Believe it or not, the auto industry and it's very immediate neighbors have always made the decisions. Whether it's to build large trucks or small cars, release vehicles from production with known problems or not, pay someone $60 an hour for a $25 an hour job, it doesn't matter as it was decided by the companies.
The 'Big 3' haven't listened too well to customers (and in some cases vendors) either, even though some listen better than others. And now, amidst some of the toughest times ever, our beloved industry must listen to no less bureaucratic 'stuff' than the unilateral decisions made inside Ford, GM and Chrysler offices for years. Right now, we have no more influence on what happens with a potential bailout than every car dealer in the country actually listening to a consultant of company trying to apply new sales processes in their stores or having them switch their marketing to completely online.
Politicians will decide the fate of Detroit (and the immense trickle-down effect) regardless of what you and I think. It's already happened with Wall Street. More than ever, regardless if the top executives listen, we can only 'vote' with our wallets. And in case you haven't listened to or read the news lately, Americans are keeping their money in their pants, purses and mattresses.
We will all have to wait and see. It's not easy to watch this painful episode play out for so many reasons. Because now a whole lot of people (us) have to wait for a few people (them) in Washington to decide what happens next. So in the meantime, keep selling cars and do it better than you did yesterday.