Sympathy for The Big 2.8 Diminishing?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
sympathy for the big 2 8 diminishing

There is a moral element to Detroit's woes, and it's not working in Motown's favor. As Ford, Chrysler and GM's decades-long mismanagement lead the giants to a disastrous denouement, the "buy American" voices— which could help the automakers secure government loans/guarantees– are growing fainter by the day. The fact that none of these American automakers have given a moment's thought to off-shoring parts and vehicle manufacturing does them no favors in this department. But an even more dangerous narrative is trickling through the media gestalt: Detroit dragged their feet on fuel economy and refused to heed the warnings provided by the first oil price shock. In other words, Detroit made their own damn bed and they should get ready to lie in it. Joseph Szczesny's piece in The Oakland Press represents the thinking, and no one gets out alive. "The industry's executives basically ignored fundamental warning signs and hung on to outdated prejudices and assumptions while the world was changing around them. The executives around Detroit have been eager to pass the blame for their current plight on expensive labor contracts, hostile regulators and an indifferent press. The fact is on the critical issues relating to energy policy and fuel economy now bedeviling the automakers the UAW had basically given up and followed the lead of the industry's top management." The thing of it is, Szczesny used to be a GM booster. Not anymore.

[TTAC has heard of new GM ads touting the company's contribution to the U.S. economy. Has anyone seen one?]

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  • Thoots Thoots on May 28, 2008
    Geotpf : Too bad the Detroit Three didn’t attempt to use any of this money on production models. Yep, that's the difference between the imports and the domestics. The domestics won't even use the help that somebody else pays for. They're the car equivalent of the Barbie doll that says, "Math is hard. Let's go shopping!"

  • Thoots Thoots on May 28, 2008
    jschaef481 : Wow…so much hostility. Yep -- they earned it. Maybe some people have been lucky. Others have been broken down on the side of the road. Left stranded on out-of-town trips. Paid good money for cars that were utterly clapped-out, falling-apart pieces of junk before they were even done making payments on them. Experienced an insane amount of problems with utterly brand-new vehicles. Others were smart enough to read about these experiences, or to listen to friends, family, and co-workers who were screaming bloody murder about them -- and easily comprehended, "I wouldn't touch a piece of junk like that with a ten-foot pole, let alone sign up for years of payments for one." And that doesn't even include all the times when these companies have done everything they possibly could to make the most money with the least amount of effort, and the times they've subsequently found themselves with their pants down, when they utterly didn't have any vehicles whatsoever to meet the demands of the market when that market changed. It's all just sheer, utter INCOMPETENCE. Shall we have a "raise of hands" for all of the people who want to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a piece of that?

  • Hwyhobo Hwyhobo on May 28, 2008

    oldyak wrote: I hope McDonalds survives….. Imagine the U.S.with only that as our main product offering..oops,I forgot Disneyworld. Ever heard of Silicon Valley? Information age? Networking? Internet?

  • Beelzebubba Beelzebubba on Jun 10, 2008

    I look at the 'Automakers formerly known as the Big Three' in the same way that I do smokers who get lung cancer or promiscuous people who get an STD- Repeated, self-destructive behavior led to your undoing. You had knowledge of the problems/risks and had repeated opportunities to take action, but you didn't. It doesn't mean I don't have compassion for their current suffering (be it sick folks or Americans losing jobs), but it could have been avoided using common sense instead of greed and/or laziness!