We’re glad to see support for the auto industry, and recognition of the importance to the U.S. economy, coming from across America. People realize that the auto industry is critical beyond the Detroit region. Another supporter who has voices his approval of the bridge loans is Brian France, the Chairman and CEO of NASCAR.
In a letter addressed last week to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, and Sen. Richard Shelby, the senior Republican on the Banking Committee, France said that “Federal aid is in the best interest of the entire country.”
The complete letter is included below:
December 2, 2008
I’m writing you as a concerned American who wants what is best for our great country. Of course, the domestic automobile manufacturers play a very important part of the heritage of NASCAR, but more importantly, it is vital for all of America. The U.S. auto industry has long been the backbone of our nation’s manufacturing sector. This industry isn’t confined to “Detroit” or even the Midwest. It’s everywhere in America. And its current troubles are putting our country’s overall economic health at stake. The collapse of the U.S.-based auto industry – a grim possibility amid the current economic and credit crises – would have an impact far beyond nearly 355,000 Americans directly employed by the Big Three. The livelihood of one in ten people in America is related to the U.S. auto industry.
The economic ripple effects of a collapse of our auto industry would be devastating:
• Nearly 3 million jobs would be lost in the first year
alone – with another 2.5 million to follow over the next two
• Personal income in the United States would drop by more than $150 billion in the first year;
• The cost to local, state, and federal governments in lost taxes, unemployment and health care assistance could reach more than $150 billion over three years;
• Domestic automobile production would more than likely fall to zero – even by international producers, due to supplier bankruptcies.
For these manufactures to survive, your assistance is urgently needed. By immediately supporting America’s automobile industry, you can help our nation avoid a devastating economic blow.
We urge the Administration and Congress to support the bridge loan package under deliberation. As unattractive as the idea of corporate federal bailouts can be to many Americans, including me, there appears to be no alternative. Federal aid is in the best interest of the entire country.
Chairman and CEO