It just never ends for the American automotive industry. Of course, I mean the former ‘big three’ U.S. auto manufacturers: Ford, General Motors (GM), and Chrysler. The lines are a bit blurred, since you can buy well-made, reliable, attractive, affordable, and well-featured cars made in the United States by foreign companies. For example, I consider our Honda Civic (made in Ohio) and Subaru Outback (made in Indiana) to be better examples of ‘Made in America’ products than anything from the ‘big three’ these days.
Regardless, watching the ‘big three’ flounder looks more and more like a soap opera every day. They dug themselves a giant hole primarily through their own mismanagement and the abuses of the powerful UAW union, then they quietly convinced the federal government to give them 25 billion dollars in free loan guarantees, then GM and Chrysler entered into idiotic merger talks, then GM and Chrysler begged the government to hand them another 10 billion dollars to seal the deal (an idea that the Bush administration rightly rejected).
As-if that wasn’t enough for patriotic car-lovers to chew on, we found out late last week that GM had abandoned the Chrysler merger and was chewing through its cash reserves so quickly that the company—among the largest companies in the world—may be bankrupt before the end of the year. In order to head-off this inevitable (and likely overdue) U.S. automotive bloodbath, Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 8th) and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)—the majority leaders of both houses of Congress—are begging the Bush administration to please waste billions of our tax dollars on saving them.
Sooner or later, we have to learn that mommy government cannot save us from all our mistakes—nor should they. General Motors, like Ford and Chrysler, have made their bed. It’s time to let them lie in it. Guys like me who prefer to buy American now have plenty of other American-built cars to choose from—Hondas, Toyotas, Subarus, Nissans, and Mazdas—built by hard-working Americans in non-UAW plants. Nobody should miss Ford, GM, or Chrysler when they’re gone.