It appears that the automakers in Detroit, along with cranking out automobiles they often can't sell, have developed a secondary line involving the manufacturing of silk purses from sows' ears. That's the impression you might get from the automakers' reaction to their ultrasoft August sales figures.
But GM was hardly alone. Ford
The companies are scrambling. Ford, for instance, is expanding its employee-buyout program in an effort to cut costs. And Toyota, which had lurched too far into the truck lane with its relatively thirsty Tundra, is now retooling North American plants to allow for the manufacture of its hybrid Prius here.
Beyond that, Honda has just unveiled a new pure-hybrid concept car of its own that it hopes will go hood-to-hood with the Prius in buyers' hearts and wallets. The company expects to have its Insight -- a five-passenger hatchback -- ready for sale in the U.S. in the spring. The company wouldn't discuss the model's specific fuel efficiency or price, but it did allow that the car will be priced "significantly below hybrids available today."
In the meantime, with the automakers clearly stuck in the August muck as the U.S. economy continues to soften, there clearly are better places for Foolish investment dollars to be parked.
Fool contributor David Lee Smith hasn't been driven to take down shares in any of the companies mentioned above. He does, however, welcome you to hop in with your questions or comments. The Fool has a disclosure policy.