I generally agree with Seth Godin on what would be best for Detroit and the US related to the auto manufacturers. We need a massive wave of innovation and companies, laws and regulations that will enable it for us. Unfortunately, status quo maintainers will work hard to stop this at every turn. From Seth's article:
Not only should Congress encourage/facilitate the organizedbankruptcy of the Big Three, but it should also make it easy for themto be replaced by 500 new car companies.
Or perhaps a thousand.
That's how many car companies there were 90 years ago.
I'd spend a billion dollars to make the creation of a car companyturnkey. Make it easy to get all the safety and regulatory approvals...as easy to start a car company as it is to start a web company. Use the bankruptcy to wipe out the hated, legacy marketing portion of the industry: the dealers.
We'd end up with a rational number of "car stores" in every city that sold lots of brands. We'd have super cheap cars and superefficient cars and super weird cars. There'd be an orgy of innovation,and from that, a whole new energy and approach would evolve.