Monday, August 9, 2010

"Fascising the Auto Industry" Published at Pajamas Media

Another of my articles has been published at Pajamas Media — The GM Volt: Fascism Strikes the Auto Industry.

Here's an excerpt:
Whether the American taxpayers get their money’s worth out of the investment, which they won’t, is beside the point. The precedent has been set for a massive public-private partnership in the auto industry, which can easily spread to other industries (and already has).

Granted, Chrysler gets partial credit for that precedent, owing to its $1.5 billion loan in 1980. Giving credit where it’s due, Chrysler’s loan did get paid back. But several things are different now that raise the Volt fiasco to a new level.
Your comments are invited, here and there.



Tim Johnston said...

Nice one.

Of course now GM has its own in-house finance company with its own Orwellian sounding name (hello AmeriCredit Corp) so it can offload its poorly built crap onto "subprime" borrowers, who don't have much cash but really want a new car.

One wonders whether this was part of the deal brokered with the government?

All of which is a shame, because I love the new Camaro :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
Liked the post at PJ's. One thing that I didn't see mentioned in the comments or even at the Heritage report was this little tidbit. The Federal Government drew it's vehicle fleet from the Chrysler "K" cars and USDA, Forest Service, Interior and BLM were all driving Dodge trucks. I would be curious to see how much of that loan was paid back with government dollars from fleet vehicle purchases. Could we call that a "double dip" bailout?

C. Andrew

Jeff Perren said...

That's an interesting bit of history, C. Andrew. I'll look into that.

By the way, in case you weren't aware, GM has had its own in-house finance company - GMAC - since 1919.

Jeff Perren said...

Oops. That second sentence should have been addressed to Tim.

VH said...

Great piece, Jeff! I finally got around to read it. Interesting thing with the Volt in California is that it won't receive a state rebate while the Nissan Leaf will get one for 5K. They are both plug-ins but because the Volt has a small engine, it suddenly doesn't qualify. This gives the Leaf quite an advantage on price. So much for a helping hand from bureaucrats.

Jeff Perren said...

Thanks, VH, but I'm not sure that a mere vacation justifies a delay reading and commenting on my stuff. Where are your priorities man?