Bailing out the big three has been discussed heavily on the Internet. I seem to have a completely different view on the topic. Possibly due to my position in the auto repair business.
So please forgive this sidebar from the water for gas posts, but I would like to express my side of the story.
Big three bailout full disclosure, I should notify everyone that my skewed opinion might be due to my position as a senior fleet service technician. I work for a large local government fleet operation that purchases Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet light trucks and cars.
The vehicles that we purchase are paid for in full using taxpayer money. As an example in 2009 we are scheduled to replace 2,200 vehicles.
As with most United States Government fleet operations the rule of thumb is to buy American. If the big three were to collapse, then this would not be possible. I cannot imagine taking taxpayer money to buy Nissan and Toyota trucks.
It is true that some of these vehicles are manufactured in the United States. But the profits from the sales of these vehicles go straight back to Japan.
I do not think that the American taxpayer would enjoy directly funding a foreign economy. I’m not sure what the numbers are, but I would figure that a large percentage of sales for the big three come from publicly owned fleets.
Quality of the big three products
For the last three years I have worked on the 2,200 vehicles that we are scheduled to replace. We have had zero engine failures, and only minor problems with these vehicles during their three years and 100,000 miles of exemplary service. In my opinion, the quality level of the products coming out of Detroit has increased tremendously. Unfortunately in the mind of the American car buyer they are still holding a grudge against the poor products produced in the 1980s.
Especially when it comes to light trucks, American quality and even fuel economy competes with the largest and top rated foreign car manufacturing. We have a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado that is still getting 20 miles per gallon on average. A coworker with a 2004, Nissan pickup truck is averaging around 13 miles per gallon.
Terms of the big three bailout
After the most recent meeting between the big three and the big wheels in Washington. It looks like some assistance will be rendered to the American car manufacturing industry. Our County has now mobilized to try to push through the cash purchase of our replacement vehicles to the first quarter of 2009 in an attempt to help bolster sales.
One of the senators had mentioned that the carmaker has proposed some good changes to help them make the manufacturers more profitable. Also with the recent concessions from the United auto workers to help stabilize the American vehicle manufacturing industry.
There may be some great hope for the future. But this senator also made a good second point about the bail out and the plan submitted. The big three included no incentive to car buyers to bring them back to the US-made cars.
This was a tremendous point that needs to be addressed. If we bailout the big three and they streamlined their business to build and produce quality vehicles at a fair price. It will have no effect unless buyers return to the showrooms.
My suggestion is to use some of these bailout funds as a direct tax credit to Americans that purchase American cars. Stimulate sales by stimulating the consumer to purchase directly from the big three.
This is just my opinion. And I would like to hear what you think. Please leave a comment.
My next post will return to the water for gas subject and I will be posting more pictures from the HHO convention that I attended in South Florida. So give this website a bookmark and return to see more pictures and information about my water for gas project.