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Forbes recently published a column by longtime auto industry analyst Jerry Flint -- who points the continuing reliance on pickups and SUVs by Detroit automakers.

Yes, I'm still maintaining my position in General Motors (GM). But you know I respect Flint immensely -- the guy has been covering Detroit since 1958. And his thoughts are always worth reading, even when they cause discomfort.

autoplant
Detroit auto plant, circa 1917

Some points from the piece which stood out:

* At GM, after all these years, the management hasn't been able to turn around the company. The improvements being made, and they are being made, could be washed away by a downturn.

* I'm pretty sure that the proposed GM/Renault/Nissan confederation will not happen. I don't know about the possibility that Ford (F) might team up with Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY), especially with a new Ford chief executive and the problem of agreeing on whose name goes first in a combined company.

* Detroit's luck has run out. A growing car market has covered up the failures of the past decade. Those days in all likelihood are gone for now. Saving the American industry will take dynamic leadership, energy, talent and a fighting spirit. Sure it's possible. We saw it once, when Lee Iacocca saved Chrysler (DCX).

* Can today's managers at GM, Ford and Chrysler save their companies? I don't know the answer, but I keep thinking of the words of Oliver Cromwell to the Rump Parliament: "You have sat here too long for any good you can do. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go."

Disclosure: the author owns shares of GM.

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Source: Jerry Flint Believes Detroit's Luck Has Run Out