Not so sure about this. OK the Smart car is not to successfully yet in the US. Its not doing too bad in Canada. People here are just not used to it and the Smart car is expensive and a high quality car.
The Tata's are (or at least can be) bigger and much cheaper then the Smart which would make them much more attractive to a lot of US buyers.
Also after Fiat's Tata joint venture do you see a possibility that this could expand here to the old dealerships which just had "let go" of the Chrysler product line.
On the other hand there is a huge and increasing demand in India coupled with increased transportation cost of shipping cars to the US which hopefully makes them less profitable to sell them here unless there are produced here as another foreign domestic (I hate this phrase) This could come to our rescue.
And regarding Terry's comment:
"'attitude'...'..we don't work like that here'' was a MAJOR reason we had so many issues with the Contour prog..." I second this.
Remember when VW pulled out of the US producing cars here? This was exactly part of the reason. Now, some decade later, VW is ramping up for a new try in Chattanooga, TN. Wonder why not Detroit but then again they just moved their HQ out of Detroit to VA but this is an all different story in itself.
Our hope is increasing foreign demand for their own products coupled with increasing transportation cost of finished goods to the US with the help of some importation regulation and importation tax might could come to the rescue to US car manufacturing.
Another couple items still have to change in my opinion to help the US base automotive manufacturers.
The US mindset has to change.
1. The typical mindset of the average US buyer has to understand that US domestic built AND DESIGNED products having caught up and in several areas even overtaken. Detroit produces appealing and high quality cars. Open your eyes.
2. The work rules and mindset of the average big 3 automotive worker needs to change from "I deserve, I am not responsible, you owe me, it should work my way" to "I am proud of, I am responsible, change can be good, I want to make this work, I like to learn other ways and put in in practice".
3. The Big 3 Engineers have to change besides all of the points in #2. Fist get rid of CYA mentality, meet less do more, and get the hands dirty and touch some off your stuff in the real world.
I think it is changing now but it is going slow. Hopefully not too slow.