Wednesday, November 12, 2008

America's two auto industries

Via Barry Ritholtz:
Fantastic article in the WSJ today about the pending bailout plan to GM, Ford and Chrysler.
America has two auto industries. The one represented by GM, Ford and Chrysler is Midwestern, unionized, burdened with massive obligations to retirees, and shackled to marketing and product strategies that have roots reaching back to the early 1900s.

The other American auto industry is largely Southern and non-union, owes relatively little to the few retirees it has, and enjoys a variety of advantages because its Japanese, European and Korean owners launched operations in this country relatively recently. Their factories are newer, their brand images and marketing strategies are more coherent — Toyota uses three brands in the U.S. to GM’s eight — and they have cars designed for the competitive global market that exists today. ...

The New American auto industry employs about 113,000 people... The Detroit Three employ more than 200,000 people directly, and sustain nearly 3 million more indirectly.

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