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Peter Klein praises America's robust auto industry:

The proposed bailout of GM, Ford, and Chrysler overlooks an important fact. The US has one of the most vibrant, dynamic, and efficient automobile industries in the world. It produces several million cars, trucks, and SUVs per year, employing (in 2006) 402,800 Americans at an average salary of $63,358. That's vehicle assembly alone; the rest of the supply chain employs even more people and generates more income. It's an industry to be proud of. Its products are among the best in the world. Their names are Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru.

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  1. Their names are Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru.

    Those are not RealAmerican names!

  2. That is a definite win.

  3. They took er jorbs!!!1!

  4. When my husband says he wants to buy “American” when he gets his next truck, he means “buy a Toyota.” Superior engineering, power, fuel efficiency, comfort, and it keeps jobs on-shore.

    So many of his friends think he is a traitor to America with this logic. Then he points out that most Ford vehicles are assembled in Mexico. That sends his jingoistic pals into a flustered cheek-blowing mumble. They cannot argue against it. I love Football Sundays at their homes, can’t tell which is more entertaining – the game or the arguments between hubby and his pals.

  5. “Their names are Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru.”

    But you have to understand, American workers and the country doesn’t benefit from those plants. Those are not union plants. That means that all of the workers are paid in company script and can only spend it at the company store and all of the profits go to greedy corporate bigwigs. If the plant isn’t a union plant, the people would be better off working in one of Obama’s new green renewable energy jobs that at some foreign owned sweatshop.

  6. My brother is the biggest jingoist you will ever meet. Buys only Toyota trucks for the reasons pointed out above. San Antonio just got a huge Toyota plant and is happy to have it. Detroit is a ghost town. But we must save the auto industry!!

  7. Congratulations, reason — you found and posted a story that was running in other outlets in the middle of last week.

  8. Their names are Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru.

    When these guys can make a car like this, then they will be truly American.

  9. I’m against the government handing out money to anyone including auto makers. However, the big three have been getting beat up more than they deserve. In the coming weeks and months I think we’ll find that Toyota, Honda, et al. are in just as much trouble as GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

  10. However, the big three have been getting beat up more than they deserve.

    Nope, they’ve been getting beat up less than they deserve. All three are in situations that are tailor-made for Chap 11 filings, but instead they’d rather try to suck up to the fed instead of doing any sort of structural reform. Fuck ’em. They can go pound sand.

  11. In the coming weeks and months I think we’ll find that Toyota, Honda, et al. are in just as much trouble as GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

    Nope. They don’t suffer from some of the systemic problems that plague the Big 3. They are going to get tagged in the recession, no doubt, but they don’t have the surplus capacity, the legacy union obligations, and (apparently) the bloated, feckless management that the Big 3 have.

  12. you found and posted a story that was running in other outlets in the middle of last week

    Klein’s line was first published on his blog on Friday. How could it have run anywhere in the middle of last week?

  13. Toyota and Honda are suffering similar sales declines, but take a look at their balance sheets and compare that to GM. GM has been burning through cash for 4 years and now has -37 BILLION USD in the company and is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. That’s the difference.

    Ford is in a less precarious position, and Chrysler, well, Chrysler probably should have gone under in the 70’s/80’s.

  14. I think “Vinny” is a non-vulgar Lefiti, Jesse. Just a troll.

  15. Warren: Big difference here is the way that Toyota views its employees. They will scale back production but instead of just sitting on their asses the Toyota employees will be doing training, research, volunteering for other departments, etc. Toyota will take a beating for sure, but they will actually come out of the recession with a smarter workforce.

    GM/Ford/Chrysler need, need, to drop the albatross around their neck that are the unions and the utterly incompetent management. If they don’t, they are simply delaying the inevitable. Chap. 11 would actually be a positive step toward long-term recovery. The shareholders should be calling for the heads of every executive at these companies.

  16. Just a random thought from someone who actually knows a little bit about the “domestic” auto industry.

    If you believe the bailout isn’t going to happen* and have a few K to speculate with, buy Ford stock. They would be the last man standing and would love to pick up 20% of GM’s market share.

    * Unfortunately it seems more than probable it will. Complete with strings attached by all of the savvy businessmen on Capitol Hill.

  17. Don’t worry. Next week the big 3 CEO’s will fly coach to DC and will present their business plans* to congress. All will be saved.

    What is good for the General is good for the
    country.

    *Nancy Pelosi asked for them, so I’m sure a crack team of 20-something congressional staffers is fully prepared to evaluate them.

    /snark

    Do any of you think congress even knows what a business plan is?

  18. I would also like to point out that the executives took private jets to go beg for money. That’s the sort of vision and leadership that has been going on for decades at the Big 3.

    They deserve to go bankrupt.

  19. I expect the bailout to happen; Pelosi’s minions are probably coaching the Detroit Dimwits for their next appearance on the Hill as we speak.

    I also expect them to burn through the loot, and be back in six months or less, with nothing to show for it.

    And- SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT THE VOLT!
    A fifty thousand dollar car which can barely get you to work and back? I hate to tell you this, but that ain’t gonna save anybody from anything.

  20. But…but…the auto execs flew in on private jets! Tin cups in hand! At the end of the day, we have to throw them under the bus. They can’t count their chickens just yet. Blah blah change blah corporate greed blah Main Street blah blah.

  21. They will undoubtedly be made to grovel and abase themselves before the glorious mighty beneficence of the Congress, but they will be saved. Not for themselves, but for the unions.

  22. I think the headline should be Detroit Rock City.

  23. Xeones,
    HOW DARE YOU STEAL MY CATCHPHRASE!

  24. I posted last week that Toyota, Nissan, and Mercedes are all renting tarmac at the Long Beach Port to hold thousands of imported autos that can’t be delivered to dealers.

    All the auto makers are going to get hurt for a few years. With any luck, Chrysler, GM, and Ford will die the death they deserve.

  25. I’ve lately been thinking that all this outsourcing an in-sourcing (Toyota exporting Japanese jobs to the US), is just a manifestation of the integration of the world economy. If this global recession takes down the big-three, then the lines between American and East-Asian economies become increasingly blurred. Wecould have a manufacturing base made up of Japanese companies, and India can have a technology sector made up of American companies.


  26. Hazel Meade wrote:
    I’ve lately been thinking that all this outsourcing an in-sourcing (Toyota exporting Japanese jobs to the US), is just a manifestation of the integration of the world economy.

    That plus ‘local production’.
    Example, Mercedes builds SUVs here, BMW builds SUVs and teh Z convertibles. North America is their biggest market.
    It’s been that way for years. Honda with the Accord. The 91-94 Nissan Sentra was built in both Japan and the US. Get one with an auto it was likely built here get one with a stick, probably there. The SE-R was the exception only built here, only sold here.
    Almost all the new japanese plants are building what?
    Trucks.
    Or at least they were.
    As for the big 3, GM is useless except for trucks the Vette and Cadillac. Ford has decent products across the board. Chrysler breaks my heart: the Intrepids were phenominal cars, too bad they have usual Detroit build quality.
    *sigh*

    Of course i own none of their junk.

    94 BMW 530iT&A 140K, ‘Helga’ ( Boat bus )
    92 BMW 325i 160K, ‘Rolf’ ( Euro vision equipped *woot* )
    93 Datsun NX2000 190K ‘Carla’ ( Uber heated seat & rust holes *shakes head* )
    85 Toyo MR2 140K ‘Jerry’ ( Showcar/track toy, killer mpg, way more fun than a prius *grin* )

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