"We're here not because of what the auto industry has done," he said. "We're here because of what has happened to the economy."I'm not blaming the UAW for what's happened to the Big Three, but they have certainly contributed to what the industry has done to itself -- not what some nefarious, external action has done to it. If the financial crisis was to blame, auto makers worldwide would need government bailouts or be in similar dire straits because the economy is global.
For instance, on October 29, 2008, The New York Times reported that, "During the third quarter, G.M. sold 1.28 million vehicles outside of the United States, accounting for 61 percent of its total sales compared with 56 percent a year ago." So if you believe that the financial crisis (domestic or global) is to blame, why is it that only US auto manufacturers are in such bad shape?
The thinking, tactics, and strategies that have gotten the Big Three into such bad shape are not peculiar to the auto industry. US businesses in general need to re-think how they creating value in a global economy.