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« Gun For Sale. Only Used Once | Main | Can It Be As Painless As This? »

Grass Growing Through the Cracks

This is another reason why we should just go ahead and let GM, Ford, and Chrysler take their natural course towards bankruptcy.

The car industry is certainly in trouble, but these ambitious little companies intend to buck the trend. Some have arisen to take advantage of low labor costs in China or Eastern Europe. Some are determined to be the company that revolutionizes transportation by reinventing the automobile with some new technology or alternative fuel. History makes it plain that most of these companies are bound to fail without leaving behind much evidence that they ever existed—Bricklin and DeLorean come to mind. But radical change often comes from people who dream audaciously and act boldly. Here are ten new car companies that may (or may not) change the world.

Putting the big 2.5 into receivership isn't the physical equivalent of dynamiting their physical plant. These companies will eventually want some of that capacity, or can use some of it to build their own plants. Parts suppliers will retool to for these fellows. (In the shorter term, they'll retool for locally-built Toyota, Honda, and BMW plants, too.)

Bailing out Detroit will do little more than make you and me make good on un-fulfillable promises made by GM and Ford and Chrysler. If I wanted to do that, I could have bought GM or Ford stock any time I wanted.

I remember when the steel industry was collapsing, giving us the term, "the rust belt." It was the end of US steel. It turned out not even to be the end of US Steel. First came Nucor, and now Nucor is facing competition from even-more-mini mills at the margin.

For a while in the mid-90s, I was commuting each week from Fairfax to Johnston, Pa. (It was sort of the Monkey's Paw version of, "I'd like a job with travel.") The mill there had closed down years ago, and was clearly not going to re-open, but people kept on talking about "when the mill re-opens." I'm sure, though, that some went south to go work for Nucor.


I totally agree with your opinion. The complication of bailing out the automakers at this point, does not solve the problem that we have. Unfortunately not only do the automakers go bankrupt all the supporting organizations that are behind them also will be directly affected.

Almost 5% of the American workforce would be affected indirectly or directly by a bankruptcy of the automakers. I've always supported by an American, but if you look at what's happened over the course of the last 10 years many of our technology innovations are completely developed overseas. You would be hard-pressed to find any electronic innovation or electronic devices being developed in the United States. The only good news is that the non-American cars are actually assembled in the United States. So when you buy a Honda you actually do help Americans, as most of the Honda vehicles for example are made in America (at least what's sold in America)

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