Debunking 6 Myths About Detroit Carmakers

Clamor over bailout obscures some truths about Big Three
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2008 2:45 PM CST
An electric Jeep Wrangler prototype is shown in Auburn Hills, Mich., Sept. 23, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Misconceptions and half-truths abound in the discussion over giving Detroit’s big three carmakers a chunk of federal bailout cash. Mark Phelan, in the Free Press, clears up six myths:

  1. Nobody buys GM, Ford or Chrysler anymore.
  • Fact: The three combined sold 8.5 million vehicles domestically last year—GM alone beat Toyota’s sales by 1.2 million.
  1. Their cars are unreliable.
  • Fact: Consumer-advocacy groups now rate cars from the Big Three as equally dependable as those from Japanese or European brands.

  1. They build fuel-inefficient cars.
  • Fact: All three offer models that get 29-33 mpg.
  1. They already got $25 billion in bailout cash.
  • Fact: That money has yet to actually be disbursed and is tied to investments in new technology, so it doesn’t help with the immediate crisis.
  1. They are stupid for putting all their efforts into SUVs.
  • Fact: The whole car industry, including Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes and BMW jumped on the SUV bandwagon, because light trucks are profitable.
  1. They don’t make hybrids.
  • Fact: While late to the party, Detroit now offers more than Honda or Nissan.