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Platinum Equity, the Beverly Hills private equity firm that bought the Union-Tribune for a song, has been trying a similar caper with bankrupt Delphi, the auto parts maker that once belonged to General Motors. GM, the government's auto task force and Platinum quietly put together a deal in which Platinum would get a large stake in Delphi by only plunking down an initial $250 million in cash and $250 million in a loan. GM, being subsidized heavily by the government, would make a $2 billion cash injection, make a $500 million loan, and also take on $1.6 billion of Delphi's pensions. But in bankruptcy court, Delphi's lenders screamed that there was to be no auction -- just this secret deal. The judge didn't like it either, saying, "They're (Platinum) just guys in suits. Why can't other guys in suits pay more?" According to the latest information, Delphi will have to conduct an auction. Possibly Platinum won't get that fat, subsidized deal.

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Robert Hagen June 12, 2009 @ 10 a.m.

Delphi lost value years ago when replacement auto parts became 'commoditized'. Its overpriced parts are primarily sold in GM dealerships. Its the '$100 for a taillight lens?!' thing.

Nowadays, cars are so good one doesn't need to pay top dollar for most replacement parts. What you need is a good mechanic.

I like the Ford Escape. Look under the hood, and lo and behold, theres an engine compartment a novice can work on.

Thats what I like about retro rides. Pop the hood and see what an internal combustion engine looks like.

On to US Auto: So Sergio Mechanico finally got his down payment money together. Show us the Fiat 500 Cs, Sergio, but not in 18 months. Pronto. Chrysler needs some small cars to bring people into the showroom.

GM is in the same shape as Ford. Our 2010 line ups are going move a whole lot of units. Its a question of credit availability. New cars are just too expensive these days to pay cash for. In coordination with overall economic recovery, we have to be patient and absorb some of the shaky paper thats in the financial system.

Asian auto is looking pretty good. Lexus and Infiniti are bound to get squeezed due to price point pressurization from higher and lower priced models, but hopefully the airbags won't go off.

I like the Nissans new look. Where did you say their design studio is located?

KIA has a great entry level ride, Mazdas quality control and finish is superb, and the Subarus are there if you don't want to drive a cookie cutter car.

Euro Auto: Are we going to get the new Alfa Romeo, or just go to the opera and pine away over it? This is the question. VW continues to excel, the Porsches are just too sweet, and Austin Minis haul ass, but they could be better on gas mileage. On the upper end of the price scale, Euro auto continues to deliver very fine cars- with personality.


Don Bauder June 12, 2009 @ 12:25 p.m.

Response to post #1: It appears from your essay that automakers in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. are all making good cars. But consumers aren't in a buying mood. They are deleveraging, and credit isn't all that available anyway. So those smooth-running cars may sit on lots for quite a while. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 June 12, 2009 @ 12:29 p.m.

I like the Nissans new look. Where did you say their design studio is located?

By diegonomics

LOL....at Nissan's "San Diego Design Center".


Don Bauder June 12, 2009 @ 3:26 p.m.

Response to post #3: The bluebird of happiness is right in your own back yard, it appears. Best, Don Bauder


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