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Saving the Auto Industry?

Posted in auto industry, Chrysler by Jon | July 2nd, 2008 | Leave a Reply |

auto jobs at stake

Chrysler has been hurting lately, with plans to close at least its St. Louis truck plant, halting and/or reducing some minivan and truck production. Of course, this isn’t the first time Chrysler has had problems. They went through some trying times back in the K-car days. Those cars were relatively efficient at the time but none too sexy, and had other problems.

Still Chrysler lived through it – does anyone remember who bailed them out? Despite their problems, they’re part of the U.S. auto industry and it’d be a shame – economically – if the company went under. I’m not just saying that because I currently have a Dodge Caliber – my first domestic ever – though the videos like the one below worry me.

With suggestions that a Chrysler sale is near, despite denials by a spokesman, they’ll probably recover. Fortunately, they’re not considering bankruptcy, according to various spokespeople. The upshot of that is that some jobs will be saved.

If the company is for sale, though, who would buy them? Cerberus Capital Management has majority control, thanks to the original Daimler AG deal. Chrysler is unlikely to merge with an existing American automaker. That leaves what, European or Asian automakers? I don’t see that happening. Am I missing something?

Of course, Chrysler is not the only American automaker hurting. The whole industry is, with many job layoffs pending in the US and Canada. The head of GM recently told Obama how the U.S. auto industry could be saved. His suggestions include support and tax credit for new technologies, and assistance for converting factories, amongst other measures.

But will any of this be implemented in time? It’s not like we as a society can do without cars, but if you drive, you already know how much the cost of gas is hurting us. That affects our entire way of life, threatens jobs and the economy.

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