You are absolutely clueless about the auto industry. What good assets? One of the reasons why the US auto industry had such a hard time competing with the Japaneses back in the 70's is because a substantial portion of the US factories were very old pre world war Two (or One in some cases)brick and concrete designs that are so solid they cannot be easily reconfigured or expanded. Detroit is full of old car factories that still bear the name of long deceased auto manufacturers. No one is buying up those old factories in Detroit.
The Japanese on the other hand had all their factories bombed to the ground by the US. So all their factories are post world war two or newer. The Japanese build their factories using a modular design with bolt on walls. If they need to expand a plant they just unbolt the wall on the side they want to enlarge, pour a slab, put up the steel and bolt the walls back on.
The only companies that care to keep those Detroit factories working are the big three.
No we bailed out an irreplaceable part of our industrial manufacturing base just like our trading partners would do. The free market is a good idea. I think there should be one for automobiles. But I don't think we should make policy decisions based upon your belief in a fantasy that does not exist.
The shift from the railroads was because of technological changes that rendered them obsolete. Keeping our domestic auto industry alive is different.
Other countries subsidize their auto industries and because they are foreign companies they can play by different rules from the big three. For example back in the late 60's early 70's the government started mandating emissions controls on American cars. In Japan the government formed a consortium of all the Japanese automakers so they could pool their resources and share the costs of developing catalytic converters and other emissions controls. In the US anti trust laws prevented co-operation by the American auto makers so they each had to independently develop emissions controls at great expense to each company. The same thing happens with other new automobile technologies like hybrids.
This is not a free market because the American automakers have to play by different rules and don't get constant help from the government. You are blindly adhering to an ideology based upon a fantasy world that does not exist.
If you live in America you should care about who makes our cars. If it a foreign company that is subsidized by a foreign government the best interests of Americans will never be that company's first priority. What happens is cherry picking, where the best paying aspects of vehicle manufacture are kept at home.
The Japanese do this with their transplant factories here. They cast an engine block, cylinder head, connecting rods, pistons, camshafts ects... here. Then they ship them to Japan where the parts are machined (a machinist is a highly paid, high skill position). Then they ship the machined parts back here to have dumb Americans assemble them into an engine and they can say it is 95 percent American content. The end result is our machinists are unemployed or stocking shelves at Wal-Mart while their machinists are banking off of us.
You are on crack if you think that anyone is interested in buying up our factories and slapping a new logo on the product. Get a clue homeboy even the big three don't want some of their factories. I witnessed part of the demolition of Buick city in Flint, no one in their right mind will ever replace that factory and that place was massive.
I can justify it because it a lesser evil to letting those companies go under leaving us totally dependent upon foreigners who are not dealing with us fair and square because they intend to put our guys under.
You are badly misrepresenting the Chrysler situation. After the first bailout Chrysler went on to become the darling of the auto industry and a very desirable property. That is why Mercedes bought them. During their time as part of Mercedes decisions were made with it in mind that they were going to remain part of Mercedes. Mercedes cast them off just as the industry was taking a downturn due to high gas prices and after Mercedes had canceled Chrysler's Neon small car program.
The global automobile market is not a free market. You are blindly advocating an ideology that is based upon something that does not exist. You want America to be some kind of super Eagle Scout in a world where our friends are dishonorable dirt bags who will stab us in the back.
Your last line really demonstrates your ignorance of the auto industry. Ford has better overall quality than Toyota, is equal to Honda, is better than BMW, Audi, VW, Hyundai, Infiniti,Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Mazda, Scion, Subaru, Suzuki .
For overall dependability Buick is better than: Acura, Audi, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Infinity, Kia, equal to: Lexus, Lincoln, Better than: Mazda, Mercedes, Mini, Nissan, Saab, Scion, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, VW, Volvo.
For America to do nothing while the rest of the world unscrupulously, use, abuse and take advantage of our free market to strip us of one of our most valuable industries would be stupid. After we lose it what are we going to move on to? You are a moron for saying such a thing. If there is something else to move on to why aren't we already doing it?
As bad as GM and Chrysler are doing there are foreign company's that are doing much worse and would have been gone a while ago if they weren't propped up by their country's government. Look at the quality and reliability ratings for VW. VW has been making an awful product for quite some time and has had government support throughout much of it's history. If there really was a free market VW would be gone while Ford, GM and Chrysler would be picking up the pieces with their higher quality products.