OPINION: Stop arm-chair quarterbacking the auto industry
Then there's entrepreneur extraordinaire Michael Arrington, co-editor of Tech Crunch, who claims in a recent op-ed piece that what works for the tech industry will work for autos, too. His idea is that auto companies should outsource all production of their vehicles to third-party companies just like Apple does with the iPod. He also criticizes the auto industry for its business model of vertical integration, questioning why there isn't an Intel of engine manufacturers that sells to all the automakers. Well, guess what Mike, the Apple model doesn't work for everybody (it didn't work for Apple in the early '90s) and there are a tens of thousands more parts in a car than an iPod that might make outsourcing their production to the lowest bidder a logistical nightmare.
While it's easy to dog on the domestics for the sorry shape in which they find themselves, don't listen to every Karen and Michael out there who voice their ill-informed opinions on how things ought to be. There are such a myriad of factors that have contributed to the current state of the Detroit 3, some of which is their fault and some (like bad mortgages ruining the credit market) which aren't, that there just is no silver bullet fix beyond continuing to lower costs and building better products.
[Source: Chicago Tribune, Tech Crunch]
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