Did the Auto Industry Learn Anything From the Bailout?

It's clear that the billions spent rescuing GM and Chrysler have done little to change the fundamental dynamics that have caused the industry grief for decades.

These Chevy trucks are brought to you by America.

Photographer: Jack Smith/Bloomberg

A year ago last week, the U.S. Treasury sold its last remaining shares in General Motors, officially ending the government's bailout of the auto industry. To hear government officials and industry analysts tell it, it was the happy conclusion to a broad intervention that fundamentally transformed the industry. A year later, however, it's clear that the billions spent rescuing GM and Chrysler have done little to change the fundamental dynamics that have caused the industry grief for decades. More important, it has become obvious that the government's involvement with the auto industry did not end with last year's stock sale.

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