Faster, GM! Build, Build!
Shorter Wall Street Journal: since seven of the top ten autos sold in the US are sedans, and five of those ten are Japanese-made, US automakers should make trucks and BMW-style luxury cars. And disband unions.
In fact, if we look at the top 20 cars sold through June, the cars with the greatest sales increases were all small and mid-sized cars, and of the seven cars with double-digit sales increases, five were American-made (much of this due both to the gas prices and heavy discounts on American vehicles, of course). None were the BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, or Volvos whose business models the Journal proposes following. Of course, there’s a reason that, say, BMW is the Journal’s model – they managed to wring concessions from their unions that allowed the company to hire lower-paid non-union workers and extend the work week without additional pay. German also has universal health care and a mandatory social pension program that, although apparently troubled, makes US FICA taxes look like a pittance.
So, at the end of the day, the model for the New Detroit is lower pay, fewer benefits, and less efficient and more expensive products that their workers can’t afford. Hell, why not?