An excellent article by John McElroy in Ward's Auto. Definitely worth the read. A few tidbits:
"We are witnessing the auto industry enter a new phase, one of steely-eyed, hard-nosed business decisions, where shareholder money only will be invested in ways that provide double digit returns, including the cost of capital. While this industry always has been brutally competitive, we’re entering an era that is going to disrupt or destroy the automotive world as we’ve known it. The forward-thinking automakers know they better be in supreme fighting shape if they are going to survive."
"Nostalgia counts for nothing in this new reality. The old rules no longer apply. It makes people uncomfortable, but that doesn’t matter."
"To survive, automakers need profitable operations, solid cash flow and fortress-like balance sheets. Anything that impedes this has got to go. So, get ready to see other operations get the axe."
Full article here: