Between the flow of bailout bucks and the economic turmoil threatening to topple the Detroit 3, you'd figure the investigative efforts of the Detroit News would be better spent digging through the viability plans of Chrysler and General Motors, delving into the minutia that could make or break the domestic automobile industry. Apparently not.

Although the Detroit News has given us a few stories about the people behind the Obama administration's Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, this piece focuses almost entirely on each member's (and their aides') chosen chariots rather than detailing how their experiences will help the industry. So it may or may not come as a surprise that the panel's personal rides are primarily comprised of foreign marques, ranging from an Acura TSX to a MINI Cooper S. While some of the public records show that a few members of the committee have driven domestics in the past (including a 1996 Taurus GL and a Jeep Grand Cherokee), the bulk have made the switch to foreign brands. In total, only three members of ten-member panel drive vehicles built by the Detroit 3, while another three don't own a vehicle at all.

While its clear that product is one of the many issues ailing the domestics (particularly Chrysler), we'd be far more interested in how the Task Force plans to address the issues of over-capacity, the UAW, corporate in-fighting and possibly even branding – or lack thereof. We'll leave the name-naming to the Detroit News, and suggest that both GM and Chrysler take a fleet of their best products to D.C. to give the Obama team an in-depth look at what's currently coming out of Detroit.

[Source: Detroit News]


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