Challenging the validity of those who cover the US auto industry by offering third-party facts.
First Segment: Boycott automakers that have received assistance from government.
We ask, "Why limit yourself to American automakers?" The little reported truth... As a result of the current financial crisis, nearly every major automaker from Asia to Europe has received aid from their respective governments, whether in the form of bond (debt) purchases, through protected markets, or even buy using Japanese tax dollars to back low-interest loans in the US market. Where is the outrage and headlines?
Second Segment: Asian and European automakers are perceived as the leaders in green technology.
History, patents and law say otherwise. The US was the first industrialized nation to adopt automotive pollution standards, and as a result, our domestic producers designed the first generation of pollution control equipment. Subsequent generations of this early work appear under the hood of every new car sold today, while almost no innovation in this field has come from other markets. Nearly every new vehicle sold in the US has been equipped with a catalytic converter since 1975 (including those shipped from Europe), yet European manufacturers were able to stall regulation until 1993 in their home markets. The catalytic converter was largely developed by GM, and at peak efficiency, removes 98% of the toxins from internal combustion exhaust. There is no other nation with a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard that puts the burden on manufacturers, although other markets do pay very high rates on fuel taxation. (For the year '07-'08, the U.S. collected $76 million in fines from auto makers based in Germany for violating US market fuel-economy regulations, a.k.a guzzler fines). While there is almost nothing done on the demand side to spur small cars in the US, all three domestic companies build compacts rated above 30 MPG in the US, while nearly all foreign nameplate compacts have been imported from other markets, often protected markets. In this same time period, "transplants" have focused on larger, lower MPG vehicles for the US market.
Third Segment: Unions have caused these problems.
Far more powerful auto unions exist outside of the US (e.g. Germany's IG Metall) yet Germany remains one of the worlds largest exporters of finished goods (more than the US). The independent Harbour report on manufacturing efficiency rates 10 UAW organized plants as the most efficient in North America, 9-of-10 are domestic owned.
Although much has been made about the UAW pension health fund as majority owners at Chrysler/GM, these trusts have disproportionally small representation on the boards of directors, and non-voting membership as well. Those who infer otherwise undermine their own credibility.