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Breaking somewhat from his fellow Democrats who largely back federal assistance for Detroit's floundering Big Three, tough-talker Chris Dodd of Connecticut was disappointed that the Big Three, during pleas to Congress, "missed an opportunity to be candid about past mistakes," reports the Detroit Free Press
today. Further, Dodd hopes that chances for the $25 billion bailout of the domestic auto industry "remain remote."
For a trip through some of Detroit's worse moments and woeful products, click over to our review
of U.S. News & World Report's summary of 10 vehicles that it believed helped sink Detroit into its current mire. GM, Ford, and Chrysler have made some great vehicles throughout the years, but their responses to oil shortages, economic realities, and automotive downsizing have resulted in disasters like the Ford Explorer
, Hummer H2
, Jeep Compass
, and the festival of badge engineering that were the Chevrolet Cavalier/Buick Skyhawk/Cadillac Cimarron/Pontiac Sunbird/Oldsmobile Firenza quintuplets.
Instead of a bailout, Dodd is in favor of a pre-packaged bankruptcy proceeding for one or more of the three automotive giants, hoping for a restructuring without complete destruction of consumer confidence. Detroit Free Press
reports that Dodd does support assistance for domestic automakers in principle, but is frustrated by automakers who don't seem to see the consequences of their poor decisions in years past. He's understandably wary of giving huge sums of taxpayer money to companies who haven't proven they will manage it well. In Dodd's bankruptcy scenario, terms for lenders, suppliers, and labor would be arranged in advance to ensure continued auto production and a clear path toward future relevance and corporate health.--Colin Mathews
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