Eleanor Clift and Bill Press: 'U.S. Auto Industry Stronger Than It Ever Was'

Does a sycophantic devotion to the President make liberal media members lose all connection to reality?

Before you answer, consider that on Friday, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and liberal radio host Bill Press actually said on PBS's "McLaughlin Group" the U.S. auto industry is stronger than it ever was (video follows with transcript and commentary):

BILL PRESS: Then there was the auto bailout. Our auto industry is stronger than it ever was today. It was a George Bush program continued by Barack Obama. If he had not continued those two programs, we’d be in the toilet still today.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: You say the auto industry is stronger than it ever has been?

PRESS: Yes, it is.

ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK: Yes it is.

PAT BUCHANAN: No it is not.

MONICA CROWLEY: No.

PRESS: GM reported its first profits, John.

MCLAUGHLIN: I know that. I know that.

CLIFT: Well, General Motors now has a nice fat share of the market in China. They have recovered, excuse me, and millions of jobs have been saved.

Where do they get this stuff?

The American automobile industry has certainly recovered from its bottom a few years ago, but to suggest that it is stronger than it ever has been is either a flat out lie or totally ignorant.

As Bloomberg reported in January:

Toyota Motor Corp. was the world’s largest automaker for a third year in 2010 as a recovery in global vehicle demand outweighed a decline in U.S. sales.

Toyota’s sales, including its luxury Lexus marque and deliveries from affiliates Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd., rose 8 percent to 8.42 million units in 2010, the automaker said in a statement today. General Motors Co., the second-ranked car company, said in a separate statement that worldwide deliveries gained 12 percent to 8.39 million.

Remember the good old days when two of the three top companies by total sales worldwide would be American?

Apparently Clift and Press don't.

As for GM's market share in China, here's what the Wall Street Journal had to say about that just last Monday:

GM’s remarkable progress in China, the world’s largest auto market, hasn’t been very remarkable of late. GM’s market share fell from 13.2% to 11.4% year-over-year – and profits were down by almost a third.

As such, contrary to Clift's assertion, GM's "nice fat share of the market in China" is not only not very fat, but is also on the decline. And, as the Journal pointed out, so is its stock price:

After almost hitting $40 in early January, GM’s shares are now back down to their offering price of $33. [...]

[I]f Wall Street is so enthusiastic about GM, then why did its shares drop almost 5% after last Thursday’s earnings announcement, its first since the IPO?

And why has GM underperformed the S&P 500 by 15% since the start of the year?

Actually, GM shares closed under their IPO price Friday:

Despite this, one imagines Clift and Press still think the company is doing better than it ever has.

After all, even though you're supposedly a journalist, you wouldn't want to let little things like facts get in the way when there's a President you love in desperate need of your support.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.