With the November election looming over their heads, the Democrats are scrambling to get as much voter confidence as possible and reassure the masses that President Obama will continue to fight for the average American citizen. When it comes to this country, auto workers and those employed in related industries make up a measurable percentage of eligible voters, something which Congress has not overlooked. As part of one of America’s top domestic industries it’s vital that Detroit has government backing because the economy depends on it. Former President Bush was responsible for initiating the auto bailout before he left office and although he isn’t often given enough credit, he did effectively save millions of jobs.
Since taking over for his predecessor, Obama has been heavily invested in G.M. and Chrysler (with some $88 billion dollars in taxpayer money) and is responsible for creating the restructuring plan that has allowed them to consolidate brands and return to a pattern of growth. As of recent both G.M. and Chrysler have been doing exceptionally well and sales are up across the board now that they are focused in production goals and have successfully re-marketed themselves post-bankruptcy.
G.M. has risen to new heights with it 4 brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, and G.M.C.) and continues to be the industry leader in total market share. Chrysler has endured the worst and now, all brands (Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Fiat) under the group have achieved an increase in sales with year to date sales exceeding 1.1 million. Detroit is positioning itself to breathe life back into this industry by taking inspiration from foreign manufacturers as to what consumers require. A focus on innovation and technology will be vital to Detroit’s sustained growth in the domestic market.
It is still not clear how much the bailout will ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers (losses are currently estimated to be at least $25 billion) and the Democrats seem to be skirting around the issue. They have been consistently targeting Mitt Romney for the lack of support he showed for the auto bailout and looked poised to ride that argument all the way to the White House. Romney, who co-founded private equity firm Bain Capital, is a known investor of Asian manufacturers and supporter of outsourcing to China. Although manufacturing states such as Michigan and Ohio have responded positively to the Democrats efforts there are still many underlying issues to be addressed. It remains to be seen whether the rest of the nation believes in Obama’s efforts to keep American brands afloat and more importantly, whether they truly understand the reality of what it’s going to cost them.