Wash. Times' Pruden compares Japanese competitors' impact on U.S. automakers to Pearl Harbor
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From Wesley Pruden's May 5 Analysis/Opinion piece in The Washington Times:
Putting together loans backed by greedy governments will be considerably easier than fixing what went wrong in Detroit. The further irony is that the United Auto Workers, which extracted the featherbed contracts a quarter of a century ago that doomed GM and Chrysler, will now hold a majority stake in Chrysler and a slightly smaller stake in GM.
We'll see now how the UAW deals with self-abuse. In the early '70s GM imagined that it could stay rich forever selling junk if only it could avoid strikes that shut down the junk-assembly lines. So it agreed to anything the unions demanded.
Then the Japanese arrived with cars of modest size and high quality; the impact on Detroit was of a reprise of Pearl Harbor. This time there was no wake-up call. Good times continued in the junkyard. Soon the Japanese were through with lunch and beginning to sup on Detroit's dinner.