I know… two Detroit 3 comics in a row, but it’s important and it’s happening now, so there it is.

I’m sure that this effort currently being debated will fail, but I’m also pretty sure that once it does, we’ll see an Economic Stimulus loan package being provided to the automotive manufacturers. There are a lot of jobs on the line, and letting them fail is a big risk. I still think that letting the incompetent fail to make room for someone else is a good thing, but I’m also a realist. One way or another, we’ll all be writing a check to Detroit.

Now, these are, of course, loans, so I do hope that they at least have the good sense to write a good contract.

  1. The loans must carry a reasonable interest rate. Nothing so high as to break there backs, but at least enough to make it worth our investment.
  2. The loans must require limits on executive compensation and retirement packages until the loans are paid back. Don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly open to *profit* sharing, but if the company isn’t performing, don’t expect to live in luxury on my dime.
  3. The loans must require a shift to reliable, fuel efficient vehicles. The world will always need big trucks, vans, etc. But they need to focus on vehicles that will sell!

Of course it isn’t all management’s fault. The workers and the unions will have to make a few concessions. I’m not going to attack there union here (I have no desire to be whacked, after all), but if the unions want guaranteed pay, benefits and jobs for the workers, then they need to focus on putting quality first. No more spark plugs installed without setting gaps, no more missing gaskets and no more engines assembled with cracked heads. (And that’s only been *my* new car buying experience.) The industry can no longer afford an "If in doubt, ship it anyway" attitude. A job is either done right or wrong. If you do a poor job, expect to be treated accordingly.

In any case, I’d like to replace my Jeep but since all of my money seems to be tagged to bailout the banks and Detroit, I guess it’ll just have to wait…