NYT Slams CAR Job Loss Numbers

nyt slams car job loss numbers

We’ve been ringing this bell for a while now, so it’s nice to see some of the big guns in the media world back us up. The New York Times has a scathing piece on the oft-cited Center for Automotive Research study on auto industry employment today, stripping the statistics of much of their bailout-justifying clout. The Times points to two significant shortcomings in the study, the first of which is that the statistics presented by CAR account for the entire industry, including those firms which build cars here but aren’t going under. As we have argued before, these statistics prove only how vital the entire auto industry is. For Detroit to claim that these numbers are somehow indicative of the amount of jobs which will be lost if the American automakers go under is beyond misleading. In fact, if the Detroit Three fessed up to the fact that the “foreign” transplants employ more Americans than they do, you would have a good sense of how “viable and relevant” they really are.

Beyond this, the Times points out that CAR’s data is outdated, having been collected between 1998 and 2001. Many, many auto industry jobs have been lost since then, mostly from the ranks of the once-big three. In fact, as AllBusiness reports, 133k jobs were lost in 2001 alone, and since then, 70k+ annual layoffs have been the norm in this industry. And though the Times decries CAR’s ties to labor, industry and government, they cite a more recent report from the center which extrapolates that half of all jobs lost in the event of a “major contraction involving one or more of the Detroit Three automakers” would be recovered by 2011. Funny how GM and Chrysler aren’t exactly pimping that finding around Capitol (capital?) Hill.

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  • Edward Niedermeyer Edward Niedermeyer on Nov 19, 2008

    Here's a couple of grains of salt for the last point on possible job recovery. 1- It's CAR. 2- "extrapolates" 3- It's 2011. Nobody knows what things are going to look like come 2011. Nobody. I wasn't saying the D3 execs should be flogging this stat, but it's certainly no less misleading than the stats they are currently spreading.

  • Morea Morea on Nov 20, 2008

    With all due respect to TTAC and the NYT, a five year old with an internet connection could have figured this one out.

  • DenverMike Pininfarina I know it's not related to this, I just like saying it.
  • Matt Posky I don't understand the appeal of fake meat and this seems to operate under a similar premise: You don't want the V8 because someone says it's bad for you. But you can have something designed to mimic the experience because that's what your body actually wants. The styling is cool I guess. But I don't understand why EVs don't just lean into what they are. Companies can make them produce any wooshing or humming noises they want. Buiding an entire system to help you pretend it still has a combustion engine seems a little lame.
  • DenverMike I'm sure it would have a volume control. It's nice to sneak into my neighborhood at 2am quietly. Or creep out, 4am. I don't get much sleep OK, but I always keep my V8 exhaust stock, as much as I love the sound of others loud. My stereo would make it pointless anyway.
  • FreedMike I’d love to see more tracks, or off-road parks if that’s your jam. But for those of us who’d love to take part in this kind of thing, practicality is the limiting factor. Racing has always been expensive, and most people don’t want to do it with their daily drivers - I’d love to see what my GLI would do on a track, but not at the cost of voiding my warranty, or potentially wrapping up the car (which I’m pretty sure would put me on State Farm’s Keith Moon-trashing-the-Holiday Inn list). As a practical matter, you have to have a vehicle that is intended to be used for racing, and the ability to fix it; most folks don’t have that kind of money or skill set.
  • Dukeisduke Oh, so it *is* a hatchback. Last night, I watched the replay of the reveal with Tim Kuniskis presenting the car, on Instagram. A "fly-through" of the car on the pre-rollout video made it look like they were going through an open hatch, so it had me wondering. The car attracted a lot of negative comments on IG, on feeds of guys who were there live.This is probably the least "electric car" electric car.
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