Clinton Tries On the Big 3 Auto Makers

Hillary Clinton addressed the AFL-CIO in Detroit yesterday, and displayed a more conciliatory and consultative approach than Barack Obama did recently in his remarks to the Detroit Economic Club.

By all accounts, Ms. Clinton’s comments were well-received by the audience, particularly when she stated that there needs to be a “win-win” solution to the problems vexing Detroit’s car companies and that those same companies deserve the support of Congress. Although she said that fuel economy needs to increase, she said those increases should come with federal assistance on the domestic auto makers’ heath costs. Detroit’s car companies pony up around $12 billion USD every year in health costs and that number will go up to $22 billion every year by 2015 under the current schedules of payments.

Ms. Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for the presidency, also commented after her speech on several other issues important to Detroit; funding for alternative energy research, trade pacts that effectively shut the Big 3 out of markets like Japan and South Korea and claims of currency manipulation long alleged by Detroit. She stated that these issues would be a priority if she were elected President. Ms. Clinton did not elaborate on the current efforts in the Senate to increase CAFE requirements, other than to say that CAFE “presents a very tough question”.

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at .

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  1. Ah, but the trick is being able to figure out how much of this Ms. Clinton actually believes, and how much of this is just pandering to the audience. I guess time will tell…

  2. Whatever it is, it’s a lot more than GWB ever did for Detroit. Our current president has been a no-show regarding Detroit’s problems.

  3. Our current president apparently has little understanding of just how complex the automobile business is, and furthermore, a very poor understanding of economics, consumer demand, and how the low price of gasoline drives consumer demand in the United States. His solution to reducing gas consumption is to advocate raising CAFE.

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