New Year's Resolutions...

... for car makers. According to the website, the five most popular New Year's Resolutions in the US are, in this order: lose weight, managing debt, save money, get a better job and get fit. As outlandish and coincidental as it may seem, I think these resolutions are just about what some car manufacturer CEOs should make when the clock's hands are reaching for 12 on December 31. Of course, not all of them work on every car maker, so I've put together a list with one resolution per automaker, depending on who needs it most. Lose weight
For a manufacturer that has so many sports models in its range, you would think that Mercedes-Benz would know that weight is a pretty major enemy of performance. Considering that, after some major pound shredding off the regular SL 65 AMG, the SL 65 Black Series still ends up weighing as much as a small house, apparently not. I'm therefore suggesting to Dr Dieter Zetsche to really think about America's favorite New Year's Resolution and maybe implement some of it into Mercedes-Benz cars.

Managing debt

I believe everybody is familiar with the government bailout money that the two major US car manufacturers have received this month in order to stay alive. Well, in order for the three wise monkeys to keep staying alive, they are now going to have to manage the debts they just created and increase profits. I'm including Ford in the equation as well, even though they have cancelled their negotiations with the Government and said they will survive on their own. So, Mr Wagoner, Mr Nardelli and Mr Mulally, think about that debt and try to stay on top of the situation!

Save money

Considering the current economic crisis and the financial damage most carmakers have to face, thinking about saving money probably seems a bit redundant. Well, saving money and cutting costs is still one of the best solutions for helping an ailing company and/or increase profits, so this New Year's Resolution should be made by just about every automaker CEO who is in trouble or not. 2009 will be a tough one guys!

Get a better job

This one is a bit on the evil/naughty side, taking into account its connotations. SsangYong has just halted all its operations and closed the doors on all its factories, sending all the workers home on an unpaid vacation. Since SAIC (the majority stake holder) and the South Korean government said they won't be providing any help to the almost bankrupted company, as sad as it may sound, SsangYong CEOs' and workers' most used New Year's Resolution is “get a better job”. Or, more appropiate, “get A job”.

Get fit

General Motors' Rick Wagoner is for the second time on my list, but there's a reason for it. Thinking about the government industry loan, the debts, the falling number of car sales and most importantly, the image GM products have been having in the past few years, Mr Wagoner should really start a new “get fit” program for the company he's running. Especially since one of Toyota's main goals is to completely dethrone General Motors from the no. 1 automaker spot it's been owning for decades and decades.

If the aforementioned CEOs are too busy partying on New Year's Eve and not thinking about what resolutions to implement for the following year, 2009 might very well be called the beginning of the end. I sincerely believe nobody should be forced to think about a New Year's Resolution just to save their own skin, but this is how the current situation goes.

Happy New Year from the team!
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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