TodayApril 16, 2022

Will any of the Big 3 get a bailout?

From Free Market to Socialism to a Welfare State.

There will be no bailout from the government for the Big 3. The reality is that even if one of the Big 3 were to go under America would survive. It appears that unless you screw up so badly that you could take the rest of the nation with you, you don’t get help from the government. The problem with the Big 3 is that they have slowly decreased the number of union and salary workers in the United States, so them going under won’t hurt the United States the way the subprime mortgage has managed to do.

In the ’70s the government gave Chrysler a bailout. Chrysler came back in unheard of fashion and the government actually made money off the deal. They should be so lucky with this welfare scam called a bailout to the subprime lenders that have taken this great nation of ours down to a financial level that most of have never seen before.

Even worse than giving the bottom feeders a bailout is that, like second hand smoke, they have infected the rest of the economy with a financial cancer that is spreading into the arteries of the automobile industry. In the ’70s Americans bought 15.4 million vehicles. General Motors market share was 46%, with a total of 7,097,287 cars and trucks, the best total vehicle sales year for GM.

In 1978 General Motors employed 876,000 people, almost 500,000 in the United States. Now, in 2007, General Motors employs 265,886 worldwide with only 112,457 in the United States.

The Department of Transportation started keeping track of miles per gallon for corporate average fuel economy (known as CAFE) reasons back in 1978. From those files I have found that back in 1978 the big 3 made up 90 percent of domestic made cars, with General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford each carrying 30 percent of the domestic made car market.

I am stressing domestic made cars because back in 1978 domestic made cars meant they were made, actually produced, in the United States of America.

Fast forward to 2007. General Motors still represents 30 percent of the domestic made cars, while Chrysler represents 11 percent, Ford 20 percent, Honda 16 percent, Toyota 15 percent and Nissan 9 percent.

Once again, I am stressing domestic made cars not trucks. I am stressing domestic made cars because now, in 2007, domestic made cars means North America, which includes Mexico, Canada and the United States. The more jobs auto manufacturers can shift to Canada and Mexico the less they have to pay in medical premiums.

There are people that don’t want socialized medicine in the United States because they say it is socialism and the United States is supposed to be a free market capitalist society.

I am not making excuses for any mis-management that any auto company has done to themselves. The Big 3 have been working in what is supposed to be a free market society. Even after the mortgage bailout that has already been given, there is a possibility that Freddie Mac and Fannie May maybe nationalized and their debt lumped into the national debt. The side effects of the weak economy, the slumping dollar and the increase in gasoline prices are showing up in the automobile industry.

Don’t be surprised if one of the Big 3 dies. If they do, second hand smoke will be a contributing factor.

Listen to Lou Ann Hammond talk to John Batchelor on KFI, Los Angeles:

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.