Quit whining, it’s time to look ahead

Our community’s mood on the restructuring of the auto industry is swinging.

For weeks, comments posted on autonews.com about potential Chrysler sale/merger/breakup deals have been mostly about how No. 3 U.S. automaker got it wrong. At best, posters analyzed the causes. At worst, they raged about who to blame (a surprisingly long and varied list).

But overnight, writers are shifting their sentiment. The comments, several more like essays, are longer, more thoughtful and less angry. More importantly, many are forward looking.

Some writers have a suggestion. Some offer several ways to fix U.S automakers. Others issue bold calls to action.

COO@Tier1 says if taxpayers have to pay to revive the auto industry, they should get some guarantees their money is being well spent. Seven, actually. He proposes “controls to ensure a robust, rejuvenated and sustainable domestic auto industry:” Before forking over federal bucks, he urges requiring new cars to have extended warranties and 80 percent local content; tax credits for new-car buyers; and for rescued automakers, more representative boards, full loan repayment and no executive pay above $1 million until the federal debt is paid off.

Some suggestions are narrower.

Arguing that Cerberus wants to close a deal with General Motors by the Nov. 4 election before people notice what a bad deal it is for GM, Chrysler and the public, 329031 says “the deal must be blocked until cool heads fully investigate the impact this will have on what is left of our industrial base.”

At least some import-intenders are willing to reconsider.

Jeff is a fan of European and Asian cars (including those made by Ford of Europe and GM Europe) and was shopping German and Japanese cars before hearing that Ford was adapting European cars for the U.S. Now, he says, “I’ve decided to delay my car purchase until I can see one of these beauties in person.” There’s one potential conquest customer for Ford.

There’s too much whining out there, says AutoVeteran. Folks didn’t object when the bubble was being inflated, and the complaints now aren’t helping, he writes.

“Let’s quit the whining, the blaming and the-sky-is-falling routine,” he says. “Get to work, make it better or shut up.”

So in that spirit, who has suggestions on how to clean up this mess? C’mon, it’s your chance to play “If I were king.” Think of it as therapy.

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