Bailout Watch 133: WaPo Votes No

bailout watch 133 wapo votes no

Not our man Warren Brown, obviously; although the Washington Post’s automotive critic (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) recently tore Ford a new you-know-what for replacing the Escape’s rear discs with drums. No, I speak here of Steven Pearlstein, who’s ready to put the meat on the bones of DetN Auto Editor Manny Lopez’ contention that’s there’s a bi-coastal conspiracy of nattering nabobs of negativism ready to let Detroit die (by its own hand, but who’s counting?). “You can just imagine [ED: hear] the pitch from the populists of the Michigan congressional delegation: If the government is willing to invest $250 billion to bail out pinstriped bankers, then the least it could do is throw an extra $10 billion to rescue the domestic auto industry and the millions of workers and retirees who depend on it. There’s only one difference: The government will make money on its bank investment, while the GM-Chrysler deal is a lemon.” Regular TTAC readers will know Pearlstein’s rationale without having to read it. But if Hayden Christensen can make jumping look cool, well, why not?

“The real flaw in the government-financed merger proposal is that it spares the companies from bankruptcy reorganization, the very process they need to get their costs and structure in line with market realities. Only a bankruptcy court can reduce the burden of pension and health benefits to 600,000 retirees that are slated to cost the companies $90 billion over the next decade. Only a bankruptcy court can override the state laws that make it difficult and expensive for Chrysler and GM to pare back a combined network of 10,000 dealerships, about 10 times more than Toyota has in the United States… If the Treasury were to commit government funds without getting this kind of long-overdue restructuring, it would simply be throwing good money after bad.”

Join the conversation
2 of 11 comments
  • Autonut Autonut on Oct 30, 2008

    John Horner have you lived in Germany? Yes they do have universal health care, but there are definite social levels and majority of Germans (middle class if you wish) owns much less then middle class in US. There are different statistical notions based on salaries and conversion rates, but there are few families in Germany that own 2 cars (unlike every family in my suburb) and much less percentage of families own their own houses. Their cars are smaller and more fuel efficient and they cost much, much more. Majority of their expensive cars are sold in US. And they are taxed mercilessly. Before we start wishing for something lets make sure that it is really what we want. We may get it!

  • Derm81 Derm81 on Oct 30, 2008

    People on the Coasts want to see Detroit fail. I mean, it's that simple. Of course, it is easy for these eltist writers and talking heads to blather on and on behind the protection of the net. I'd love to see this nub talk this way to a bunch of burly dudes on the line at Ford Rouge to their faces. Not gonna happen.

  • Ajla I'm probably not going to buy an EV performance car. I just don't think the power delivery and silence are going to do it for me.Most likely is that I'll have an EV/PHEV "premium" vehicle, (which is where I think EV attributes make the most sense) and then have a "classic" ICE car for Sunday trips to Culver's.
  • Dukeisduke The US Postal Service uses some of these, complete with a custom grille that replaces the three-pointed star with a white-painted USPS eagle logo.I've never seen very many of these. About 50/50 split between the commercial versions and passenger versions.
  • Dukeisduke It's interesting that the Olds has a column shifted three-speed, while the nicer Buick still had to make do with a floor shift.
  • Dukeisduke A '51 Chevy Styleline De Luxe 4-door next to it, in the same color (Fathom Green) as the one my grandfather owned. It has a couple of accessories visible - bumper guards, like on my grandfather's, and the rear fender moldings above the taillights, which his didn't have.
  • Scott Do any car companies research demographics?going after a shrinking car buying market isn’t a recipe for success.hazrd a guess that most people in their prime car buying years don’t know anything about broncos or give a sht about a heritage model. Going to die on the vine. Bad strategy and failure for future growth