This weekend saw the opening of North America’s premier auto show in Detroit, Michigan. From the looks of it, however, all the glitz and glamor are gone, the automakers instead focusing on simple no non-sense presentations. In addition to the more spartan than normal surroundings of various car stands, a number of marks elected to not even show up including the likes of Nissan, Porsche, and Mitsubishi to name just a few. So what does it all mean? Well obviously the US automakers are strapped for cash cutting back on all the fanfare of previous years and Chrysler in addition to money problems simply looks bereft of ideas going forward.
I personally have not been the biggest fan of domestic motors for a number of years, they simply have lacked the quality and refinement that can be found throughout the market with other manufactures. This certainly isnt the fault of the blue collar worker in the factory, far from it, a number of other manufacturers have plants in the US which produce quality European and Japanese cars. No, the fault here lies squarely on the shoulders of those in charge at the corporate offices of GM, Ford, and Chrysler. The leadership of these companies for the last few decades has been satisfied with mediocrity in their products and it has finally come back to bite them in the ass. This recession has only sped up the downward spiral of what was already a severely declining “Big Three” it did not create it. Fortunately for many working in the factories, it looks like Ford and most likely GM will be able to weather this storm for now, Chrysler on the other hand looks all but gone. To those CEO’s that do manage to survive in the American auto industry, I might point to the slogan for my favorite soccer team as something to keep in mind for the future, “Nil Satis Nisi Optimum”.