Own Worst enemy
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm
not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
the auto companies really need the money they're demanding? Will
GM really go down the tubes if they don't get a massive
I'm not convinced. Personally I think they're simply
trying to take advantage of an opportunity.
First of all, GM is a global company, with divisions
in Europe and Asia, even Australia. I doubt a worldwide
organization like that could crumble overnight.
Second, I'm suspicious of their rationale because their
entire message is one based on fear. It's all "what
It's clear that even
crappy economy people are still buying American cars.
If the problem is that
consumers aren't buying enough cars then the answer for GM
is to simply
ax the redundant divisions, Buick, Pontiac, etc, and focus
entirely on one marque, like Chevrolet. By simplifying the
product line they can reduce prices and remain competitive
car-makers until this economic storm blows over. Duh.
When Chrysler went to the feds with hat in hand back in the
80s they offered a business plan that actually worked. Lee
Iocacca himself worked for a dollar a year until the company
was again in the black. The Big Three are offering, from all
I can discern, nothing but a hand full of gimme and a mouth
full of much obliged.
If the Big Three shut their doors tomorrow there will still
be a market for parts these cars for
years to come. Cuba manages to get along just fine and they
cars in decades. Foreign manufacturers, Honda and
Toyota specifically, will take up the slack and would no doubt
increase production to
demand. The only thing we'd lose would be our national pride.
That and a dime, folks...
The funny thing is that the root problem is you and me, the
buying public. Charmed by automobile ads that convince us that
cars are imbued with magical powers that will make us happy
and beloved by
all, we've come to expect cars that are huge, overpowered and
stupid. The ideal vehicle is now one that's massive, powerful
and soundprooof enough that you don't have to pay attention
all those other massive, powerful, living-rooms-on- wheels
We need to begin thinking of cars again as pure transportation,
not as a cure for sexual inadequacy. We need to quash this
idea that speed is paramount among features. It's insane, for
instance, for speedometers to go
the way up to 120 (or higher) in a country where the fastest
you can drive is 70mph.
So let's do this... immediately impose new limits on the size
of engines to 2 liters, impose a ban on advertising that includes
raw horsepower or "0-60" information.
Once you've taken speed out of the equation consumers will
begin to make their car-buying decisions more rationally and
makers could start focusing
quality and efficiency.
We'll still needs trucks of course and, therefore, a way to
keep people from using them as basic transportation. That solution
all trucks use diesel engines. High-torque, low horsepower,
diesel engines. And quit making them attractive, you fucking
Detroit morons. No chrome, no leather seats and
olive drab paint jobs only. It's a truck, for god's sake.
It's meant for abuse, not to seduce.
Without doubt, Congress will cave and give Detroit all the
dough it wants. It's still possible the Big Three might still
fold but it will be as a result of a worldwide economic catastrophe,
not from a blip in domestic sales.