Thursday, April 30, 2009

Living American Industrial History

On the homepage, they are reporting that the Administration is saying that a restructuring at Chrysler has the full support of all stakeholders, which presumably includes bondholders. Just below this "breaking news" item, is the standard headline that Chrysler talks have failed and that bankruptcy is imminent. So, either 1) last minute talks have produced success and the WSJ is lagging in getting the story up and the contradictions fixed, or 2) Obama is talking out of his ass again, just like he did with that whole Caterpillar thing.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the WSJ, Paul Ingrassia gives us a slight hint of what Government Motors might do to compete with non-government/UAW controlled automakers. They certainly won't make the cars that Americans want as efficiently as they can, so they will have to resort to one or a combination of the following:
- Subsidize GM cars to compete with Ford on price
- Hamstring Ford through legislation
- Strike Ford, but not GM or Chrysler

Trust me the government/UAW is not going to just shrug and say "Oh well, Americans don't like our cars", they are going to fight like dogs to cram their products down our throats and tie the hands of better automakers. Ford has a nasty street fight ahead of it for sure. It is going to have to be as efficient and as customer-focused as it can possibly be. I think, long term, it has to come up with a way to ditch the UAW. It can't have what now amounts to a mortal enemy on the inside anymore. Of course, we all can help too.


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