Kick The Auto Industry To The Curb? Another View.

Jeffrey Feldman’s Frameshop is a must read for anyone who want to see thoughtful concepts and ideas about the reading of the day. His post for today is ‘Rust Covered Car Exec’s? Kick ’em To The Curb’ My comment on his blog follows as I’ve seen some of trouble when a major industry is destroyed.

Jeffrey, here’s some direct experience. I’ve seen what happens when a plant, the only steel making plant west of the Mississippi, closes down. Fontana, CA nearly blew off the map.

In this case, I believe that we literally do not know what the Big Three and the others have on the design tables for 2009/10/12/-15. It takes about 5-7 years for a car to be designed. What do they have in process? We don’t know. I think if we actually KNEW what was on the drawing boards everyone would be amazed. I don’t think they are as dumb as some want them to appear.

Remember this crisis only started when gas went to $4 a gallon. Until then they were working on future techonologies but selling exactly what the public wanted; a combination of small and moderate sized cars and big SUV’s and trucks. They were giving us what we wanted.

GM, as the worst of the bunch, is slow but not as stupid as a rock. They see the future and are retooling like every other manufacturer, even Honda.

We need experienced people, perhaps I don’t give a damn about the boardroom level, but we need experienced people already working on the obvious issues.

Find Lee Iaccoca! He was mad as hell this year. He’s got more experience than anyone and knows exactly what asses to kick. We need 1000 of him in a dozen industries and government agencies. I’m serious. Find him and get his input

My idea is much more simple than yours. I don’t understand why the President, Congress and President-elect, by executive invitation, don’t get all the auto makers, not just the Big Three, together and smash some skulls in closed door meetings? They do need help…and with car credit drying up too they actually do…then we’re going to get our hooks into the companies, suppliers and the unions.

Yep, if the UAW thinks they are not part of the solution then they are part of a much larger problem. [This comes from a man born into and proudly brought up in a USWA Local 2869 family of steelworkers.]

Yeah, kick the top guys to the curb if you want but you damn well gotta have some even better CAR GUYS to take their places. It takes car guys, not scientists, to build car just as it took, before we let it die, steelworkers to make steel.

We import steel because our industry has been decimated. Shall we now put another strategic resource in the hands of potential enemies?

Whatever must be done we cannot have America dependent on the government backed car companies around the world. We are open to blackmail on oil and steel. Do we want to add ‘transportation’, civilian and military, to the list?

Keep the factory’s working. Keep the parts plants manufacturing. Keep the car dealerships open. Keep the millions of other related jobs on track.

Beat the hell out of the executives. Fine.

But keep the people who have jobs working!

There are solutions to all these issues. Oil (carbon), steel, auto etc. But they are generational issues. They can’t be solved in 1 yr or 5 yrs.

Wes Clark tried to make the point in 2004 that some changes, like civil rights, takes generational change. (And we still haven’t won that battle.)

Every issue of infrastructure is one that will take decades to fix. I only hope we have the courage to jam a job building program into place fast and do whatever is necessary to hang on the the jobs we have today.

This has been written quickly and very likely has a lot of typos.That isn’t my usual style. Yet, I hope the message is clear. [This will be crossposted at The Political Dogfight. The original is at the Framepost linked above.]

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2 Responses to Kick The Auto Industry To The Curb? Another View.

  1. It’s a thoughtful response.  But I actually don’t advise letting the industry die–just the opposite.  My plan is a three step process for transforming Detroit into a viable, 50-state, sustainable auto industry, initiated by a Presidential Forum.  Forcing a transition in executive level management is what I am after.  Dem Daily readers can read the Frameshop proposal for rebuilding a sustainable auto industry here:Frameshop:  Seeing Our Future In The American Car

  2. I read the three step more carefully and my only true concern is for the outlying industries and businesses that could be impacted and the people that could be hurt.

    I’ll examine it again, since I honestly scanned it, and see it that issue is addressed. My harder edged piece is aimed more at keeping the executive feet to the fire.