Daily Archives: November 18, 2008

John Gapper

Rick Wagoner, chairman of General Motors, just told the Senate banking committee that the US market for cars and light vehicles could be 14.5m or so a year in the long-term, compared with a peak of 17m.

GM’s estimate of market size is as much a guess as that of any informed observer, but that indicates a realisation that Detroit will not be able to boost demand in future to anything like the level of the past. Read more

John Gapper


One argument advanced for bailing out Detroit is that it is a national security imperative to have a domestic auto industry. I do not take that argument very seriously, but here anyway is a photograph of a Cadillac factory in 1951, presumably making tanks for the Korean war. Read more

John Gapper

The view that the Detroit big three should be pushed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and not simply be bailed out by the US government, is growing.

The big three argument against this, apart from the general view that they only need a helping hand, is twofold. Read more