Bailout Watch 184: Chrysler's Case for Bailout Billions

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Nov 14, 2008

    If the auto industry is so inherently important to the American economy then why is our gov't considering giving money to it while leaving the leadership that wrecked it in place? If it is so damned important to our economy then why has the top level people and the UAW been so flipping greedy and sucking the blood out of the industry knowing the rest of the economy is reliant on it? If it is so all important to our whole economy then our gov't should have nationalized it ages ago to protect it from the greedy mothers who are currently sucking it dry. No I don't want it nationalized either but the video and those who paid for it make it sound like a national treasure. If it is so ****ing important to America then why couldn't those corporate leaders get over their petty differences and little fiefdoms and build what Americans needed and wanted (aka besides muscle cars and friggin' SUVs or trucks when the gas pump is bumping $4 a gallon and will likely be doing again sooner rather than later). A true leader would have said okay - we're having a good run selling these big ass trucks, let's put some money back into our business so we have other products ready when the gas prices inevitably goes high or credit availability goes down. You know - when the easy ride comes to end for whatever reason. It ALWAYS does. ALWAYS. Rather than ridiculing the competition's hybrids or killing the EV or working hard to tilt the table in favor of their large vehicles through legislation the domestic automakers should have been building a corporate culture that embraced the other products they made around the world and had them ready to slip into the American markets as soon as the SUV/truck easy living came to an end. They should have embraced quality and REAL diversity - eagerly supplying products big and small, slow and fast, etc. No more penalty box vehicles. They should have been sending mystery shoppers into their own dealerships and roasting those SOB's hides every time the corporate mother ship discovered dealers taking advantage of the customer. Those customers fund both the dealer AND Detroit. They should have looked to their overseas divisions to provide the USA with the compact cars that the import guy have been making a good living with for what - 50 years or so? Detroit is too wrapped up in what they liked - too wrapped up to remember that what the customers liked was more important. If that wasn't clear enough then the steady flow of customers to the import dealers should have been ringing alarm bells. What do they have that we don't - we better best the imports or we are screwed. We better change the Average Joe's opinion of us from cheap wheels to quality wheels fast - and keep a lid on the cost while we are at it. Bail them out? Hell no! It would be as good as throwing good money into a fireplace. Let them struggle. Let people get laid off. The right answer isn't politically viable so it won't likely get made. Let the former employees of Detroit's finest move around the USA looking for work. Let the gov't put those people to work building new infrastructure like a modern electrical distribution system or wind and solar. Let those people work on crumbling bridges, schools, and roads. They might not make as much money as they once did but they will learn to have a better appreciation for folks who couldn't (or wouldn't) buy Detroit's products. I can't help but point to Detroit as a city for evidence that Detroit screwed itself - from the guy at the bottom to the guy at the top. Greed was a big part of it. Short attention spans was another. Fairness was another part. Failure to look to the future and be ready to compete is another. Go on any one of the Detroit sites that host pictures of old Detroit and see what Detroit could indirectly do to your town too. First a town's fortunes rise, then people build a wonderful lifestyle, then labor costs go up for whatever reason (greed? labor in short supply? simple cost of living rises through inflation?) and then corporate American bails for cheaper labor. We assist that through constantly putting low prices at the top of our shopping lists. I do it too though we are at my house leaning toward quality more with every purchase - things that wear long and/or can be fixed when necessary. Tough to do in this throwaway and buy another cheap society. Don't get me wrong. I was recently in the auto industry and left. Having manufacturing in America is important to me. It's where my education and experience is but it does not earn my paycheck anymore. Saw the writing on the wall. While my former coworkers are still employed and I wish them the best I saw through our customers (the big three and their suppliers) why the domestic vehicles are often not as good as the best imports. Too much "good enough". These coming dark times may be the only way to get America to adjust it's SOP.

  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on Nov 14, 2008

    Well that video convinced me: Here, take my wallet, please.

  • Dilbert Dilbert on Nov 14, 2008

    Sad that they failed, worse is that they are begging for money, and worst of all is that they blame anything but themselves for the failure. Will America follow UK's downward path?

  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Nov 14, 2008

    Barf! Although, their line that "700 dealers have closed" of late is a good start. That task's about one third complete...