Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Detroit-Washington Shotgun Wedding

By Brian Barger
November 18, 2008

American automakers are sinking fast in a quagmire of their own making.

Read on.

1 comment:

Bill from Saginaw said...

As a long time Michigan resident living in a GM town, I entirely approve of linking federal bail out assistance for the auto industry with some specific good corporate citizenship requirements.

To me, it's not so much that GM is too big to fail. It is recognition that failure would have a devastating ripple effect throughout the economy, and lean, high tech entrepreneurs are just not going to spring up out of the woodwork to replace a giant, highly complex industry like mass automotive design, engineering and manufacturing.

And let's not let Ford off the hook by talking only about GM and Chrysler.

I seriously - seriously! - propose that if Ford Motor Company receives a single penny of federal financial assistance, one of the first strings attached should be a requirement that the Ford family divest themselves of the Detroit Lions NFL franchise. The Lions have been a proverbially "under-performing asset" for the last fifty years, and much of what ails the Big Three is reflected in mirror image form in the way the Detroit franchise has been stubbornly mismanaged.

If public funds are tapped into to provide a auto industry bailout, what better way would there be to make sure they stay focused on their core function of manufacturing environmentally friendly cars people actually want to buy and drive than to make management divest itself of noncompetitive, non-automotive side interests tucked away inside the company's investment portfolio?

Time to take the toys away from the boys.

Bill from Saginaw