Car Trouble

Friday, October 07, 2011

Bill Vlasic, Detroit bureau chief for The New York Times and author of Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America's Big Three Auto Makers - GM, Ford and Chrysler, tells the behind-the-scenes story of the near-collapse of the U.S. automotive giants following the 2008 financial crisis.


Bill Vlasic

Comments [4]

Sheldon from Brooklyn

As Steve Jobs made clear. If you build a poor quality product coupled with crappy designs - sooner or later, something is going to give.

Young Men who came of age in the 80's and 90's would rather drive a Honda Civic, Women - a Camry or a Maxima over an American made counterpart.

In the last 7 years, car-makers have regained control from the number crunchers - I look at the new designs of Chargers, Mustangs - the Ford mid-level lines, like the Focus. They are much better.

Oct. 07 2011 11:43 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The US auto industry was branded worldwide as an industry that produces large, luxurious, gas-guzzling automobiles at a moderate price, but that break down half the time. And that is what consumers expected out of American automobile factories. But that eventually collided with the growing reality of increasing fuel costs and a lower tolerance for lack of reliability.

In other words, the US auto industry business model no longer fit, and that is why it had to collapse in part.

Oct. 07 2011 11:42 AM
Phoebe from Montclair, NJ

For the guest: How much blame do you place on Congress - both Republicans and Democrats - which, for decades, refused to pass increased fuel efficiency standards which just might have pushed the industry into a better competitive position.

Oct. 07 2011 11:40 AM
Arthur from Astoria, NY

You go Bill. Start by blaming the unions, pension plans and healthcare, as usual. Never mind the mismanagement at the top, bad inventory control, lack of response to the changing market, out of control executive salaries, irresponsible financing of cars to begin with... and ignore the fact that a lot of outsourcing to cheap labor in Mexico and vendors had already happened by the late 80s.

Oct. 07 2011 11:36 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.