January 5, 2008

Old Media Continues to Hide Major Reason for Ford’s Free-Fall

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 11:18 am

The returns are in for car company sales, both for December and all of 2007 (first figure is December, second is for full year; sources are here, here, and here):

- GM: -4.4%, -6.0%
- Toyota: -1.7%, +3.1%
- Ford: -9%, -11.8%
- Chrysler: +2%, -3.1%
- Nissan: -2.4%, +4.8%
- Honda: flat, +2.8%

Toyota is listed second for a reason that would have been almost unthinkable three years ago (bolds are mine):

Ford Motor Co., in the midst of a restructuring, fell to No. 3 in U.S. auto sales last year, as Toyota Motor Corp. posted its 12th straight year of record U.S. sales and moved up to second place behind General Motors Corp.

Even though Ford held on to pickup leadership with its F-Series — the nation’s best-selling vehicle nameplate for 26 years and the best-selling truck for 31 years — the company’s Ford brand is no longer the nation’s best-selling make (Note: Chevrolet now is — Ed.).

….. George Pipas, Ford’s top sales analyst, noted that the company’s sales decline was largely expected and planned at the beginning of the year. Ford deliberately cut sales to the fleet market, where vehicles are sold in bulk at discount. He said the decline was 18%.

Pipas said Ford’s retail sales in showrooms fell 10%. He acknowledged that those sales were at lower-than-desired levels during the last two months of the year.

Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president for marketing and communications, said Ford is accelerating its product plan and will unveil a “humble and honest” marketing approach next year, although he declined to give more details.

“We’re going to stick to our guns,” he said.

….. Despite all the new trucks and incentives, executives at Ford were proud the company held on to its truck leadership, with 690,589 sales. That is a far cry from the 900,000-plus sales Ford recorded in 2004 and 2005, but it allowed the F-Series truck to keep a solid, if shrinking, lead over the Silverado and its 618,257 sales.

Ford plans to launch an all-new 2009 F150 late this year — about the time the housing crisis might ease, it hopes.

The industry’s overall decline in unit sales was 2.5%. Considering Ford’s drop and its 14.8% market share in 2007, that means the other car companies collectively sold less than 1% fewer vehicles than they did the previous year.

What’s going on? In 2007, Ford decided that its slavish devotion to politically correct causes was more important than trying to stay Number Two overall and maintaining the Number One brand. Toyota didn’t just pass Ford, it left the Dearborn-based company in the dust, selling an astonishing 234,000 more vehicles.

Old Media continues to look the other way and make excuses for Ford, including some of the items bolded in the excerpt, as the American Family Association’s boycott of the company (what I call “The Biggest Boycott Never Reported,” now up to over 775,000 signers) over its open support of homosexual rights, events, publications, and causes enters its 23rd month. In that time, I estimate that Ford’s sales have fallen about 16%.

I have previously estimated that the AFA boycott is impacting the buying decisions of 15-20 million adults making up at least 10% of the potential market (Cliff’s Notes: The AFA has 3 million members who influence 3-5 other adults; the dozens of other profamily organizations that have signed on to the boycott are also influencing milllions).

The idea, in the face of the hard sales numbers, that the AFA boycott is not a factor that continues to merit no mention in Old Media reporting has gone well beyond absurd.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (010508)

Apple appears to be making a big business move:

Want a coffee with your iPhone?

Apple (nasdaq: AAPL – news – people ) Chief Executive Steve Jobs wants to patent a process that will save customers the hassle of waiting to order a cup of coffee at a local Starbucks (nasdaq: SBUX – news – people ) or a fresh burger at the nearest fast food restaurant. Even better: The technology would let you jump the line of those ordering in person.

In an application with the U.S. Patent Office published on Dec. 20, the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer and gadget company described a wireless system that would allow customers to place an order at a store using a wireless device such as a media player, a wireless personal digital assistant or a cellphone.

….. Apple’s application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes a process for placing an order and then notifying customers when an order is ready to grab at a pick-up station. One goal, the patent application notes, is to avoid an “annoying wait in a long queue if the purchaser arrives before completion of the order.”

The technology promises to morph Apple from the business of simply selling gadgets and music and movies that can be played on those devices into an intermediary in all kinds of exchanges.

The price of an iPhone doesn’t look quite so ridiculous.

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Diana West: “A ‘Defining Atrocity’? Yes, Against Our Marines” –

….. What a difference a year has made since charges came down at the end of 2006. The New York Times in October mourned — I mean, noted — the shift: “Last year, when accounts of the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha by a group of Marines came to light, it seemed that the Iraq war had produced its defining atrocity, just as the conflict in Vietnam had spawned the My Lai massacre a generation ago.”

No “defining atrocity”? Gee, that’s too bad. The Times went on to lament that the presiding military investigator recommended that murder charges against the ranking enlisted Marine, Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, be dropped. And this, the newspaper bellyached, “may well have ended prosecutors’ chances of winning any murder convictions in the killings.”

No murder convictions? Well, boo — the heck — hoo.

This isn’t to suggest that the four remaining Marines facing legal proceedings are in the clear……

….. On May 17, 2006, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., piled on to say what happened at Haditha was actually “much worse” than the Time story. Official investigations were still underway, but the ranking member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee repeatedly condemned the Marines for having “killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

…..End of story? Not necessarily. The week before Christmas, the North County Times of San Diego reported that lawyers for (Haditha defendant Stephen) Tatum have asked the military court to order Murtha to submit to interviews about his comments. They also “want to force an interview with retired Marine Corps Commandant Michael Hagee about what Hagee may have said to Murtha or others about the Haditha killings.”

The judge has yet to rule on this matter, but I, for one, hope he orders up the interviews. What is said may reveal that the Iraq war has indeed produced its “defining atrocity” — against our own Marines.

So do I.

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Hillary booed (HT Gateway Pundit), and rebuffed (link may require subscription):

Hillary Clinton didn’t get the answer she was looking for when she finished her speech at the 100 Club Dinner, an annual event hosted by the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

A subdued Clinton gave a condensed version of her standard stump speech at the event, which featured speeches from several Democratic candidates. She ended the talk by asking, “Who will be the best president from day one?” the crowd let out a huge “Obama!” cheer, standing on chairs and drowning out the Clinton supporters.

I doubt that either the boos or the rebuff would have been reported if they had occurred before the advent of New Media.

Hillraiser (last item at link) Norman Hsu has also been convicted (HT Instapundit) and sentenced to three years in prison in a California fraud case.

A booing, a rebuff, and a conviction. These are three of at least a half-dozen items that that would finish, or would long since have finished, anyone else’s presidential candidacy.

But now that Mrs. Clinton is facing real voters, it may finally be that the Old Media “Whitewash” she has had going in her favor for over 15 years will no longer protect her.

Positivity: Good deed saves a life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:05 am

From Rockwall, Texas:

A man willing to do a favor at his work had his life saved because of his good deed.

Doctors were preparing the new hospital in Rockwall to open, and they needed a volunteer to help calibrate the new CAT scan.

An employee was a willing volunteer, and the scan saved his life.

Turns out, he had an aneurysm nearly two centimeters wide.

“It was just shock, similar to when you tell any patient of a very serious medical condition, except magnify it times the fact the he knew absolutely nothing was going on prior to it,” said Dr. Gary Bonaquisti, Vice Chief of Staff.

Doctors immediately operated on him.

The man had no symptoms, and no idea he was so close to death.

When the surgeon touched it, the aneurysm broke open.

He’s doing just fine now.