I think Chrysler and GM could learn something from Ford's example. Ford made the tough choice to restructure internally instead of taking an infusion of taxpayer bailout money and a government-run bankruptcy. They closed plants, eliminated different brands of cars, and had to cut about 40,000 employees. And, they borrowed $23.5 billion from private lenders, " mortgaging almost everything of value in the company." They made the tough choices, took the risks, and now they are on track to reap the rewards, branding themselves to be on track to be a vibrant, job-creating company once again.
On the other hand, we have the Chrysler and GM example. Who knows what's next on their dance card having danced the bailout/bankruptcy two-step with the federal government. What's more: Who knows how these rival companies will fare against one another taking such radically different paths. Will Ford find itself at a disadvantage for doing the right thing and living up to the American spirit of risk-taking, ingenuity, and innovation? As the Wall Street Journal reports today, "Ford's decision to decline U.S. aid or file for bankruptcy protection may have created consumer goodwill, but rival GM was able to eliminate about $40 billion in debt. Chrysler Group LLC similarly exited bankruptcy with lower financial obligations."
Henry Ford is responsible for the birth of the American auto industry. It's encouraging to see that the spirit of America still lives on in Ford.