Monday, November 17, 2008

Sometimes healing requires bitter medicine

Phil over at Random Nuclear Strikes has suggestions on how the American automobile can be effectively bailed out, and the cure would be pretty hard for the patient to withstand, but it would certainly put it on the road to health.

I agree with Phil. If we are going to give money to any company or industry to keep them from failing, we must demand that the things that caused the problem in the first place must be fixed.

I have family and friends that work for Ford and GM or their suppliers, mostly UAW, but not all. I've seen them go from feast to famine, and I've avoided the entire auto industry because I don't want to follow their example. Going from massive amounts of overtime to unemployment insurance several times a year is not how I want to go through my career.

American automakers need to trim all the fat they can, and unfortunately, a lot of good people will suffer while that particular ship rights itself. Ford, GM, and Chrysler should have started the process several years ago, but they kept wishing that manufacturing big trucks and SUV's would continue to be profitable in the face of facts that said it couldn't. Now, things are at a crisis, and all of the restructuring that should take years to happen will have to happen in a few months. Lots of people are going to lose their jobs, and it's going to kick our economy while it's down.

Guys, start making cars that last more than a couple of years without major problems, don't cost a mortgage payment to fuel, and are comfortable to ride in, and you'll gain market share. Continue to crank out gas guzzlers that need major work within a year after the end of their warranty, and you'll be studied in history courses.

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