The US automotive industry use to be the Captains of manufacturing. They headed more than a ship; they had control of the entire fleet. From the company that made the bolts, the seats, the dashboard, to the plants that put the cars together. All held together by union contracts. Entire cities and towns relied on the tax base to line their coffers and the paycheck of the workers to keep the economy growing.
In keeping with producing cars that were just “right” for the time; and failing to take into consideration the modifications necessary to keep pace with a global economy. The “captains” of automobile manufacturing have led their industry into a car pile up of extremes. Now, GM and Chrysler are desperate to survive. General Motors is on the verge of filing bankruptcy. Chrysler has thrown itself at the mercy of Fiat. Neither path is guarantee of success, these companies I don’t believe ever understood the essential principal behind building a “quality” vehicle. Over the years GM, Chrysler and on occasion Ford would produce cars that came with lots of style but no substance. The strategy was sell the cars don’t worry if the engine dies in 2 years, the buyer will have already traded in for a new car. The habit created of pushing automobiles out with no concern for the buyer; gave rise to unions running numbers for benefits and salaries on profits that would not be sustainable.
The bottom line is the American Automotive Industry needs to learn a new lesson: Just because you pay very well, doesn’t mean you will get quality workers. Produce a good car; it has to be dependable, safe and durable. It really is that easy guys.