Car debt

When I first emigrated to the USA in 1966 I bought a second-hand Rambler car for the princely sum of $250. It was great, but it stopped dead in cold weather (I had to get out and manually pump the fuel). Subsequently when I had a proper job I bought a new Dodge Dart which was a Chrysler product. This car had a chronic carburettor problem and it kept stalling. When it stalled in traffic it could be very frightening. When we complained to the dealer about this, my wife was told that she couldn’t drive and I was given a runaround. So I bought a Chevy station wagon, but although that seemed a good car, I was still messed around by the dealer. Once when I took it in for a routine service, they kept it for 3 days and then told me that they couldn’t find it! (this was very upsetting because my mother was visiting on vacation and my wife needed it to get to her job and she was fired). I believe they were using it for people to drive around in. I threatened to go to the police and then it soon reappeared.
As a result of these and other experiences I decided to shift to Japanese cars. Since then I have had a series of Toyotas and have never had a moment’s trouble (except when one of them finally died). There was a totally different attitude. They obviously tried for total reliability, and when I had a problem they listened to me and corrected it, no messing around. I would never buy an American car again, and I understand why the American car industry is in such trouble.
The question arises, since they haven’t moved with the times, they haven’t put the customer first, and they haven’t innovated, why should they be bailed out. The fact is that there are three big ones, GM, Ford and Chrysler. It strikes me as ridiculous for the US Govt to use the people’s money to save all three of these dinosaurs, why not be selective. I would suggest a quick study of their sales and level of innovation (do they have an electric or hybrid car near production?) and then select the best one, the one most likely to survive, then subsidize that one (with guarenteed loans) and let the others go bankrupt. It’s true that there will be unemployment as a result of this, but that’s the capitalist system. This is not a new idea, in dealing with the Stock Market, the Govt. has subsidized AIG to the tune of b$112 (!) but allowed Lehman Bros. to go under.
I believe in Keynesian Government intervention in the market to avoid crashes, I believe in saving certain companies that are critical to the country’s future. But, its lucky that no-one wanted to save the whale oil industry in New England in the 1880’s or the horse and buggy in the 1920s. Let the market work, otherwise you have not Govt. intervention but Govt. control, otherwise known as socialism, that is open to great corruption. Already you have the Senators from the motor states (e.g. Michigan) practically serving as employees of the big three auto manufacturers. As far as I am concerned, let them sink or swim.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s