I have been thinking about the latest thing with the auto industry. See, being a car guy and all it really is bugging me. I have come to the conclusion that part of the problem with the US auto industry is self inflicted.
Auto designs as of late in the US are so similar to the Japanese equivalent that they are almost identical. If you hide the badges you would be hard pressed to tell who the manufacturer was. I mean seriously. If you are going to buy a car that looks identical to all the other cars out there. If all things are equal in the workmanship of the car, you go with the history of the manufacturer. Sadly the Japanese have been beating the US manufacturers for a while. Then on top of that we add in that the cars have consistently been cheaper. Very few American cars LOOK American. Not to mention FEEL American.
I also looked at the average cost of cars. See back in the 60's cars were about 5-7 grand. average incomes were on average 32 grand a year. Now cars are 18-40 grand. and the average income is 42 grand. That means the average cost of the new car went from around 25% to between 50 and 90% of the average person's income. They have priced themselves out of their own market. People can't buy new cars. Or they have to finance them. Buying that new car makes it almost a requirement to finance nowadays. So with the financial implosion, the manufacturers are now stuck with cars people can't buy. They need to lower the cost and make cars that the average consumer can save for a year and buy.
Oh and... We have foreign manufacturers building their cars in the US. Meanwhile the US manufacturers are exporting those manufacturing jobs to other countries, but bringing those cars back to the States. It's pretty sad that a Toyota is more American than a Chevy. These last two are related... Unions have such overhead that the manufacturers are forced to pay way more for each worker... Foreign nameplates get around that, and manufacturing costs are significantly lower. The unions may have actually caused their own unemployment.
Anyone else have ideas on why the auto manufacturers are having their problems... and how they should go about fixing it.