Many people call GM’s vehicles dinosaurs, which could be weirdly prescient in that analysts say that GM will become extinct in early 2009 unless it receives billions from the government. Just last year of course the authomobile industry required $25 billion of loan guaranties from the government. Now GM needs about that amount in cash.
Like Thomas Friedman, I am sick and tired of the automobile industry thinking that it can susrvive by paying money to lobbyists, blocking environmental laws, and disregarding the needs and concerns of consumers. American auto manufacturers used to plan the obsolescence of the cars they manufactured in the interest of causing people to need new ones. Their utter disregard of consumers is tantamount to planning their own obsolescence.
There is no way taxpayer should support the disreputable and irrational behavior of the American auto industry, at least not without some serious concessions. The government ought to get whatever equity there is held by the stockholders and the officers and directors should be held accountable. That means fire them without a parachute of any sort. The salaries of their successors, considering what these companies have done to their industry and to the country, should be dramatically reduced.