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

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?

Join the conversation
2 of 27 comments
  • 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.

  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.
  • FreedMike How about the “Aztek” package? Wait, this car already has that…Said it before and I’ll say it again: they need to restyle the hind end on this car, stat.
  • Johnster "Vale" is the [s]cheap[/s] lower-priced performance version with black trim and stiff suspension."Mist" is the "DeLuxe" version with a bit more chrome and trim. (Sort of like the "Decor Package" option.)"Magentic" is the full-on Brougham treatment (in its current state) with more chrome trim than the "Mist" and all sorts of gimmicky electronic features inside. (Sadly, it will not include simulated landau irons or a vinyl covered roof, even as an option.)"Aurora" is the Oldsmobile of Cadillacs (sort of like the old Cadillac Calais). No, that's not right. It's the top-of-the-line model, sort of a "Grand Touring" version, with not as much chrome as the "Magentic" but all of the gimmicky electronic features and a stiffer suspension.
  • Drew8MR Why can't CARB leave hobbyists alone? Maybe lay off the low hanging fruit and go after the gross polluters. Bring back the rolling exemption.