Saturday, August 2, 2008

A future without G.M.?

Bill Vlasic of The New York Times asks the obvious question: Will Ford and G.M. survive?

"Neither company appears in immediate danger of failure. But analysts say Detroit is in a race against time.

“Things are pretty bad, and the river is getting deeper, faster and wider,” said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. “The question is, can they get to other side before the cash runs out?”

American automakers have decided — critics would say, belatedly — to shift production from trucks and sport utility vehicles to smaller, more gas-efficient cars, including hybrids. But it takes time to switch equipment for production. And it is unclear whether the automakers have sufficient cash to remain solvent until their new vehicle lines are ready for customers."

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