We’re sure seeing a lot of that last sentiment, sometimes with the criticism focused on the unions and high labor costs, sometimes focused on past errors of Detroit.

The NAM’s position was expressed in a statement last week by NAM President and CEO John Engler:

The automotive sector is the country’s largest manufacturing industry, and it accounts for approximately 20 percent of our manufacturing GDP. Automakers are actively restructuring and modernizing to become more competitive while at the same time meeting new standards imposed by Congress. But the fact is that this evolution takes time and money that the automakers just don’t have right now.
 
Financial and market instability, an ongoing credit squeeze, and closed capital markets have drained the liquidity from automakers’ operations.  Auto sales have plummeted along with consumer demand and confidence, really cutting back on automakers’ revenue. A partial or total failure of a major auto manufacturer would have a massive economic ripple effect on the entire U.S. economy. And the serious economic troubles affect far more than just the major auto companies. It’s the manufacturers, the suppliers, the dealers and all the way down the chain.
 
The auto industry in America cannot be sustained under these extraordinary economic conditions without additional support.
 

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