Weekend Head-Scratcher: Who's Next To Bite The Dust?

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

Dearly beloved: Supposedly, capitalism is a pretty simple process. Let the market decide who lives and who dies. It worked for the ecosystems of the world for the past 6 billion years. Darwin; natural selection, survival of the fittest (or luckiest.). Trouble is, a lot of countries preach capitalism, but seldom practice it. The bailouts of banks, fiscal stimuli and other such market distorting activities don’t really help anyone in the long run. It has long been argued that there are huge overcapacity issues around the world, and something, someone has to give. Give up the ghost, preferably. The collapse of GM and Chrysler would have addressed these issues, but this post isn’t about the bailouts of GM and Chrysler and their validity. I want to know who’s next to die.

Who do you think will be the next company to leave the market either by bankruptcy or by being swallowed by a bigger fish? Do you think it will be one of the smaller companies like Mitsubishi or Mazda? After all, Volkswagen is eying up more of Suzuki’s stock (insert obligatory Bertel Schmitt joke here). How about Daimler or BMW? Things were pretty dicey there last year. How about names on the OICA list you rarely see mentioned elsewhere? Or are you thinking sobig that another big company will fall? Toyota is stumbling at the moment and Ford’s heavy fleet sales might not be good for them in the long run. Or maybe you think GM and/or Chrysler will fall again and this time stay dead because there simply isn’t any money (or political goodwill) left to fund another bailout?

Whatever you think, give us your answers: Who’s next to pass away?

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6 of 52 comments
  • Phantomwolf Phantomwolf on Aug 16, 2010

    This is all very easy to figure out. When the Bamster and Democrats get the boot, the life line that has kept GM alive and Fiatsler together will crumble. There will be no more bailouts, there will be investigations, and that combined with a continually weak economy will provide a perfect storm of destruction. I am waiting to see Cadillacs at a Ford Dealership soon. As for Ford's product, apparently if they are going Euro, good them. Aside from SUVs and trucks, when was the last time people in this country went en-mass towards, "american," cars. They are building what the market demands and so far they are being rewarded for it.

  • Dcdriver Dcdriver on Aug 16, 2010

    I know I'm in the minority but I have a feeling that Saab is far from done and that they are actually on the verge of a mini-comeback. I think there is a market for front wheel drive semi-luxury in the US. And to the larger issue- I don't see any imminent automaker deaths anytime soon. In the last decade or so we've lost Plymouth, Oldsmobile, Isuzu, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Mercury-- I think the market has already trimmed the fat.

  • Lynn Ellsworth Lynn Ellsworth on Aug 16, 2010

    They all will die. Here in Phoenix we have a new company called Local Motors (I think that is their name). You walk in tell them what you want and they build it. I recently had the opportunity and fun of visiting local machine shops and met people who were Michelangelos with water cutters and welders. Shipping cars across oceans or across countries is expensive. Just like computers put printing, photography, and movie making into the hands of almost anyone the building of cars will soon be available to anyone with CAD and a machine shop. Electric vehicles have already removed 1/3rd of the parts and soon Sony and Panasonic will sell us plug in dash boards.

    • See 1 previous
    • Ariel Ferreira Ariel Ferreira on Aug 17, 2010

      Thanks for the mention of Local Motors, folkdancer - we're happy to be in Phoenix! Hope you come by for the next event: http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/d7q2mj85km8yspki7 We are here to build the cars this area craves. The Rally Fighter is the first community-chosen vehicle. Customers join us in the Micro-Factory to build their Rally Fighter - takes two long weekends. The distinction I wish to make is that we can not build one of a kind vehicles that are made to order - that is not the intention. What we can do is include the community in the creation, development and build process. We can build cool cars in limited quantity so they remain special. We'll only build 2,000 Rally Fighters - and all of the chassis and body data is open source. This means any amount of modding is possible. Robert, The beta Rally Fighter was quite easily licensed and insured. Since we are using a CARB certified engine, 50-state legal components, and a super safe race car style chassis it was a streamlined process. Rally Fighters are registered under the custom built umbrella. In regard to Cammy's post, I don't know who will be next to bite the dust. I hope these company's find a way to independently increase their agility in response to a rapidly changing market. Ariel aferreira@local-motors.com Local Motors

  • Seanx37 Seanx37 on Aug 16, 2010

    Long term, all of them. Peak oil is unavoidable now. Short-term? Chrysler if there is any sudden jump in oil prices. If say, Israel attacks Iran this week.