Spokesmodels taking the heat for Detroit's problems

Think your days at the office are stressful? Don't ask the product presenters at auto shows about the difficulty of their jobs. The job of presenter at an auto show used to be "a pretty straightforward job." However, the bailout seems to have changed the job description a bit. With the government helping out General Motors (GM) and Chrysler, some auto show attendees believe that it is now their right to heckle the ladies in tight dresses who introduce shiny new cars on spinning platforms. But that's a bit like complaining to the cashier at McDonald's about the company's business practices: it makes no sense and will get nothing done.

Let me see if I can follow this line of thinking. Since the government has taken taxpayer money save struggling automakers, it is now the public's right to pay money to go to auto shows and make life miserable for spokesmodels. Seriously? This reminds me of sports fans who call in to radio talk shows and complain about management not caring about winning and not caring about the fans (and I know all about this as a former season-ticket holder for the Cincinnati Bengals). Let me give you some late-breaking news here ladies and gents -- it may make you feel better because you vented, but it won't change a thing!

That's right folks, it will do you absolutely no good to bother the poor ladies (and in some cases men) trying to make a living looking good and standing in front of the newest automotive offerings. In fact, let's take a look at some words straight from the model's mouth. Kerri Moss, a recently laid off teacher trying to make a buck as a spokesmodel for Jeep, said in an interview with The New York Times, "I try to explain that we're not involved in corporate decisions, so complaining to us doesn't make a lot of sense. And if that doesn't work, I tell them we're doing the best we can."

Before you go running to the comment section to note that I don't know what I am talking about, hear me out. Yes, the auto companies have been poorly managed. Yes, it is unfair that the government has had to bail automakers out. Yes, I am not really thrilled about the makers of my beloved Jeep Sahara and Fightbus entering into new management with Fiat or being forced into bankruptcy by the White House. However, will it do me any good to go to the Cincinnati Auto Show and yell at presenters? No! If you want something done, you have to aim a bit higher (and good luck with that, I hear Secret Service is a bit tough to get through).

Ladies and gentlemen, we may have to get used to the idea of a world without General Motors, and the world markets aren't reacting very well to that possibility. The stock fell 16 percent yesterday in American trade and is dropping sharply in the foreign markets today. With the shares wallowing below the $2 level, this Dow dog isn't only in jeopardy of losing its Dow designation, it is in danger of losing everything. With the firm's 10-week moving average applying substantial pressure, the technical picture is dim -- and getting dimmer. Perhaps it is finally just better to turn out the lights and declare the party over. My concern is this, if Chrysler has to declare bankruptcy and I need to get an oil change in the Town and Country, will Barney Frank hold a committee hearing?

It sure looks like it is going to take a miracle to breathe some life into the Detroit automakers, and not the kind of miracle that can be achieved by yelling and heckling spokesmodels at automotive events. The proportions are much greater, as are the stakes.
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