On balance the federal bailout of the U.S. auto industry has been good not only for carmakers but also the U.S. economy, say several key industry experts.
Rod Lache, top automotive analyst for Deutsche Bank, said that the private sector’s general approval of the GM and Chrysler bailouts has been signaled by the increase in the value of certain auto stocks. The restructuring of the auto industry not only has given General Motors and Chrysler a new lease on life, but also could lead to Ford Motor Co. becoming profitable again by the end of 2009. And its is quite likely that GM will be profitable in 2011, Lache told a crowd of industry leaders at the annual Management Briefing Seminars, in Traverse City, Michigan.
Meanwhile, the head of the Presidential Auto Task Force that bailed out GM and Chrysler reiterated that the federal government will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of either company. The government wasn’t involved in the decision on whether Bob Lutz should stay on at GM as vice chairman, said task force boss Ron Bloom. That, along with other personnel changes that have followed the company’s emergence from bankruptcy, were all left strictly in the hand of GM’s management, said Bloom, a former official with the United Steel Workers and a successful investment banker.