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Blondesjon's avatar

No. Ronald Reagan killing the unions did.

ragingloli's avatar

considering that, for example, unions in Germany are much more powerful than anything in the US, and our car companies are not in the same situation as the american carmakers, i would say, no, they did not.

blueknight73's avatar

no, the 70’s and 80’ killed the big three, they;re greed got the best of them and they put out crappy products. i swore off american cars in 1984 after 3 crappy vehicles i bought brand new. i live in ky and we have a toyota plant here that pays almost as much as the union guys make, and these guys make great cars. its NEVER the workers, its ALWAYS the companies greed that gets the best of them

gooch's avatar

Yep the union greed did them in. Come on $70 an hour to drop a part in a hole. No education required I might add.

ml3269's avatar

I think our “no-limit-capitalism” killed not only Detroit… the whole world is affected by the crisis… we in the EU like you in the US… it is for now not a union-made problem.

_bob's avatar

Fugly cars nobody liked killed Detroit.

jrpowell's avatar

Not the 70$ per hour crap again. That number includes pensions and health care for all retired workers. The actual per hour wage is closer to 20 dollars.

The union hate is stupid. And, it takes two to enter into a contract.

tehrani625's avatar

It was the government, they messed with import taxes and this screwed over the US auto makers. Their is a reason that German and Japanese auto makers build their trucks here, that would a be a 25% tax on trucks imported from outside of North America. The government has also messed with the way fuel economy for an auto makers fleet is calculated that gave the big three an opening to build big expensive trucks and make a quick buck at the same time. Now that people are realizing that trucks are not as good an idea as they may have been a few years ago they have stopped buying them. Thus the big three go down and have no decent small cars to save themselves with. Has anyone here driven the new Chevy Malibu? That thing is considered their best car in a long time…

And the unions did play a part in killing Detroit, ever heard of a Job Bank?

YARNLADY's avatar

@tehrani625 You are correct in your assessment, and you have left out some very important points. There is huge government oversight in the products that can be used as well. One that I know of personally is the quality of steel. They are not allowed to import steel that doesn’t meet high standards, and as a result, they switched to much less expensive alternatives, such as fiberglass. Another example is the clean air act. There are many other examples of the government protecting the consumer to the point of killing us.

Add to that the cheaper, better made import cars, and then end was near. In other countries, the workers don’t have nearly the workplace protections that US workers demand, and the companies also are not required to use ‘safe’ products like they are here.

tehrani625's avatar

@YARNLADY that too…

What do you people think about BYD and GM importing cars from China to the US?

cwilbur's avatar

Management in Detroit did not respond adequately to the changing auto markets. When Toyota, Subaru, and Honda were making small, efficient, reliable cars, the Big Three were making large gas guzzlers. This started in the 1970s, with the last energy crisis, and the Big Three have failed to adequately respond for the past 30 years.

The obligations the Big Three made to the unions when times were good may have hastened the end, but it takes two sides to agree to a contract, and so I have a hard time ascribing that to the union.

_bob's avatar

This is an interesting reading. Here is the gallery.

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