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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The End of Detroit: How the Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Market

1. The title, "The End Of Detroit," refers to the end of Detroit's single-handed grip on the American car market. Do you agree that Detroit has lost its leadership?

2. What kind of car or truck do you own? Are you still loyal to Detroit? Or did you switch your loyalties? When did that happen, and why?

3. Did you or anyone in your family ever work in an automobile plant, at a dealership or for one of the auto companies? Have you been to a car factory? Share some of those experiences.

4. In talking about Toyota and Honda, The End Of Detroit says one of the things they share is a well-defined approach to designing, manufacturing and building cars. How is that different than the way Detroit approaches the development of its cars?

5. The End Of Detroit talks about the rise of the new auto industry, in places like Kentucky, Tennessee and especially Alabama. What do you think about the fact that most of these are non-union plants? Does it matter to you? And do you consider the vehicles built in these plants to be American cars?

6. One of the issues that the book explores is the rise of the Internet as a tool in researching and shopping for cars. How do you do your automotive research? Do you read car magazines, or talk to your friends? What difference does it make to have so much information available about automobiles today?

7. Do you think it is important for auto companies to be offering environmentally friendly vehicles? Do you own a hybrd-electric car, or do you know anybody who does? How interested are you in buying one someday?

8. The book predicts that Toyota will become the world's biggest car maker by the end of this decade, and that one of the Big Three companies will go away. Would that bother you? What does it say about the American car buyer that so many have stopped buying vehicles from Detroit?

9. One of the recommendations that The End Of Detroit makes is that the auto companies get serious about real quality. How do you feel about the quality of vehicles made by Detroit companies, versus those from Japan and Europe?

10. Finally, the book offers a five-point plan for fixing Detroit's problems. Do you agree with what the author chose? How do you think Detroit could fix its problems? Or can it?

The End of Detroit: How the Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Market
by Micheline Maynard

  • Publication Date: September 21, 2004
  • Genres: Business, Nonfiction
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business
  • ISBN-10: 0385507704
  • ISBN-13: 9780385507707