Detroit Should Look at the History of Steel

Bankruptcy saved that industry, but auto isn't exactly the same
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2008 2:09 PM CST
Ford Motor Company employee Ralph Gazzillo assembles the new 2008 Ford Taurus X at the Chicago Assembly Plant in this June 22, 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, file)
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(Newser) – When the steel industry was floundering, many people thought the worst possible outcome would be to allow the big, old companies to go bankrupt. But it took that failure to pare down the industry to a workable size and inject new life into it, David Streitfeld writes in the New York Times. Could the same be true of the auto industry?

Plenty of people would say no. "What happens in the automotive industry affects each and every one of us," a GM website warns. And the two businesses have some fundamental differences. But the biggest impediment to comparison is the fact that steel companies collapsed during strong economic times. Even some who hailed steel's fall support a Detroit bailout.