RIT Professor Participates in Government Report on Auto Industry

Study assesses impact of government support and automaker restructuring

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The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a report on the impact of the Automotive Industry Financing Program, the $36 billion federal effort to assist the American auto industry in recovering from the current fiscal crisis and complete a restructuring of their operations.

The study was authored with contributions from an industry panel of business and academic experts from across the country, including Nabil Nasr, director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology.

“The federal government has contributed a significant amount of public dollars to assist the auto industry in weathering this current crisis,” notes Nasr, who was recommended to the panel by the National Academy of Sciences. “This study by the GAO will provide Congress and the American public with a comprehensive understanding of how that money is being spent and the ultimate impact of federal efforts to help automakers.”

The report focuses on the effectiveness of federal efforts to date and the development of company restructuring efforts at General Motors and Chrysler designed to increase fiscal stability and improve efficiency and productivity of manufacturing operations. It also provides a series of recommendations to improve and quicken restructuring efforts, enhance labor-management relations and improve taxpayer oversight of the process.

The study will assist Congress and the Department of the Treasury in assessing the current state of the auto industry and inform upcoming negotiations on additional federal funding for Chrysler and General Motors.

“The auto industry, including its network of suppliers, is essential to the American economy, and we should act so that it remains viable,” adds Nasr. “However, there must also be vigorous public oversight to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent wisely and to guarantee that the car companies reform their own operations.”

To view the full government report visit http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-553.