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Detroit, We Only Smack You Around ‘Cuz We Love You April 1, 2009

Auto, schmoto. Detroit has given us what we’ve wanted for years and then allowed us to turn on them when we get a belly-ache. The fact of the matter is, Detroit IS a good company, in the role that it plays. It has to be a foil for car makers around the world. No one else makes big cars. Just us. In flush times, they’re hailed. In a looming Depression, they’re assailed.
Think of this: we wanted SUVs. Do you think that Japan would have given them to us? No way. Germany? Nope. Sure, they gingerly rode the U.S. automakers coattails once SUVs were big bucks, but their divisions were diversified. Not ours.
But now imagine this: what if we no longer made big cars? Will, magically, the U.S. urge for bigger disappear? Will people start to buy American again? I doubt it. All the restructuring in the world won’t make the U.S. automakers slip away from their image. America can build cars again, but it’s going to have to dump the brands and start from scratch.