Automakers: All for One and One for Parts?

In the dog-eat-dog world of big business, you don’t often hear about a company sticking up for a rival. Yet, earlier this week, Ford declared that it supported government help for General Motors and Chrysler, even while Ford itself said it could do without the short-term loans now under consideration by Congress.

Ford has made clear that it doesn’t want to see its cross-town competition put out of business  …  but don’t start singing Kumbaya yet. On Ford’s part, it’s not exactly a selfless move. Among the Detroit 3, there is substantial overlap among auto parts suppliers, and if even one domestic automaker collapses, parts suppliers – which are already struggling because the automakers have cut down on production and their purchase of supplies in recent years – could find themselves going under, too.