Chrysler CEO Nardelli: U.S. Auto Industry About to Collapse

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
chrysler ceo nardelli u s auto industry about to collapse

According to Automotive News [sub], Boot ’em Bob is having visions of Carmegeddon. “Bob Nardelli, just 14 months into his tenure as CEO of Chrysler LLC, now fears the collapse of an ‘extremely fragile’ auto industry amid the credit crisis and Wall Street meltdown.” Uh, I think Big Bob means the domestic auto industry. And anyway, why would the ChryCo’s CEO conjure visions of doom when his company is OK? I mean, Chrysler’s doing fine right? “Nardelli said cash is ‘the number-one metric for the auto industry.’ In Chrysler’s case, he said: ‘We’re concerned about it. We’re monitoring it, but we’re not on the edge.'” The entire industry’s about to collapse but we’re good? Parse that. Meanwhile, the rest of the article makes it perfectly clear (in the Nixonian sense) that Nardelli’s comments are a prelude to a kiss. With Uncle Sam. “Nardelli said federal officials, preoccupied with trying to unfreeze credit, don’t appreciate the importance of the auto industry.” I know, insulting the feds doesn’t seem like the best way to make them want to give you billions, but, well, that’s how Bob rolls. “Nardelli said the auto industry faces unique federal regulatory burdens, such as increased fuel economy requirements. ‘I’m not sure it’s registered at the highest levels the impact of losing the auto industry. When I say the entire industry, it’s not only the OEMs; it’s the Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 suppliers.”

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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Oct 13, 2008

    Nah, they'd just take a GM strategy from the GM playbook and have two or three more nameplates to put on the "XYZ-body" vehicle. So if the markets have a complete turn around next year - do you think Detroit will pat themselves on the back for a job well done (what job well done?) and go back to business as usual? Are things dire enough that Detroit management, union leadership and employees will have an epiphany about what's pushing their livelihood into the dumpster? How close to the edge of the cliff does Detroit have to get to find religion i.e. become a leaner and meaner business to compete with the imports with similar products and similar quality?

  • Mike the loser Mike the loser on Oct 13, 2008

    Look Bob is a new guy in here, he is an outsider. He needs some support. If it was Wagoner who said all of this i'd laugh in his 17 million dollar a year face. But Bob is new, fresh and i think(hope) he can really turn Chrysler around.

  • 50merc 50merc on Oct 13, 2008

    toxicroach: "You can’t just target part of an industry to tax to benefit the other half. Its actually unconstitutional … something about bills of attainder?" No, the 14th amendment's "equal protection" clause would be relevant. The constitution's prohibition of Bills of Attainder stemmed from the abuses of power back in Britain. Wikipedia: "The word "attainder", meaning "taintedness", is part of English common law. Under English law, a criminal condemned for a serious crime, whether treason or felony (but not misdemeanour, which referred to less serious crimes), could be declared "attainted", meaning that his civil rights were nullified: he could no longer own property or pass property to his family by will or testament. His property could consequently revert to the Crown or to the mesne lord. Any peerage titles would also revert to the Crown. The convicted person would normally be punished by judicial execution as well - when a person committed a capital crime and was put to death for it, the property left behind escheated to the Crown or lord rather than being inherited by family. [What a temptation for the Crown!] Due to mandatory sentencing, the due process of the courts provided limited flexibility to deal with the various circumstances of offenders. ... the property of offenders who died before trial, including those killed during the commission of crimes, could not be forfeited, nor could the property of offenders who refused to plead and who were tortured to death through peine forte et dure. [Piling stones upon the accused until he confessed or died. This was used in Salem's infamous witch trials.] ... In some cases (at least regarding the peerage) the Crown would eventually re-grant the convicted peer's lands and titles to his heir. It was also possible, as political fortunes turned, for a bill of attainder to be reversed. This might even happen long after the convicted person was dead. [Thereby benefiting the heirs.] ... Bills of attainder were sometimes criticized as a convenient way for the King to convict subjects of crimes and confiscate their property without the bother of a trial—and without the need for a conviction or indeed any evidence at all. ... Although deceased by the time of the Restoration, the regicides John Bradshaw, Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton and Thomas Pride were served with a Bill of Attainder on 15 May 1660 backdated to January 1, 1649 (NS). [Talk about ex post facto!] After the committee stages the Bill of Attainder passed both the Houses of Lords and Commons and was ingrossed on 4 December 1660. This was followed with a resolution "That the Carcases of Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton, John Bradshaw, and Thomas Pride, whether buried in Westminster Abbey, or elsewhere, be, with all Expedition, taken up, and drawn upon a Hurdle to Tiburne, and there hanged up in their Coffins for some time; and after that buried under the said Gallows: And that James Norfolke Esquire, Serjeant at Arms attending the House of Commons, do take care that this Order be put in effectual Execution." This also passed both Houses on the same day." You can see why the Founders wanted to put fetters on the national government.

  • Ktm Ktm on Oct 13, 2008
    Maybe the the US government should increase the sales tax on vehicles sold in the US from non Big 3 automakers (Toyota/Honda/Nissan/etc). You know protect US companies? The big 3 will try to increase prices accordingly as they have in the past. The stipulation of this tax increase would be that if the Big 3 increase prices in excess or equal to this tax increase then this action would be canceled and the Big 3 would see the sales tax on their vehicles double as a penalty. Why should the Big 3 be protected? They drove their customer base away. They did not lose customers based on price points, they lost customers based on decades of inferior products. I could understand this argument if it were solely price-based discrepancies.