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Driving Detroit's recovery
How automakers will fare under an oversight committee instead of a "car czar"
 

"Uncle Sam's role in reshaping Detroit's auto industry just got a bit clearer, said Brian Wingfield and Joann Muller in Forbes. There will be no "car czar" to evaluate the restructuring plans being submitted by General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler; a Presidential Task Force on Autos will do the job instead. "Whether that's a good thing depends completely on the follow-through."

Using a "team of generals" instead of a czar, said John Crawley in Reuters, will give President Obama and his team more flexibility in steering Detroit onto the road to recovery with the help of the $17 billion bailout approved in December. That could mean one or more of the automakers could be headed into bankruptcy—a possibility Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner—who will oversee the review—has mentioned as a possibility.

Skeptics say bankruptcy may be inevitable now, said James R. Healey in USA Today, because a committee will never be able to "make the quick decisions Detroit needs to stay afloat, and can avoid politics and interagency turf wars." Some auto executives weren't crazy about the idea of a powerful individual meddling in their affairs, but even they admitted that a "single, decisive" micromanager might have been their best shot at a turnaround.

 

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