The efficient US auto industry

Fareed Zakaria makes it clear: There is an efficient US auto industry. It just isn’t in Detroit. Operative quote:

…there are 12 international car companies that have manufacturing operations in the United States. Collectively, they employ 113,000 Americans directly — even though that is less than the 239,000 at Ford, GM and Chrysler. However, those international car companies sell more cars than the Big Three and their customers love their products.


CNN: So you are against the bailout?

Zakaria: No. But the reasons the CEOs of Ford, GM and Chrysler present — that they will restructure, they are still competitive, they will change — are bogus; they won’t. The best argument for the bailout is that it is the most cost-effective jobs program that the government can run in the short term.

(Via Esteban.)

Here is a more philosophical piece by Roger Cohen.