Detroit Wakes Up To Reality. Ish.
Motown's been mauled. Despite it's 72-hour sale, GM's June sales dropped 18.5 percent. Despite its reasonably competitive small cars, Ford sales sank 28 percent. Despite uh, not being bankrupt, Chrysler sales tumbled 36 percent. The morning after Black Hole Tuesday, The Detroit News has dropped columnist Daniel Howes' party line– " Big Three in better shape to survive"– in favor of something more closely resembling reality. Former cheerleaders Christine Tierney, Bryce G. Hoffman, Brian J. O'Connor and Eric Morath have put their collective heads together to pen a partial paean to pessimism: " Slumping sales cloud Big 3's prospects." Yes, "This was supposed to be the year Detroit's automakers started to turn things around… But the industry's 18.3 percent sales decline in June, with steep drops for the Big Three, capped six months of bad news. With little prospect for relief in sight, the future of Detroit's automakers has never been murkier." Murky? C'mon, you can do better (worse?) that that! "Bankruptcy rumors are swirling around Chrysler and GM, while billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian continues to amass shares of Ford stock. There is talk of reopening the UAW contract, of using profitable overseas operations as collateral for further loans, and of looking to foreign sovereign wealth funds for cash." Strangely, the article makes only a passing mention of new products (and nothing of the Volt, for once); the D2.8 are "rushing the introduction of new, more fuel-efficient models." Well, they did use the "b" word.
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