I think most agree that the American automakers need to change things and change things drastically.
For this discussion: Let's say they all end up filing for bankruptcy; what would car brands would up surviving?
1. Chrysler wouldn't file for Chapter 11, they would file for Chapter 7 and be liquidated. I think all the Dodge and Chrysler models, save for the Caravan would cease to exist.
The rights to the caravan would probably be sold to either Ford or GM. That's probably Chrysler's only strength and they still have the majority of the minivan market. I'm sure Ford or GM wouldn't mind selling the Caravan. I would say Ford would be a better fit.
Jeep is still an iconic brand name and would survive and would be sold to either to India's Tata Motors, one of the Japanese Companies or one of the Chinese Automakers. Subaru-Jeep has a nice ring to it. Come Toyota, you can afford it. Jeep also does well in China, so maybe one of those Chinese Automakers will buy it.
I think the remaining Chrysler assets like plants & dealership network would be sold to a Chinese automaker. That would give them their foothold into the U.S. auto market.
2. GM, plain and simple is too big. They still are the size of a company that has 50% marketshare. I think they are down to what, 18-20% this year?
Buick needs to go. There is no need for an upscale brand. Pontiac or Saturn has to go. Pontiac is sporty and Saturn is European style. Well, you need to combine that and eliminate the overlapping models. GMC needs to be elminated.
So you end up with a revamp GM looking this way:
1. Cadiallac- Luxary
2. Pontiac- Sporty/European- European have sporty cars also. So, you can make American style sporty cars and European style sporty cards and sell them under this brand.
I would eliminate excess models. To make up for the loss of GMC/Buick just have a high end version of each model you sell.
3. Ford- I think they are in the strongest position.
Ford should eliminate the Mercury brand,no need for an upscale brand. To compensate you just have a high end version of each model.
So, basically you have Lincoln and Ford. Ford would buy the Caravan and sell it. Hell, they can use the "Town and Country" name; as I think some of their old wagons went by that name.
Yes, this would mean alot of job loss. Still some losses is much better than losing all jobs. A bailout probably won't do this. The UAW needs to realize that the American automarket needs to be reduced. The auto companies also needs to anticipate what the consumer wants now and in the future.