The government siezing a GM factory has obviously been big news in Detroit, so I was doing some reading on the subject and turned up this (2010) NY Times piece. Detroit’s Monsters Thrive on a Diet of Cheap Gas If you can stomach the predictible NYT opinion drivel about "giant sized gas-guzzling dinosaurs from the evil Detroit cabal" etc., the article is interesting (as are the slide show and video). Essentially the 70's oil boom in Venezuela created a ripple in time where American luxury cars flooded in. The dictators preach Anti-American sentiment, but have also subsidized fuel, so people keep driving the big US cars rather than crappy modern commie-mobiles from Iran. Like Cuba, but with spare parts.