Wednesday Snippets

I’d just like to take this opportunity – before they begin – to rule out, squash and by-all-means-possible eliminate the spread of any rumours suggesting that I’m having an affair with Tiger Woods.
He was teaching me to play pool, and that is all.
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There’s an interesting report here in Australia today, with research finding that our kids have a disproportionaly high number of deaths in Australia’s road toll and a big factor is the cars they drive.

A Monash University study of 250,000 crashes involving young people on Australian roads has shown their poor choice of cars is a significant factor in increasing their likelihood of death and injury…..
….The most popular cars among 17 to 25-year-olds include the Hyundai Excel, Ford Laser, Mitsubishi Lancer and Holden Commodore (VL and VP) – and they all score badly on safety ratings.
Monash Accident Research Centre member Dr Stuart Newstead said the cars young people drove were usually older, and for female drivers, smaller, than average, creating a potentially lethal mix. He added that even taking vehicle age out of consideration, the types of cars driven by young people still had the worst injury protection performance.
He warned parents against buying cars that rated low in the safety stakes for their teenage drivers.
The Ford Focus (2005-2007), the Saab 9-3 (1998-2002), the Volkswagen Polo (1996-2000) and the Peugeot 307 (2001-2007) are the top rating used cars in terms of safety.

Now if only we could get insurance companies to actually cover kids 18-25 to drive a Saab 9-3 of that era.
Insurance for any car with a turbo, for any kid aged 18-25 is about as rare as unobtainium and incredibly costly when you do find it.
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Ed Whitacre’s come under more fire from the media. This time it’s Forbes magazine, who weren’t satisfied with his carefully stage-managed webchat today.

Since forcing out Frederick “Fritz” Henderson as CEO on Dec. 2, Whitacre, the former chairman and chief executive of AT&T has had three opportunities to publicly share his strategy for fixing GM. But instead of demonstrating the kind of public accountability he demands from others within GM, he seems to be avoiding it so far.

Big Ed’s going to have to face the people at some time.
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And some quotes from that GM webchat:
[Comment From Tom Krisher, AP Tom Krisher, AP : ] Fritz Henderson had only about 8 months as CEO before he left. How long do the newly appointed execs have to show results before they are replaced?
Ed Whitacre: Hi Tom… Not long. :-).
[Comment From Jonas FRöberg Jonas FRöberg : ] How does the saab negotiations go?
Ed Whitacre: Hi Jonas…We’re in negotiations with a couple of interested parties. We’ve got a deadline for the end of the month and we’ll let you know how it went.
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Saab Australia sold only 7 vehicles in November. Vehicle orders are not being taken at this time.
From Go Auto:

THE GM Premium Brands Australian division has been paralysed by uncertainty and may have imported its last vehicle.
Distributing Saab and Hummer, the GM Holden arm has not imported any vehicles since the middle of this year, and its dealers are simply running down existing stock with no clue as to when, or if, any more vehicles will ever come……
….Staff levels at the GM Premium Brands office, housed in GM Holden’s headquarters at Fishermans Bend, have dropped with key personnel leaving the brand in the past year, with the attrition rate increasing in the last few months…..A skeleton crew remains in place, but its future is uncertain.

Hang in there, folks.

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