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September 4, 2009

Poor Chrysler


Poor Chrysler.


Not only did it just go through bankruptcy and end up under the control of yet another Axis Power, but it hardly even gets the mocking attention it probably deserves, because big brother Government Motors is easier to lampoon.


Besides, Chrysler had its moment in the sun 30 years ago when Lee Iacocca sold the nation his unique brand of vinegar and snake oil salad dressing, and we all decided it would taste swell on our lettuce, croutons and bacon bits.


“Thanks, America! Now it’s up to us! See you in 30 years when we’ll be asking you to bail us out again!”


Hey, most companies don’t even survive five years, let alone secure two federal bailouts in the span of a generation. Achievement, thy name is Chrysler. Or Daimler. Or Fiat. Or whatever we’re calling them these days.


What we are certainly not calling them, though, is a force in auto sales, as August’s noteworthy rise in industry sales managed to leave Chrysler and bailout/bankruptcy bud GM out of the spoils. But Chrysler and its new owners at Fiat don’t have to look far to find a scapegoat. It seems it was one of their major shareholders – the federal government – that helped stimulate the short-term sales spike with that “Cash for Clunkers” business of theirs, only to find that Chrysler hadn’t actually produced enough vehicles to meet the artificial demand.


Why? Something about completely shutting down production a few months ago during the bankruptcy the federal government orchestrated, causing Chrysler dealers to run out of vehicles when the public started flooding showrooms looking for the people who were handing out checks and taking jalopies off folks’ hands.


Well, never let it be said that Chrysler lacks for answers. Cash for Clunkers is over, but since it worked so well for the rest of the market, Chrysler is going to simply give away its own $4,500 rebates throughout September! Hey, it’s only money! The objective here is to move vehicles, not to make a profit, and adding $4,500 to the manufacturer’s cost on a vehicle is a sure way to move vehicles and not make a profit.


See? Those of you who fretted that the Detroit automotive industry would be changed forever by the recent bankruptcies needn’t have been concerned. The old people, who used to gladly bleed cash to keep operations humming, have been replaced by new people who gladly bleed cash to keep operations humming.


Granted, no one expects the industry to perform in September anywhere near like it did in August, mainly because all the people who can be bribed into hurrying up and buying cars have already done so. This might actually benefit Chrysler insofar as it won’t have that many takers for the $4,500 bribe it’s waving around. Perhaps this will help Chrysler survive to see another generation, so we can repeat this whole exercise when the cycle comes back around again.


December 2039


Sen. Levi Johnston (D-Alaska): So, like, yeah, what’s up? You need a bailout?


Lee Iacocca, chairman, Chrysler Corporation: If you don’t bail us out, the Statue of Liberty will cry and these union members won’t get their drugs.


Sen. Johnston: Drugs? I know some dudes who can hook them up.


Mr. Iacocca: As long as they’re not Japanese. Slanty-eyed bastards took all our market share again.


Yep. It’s a spectacle no generation should miss.


© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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