Detroit dinosaurs

Sales plunge for U.S. automakers. High gas prices send buyers to Toyota, Honda.

Does Detroit ever learn? This happened in the 70’s too. High gas prices, as well as abysmal quality, cratered Detroit auto sales as buyers bought Japanese and German-made cars instead. Now the same process is happening again. And it’s not the well-paid execs of Detroit auto companies who will suffer when the assembly plants close, it’s the workers.

I lived in Michigan in the early-mid 70’s. Unemployment was way higher than other states. Yes, there was a recession, but the obstinate cluelessness and huge greed of the auto companies made things much worse for the workers. Layoffs and plants closures will surely be occurring again, if they haven’t started already. But only the workers, the execs generally get a free pass.
[tags]auto sales[/tags]


  1. Michigan is almost the only state in the union that isn’t seeing at least some kind of rebound right now. It’s pathetic. It’s obviously a structural problem, as you know from having lived in the state. As you probably now James Howard Kunstler has written a lot about the trouble with cars. Michigan lives and dies by cars, but has been mostly dying for a long time. Ford is opening up plants in Europe, not here.

    Unfortunately this has been trouble for Granholm. These things aren’t her fault and she’s actually working on these problems. Dick DeVos is actually personally responsible for outsourcing thousands of jobs from the state… it would be crazy to consider him the answer to the state’s problems. Here’s hoping the voters haven’t lost their common sense.

  2. I was in Michigan in the 70s, too. I sold cars at Story Oldsmobile in Lansing in 1979. Times was hard, man. Times was hard…

    You couldn’t give Oldsmobiles away, even in the factory town. I hope that kind desperation does not overtake the auto industry again. We’d just have to hear more from MIchael Moore, whome I loathe. (He campaigned for Nader in 2000.)

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