Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saturn Rings The Bowl

GM announced today that Saturn is being closed down. From an AP report:
General Motors Co. said today that it would shut down its Saturn brand after an agreement with Penske Automotive Group Inc. to acquire it fell apart.

Penske, citing concerns of whether it could continue to supply vehicles after a manufacturing contract with GM ran out, ended talks with GM Wednesday to acquire the brand.

I don't get it. Wasn't the whole point of the GM bailout by the federal government that the plants would stay open? Basically, a big make-work project? This has to be a real kick in the ass to those who worked at Saturn.

I have no love for Saturn. I owned a 1997 SL2 that I actually really did love, being that it was the first car I ever bought new. It was totally reliable until 2006, when I took it to the Saturn of Fishers for an oil change. A mere 600 miles later, the engine blew. The dealer, Saturn of Fishers, wouldn't stand behind it. Nor would Saturn itself. So, I had the damned thing crushed into a cube. Then I bought a Toyota, swearing I would never buy another Saturn or GM product again so long as I lived.
GM CEO Fritz Henderson said in statement that Saturn and its dealership network will be phased out. Locally, Saturn dealers are in Indianapolis, Fishers and Greenwood.

I don't usually delight in schadenfreude, but in this case, I must confess I did snicker as I drove down 126th Street, past the entrance to the Saturn of Fishers. Good riddance. The market has spoken. Recessions are so very good for weeding out the bad.

I know I was just one customer, just one grain of sand on the beach, but maybe, just maybe, had Saturn treated me a little better, they might have survived. For, if they treated me with such contempt, I'm sure they treated just about everyone else who found themselves at a pivotal moment of showing customer loyalty, or not, like shit.
Souder Begs Of Me?

I was fairly surprised to get a beg letter from Congressman Mark Souder, a Republican representing Indiana's District #3, covering the northeast corner of the state. Surprised, because I live in District #5, in the central part of the state.

The gist of the beg is that Souder is under attack by 'liberals', and that he is a good 'conservative'.

These terms are relative, of course. I consider myself a conservative in that I am to conserve the traditions of the Founders. This is not how most people portray conservatism today, although Souder's letter does site the Founders, so I'll hold him to it.

Souder describes himself as not a 'big spender'. Yet he votes consistently to fund Amtrak, voted to subsidize private health insurance, and votes in favor of farm subsidies- all hallmarks of big spending as far as I can tell. Source.

Mainly, I just don't trust a Republican who voted with George Bush on so many government growing budget items who then turns around and slams the Obama Administration for doing exactly the same things, only at a greater degree. I don't care to shade bad policy in terms of very bad and extremely bad. Bad is bad.

I'd be much happier to see Mark Souder replaced with a Libertarian- a conservative who meets my definitions of the word, conserving the actual principles of the Founders.