Chrysler Goes Shrill

Failure of one of the auto manufacturers could spark a depression.

Jim Press, Chrysler’s vice chairman, said the U.S. automakers were “down to months left,” as industry officials ratcheted up a fierce lobbying push to persuade Congress to approve as much as $34 billion in emergency aid.

“We’re on the brink with the U.S. auto manufacturing industry,” Press told The Associated Press in an interview. “If we have a catastrophic failure of one of these car companies, in this tender environment for the economy, it’s a huge blow. It could trigger a depression.”

This kind of hysteria and fear mongering is rather despicable. We are told this time and again with each industry. If you don’t save the XYZ industry the sky will fall. If you don’t save the ABC industry, the sky will fall. Each one of these companies is angling for savior after making bad decisions.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Environment, , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Maybe he’s just applying the old saw that a recession is when your neighbor loses his job, a depression is when you lose your job.

    I know this is about Chrysler, but maybe Ford should change its name to Ludd. Ludd has a better idea!

  2. ggjr says:

    So what ever happened to free enterprise? You know, where if you do well in business you make money, if you do poor you fail. Or does that only apply to small businesses like the corner store that shut down in my neighborhood last week?

  3. odograph says:

    Mabye the execs will arrive in DC with cars that have “my child has excellent attendance” stickers on the back.

  4. DL says:

    Maybe they need to shop for a buyer since what they are looking for is a Daddy Warbucks to take care of them no matter what. Perhaps the Sri Lankans are interested – cheap labor and all that.

    Let the sky fall -it’ll at least open the roof and allow the greenhouse gases to escape!

  5. Rick Almeida says:

    Granholm was on NPR this afternoon shrilly predicting (I’m not kidding) a lifespan measured in _days_ for the auto industry.

    It was one of the saddest political spectacles I’ve seen since “We know where the weapons are.”

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Rick, did the Clinton administration know where the WMD they spoke of was or is it just the Bush administration you are holding responsible for not really knowing. Same CIA director. After all, if you cannot believe your CIA director who can you believe? Saddam? What a lame.

  7. Steve Plunk says:

    Why isn’t the UAW at the table with the company executives? Are they not a major player in all of this? Do they not hold the companies hostage when renegotiating contracts? You can’t fix anything without them in the mix.

  8. btenney says:

    I bought my last new car in 1980. Since then I have paid from 5,000 to 20,000 for reliable used vehicles with 70 to 150 thousand miles on them. Not paying through the nose for new vehicles allowed me to pay off my home nearly 20 years ago.
    I estimate that the above actions have saved me in the neighborhood of 800 thousand dollars.
    New automobiles are not a good investment.

  9. Rick Almeida says:

    Why isn’t the UAW at the table with the company executives?

    “Worried about their jobs and warned that the cost of failure could be a depression, hundreds of leaders of the United Auto Workers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to make concessions to the struggling Detroit Three, including all but ending a much-derided program that let laid-off workers collect up to 95 percent of their salaries.”

    Source: Yahoo News

  10. Bithead says:

    Look, guys, let’s call this what it is… the Auto industry per se won’t go away. We will continue to build cars.

    What will happen if the big three go belly up is that the UNIONS will go away. I don’t see that a being anything but good.This bailout isn’t of the big trhee… this is a bailout of the unions.

    Any bailout that doesn’t attach a removal of government over-regulation of the industry, and a removal of Unions, doesn’t solve the root of the problem… the hole in the bottom of the boat… and the ship is going to sink anywyay.