Think everything will be hunky-dory by, well, 2012? (Watch the movie.) Fitch Ratings thinks the U.S. auto industry won’t get back on its feet anytime soon. Worse, the industry may be caught in an “airline-style” cycle of repetitive bankruptcies because of weak sales and a glut of production capacity. It is unusual for a U.S. airline (and many elsewhere) to not be in bankruptcy or not have been at some point.
Amongst the rating agencies, Fitch is the only halfway good one. They were the lone voice that had warned against the dangers of the collateralized debt obligations that brought the world to the brink of disaster.
In a report cited by Reuters, Fitch says that high fixed costs, the lengthy periods required to develop new products and chronic overcapacity will leave the industry “littered with failures—plants, product lines, brands and companies.”