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Monday, November 17, 2008

Bailout redux--Wheeled edition.

Two interesting bits on bailing out the Detroit 3.

First, by Tom Piatak, noting the odd concern with economic purity from East Coasters and Sunbelters now that it's the Midwest's ox being gored.

Second, a handy bit of myth-busting showing that the Detroit automakers are, in the main, quality producers.

Myth No. 2

They build unreliable junk.

Reality

The creaky, leaky vehicles of the 1980s and '90s are long gone. Consumer Reports recently found that "Ford's reliability is now on par with good Japanese automakers." The independent J.D. Power Initial Quality Study scored Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Mercury, Pontiac and Lincoln brands' overall quality as high or higher than that of Acura, Audi, BMW, Honda, Nissan, Scion, Volkswagen and Volvo.
Power rated the Chevrolet Malibu the highest-quality midsize sedan. Both the Malibu and Ford Fusion scored better than the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.


That said, despite my energetic arguments elsewhere, I have serious qualms about the merits of a bailout, at least as structured by Congress. A bridge loan to get them through the hurricane, yes. Micromanagement by Henry Waxman, no.

Then again, the cost of collapse is inconceivable.

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