Collins & Aikman Corp., one of the industry's largest suppliers, filed for Chapter 11 reorganization last week. CEO David Stockman, the former Reagan administration budget chief, resigned on May 12.
It was a far more ebullient Stockman who in February 2001 explained to a visitor to his Greenwich, Conn., office how a culture of risk-taking, low capital gains taxes and solid monetary policy made it a great time to invest in the auto industry. Always a numbers man, he backed up his assertion with charts displaying the rise in North American vehicle production over the past 20 years.
But this time the numbers failed him.