As you well know, if GM and Chrysler fail, the US auto industry will suffer a fatal blow – along with our entire economy. We must find a way to not only save the industry, but also make it competitive in the global marketplace. Cars are part of our national fiber, based on an industry that includes a massive ecosystem of vehicles and parts that stretch across our people and economy. However, bailing out the US car makers and investing tax payers’ money in inferior products is no solution. We must strive for a level of competitiveness in the auto industry similar to that which we have attained in the Information Technology industry. Our country’s leadership in the auto industry lies in developing future cars that are more like computers with wheels than mechanical sleighs addicted to dinosaur juice. The future of the automotive industry will be defined by electronics and software. The good news is that there is no country with more talent and capability in this arena than the United States.
Now the suggestion: Draft Steve Jobs (his health willing) to run a combined GM and Chrysler. After all, who has done a better job developing and marketing products consumers want to buy? Who has been more successful keeping the US ahead of other nations in competitive, technology-based markets? Mr. Jobs has also done right by his shareholders. GM and Chrysler have far too many product lines, most of which are uncompetitive. To compete in the global auto industry, they must develop Macs, iPods and iPhones with wheels. Rather than pouring billions of dollars into these failed companies, why not replace the current management with people capable of changing the way cars are designed, manufactured, powered and sold? I believe Mr. Jobs is the best choice to lead this effort.