and future product
is excellent and the company is focused on one Ford. This is a company poised for success. Ford product quality
and corporate management have improved light years since the nightmare of Jacques Nasser. Thank you Alan Mulally
and the best auto company management team in the business.


The financial collapse caused by the secondary mortgage fiasco and the greed of Wall Street has led to a $700
billion bailout of the industry that created the problem. AIG spent nearly $1 million on three company excursions
to lavish resorts and hunting destinations. Paulson is saying no to $250 billion foreclosure relief and the whole
thing is a mess. So when the Big Three ask for 4 percent of that of the $700 billion, $25 billion to save the
country's largest industry, there is obviously oppositions. But does it make sense to reward the culprits of the
problem with $700 billion unconditionally, and ignore the victims?


As a Ford dealer, I feel our portion of the $25 billion will never be touched and is not necessary. Ford currently
has $29 billion of liquidity. However, the effect of a bankruptcy by GM will hurt the suppliers we all do business
with. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy by any manufacture would cost retirees their health care and retirements. Chances
are GM would recover from Chapter 11 with a better business plan with much less expense. So who foots the bill if
GM or all three go Chapter 11? All that extra health care, unemployment, loss of tax base and some forgiven debt
goes back to the taxpayer, us. With no chance of repayment, this would be much worse than a loan with the intent
of repayment.



So while it is debatable whether a loan or Chapter 11 is better for the Big Three, a $25 billion loan is
definitely better for the taxpayers and the economy of our country.


So I'll end where I began on the quality of the products of Detroit. Before you, Mr. or Ms. Journalist continue to
misinform the American public and turn them against one of the great industries that helped build this nation, I
must ask you one question. Before you, Mr. or Madam Congressman vote to end health care and retirement benefits
for 1 million retirees, eliminate 2.5 million of our nation's jobs, lose the technology that will lead us in the
future and create an economic disaster including hundreds of billions of tax dollars lost, I ask this question not
in the rhetorical sense. I ask it in the sincere, literal way. Can you tell me, have you driven a Ford lately?

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Have you driven a Ford lately? Are you thinking about a hybrid? Check out the all new 2010 Fusion:

http://www.fordvehicles.com/2010fusion/

Keep it under 47mph and you run completely off of the electric motor!
 

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Amen, the vehicles in my house are American and they include:

My mom's Chrysler Town and Country
My dad's Explorer and his Turbo Grand Prix
My Cobra and my Shelby and I wouldn't have it any other way

The big three are making some of their best products in a long time and if some one can't see that they are blind.

You want to save our economy let's start by helping the big 3
 

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What ever happens I hope the Big 3 are still around 30 years from now, I would rather give them the money than bailout the banks, etc. The auto makers got grilled for being irresponsible using private jets then recently Nancy took a nice trip to Rome so she could meet the Pope on our tab probably costing millions when final tab comes in, also some Congressmen recently went to India on our tab including taking some private citizens, makes you wonder if they get it or not, I personally don't wonder as I know they get it and just don't care that they are ripping us off.
 
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