Wednesday, April 08, 2009

At Least We're Not Russia

I'm glad I don't find myself thinking that more often than I do. From the NYT:
Known as Avtovaz for short, it is one of the least efficient automobile factories anywhere in the world — each worker produces, on average, eight cars a year, compared with 36 cars a year at General Motors’ assembly line in Bowling Green, Ky., for example.
The factory, a monument to Soviet gigantism in industrial design, is a panoramic sprawl of pipes and smokestacks on a bank of the Volga River, 460 miles southeast of Moscow. It employs 104,000 assembly line workers, many of whom still toil with hand-held wrenches.
This factory persists because of subsidization and bailouts from the Russian government. The details of the bailout are less invasive (no executive firings or requests for a new business plans), but I see that as political hubris that unintentionally serving the role of deterring more firms from finding government bailouts attractive.

Hat Tip: Dave Esposito for the link.

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