click to enlarge
I own a Honda Element, manufactured in Youngstown, Ohio - the number one state in job loss in 2004, the year I bought the car. Other car manufacturers (those fucking socialist foreigners) are not having a problem competing. Yes, they are suffering from the economic downturn like everyone else, but they are not begging for money.
I am in the market for a new car, I tend to trade every 5 years. I looked at everything and the American cars I looked at were all gas guzzlers and when compared to their Japanese cousins, they are horrid in terms of build quality. The plastics in the interior of the American cars all seemed flimsy and insubstantial. In a Saturn, I opened a little storage bin and the damn door fell off in my hand. If they can't get a storage bin right, what shape is the engine in?
I do not want to see possible millions of manufacturing jobs lost that could stem from a Big Three failure - it might put us in a shock that we may not recover quickly from. But I can't see how Ford, GM or Chrysler can succeed. The management overhaul would take longer than would be reasonable. The debt these companies already have on the balance books is too much for a robust car company to handle. Maybe if Dems didn't buckle on CAFE standards, government could have forced the Big Three to manufacture cars people wanted?
What I think needs to happen, is for a couple of billionaires to get together, buy all three plus the struggling Tesla Motors, thin out the product lines, kill the guzzlers and integrate Tesla technology into the model ranges. Also killing some of the brands would be a step in the right direction. Have you looked at the Mercury car line? Ugly, expensive, polluting and ripe for brand death.
But that idea will never fly, it makes too much sense.