Sunday

Big 3 Opening Detroit Auto Show

Chrysler just got its $5 billion payment from the US government on January 2, 2009. GM got its first billion dollar payment too.

In spite of the auto industry woes, the North American International Auto Show opens Jan. 17 and runs to the 25th at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, a city whose housing values dipped 15% last year, causing Forbes.com to name it one of the ten fastest dying cities in the US.

While it's all going bad, the Big 3 turn up the glitz. Chrysler does have one of its trucks in the running for truck of the year, its Dodge Ram is up against the Ford F-150 and Mercedes ML320 Bluetec. It could use a win.

Meanwhile, GM is cutting back its presence at the show and so are the Japanese. Still, the auto show will have more exhibitors this year than ever and there are more world debuts there than ever before. What recession?

And to balance this, Chrysler idles all its plants and GM says there are no talks going on to purchase Chrysler. You just gotta wonder. Austerity be damned and full speed ahead.

It all reminds me of a private college that filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization back in the 1980's (another economically hurting time) and then said they needed to use their sparse cash to attend a private college executives conference on a Pacific island to keep up appearances. The bankruptcy judge let them and later they ended up going out of business anyway.

There's a time to polish up and show off your new hubcaps, GM and Chrysler, but this is not it. They'd be wise to be rather conservative this year. After all, they still don't have all the bailout money yet.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to put up with a lemon.