Thursday, 30 April 2009

The US auto industry - the endgame

The final chapter of the US auto industry is upon us. It looks increasingly likely that Chrysler will declare bankruptcy. GM is likely to follow it within a few weeks.

Although both companies are in woeful shape, it is hard not to notice the double standards at work here. Both companies probably need a fraction of the money pumped into Wall Street. After all, it would be hard to argue that Citibank is in any better shape than GM.

From the New York Times.....

DETROIT — Last-minute efforts by the Treasury Department to win over recalcitrant Chrysler debtholders failed Wednesday night, setting up a near-certain bankruptcy filing by the American automaker, according to people briefed on the talks. Barring an agreement, which looked increasingly difficult, Chrysler was expected to seek Chapter 11 protection on Thursday, most likely in New York, these people said.

The automaker, which is in talks with the Italian automaker Fiat, would file for bankruptcy first. It subsequently would present an agreement with Fiat to the court for approval, possibly on Monday, these people said. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the government.


Anonymous said...

The automotive industry has been selling products which are very durable on style alone for some time; the durability of these goods means that the market is now much smaller; the shortage of credit likewise means the whole industry and market has to contract. I would guess down to about a third of its present scale in the US.

B. in C.

Anonymous said...

But the bank bailout should not have happened. All businesses should stand or fall by the market. To hell with anything that doesn't make a profit.

We have squandered our wealth bailing out the Leylands and now the RBS's of this world. At what point do we learn what any Kebab shop owner knows. No Profit. No Business.

wildgoose said...

How much do you want to bet that the "recalcitrant Chrysler debtholders" could be so recalcitrant because the debts were insured by AIG, which in turn has been propped up by the US taxpayer?

The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again...