American Automakers: An Industry on the Rebound?

American Automakers: Almost a year and a half after the American auto bailout, our panel examines the 
future of the American auto industry.


Transcript



JIM GLASSMAN:
Welcome to Ideas In Action, a television series about ideas and their consequences.  I'm Jim Glassman.  A world without American automakers seemed inconceivable until November 2008, when executives from Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors told Congress their companies were near collapse.  Only Ford avoided a federal bailout.

Chrysler and General Motors borrowed billions from the government, declared bankruptcy, and reorganized under Chapter 11.  Now, 2010 forecasts signal a rebound for the industry.  Did the bailout work?  And where do U.S. automakers go from here?  Joining me to discuss this topic are Paul Ingrassia, former Detroit Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize.  His latest book, Crash Course, recounts the decline of the American auto industry.

Tammy Darvish, Vice President of Darcars, a family business with 25 dealerships, representing 15 auto brands in the mid-Atlantic and Florida.  She's also on the board of the National Automobile Dealers Association.  And Anthony Yezer, Director of the Center for Economic Research at George Washington University.  He has consulted with Chrysler, Ford, and GM about credit issues.  The topic this week, American Automakers After the Bailout:  An Industry on the Rebound?  This is Ideas In Action.
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JIM GLASSMAN:
In 2008, chaos in the credit markets nearly brought down the most iconic auto brands in America.  Slow sales, decades of mismanagement, and high labor costs led Chrysler, Ford, and GM to the edge of bankruptcy.  The government was forced to decide; Let American automakers fail and lose millions of jobs?  Or offer bridge loans to keep the companies afloat?

Ultimately, Ford stood on its own, but Chrysler and GM declared bankruptcy and accepted almost $100 billion in loans from the American taxpayer.  Forced to reorganize, they hammered out new union contracts, closed thousands of dealerships, and accepted unprecedented government involvement in the management of their business.  By the beginning of the year, the U.S. found itself with what seemed like a new, leaner, automobile industry.

Ford's $2.1 billion first quarter profit was the highest since 2004.  And Chrysler and GM are reporting strong sales, as well.  Is the American auto industry on the rebound?  Paul, let's start with you.  How did the auto industry get into such trouble?
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Well, Jim, it's really pretty simple.  There was-- for decades in this country, there was a combination of a corporate oligopoly known as the Big Three, GM, Ford, and Chrysler.  Along with a labor monopoly, known as the United Autoworkers Union.  So, this combination of a corporate oligopoly and labor monopoly produced enormous profits for-- for decades.  But then when competition came into the market in the 1970s and 1980s from German, but then especially Japanese cars-- oligopoly and monopoly were broken.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Tammy, how did the bailout affect you?
TAMMY DARVISH:
Well, as an industry it affected us, because they just arbitrarily shut down-- 2,300-2,400 dealerships across the country that are 100 percent independent from the manufacturers.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Including some of yours.
TAMMY DARVISH:
Yes.  Including some of ours.  And-- with that, you know, you have a lot of job layoffs.  You have-- a lot of-- income that our communities are normally accustomed to receiving, whether it's through taxes or payroll benefits or health benefits, et cetera, that were eliminated virtually from it.  Let-- lower dealers, lower sales.
JIM GLASSMAN:
You know, I could never understand that.  Why would a-- manufacturer reduce the number of outlets for his product?
TAMMY DARVISH:
Well, the manufacturer was really given what I call a hall pass.  Through the 363 Bankruptcy.  Where there's a very small clause in it-- where they say that they're excused from executory contracts.  Like maybe a lease you might-- may have on a fax machine.  And the task force looked at the automobile dealers as being an executory contract.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Tony, you-- you were in favor of shutting down some dealerships.
ANTHONY YEZER:
I-- I don't like to take a position as an economist.  I can tell you that-- if-- if I'm advising someone where national sales are going from, you know, 16 to 10, you're going to need less retail operations, exactly.  Also, some of the retail network, remember, was developed many years ago.  You know, before we had even superhighways.  And there were a lot of very, very small dealerships, whose markets had moved on.  We need larger dealerships like yours that are really efficient and well run.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Well, okay, let-- let-- let's move on, maybe we'll come back to the dealerships later.
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Can I just raise one quick point about that?
JIM GLASSMAN:
Yeah, sure.
PAUL INGRASSIA:
You know, I can really sympathize-- if you will, with Tammy and other dealers who have lost their-- dealership.  Some of their dealerships.  But look, bankruptcy is an ugly, painful process.  That's why it's a last resort.  So, if dealers get restored, why don't workers who lost their jobs get restored?  Why don't the bondholders who got wiped out get restored?  Why don't the shareholders who got wiped out get restored?  It's sort of like where you draw the line.  It's a tough business.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Go ahead, Tammy.
TAMMY DARVISH:
Well, here's the difference.  The difference-- and to say that-- whether you take a position or not, this really boils down to our-- do you believe in the American Constitution or not?  Or the Constitution of the United States?  I understand that.  When we're bringing people back, we pay our own payrolls, 100 percent.  We pay for our property, we pay for our buildings.  We prepay for every car before it's even left the manufacturer.  We buy parts.  We are the manufacturer's only customer.

The market will take care of itself.  Yes, I'm a big organization, I'll survive.  Most people, that's all they had.  Remember, there are 237 million cars on the road today.  Two thirds of which are American cars.  How will the domestic brand ever recover the market share they've lost?
JIM GLASSMAN:
Are-- are you seeing that now?
TAMMY DARVISH:
Abso--
JIM GLASSMAN:
In other-- in other words, are American manufacturers suffering?  American brands suffering because there are fewer dealerships?
TAMMY DARVISH:
Absolutely.  It's simple math.  And-- and-- and to understand that fewer dealerships mean fewer sales.  But with that said, we're free enterprise.  It's all about competition.  These domestic manufacturers are going to have to do three things.  They're going to have to restore the dealers.  They're going to have to put people on their board of directors that know how-- so, if you're counseling them, you might want to give then some advice.  How to build cars and-- sell cars that Americans want to buy.  Period.  And we need a captive finance company.
JIM GLASSMAN:
I want to move to-- we'll get to the captive finance company-- to the manufacturers.  Have-- what are these legacy union contracts?  You talk about the importance of the-- the union monopoly.  Has anything changed as a result of the bailouts?
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Well, the answer-- I hate to be equivocal, Jim, but it's yes and no.  I mean, the government did impose some strict conditions-- upon General Motors and Chrysler as a condition for the bailout.  So-- basically-- the multiple hundreds of job classifications were reduced.  And a job classification basically said, "Look, if there's a machine here and it breaks down.  And I'm standing next to it.  And I can fix it.  But it's not my job assignment to fix it.  We got to wait for Bill to come from the other end of the factory."  Bill's on lunch break, you know?

That sort of thing was very inefficient.  A lot of that, but not all of it, has gone away at GM and Chrysler.  There's also a no-strike pledge.  And there's also-- less-- less of a burden for retiree health care this-- on these companies, because now that's paid for by a union trust fund.  So, you have all these changes that are important changes.  But the issue is-- at Ford; workers rejected those similar changes by a 70 percent vote last fall.
JIM GLASSMAN:
So, you-- so, do you think anything's going to happen?  I mean, the-- the-- the grip that the unions have over the automakers--
PAUL INGRASSIA:
The union.
JIM GLASSMAN:
I'm sorry.  That the union has over the automakers, is that going to continue?
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Well, I think it's going to be a continuing labor disadvantage for-- GM, Ford, and Chrysler until the union reinvents itself.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Tammy, what would have happened if-- if the United States taxpayer had not bailed out the auto companies?
TAMMY DARVISH:
They would have done the same thing.  They would have gone through-- maybe bankruptcy.  But they would have reorganized and they would have come back-- probably even stronger-- more stronger than ever.  Because that-- that-- they're-- they're such a part of our economy.  They can't just go away.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Yeah, and-- Tony, isn't that right?
ANTHONY YEZER:
Yes, that's absolutely--
JIM GLASSMAN:
I mean-- I mean, you know, bankruptcy-- I heard one great description of bankruptcy, where assets pass from weak hands to strong hands.  But they tend to be the same assets.  So, would that have happened?
ANTHONY YEZER:
The other metaphor is creative destruction, Jim.  And exactly true.  Bad management should not be running major corporations.  And--
JIM GLASSMAN:
So, you don't think the--
ANTHONY YEZER:
And we want to pass the assets to better managed companies.  We've seen that in the airline industry.  I mean, the airline industry, my goodness-- you know-- I'm-- I'm up there in an airplane at their mercy.  And yet, we seem to allow them to go through bankruptcy and survive.  And continue to fly.
JIM GLASSMAN:
You know-- you know, actually, Tammy, that brings up one of my-- a question I've wanted to ask somebody for a long time, which is, do you think as someone who sells Toyotas-- you do sell Toyotas, right?
TAMMY DARVISH:
Yes.
JIM GLASSMAN:
That the federal government had something of a conflict of interest in-- in-- cracking down as it did on the-- the-- accelerator problem?  I mean, doesn't that raise the question of which side is the government on here?
TAMMY DARVISH:
Well, I guess I'll-- I'll answer that with a question.  In 2009 calendar year, GM, Ford, and Chrysler had 141 recalls.  How many of those did you read about or hear about on the evening news?
JIM GLASSMAN:
What do you think, Paul, on this issue?
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Well, the fact that you even had to raise the question shows one of the complications of the government getting involved in bailing out General Motors and Chrysler.  You know, that being said, though-- you know, Jim-- you know, you put yourself in the place of a policymaker, a year ago.  Because this was all unfolding a year ago.

The economy seemed to be in freefall.  If you had just let General Motors and Chrysler go into a Chapter 7, which is liquidation.  And then reorganization, potentially, not necessarily, after that.  As opposed to Chapter 11.  I'm not sure we'd really know where the bottom of the recession would be even today.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Why couldn't they go into Chapter 11?  Not to get too technical about this.
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Well-- well, they were in Chapter-- they were in Chapter 11.  They didn't go into Chapter 7, which is liquidation.  But they were in reorganization, which was Chapter-- Chapter 11.  But the-- the debtor in possession financing was provided by the U.S. Government, because it was the only entity willing to do it.
JIM GLASSMAN:
But would-- but-- but do you think that those brands would have just disappeared and that no American maker-- no American-- workers would have made-- American cars?
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Well, I think that--
JIM GLASSMAN:
That we'd all be driving only Toyotas or Hondas or--
PAUL INGRASSIA:
No, somebody would have picked up a few of those brands.  But the process would have taken so long.  And in the meantime, the supplier base, the-- the component suppliers that supply not only GM, but also Toyota, would have been severely weakened by losing 30-40 percent of their business from the Detroit companies.  So, this could have really spread like a wildfire contagion.  The bailout was awful, but you know, some things in life are like-- you know, they're like changing a diaper.  You just got to hold your noise and do it.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Tammy, you sell American car-- American brands as well as foreign brands.
TAMMY DARVISH:
Yes.
JIM GLASSMAN:
What-- what is the difference?
TAMMY DARVISH:
The difference for me is the DNA of the leadership, of the different manufacturers that I represent.  And not to be mean, but-- I can pick up the phone and call the President of Toyota on a Sunday evening.  And if he doesn't answer his phone, I get a return call that evening.  If I write the CEO of Chrysler a letter, he has his attorney send my attorney a letter, telling me never to talk to him again.  I mean, we're their customers.  And--
JIM GLASSMAN:
Now, is-- is that the result of the bailout?  Or is that-- or is that the-- the way they used to do business?
TAMMY DARVISH:
No, that's not the way-- listen.  It's-- it's the DNA of the company.  I sat through hundreds, thousands of hours of testimony in Con-- in House, Senate, and bankruptcy hearings.  Chrysler repeatedly-- and General-- over and over and over again, stated about, "All we have to do is get down to 1,300 dealerships and we'll be just like Toyota."

It's impossible.  (LAUGH) It's ignorant.  The CEO of Chrysler at the time, who came from a tool store.  Could not even answer the question, "How many retail outlets do you have in this country?"  If you don't know how many retail outlets you have, you don't deserve to be a CEO of-- of a company that hundreds of thousands of Americans are dependent upon.
JIM GLASSMAN:
So, is the culture-- is-- is the DNA changing?  Is the culture changing?  Of American companies-- auto companies, as a result of this-- of-- of the bailout and the change in management?  In Chrysler or GM?
ANTHONY YEZER:
Well, I was going to say-- I mean, I-- I current-- currently think the-- the ownership structure is rather problematic.  And it would be very nice--
TAMMY DARVISH:
Yes.  I agree.
ANTHONY YEZER:
--To get a new-- (LAUGH) to get a new group in there that has in fact-- a lot of-- bottom line interest in-- in running the company efficiently.  And that's a problem.
JIM GLASSMAN:
And just-- elaborate on that.  I think I cut you off last time.  When you say it's problematic, you mean because government has political interest as well as moneymaking interest, in this case.
ANTHONY YEZER:
Yes.
JIM GLASSMAN:
There's a conflict.
ANTHONY YEZER:
Oh, exactly.  So-- and-- and, you know, even more so.  I worry at a larger level, the government has so many regulatory interests involving the automobile companies that-- I-- I wonder how they're going to be able to pursue these in any consistent fashion.  I mean, you know, we're supposed to-- let's see, worry about cafe standards-- cap and trade.  Oh, gee, automobile finance.

Okay, by the way, I absolutely agree that-- that-- GM needs an automobile finance arm.  Because-- otherwise, you-- you only-- you only have-- very few mechanisms in which you can try to adjust your competitive structure and market your vehicle.  And you want to be able to market the vehicle-- the vehicles to people who are credit impaired-- as well as the economists who-- I-- 'cause I think are the only people in our society now who are not credit impaired.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Who are not credit impaired.  (LAUGH) Paul-- you-- you've written that you think that these companies, that the American companies ought to have only one thing that they should pursue, which is profit.
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Right.
JIM GLASSMAN:
And that-- that it becomes a big problem when the government owns them.
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Well, absolutely.  I mean, it was-- it was a problem that we got into, because the economy was in freefall.  But-- but look, the goal of the new GM and the new Chrysler should not be to make, you know, green cars or red cars or blue cars.  It should be to make enough money to pay back not only the loans, but also the-- the amount that was invested in those companies, in terms of stock ownership.

I mean, GM said that-- you know, it paid back the loans in full.  But the loans were only ten percent of the money that the government provided General Motors.  The rest was in stock-- in equity investment, stock in GM.  So-- they ought to pay us back and get the government-- get themselves out of the business of being government owned, as soon as possible.  And hopefully, with GM, that will happen next year.  We just don't know.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Do you see any changes in American car companies?  Since the bailout?
TAMMY DARVISH:
In the management?  Or the product?  Or--
JIM GLASSMAN:
Let-- let's do them both.  Start with the management.
TAMMY DARVISH:
Well-- I-- I'm very concerned about-- on the Chrysler side, as a dealer.  And as-- as a leader in our industry.  And-- I'm-- I have a lot of faith in Mark Reuss on the General Motors side.  But I-- I get concerned over the-- the-- the top, top leadership-- who call shots, make irrational decisions, based on-- I don't want to say ignorance but un-- being uneducated in the decisions that they're making.
ANTHONY YEZER:
I would also-- there-- there was a well-known survey that was-- done-- of CEOs that took over troubled companies.  And they asked them, "What was your biggest mistake?"  And the number one mistake they mentioned, "I didn't fire enough people."
JIM GLASSMAN:
And that's-- and that's very difficult to do when you're government owned.  I mean, one headline I guess that the Obama Administration didn't want to have is, "100,000 people are fired from GM or from Chrysler."  What about the product?
TAMMY DARVISH:
Well, they're going to have to put people on the board of directors that-- that are very-- educated and experienced in-- engineering and marketing vehicles that Americans want to buy and drive.  I think General Motors has the best shot at that right now.
JIM GLASSMAN:
And-- and what about Ford?  Do you sell Fords?
TAMMY DARVISH:
I do sell Fords, yes.
JIM GLASSMAN:
And is there-- is there a difference between-- a company that has avoided a bailout and two companies that have not?
TAMMY DARVISH:
I think Ford recognizes or has-- has-- shown us that they recognize profit is one thing and profit's very important.  But in our business-- without focus, and-- and I mean hardcore focus on loyalty and retention, you can make all the money you want today, but it'll be very, very short term.  We-- we need to be more focused on those customers coming back.  Just like you buy a Toyota Corolla today.  You come back a couple years, you buy a Camry.  You come back in a couple years, you may buy an E.S. or-- move up to Lexus or something.
JIM GLASSMAN:
So-- so-- so, I always thought that was the great tradition for GM was that people would own a car for three or four years.  They come back and buy another Oldsmobile or whatever it was.
TAMMY DARVISH:
I don't-- I don't see that now.  I-- if you look at the loyalty across the board of the manufacturers of-- of-- and I'm not talking about BMW or Mercedes.  Toyota-- is unmatched.  You-- you know, they're in the-- they're in the high 60s as far as--
JIM GLASSMAN:
Unmatched even with the recall?
TAMMY DARVISH:
Absolutely.  No question.
JIM GLASSMAN:
So, people-- did-- did-- it's kind of just-- they just shrugged and said, "Well, we don't believe that or-- or my experience with a Toyota is different"?  What-- what happens there?
TAMMY DARVISH:
I think consumers are always concerned about safety.  But I think the way it was handled with Toyota; it was-- revolutionary in our industry.  Because recall was always such a bad word.  We never knew that our manufacturers had a recall until a customer would show up in the service department with a notice, pretty much.  With Toyota, we knew it was coming.  All-- from dealer principle, all the way to the technicians and all of our management were sent to Toyota for hours of training.

And we proactively contacted all of the customers ahead of time.  We had completed 6,000 recall repairs before the first notice even went out from Toyota.  We opened our-- our service departments, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  And our customers appreciated that.
ANTHONY YEZER:
One more point I'd mention, and that is that Ford now has a lot of debt on their balance sheet that they have to deal with.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Wasn't that kind of unfair?
ANTHONY YEZER:
I-- I don't-- I'm an economist.  I haven't figured out what fair is yet.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Well-- well, but I mean-- but on the one hand, you have the American taxpayer providing funds for GM and Chrysler at-- at fairly low interest rates.  And then you've got-- on the other hand, you've got Ford, which has to go out in the market and-- and borrow the money.
ANTHONY YEZER:
Yeah-- I mean, I think Ford, though, could have gotten the-- the deal, if they had wanted it.  And so, I-- that's why-- I don't want to comment on--
JIM GLASSMAN:
I'm sorry.  Ford--
ANTHONY YEZER:
--On fairness.  But I say they have a lot debt on their balance sheet.  This is going to be-- you know, they-- they basically-- you know, they-- they have to-- they're running the marathon uphill both ways.  Okay?
JIM GLASSMAN:
So, Paul, what do you think about the-- the Toyota recall?  Has this helped American manufacturers?
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Well, I think it's partly what's helping Ford right now, Jim.  I do think, if you go back in-- history a few years ago-- Toyota's problems really didn't start with this recall.  About a decade ago, they decided they wanted to expand very rapidly.  Accelerate their pace of expansion around the world, in the U.S.-- as well.  And what they did was-- start building new factories at an unprecedented rate.  And they emphasized quantity over quality for a while.

Back in 2005, long before this-- this sudden acceleration issue hit, Toyota actually recalled more cars in this country than it sold that year.  So, their quality issues have been building-- for a few years.
JIM GLASSMAN:
It-- is there-- is there any real important reason why there should continue to be American automotive brands?
TAMMY DARVISH:
Well, what is an American automotive brand?  I think that Toyota actually produces more cars physically in the-- in the geographical outline of the United States than some of our own so-called domestic manufacturers.  So, to me, that-- that is an American car.
JIM GLASSMAN:
So, if all American brands disappeared-- I mean, if the brands disappeared-- that is to say, the-- the ones that are called Fords or-- or-- Chrysler or--
PAUL INGRASSIA:
The Detroit domicile brands.
JIM GLASSMAN:
--Chevrolet.
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Yes.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Right.  Would-- would that be a terrible tragedy?
PAUL INGRASSIA:
I think it'd be a psychological tragedy.  I don't think it necessarily would be an economic tragedy, frankly.  'Cause over time-- those cars are still going to be built.  They'll just be built by, you know-- a more effective management as-- as you put it.  I mean, so if the more effective management happens to be a Japanese or Korean company or a German company, well, we're in a global economy.  So, I think it's psychologically-- would be-- a quote "blow."  Economically, I-- I find it hard to say that it would be a blow in the long run.
ANTHONY YEZER:
The other thing is most management is a product of our graduate schools here in the United States.  And the rest of the world doesn't complain about that too much.  But I mean, if you look at top management around the world of companies around the world-- we're kind of the leader in the world in educating people.  So, it's not as if we're talking about a management would be insensitive to the United States.

And the other thing is, we have all kinds of industries who just aren't here at all anymore.  I mean, we're simply talking about some quote unquote "American brands" disappearing.  But, you know, when was the last cathode ray tube-- produced in the United States?
JIM GLASSMAN:
But do you find-- Tammy that people come in to your stores and they say, you know, "I want to buy an American car."
TAMMY DARVISH:
No.  I don't.  I spend-- my main office is actually inside of-- an import dealership.  A so-called import dealer-- Toyota, which produces more car-- cars here than Chrysler.
JIM GLASSMAN:
What are the-- what are the new trends that we should be looking for in cars?  Now, there's a lot of talk about electric cars.  But-- are there-- are there other things that we should be on the lookout for?
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Sure.  I'd say two or three things.  I think first of all, obviously, new-- propulsion technologies, be it gas-electric hybrids or-- electrics.  I-- I really personally believe that electric-- pure electric cars are going to be very slow to be adopted in this market, because the infrastructure just really isn't there.  But I think gas-electric hybrids-- have a potentially bright future if gas prices go up.

Which means, you know, maybe Congress should consider a gasoline tax as opposed to a corporate average fuel economy law that really doesn't incent people to change their buying behavior.  The second thing is-- I think consumer electronics are increasingly coming into cars, in terms of high-tech electronic stuff.  Forward-looking radar that can keep your car a preset distance from the car-- ahead of you.  You ought to try it on a freeway once.  And if you get a little too close, it's sort of freaky, 'cause it slows you down.  But it works.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Tammy, what do you see coming up?
TAMMY DARVISH:
I-- I agree-- with everything he said.  Particularly on the technology.  The gadgets.  Americans love gadgets.  They love technology.  And if I were-- Mr. LaHood, I would be more concerned over that--
JIM GLASSMAN:
Transportation Secretary.
TAMMY DARVISH:
--Kind of-- right.  That kind of stuff.  Than some of the other things that he's so consumed with.  Because I'm-- I'm alarmed that an after market company, those are the people we really need to be careful of.  It's not the manufacturers producing things that are creating all-- is-- you know, so-- so much unsafe-- environments for the drivers.  It's the after market companies who are producing accessories for vehicles that are not manufactured for those vehicles specifically.  You can put a television in your dashboard.  That should just not be appropriate.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Right, especially--
TAMMY DARVISH:
It shouldn't be legal.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Especially if you're driving alone.
TAMMY DARVISH:
But you can-- you can go to-- a local parts, you know, retailer and buy one set of floor mats-- I went to Target, just to prove a point.  When I was down on Capital Hill a few weeks ago.  That I bought a set of floor mats and it says, "One size fits all."  And you-- and I held it up next to the-- floor mat that is actually made specifically for a Toyota Camry.  There's a huge difference.  It's the after market parts and-- accessory companies that really should be held accountable.
JIM GLASSMAN:
Tony, how-- how do you see this-- this industry developing?  Just very quickly.
ANTHONY YEZER:
Well, I'll-- I'll let the others-- comment on-- on gadgets.  I think you're probably right, but-- I think the big challenge is in the area of fuel-- fuel efficiency.  And the company that deals with that best is going to be-- a real winner.  I think if we do have an-- economic recovery, gasoline prices are going up.  Significantly.
JIM GLASSMAN:
And will that be an American company?
ANTHONY YEZER:
I-- I don't know.  I honest-- I-- you know, you-- you just can't tell.  But I mean, that will be-- that-- that will be the real challenge.  (LAUGH)
JIM GLASSMAN:
Thank you, Tony.  Thank you, Tammy.
TAMMY DARVISH:
Thank you.
JIM GLASSMAN:
And thank you, Paul.
PAUL INGRASSIA:
Thank you, Jim.
JIM GLASSMAN:
And that's it for this edition of Ideas in Action.  Don't forget, you can take this show on the road, so to speak.  By downloading it to your mp3 player through iTunes or check out our website, IdeasInActionTV.com.  Thanks for joining us for Ideas in Action.  I'm Jim Glassman.
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For more information visit us at ideasinactiontv.com. Funding for Ideas in Action is provided by Investor's Business Daily.  Every stock market cycle is led by America's never-ending stream of innovative new companies and inventions.  Investor's Business Daily helps investors find these new leaders as they emerge.  More information is available at Investors.com.  (MUSIC) This program is a production of Grace Creek Media and the George W. Bush Institute, which are solely responsible for its content.
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Featured Guests

Tammy Darvish

Vice President, Darvish Automotive Group

Tammy Darvish is a Vice President and spokesperson for Darcars Automotive Group. The Company owns 28 car dealerships in the Washington DC area. Ms. Darvish is also a member of the Toyota and Chrysler Dealer Councils, and is secretary and treasurer of the Toyota Dealer Advertising Association.

Paul Ingrassia

Author, "Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry's Road from Glory to Disaster".

Paul Ingrassia was the Detroit bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Ingrassia shared a Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles about GM's early 1990's financial crisis. He is the author of the 2010 book: "Crash Course: the American Automobile Industry's Road from Glory to Disaster."

Anthony Yezer

Director, Center for Economic Research, George Washington University

Anthony Yezer is an economist who directs the Center for Economic Research at George Washington University. He testified before congress about the credit crisis and has consulted for Ford, GM and Chrysler about credit issues.

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