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http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/17/gm...0717automistakes_slide_2.html?thisspeed=35000

Detroit has made several amazing comebacks in the past 25 years. The original Ford Taurus, the Chrysler minivans and LH sedans, and a slew of new models from General Motors' Cadillac division revitalized their respective companies.

U.S. carmakers are still pumping out winners (GM's Chevrolet Malibu, for one), and yet the Big Three are in worse shape now than in the dark days of the early 1980s. In mid-July, General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) announced a new round of cutbacks. Surely more bad news is on the way in an industry burning through cash at an alarming rate.

The problems go beyond exchange rates, closed foreign markets and legacy labor costs. Nor are they solely the fault of rising gasoline prices--$4 gas hurts all automakers.
 

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Killing Oldsmobile and Plymouth

General Motors phased out Oldsmobile about the time the division was celebrating its 100th birthday. That decision destroyed a century's worth of heritage, loyalty and goodwill. Chrysler started Plymouth back in 1928 and officially ended it in 2001. Customers took their business to competitors, not other divisions of GM and Chrysler. Will Ford Motor make the same mistake with Mercury?
Why killing off any brand but Hummer is a bad idea.
 

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A perfectly apropos slide show that nicely encapsulates the struggles that Detroit faces and the missteps that continue to occur in the Motor City. Nice find, doh.

...the U.S. responded to political and public pressure with "voluntary" import quotas in 1981.
A fine example of how US government intervention to aid an industry has the exact opposite effect. It's why I hope, beyond fighting for fair markets, the US government avoids "helping" the auto industry. Some people may feel placated by having Big Brother run their lives, but I'm gonna look to some of the talented people in Detroit to save the joint. They got themselves into this mess, and they're gonna have to be the ones who get themselves out.
 
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