You are confusing the defence industrial base with being a defence supplier. It does not matter who builds the stuff as long as it is built in the USA. So Toyota could produce vehicles for the US military just as easily as Ford or Chrysler. And if they refuse in a crisis, I am sure there are provisions that can be made to nationalize these plants in the name of national security. As it stands, the companies are not major defence suppliers and since their capital would not be leaving the USA, the defence industrial base would not be threatened.
You are assuming that there will be ANY manufacturing here, should Japan Inc win. The only reason they bothered to build factories here was to avoid the union-organized backlash that happened in the early '80s. Should Ford and/or GM fail, what's to stop the rest of the manufacturers from shuttering their North American plants, too? Toyota has already wound down its 1.3 billion dollar truck plant in Texas and is re-thinking its new Woodstock plant, due to changing market conditions. They have 'free' healthcare in Japan and are a lot less exposed to pension/healthcare issues.
Sure Detroit builds plenty of cars with mileage greater than 30 mpg. But which ones do they sell? And when did they start putting the emphasis on these vehicles? And the recent efforts do not account for the drop in CAFE through the 90s. There's a reason the Civic became the college car of choice. The Japanese automakers had the foresight to target college kids, singles, etc with fuel sipping cars. Their reward has been loyalty. Find me a fuel sipping American car from the 90s on par with a Civic or Corolla.
FYI, the Cobalt/G5 twins are the #2 selling vehicles in Canada right now. GM has had to add a 3rd shift in its plant to keep up with demand. The newly redesigned Aveo/G3 are now being built in Mexico, at an all new plant, to keep up with demand, as the Korean plants now focus on Europe and Asia. The Chevy Astra is the #1 selling small car in Europe.
Google Toyota Tacoma and see all about Toyota quality. Dealers are quietly buying up the Tacomas because the frames are SNAPPING in half. The FRAMES. The strongest part of the truck. Even Consumers Reports finally issued an apology last year, after problems with the V6 Camry, Avalon and Tundra forced them to admit that in the past they have given Toyota a free pass on the quality front. When GM farts, it is on the front page; when Toyota has diarrhea, it's buried int he business section.
They are gaining market share in large part because of their foreign brands and sales of vehicles built outside NA. How is it my fault, if big three don't build something I want to buy? They were making out like bandits with SUVs in the 90s. Now its the fault of the citizenry because they failed to adjust to the new reality?
Nobody failed to adjust to any reality. Wall Street is very unforgiving. Toyota and Honda do not have to answer to Wall Street. What marketing planner could have made a business case for the Aveo in 2000 when GM and Ford were building every truck they could. Interestingly, the Cavalier/Sunfire outsold everything, including the Civic, right up until their cancellation in 2005
As for my neighbour's job, if his union has been negotiating pay raises and avoiding productivity raises that have bankrupted his employer, how is that my fault?