Auto industry back in the spotlight as Obama steps up and Wagoner steps down

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Obama administration unveils its restructuring plan for the troubled auto industry today, and in a surprise move, GM's Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will be stepping down, too. For an analysis, The Takeaway talks with New York Times Senior Business Correspondent Micheline Maynard in Detroit and Sheryl Gay Stolberg who is covering the story from D.C.

For more, read Sheryl Gay Stolberg's article, U.S. Moves to Overhaul Ailing Carmakers and Micheline Maynard's profile of Wagoner, The Steady Optimist Who Oversaw G.M.’s Decline, both in the New York Times.

"The feeling was that, as the White House officials said, they needed a clean sheet. But you might say it more simply that someone's head had to roll."
—New York Times correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg on Rick Wagoner leaving General Motors

Guests:

Micheline Maynard and Sheryl Gay Stolberg

Comments [2]

Tom Graves

It’s a Darwinian world out there. Detroit doesn’t get it and if it weren’t for the size and impact their going out of business would have on the economy they should be flushed!

They come out with a re-do of the ‘60’s muscle cars targeting the ageing Boomer and the aging Boomer is driving their Lexus.

What are they thinking?!

Mar. 30 2009 10:57 AM
RJ

Why aren't comparisons between the $20 billion loans to GM and the bailouts to Citicorp, B of A, and Wells Fargo being made--either by the Obama administration or NPR? GM gets 90 days to turn around a 100-year-old industry; the Big 3 of Wall St get $100s billions--and their executives remain--after deliberately circumventing fed regs--with money from 401(k)s, pension funds, and personal savings accounts.

The bankruptcy threatened GM's workers--by the "working family" friendly Obama admin--would "abrogate" union contracts, negotiated retirement and health care benefits, for workers who've spent years on assembly lines and at other hard labor.

For Obama to say a bailout of the auto industry is the only thing less popular than one of banks is appalling; compare bailing out working people or bankers, the response would be profoundly different.

This hypocrisy and scapegoating is misplaced and depressing. I expected more from a supposedly working-family sympathetic administration.

Mar. 30 2009 09:30 AM

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