In autos, U.S. now in the driver’s seat
The U.S. government’s interventions in the automobile industry were unprecedented and long overdue, a longtime critic of General Motors Corp. said.
It should have happened years ago, said Mary Anne Keller, who once wrote an article called
Dull at Any Speed, that summed up GM’s problems as having forgotten
how to make cars that people want to buy.
The government’s rejection of GM and Chrysler LLC’s financial viability plans — holding off on loans until they complied with new directives — put the government in the driver’s seat in terms of running major industrial companies, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The directives will test the government’s ability to run car companies, in spite of President Barack Obama’s repeated assertion that
the United States government has no interest in running GM, the Times said.
In spite of that, the government forced GM’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner out the door and said, with the possibility of bankruptcy rattling customers, they would back up car warranties, making the federal government responsible for fixing that knocking sound or a brake problem.
When you think about it, the government never said no to (car companies) before, Keller told the newspaper.
It must have been quite a shock to them.