It’s Automakers’ Turn to Bail Out a Government

They’re chipping in to an $8 million fund to help the city of Detroit get ambulances and police cars.

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Reuters reports GM, Ford, and Chrysler are contributing cash to help the struggling city they’re headquartered in stay afloat.

Detroit’s running an annual deficit of $100 million and has $14 billion in debt and liabilities. In recent months the city’s been responding to emergencies with half the ambulances it should have, because many of them are falling apart. Several have logged over 300,000 miles, and they break down regularly.

It’s so bad that a newly appointed emergency financial manager – a bankruptcy lawyer – has been given most city officials’ power to reshape its government. Kevyn Orr will be able to change union contracts, lay people off, and combine or abolish government departments.

One thing he won’t have to worry about, hopefully, is emergency responders. The car manufacturers are joining Penske, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Quicken Loans, and other local businesses to replace the decrepit fleet of paramedic and police vehicles.

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