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:
- 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.
- 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.
- They build fuel-inefficient cars.
- Fact: All three offer models that get 29-33 mpg.
- 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.
- 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.
- They don’t make hybrids.
- Fact: While late to the party, Detroit now offers more than Honda or Nissan.