It would seem that the automotive industry is in crisis… after having made billions in profits every year for decades. When the automobile market was doing well, these profits came to fatten the shareholders and the executives of the manufacturers, the same ones who recently took offense at the excessive weight of the State in the economy and who regularly demanded state disengagement, liberalism, and laissez-faire… Let’s discuss why you should not help the automotive industry.
All these profits made over the years could have been used to consider the production of more economical, less polluting, and less oil-dependent cars, but the car manufacturers preferred to stuff themselves. Moreover, capitalism is not used to predict the future but to make the most of the present, remunerating the shareholder rather than anticipating the future.
Today, they call, in a pitiful way, the public authorities to the rescue. Whether in the United States or Europe, they are demanding massive public aid, unconditional loans, and tons of cash, and immediately. In short, a massive state intervention in the economy that even the communists would not have dared to ask for.
Except, they want the butter, the butter money, and… the dairyman’s ass. Because if they are begging for public money, by the way, our money, that of taxes which could also be used to develop public services instead of slashing them all year round, it is better to refuse at the same time any external intervention which would raise the irritating questions: what economic and ecological model for the automotive industry? Where did the money from past profits go? How are we going to reorganize the automobile industry to make it viable? How do you turn a dirty industry into a slightly less dirty industry?
The professor of finance at the University of New York, explained in the Wall Street Journal last November 15 that releasing state funds to save car manufacturers from bankruptcy would amount to “throwing our money in the fire”. Because to expect them that they accede to the new requirements of the market and the environment, “given their balance sheet, it is as ridiculous as asking cigarette manufacturers to fight against cancer”.
The question is there, these people have absolutely no environmental culture, which would also be prohibitive to practice the profession of automobile manufacturer when we know the environmental disaster of the automobile on a planetary scale. And not only do they have no environmental culture, but they know it very well because they base their industry on the destruction (of health, the environment, the landscape) and the plundering (of raw materials including oil).
It is no coincidence that the automotive industry is undoubtedly the undisputed champion of greenwashing, a cynical discipline that consists of buying an ecological image by investing more money in green advertising and ecological marketing than in real steps to protect and preserve the environment.
For years, the automobile lobby has been holding back with four irons to apply European regulations, which are nevertheless at a discount and which are not even up to the challenge of climate and environmental issues. Why? Quite simply because we make more profit on a big 4×4 which pollutes seriously than on a small, economical and low-polluting car.
So now builders would like tens of billions of public money to “adapt to market and European environmental requirements”. What buffoonery! Consumption and therefore the pollution and CO2 emissions of cars are directly correlated to the weight of the vehicles. Adapting to the market and satisfying low European requirements, therefore, means mass-producing small cars that consume little fuel. In short, moving from a high-margin economy to a low-margin economy, all in a context of market stagnation, at least in developed countries where the automotive market is largely a replacement market.
How do mass-produce small cars that earn little?
Let’s put the question another way. How do mass-produce small cars that earn little? Quite simply by massively relocating production to southern countries, especially since competition will be fierce with manufacturers like the Indian Tata already positioned in the segment of inexpensive small cars… Labor costs and production costs in France and Western countries are far too large to be able to mass-produce these small fuel-efficient cars. As we are not going to divide the SMIC by two or three soon, we can expect a gradual disappearance of the automobile industry in France.
As for the steel industry in the 80s, the automotive industry in France is now doomed, the countdown has begun. It will of course take a few years, but in the medium term, there will be no more Made in France cars. Like most of the manufactured goods we consume, cars will probably all be Made in India or Made in China.
And if the hundreds of billions of public money given to the steel industry in the 1980s did not prevent its massive relocation and the charrettes of layoffs, the public money that car manufacturers are demanding to “save jobs”, will not prevent mass layoffs and relocations. History is already written, all that remains is for it to be fulfilled.
Much better, we can legitimately think that if this public money is given or lent to manufacturers, it will mainly be used to finance this gigantic reorganization of the automobile industry on a planetary scale and therefore, it will finance future layoffs and future relocations.
The future is fewer cars, and smaller, less polluting cars. The automobile industry must therefore pay the price for its past mistakes. And the public money unduly claimed by the automobile vultures could be used to finance the retraining and training of automobile employees who are condemned to lose their jobs anyway.