Let's not sugarcoat this: The U.S. auto industry is in big trouble. Just this year, in one of many desperate efforts to cut costs, General Motors bought out 19,000 of its 74,000 workers; 300 employees who build Malibus and Saturn Auras at the Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, took the deal. But in June, when J.D. Power and Associates released this year's quality rankings based on a survey of more than 81,000 new-car owners, here's what they said about what the Fairfax workers are building: "Several new models were launched [in 2008] with exceptional quality, none more key than the Chevrolet Malibu.... By offering a clean exterior design and a stylish, rich-looking interior, the all-new 2008 Chevrolet Malibu has impressed consumers and the auto-enthusiast press alike." And in J.D. Power's awards for assembly plants that make cars with the fewest defects and malfunctions, Fairfax earned bronze, coming in behind only Mercedes-Benz and Toyota. That makes the Fairfax plant the only award winner owned by a U.S. automaker. So, in the hopes of better days ahead, we now raise a glass to our brothers and sisters in the UAW at Fairfax.