Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Short History Lesson For Congress As They Get Ready To Buy Into The Car Business

I can hear Barney Frank asking me if I would like an undercoat with that new Buick.

From an AP article via Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation to send $25 billion in emergency loans to the beleaguered auto industry in exchange for a government ownership stake in the Big Three car companies.

I guess this is a natural fit since the only people more detested than the cheesy used car dealer is the Dem controlled congress. But before we throw the rice on this new marriage, it might be helpful to review the history of government operated car businesses. It's a beaut!

Renault (French)
After WWII the company was confiscated and nationalized. By 1981 saw Renault became the largest car maker in Europe, with a production rate of 2 million cars annually. Perhaps the road was too straight, it sought expansion towards America as well as Scandinavia. Firstly, it took major shareholding in AMC (American Motor Corporation) in 1980, which led to the production of Alliance (Renault 9) and Encore (Renault 11) in the United States. Secondly, it took full control of US truck maker Mack. The American adventure turned out to be a disaster as sales in Europe was also declining. Heavy loss led to the sold out of AMC to Chrysler in 1987, since then Renault did not return to America again.

So we have French government engineers to thank for the

and the AMC Pacer

Of course, the whole mess was bailed out by Nissan.

How could anyone forget the car that would fall apart as you drove it off the lot...the YUGO! It was so incredible that the factories were deliberately bombed by NATO forces during the Kosovo War.

I don't want to imply that all government owned car companies make shit cars, but I don't have to...their success at the landfills and recycled pot metal dealers speak volumes.

I would be remiss to ignore the great cars that came out of the Soviet Union.

I think they called them Mosckvithe's or something like that.

After these words (and pictures) of caution, I'm sure I'm worrying about nothing. As long as the new GM design team has Nancy Pelosi signing off on their designs and Ford engineers run new safety features past Harry Reid, this whole thing will come off smashingly well.

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