A couple of familiar faces showed up as speakers at the Democratic National Convention last week. One might have been expected -- UAW President Bob King, who defended the 2009 auto industry bailouts. The other was a bit of a surprise: Austin Ligon, co-founder of CarMax, the nation's largest used-car retailer.
King said a rejuvenated auto industry is leading the nation's economic recovery. His speech was preceded by remarks from Ligon, who praised the bailout and the government's cash-for-clunkers program, which helped boost auto sales in August and September of 2009, just after the bankruptcies.
"The president's decisive action led to rapid and successful restructuring of two of America's largest corporations, GM and Chrysler," said Ligon, who retired from CarMax in 2006.
"That didn't just save the car companies," the former used-car mogul said. "It helped prevent a domino effect that would have taken down everything in the auto industry from factories that manufactured the auto parts to dealers that sold the cars."