FastLane is CAR

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
fastlane is car

Here it is: the pdf that launches a $25b+ (and the rest) bailout. GM’s FastLane Blog gets out the big guns: a Center for Automotive Research (CAR, geddit?) report that says that millions Americans will be condemned to soup kitchens if the Big 2.8 go belly-up. As always, I invite TTAC’s Best and Brightest to analyze the data– and its reliability– on the community’s (not to mention taxpayers or humanity in general) behalf. It must be some serious shit, because the FastLane folk are downplaying it BIG STYLE (so sue me: I’m an oxymoron): “You see a lot of discussion in the news – and even in the comments of this and other blogs – about the state of the domestic auto industry and what the current economy means for the industry’s future. Some of you have even expressed the belief that this is something GM and the US industry brought on ourselves, and that the domestic industry should be allowed to fail. ‘So what if Detroit goes down,’ the thinking seems to go. ‘It doesn’t affect me.’ However, the reality may very well be that it does affect you.” May? Cowboy-up guys! Anyway, the study reckons that… hang on. Here’s CAR’s background on itself: “To fulfill its mission, CAR maintains strong relationships with industry, government agencies, universities, research institutes, labor organizations, and other major participants in the international automotive community, The Affiliates Program to strengthen those industry ties and build support of ongoing service activities.” Oh, and about CAR’s director David Cole, son of former GM Prez Ed Cole.

“He is also a director of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, as well as a director of seven automotive supplier companies. In addition, Dr. Cole is a member of the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and was recently appointed by Michigan’s Governor to the Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board and the Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission. He was named a co-chair of Detroit Renaissance’s ‘Road to Renaissance’ Project in the fall of 2006. At the University of Michigan he is a member of the Energy Research Council and Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Denso Foundation Board. Dr. Cole was formerly a director of the Automotive Hall of Fame and a member of the Board of Trustees of Hope College.”

So no conflict of interest there. Bottom line: if the D2.8 go belly-up, it’ll cost $554.5b to $368.8b in lost income, lost tax receipts and increase in “transfer payments.” Where’s my checkbook?

Join the conversation
2 of 16 comments
  • Geotpf Geotpf on Nov 06, 2008

    Let's say Chrysler disappears (Chapter 7, not 11). This is the most likely scenerio, IMHO, assuming no government meddling (like creating American Leyland out of GM and Chrysler combined). Then, there will be a Chrysler-sized hole in the marketplace immediately which will need to be filled. The imports won't be able to fill it all, and even part of the hole they will fill will be filled by American production. The rest will be filled by Ford and GM. Now, there will be a fair number of jobs lost, but the increase in the number of imported vehicles will be minimal. Most jobs lost will not be in production, but in management, engineering, marketing, etc., of the old Chrysler (and salesman and mechanics and whatnot at their dealers). And, most of the jobs lost in production will mostly be due to technology, not imports. That is, an 80-year, inefficient Chrysler plant closes and a brand spanking new Toyota plant opens (in the US), which makes the same number of cars but with half the workers. There will be some increase in imported vehicles (and job losses there), but maybe only a third of the number of vehicles Chrysler made in total. That is, Chrysler going poof will save GM and Ford, at least in the short to medium term, since their sales will both increase significantly. GM and Ford need to throw a boat anchor to a drowning Chrysler, not the imports.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Nov 07, 2008

    never mind...

  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.
  • Lorenzo In Massachusetts, they used to require an inspection every 6 months, checking your brake lights, turn signals, horn, and headlight alignment, for two bucks.Now I get an "inspection" every two years in California, and all they check is the smog. MAYBE they notice the tire tread, squeaky brakes, or steering when they drive it into the bay, but all they check is the smog equipment and tailpipe emissions.For all they would know, the headlights, horn, and turn signals might not work, and the car has a "speed wobble" at 45 mph. AFAIK, they don't even check EVs.
  • Not Tire shop mechanic tugging on my wheel after I complained of grinding noise didn’t catch that the ball joint was failing. Subsequently failed to prevent the catastrophic failure of the ball joint and separation of the steering knuckle from the car! I’ve never lived in a state that required annual inspection, but can’t say that having the requirement has any bearing on improving safety given my experience with mechanics…
  • Mike978 Wow 700 days even with the recent car shortages.
  • Lorenzo The other automakers are putting silly horsepower into the few RWD vehicles they have, just as Stellantis is about to kill off the most appropriate vehicles for that much horsepower. Somehow, I get the impression the OTHER Carlos, Tavares, not Ghosn, doesn't have a firm grasp of the American market.