If General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.
Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.
Granted, he screwed up with his bailout position. However, this op-ed is spot on. You can’t fix fundamental weaknesses in an industry by throwing billions of dollars at them. Until the UAW is busted up and American manufacturers quit operating at a $2000 per vehicle handicap, they are going to struggle. Well done, Mitt.