Ask the Best and Brightest: What Strings Should We Attach to the Great Detroit Bailout?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ask the best and brightest what strings should we attach to the great detroit

Assuming Detroit is about scarf several billions of your children’s children’s children’s tax dollars, I think you have a right to decide what strings should be attached to the bailout bucks. So, what strings do you think should be attached to the bailout bucks? Although Washington and Detroit see all three ailing American automakers as much or a muchness, TTAC readers are well aware that there are three types of epic failure involved. In GM’s case, it’s everything: models, brands, dealers, advertising, management, product development, you name it, they’ve screwed it up (with the possible exception of pickup trucks). Some kind of wholesale management slaughter– from mid-level all the way to the Bored of Directors and every Wagoner, Lutz, LaNeve and Henderson in between– would at least give me some sense of vindication (and it IS all about me, no matter how much I protest). How you can restructure GM without playing the Chapter 11 “get out of 50-state franchise law and UAW contracts free” card is beyond me. But perhaps not you. (OK, now it’s about you.) In Chrysler’s case, how do you prevent those rat bastards at Cerberus making a penny on this deal at any point ever? And if GM’s glue-on-the-hoof, what of Chrysler? Personally, I’d rather invest in Tesla. But as Pooh says, what to do? What to do? Or is that Eeyore? Ford is the Golden Child. Or, more precisely, the kid who’s coughing but not showing any other signs of plague. Yet. Seems to me they’re on the right track, but running out of rail. And maybe we should get rid of those pesky Fords who call the shots at Ford (I originally typed “shits” but that’s just my subconscious talking). Or not. I dunno. I’m thinking about all this for an editorial. Little help?

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  • Ubiquitous360 Ubiquitous360 on Nov 12, 2008

    bolt tightening is important, but so is welding a pressure vessel, constructing a bridge, etc. businesses have to compete for employees, that's a fact of life, and it's not done by simply paying 50% higher wages. successful businesses throughout the u.s. are able to retain and recruit great employees while paying market-competitive wages. the company i work for is one of these. regarding the union vs. non-union argument, i've managed projects in both environments and certainly have developed a preference. managing projects in a union environment is like trying to work in the can get the job done, but your competitor is capable of running laps around you.

  • Charly Charly on Nov 12, 2008

    In this we differ. Bolt tightening is not an important job. Anybody can do it. I can do it and i hope you can do it too. But welding is something i can't do. I could learn it but it would take a few years before i would get good at it. You can be proud of every welding job you do. Bolt-tighting isn't like that. It is unimportant but with a lot of stress and you simply have to pay for that stress.

  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.
  • Lorenzo They may as well put a conventional key ignition in a steel box with a padlock. Anything electronic is more likely to lock out the owner than someone trying to steal the car.
  • Lorenzo Another misleading article. If they're giving away Chargers, people can drive that when they need longer range, and leave the EV for grocery runs and zipping around town. But they're not giving away Chargers, thy're giving away chargers. What a letdown. What good are chargers in California or Nashville when the power goes out?
  • Luke42 I'm only buying EVs from here on out (when I have the option), so whoever backs off on their EV plans loses a shot at my business.