Foreign Automakers Could Fill Detroit Vacuum

But gov't risks big job losses if Big Three fail
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2008 9:50 AM CST
Unsold 2009 Corollas and Matrixs sit at a Toyota dealership in the southeast Denver suburb of Centennial, Colo., on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008.    (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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(Newser) – If Detroit’s “Big Three” do collapse, foreign-owned automakers would be able to pick up the slack, industry experts tell the New York Times. These foreign giants have a big enough US presence to swiftly take over the industry and its supplier network, but the transition would likely be painful, with hundreds of thousands losing their jobs.

“You would have an auto industry in the United States more like that of Mexico and Canada: foreign-owned,” said one automotive economist. But the Big Three still buy about 85% of their parts from domestic suppliers, and the transplants build some cars overseas, explaining Congressional eagerness for a bailout. “If the Big Three go down, a bunch of the suppliers go down,” said a UAW official, “and the transplants share a number of the suppliers." (Read more Toyota stories.)