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The Detroit Big 3 - What Do You Think?

The impact of the woes of the Big 3 automakers is being felt all over the Detroit area, including the Plymouth-Canton communities. Canton's largest employer, American Yazaki, is an automotive supplier, and many Plymouth and Canton residents work for either one of the big three or an automotive supplier. With high fuel prices that won't go away any time soon, vehicle line-ups overly dependent on large trucks, higher cost structures than foreign competitors, and an American consumer that is delaying big-ticket purchases, the remedy will not be found any time soon. The auto industry has always been cyclical, but with stock prices for Ford and GM currently at historic lows, there is something profoundly different about this downturn - the survival of these companies is now at stake.

As workers, consumers, and as people in an area that has in many ways had a way of life, including our retirements, defined by the success or failure of the auto industry, we're all qualified, in some way, to comment on how the problems affecting the auto industry have impacted our lives - and what the automakers can do, or what we can do, to improve the situation.

You have thoughts on this - please let us know what they are.

Reader Responses:

Sam P.
I used to work for Ford, and I feel sorry for people that have lost their jobs or are worried that they will. What Ford is doing, and I think the others are doing, needs to happen. They must downsize to current conditions. They need to develop a line-up of more fuel efficient cars. And probably most painful to families with autoworkers as the breadwinner, they must bring labor costs in line with their foreign competitors. I hope that the auto companies get government assistance to develop hybrids or alternative energy vehicles, and make wise investments with that money. I know we can't all buy a new car, but it would help if more of us drive an American car - the quality and style have improved, and you will be sending a message that you are helping the local economy.
Dan S.
On October 10, I sold some of my other stocks and bought a few hundred shares each of both Ford, at about 2.50/share, and GM at less than $5/share. At those prices, I think they are both a significant bargain. Could one go bankrupt? Maybe. But that would, in an odd way, help the other, or, they could even combine. But my primary point is that we can help, and perhaps benefit financially, by buying stock in these companies now. Let's show some faith in the ability of our neighbors who work in the auto industry to contribute toward the rebound of these auto companies. Let's show some faith that the bottom has occurred, and that we can all contribute to the turnaraound.

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The Big 3 - What Do You Think?

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The difficulties of the Detroit-based auto-makers have affected all of us. How has it impacted you? What is your take on their future? What should the automakers, consumers do to improive the situation, or how can we change to create a local economy less dependent on the prospects of the uto industry. All readers are qualified to comment on this - please provide your name as you would like it posted, your age if you care to provide it (It is relevant to many potential responses), your background relative to the auto industry, and your thoughts, ideas or opinions, and we'll post as many as are appropriate to the discussion that will ensue. Thanks for reading and responding!
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Community Poll:
Which statement best describes how the economic downturn has affected you (and your family) personally.
Not much affect
Currently OK, but concerned about the future
I am watching my spending closely
Significant impact on my finances
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