Image via WikipediaYeah, The So-Called ‘Big 3’
Below is the (slightly edited) bulk of a comment I posted in response to an article at ClimateProgress.
I should take a moment to apologize to Daniel, who wrote the article. At the end of my comment I called him ‘Joe’… sorry!
When will we finally be able to recognize a rip-off when we see/hear it? I agree that the US auto industry needs to be focused on efficiency, reducing the impact on global climate, and everything else Climate Progress stands for.
But to expect, or even have a distant hope, that the industry will attend to those things without being literally FORCED into it, well – that’s some good ganja, man. Read the following quote, and then remember that Chrysler was bailed out soon thereafter. What did we get from that bailout? Squat and grunt, that’s what…
Thanks to Paul, over at Infectious Greed, we can read this:
“Over the past year, the domestic auto industry has experienced sharply reduced sales and profitability, large indefinite layoffs, and increased market penetration by imports … The shift in consumer preferences towards smaller, more fuel-efficient passenger cars and light trucks … appears to be permanent, and the industry will spend massive amounts of money to retool to produce the motor vehicles that the public now wants.
To improve the overall future prospects for the domestic motor vehicle manufacturers, a quality and price competitive motor vehicle must be produced … If this is not accomplished, the long term outlook for the industry is bleak.”
— Source: THE U.S. AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY, 1980. REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT FROM THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
My 1979 Toyota Corolla got better gas mileage than ANY US made car in 2008. For that matter, I still own a 1990 Celica that gets an average of 37 mpg…
Cerberus, who owns a major chunk (51%) of GMAC and 80% of Chrysler today, refused this month to help either company, expecting (probably correctly) that the US govt will fork over the cash. (GMAC was among the top 6 sellers of SUBPRIME SECURITIES in 2006, and is one of only 2 remaining from that top 6 group. The other player still standing? Goldman Sachs.)
So this ‘US Auto Industry Bailout’ is really a BAILOUT of a PRIVATE INVESTMENT FIRM: CERBERUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, who have seen their investments go down the tubes this year.
Sorry about the rant Joe, I am just tired of seeing all this cash go to the very guys who created the mess in the first place. The cash should be going to FIX the mess, not reward the guys who started it. Again.
I am Jon, and that is that.