Chrysler dodges death again, and without Iacocca
I never figured Chrysler had a chance, to be honest. And I know I’m not the only one. I’m pretty sure I’m not far off the mark when I say that those of us in Detroit who have been watching the Saga of the Incredible Shrinking Big Three have long speculated that the likelihood of all three automakers making it out of this economy alive was a longshot at absolute best. Hell, it wasn’t that long ago when we were bracing ourselves for the disappearance of Ford, so if Ford was looking shaky then what were Chrysler’s chances?
But then Ford pulled a rabbit out of the hat – a big, fat, sassy rabbit at that – and wound up finding the strength to give the bailout funds the finger. Well, actually it wasn’t so much the funds they were telling to fuck off as it was the strings that came attached to those funds. Ford essentially said that if they had to dance with the ugliest duckling on the dance floor then they damned sure were gonna reserve the right to call the tune.
GM would have loved to flip its own middle finger as well, but that’s kinda hard to do when you look down and realize someone has already cut it off. So instead they had to employ their few remaining fingers by sticking them in other rather uncomfortable locations while cheesing like Louis Armstrong as if it was the best feeling in the world.
Please sir? May I have another?
But back to Chrysler, who we now learn just got tossed the lifeline from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who – one day after holding up the Chrysler-Fiat merger process – decided against the suit brought by some rather overly greedy debt holders and in favor of the Obama administration-backed deal that allows Chrysler to survive by partnering with Fiat. The alternative to allowing this deal to go through was a dead Chrysler in a town that really can’t handle too many more dead bodies right through here. It’s bad enough dealing with the dead who are really dead, but then adding the walking dead to the list of traumas is more than we can handle right now.
So anyway God Bless Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and fuck those three secured Indiana pension funds who tried to hijack this deal for more money. This ain’t the time to try and squeeze the lemon for more; this is the time for everyone to make do the best you can with what you got and be damned glad you got anything at all. If Ginsburg had sided with the pension mutts there would have been enough blood on the floor for all of Detroit to wade in ankle-deep. As it is there’s just enough to paint the floor red with several thick coats. It’s ugly, but it’s better, and better is a whole lot better than the other thing.
But we really didn’t think Chrysler was gonna make it, man. No more Lee Iacocca (may the force be with him), and no one with anywhere near the force of personality and persuasiveness – let alone that particular size of brass balls – to pull off Salvation Part 2. So we figured this was it. We’d probably wind up with GM because GM is just too damned big to fail, and Ford because of the sheer size of that rabbit.
But then there were Three. Again.
Didn’t they used to be bigger, though? I mean a lot bigger?
SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux