Friday, April 13, 2007

The Big Three (Idiots)

I was up late last night flipping channels and trying to either fall asleep or find something, anything, from among the 200 channels available that would pique my interest enough to make the awake time somewhat worthwhile. I don’t want to feel as if I wasted the entire night in just readjusting my derriere to the futon mattress or merely staring off toward the digital abyss into the haze of static noise and infomercials.

So, I come across a CNN business interview with one of those slick-talking, smarmy VPs from General Motors marketing division. Normally, I could care less what big business hirelings have to say about anything, as they are usually lying out their asses, but this time I was actually bored enough to take note, and I set down the remote to await the inevitable. Sure enough, it took only thirty seconds for this corporate douchebag to tell a giant fib. These assholes never disappoint.

The topic du jour was hybrid vehicles and compliance with federal mileage standards in comparison with European automobiles. I shit you not, this suit-and-tie son-of-a-bitch said, “General Motors has been at the cutting edge of hybrid technology, and our cars get as good if not better gas mileage than do cars in Europe.”

Anyone who knows anyone in Europe, or anything about Europe, knows that statement is about as patently false as any statement could possibly be. Ford, Opal, Volvo, etc., have been producing cars in Europe for the European market that gets 45 to 77 miles per gallon, and have been for decades. Some of these cars still have carburetors! I regularly chat with Europeans and have been to Europe myself a few times and it is painfully obvious that Europe is, much like in many ways, years ahead of America in terms of their engineering and ecological thinking.

These cars have never been made available here. I keep hearing the usual mantra of “There’s no market for them here.” What? The myth that Americans won’t drive smaller cars was dispelled in the 1970s when German and Japanese imports struck the America market in a huge way. There will always be those with large families, commercial needs, and small penises who require uber-large vehicles. They are NOT the entire auto market and, as we see by the success of Toyota and Nissan, by example, these buyers of large gas-guzzlers are not even in the majority. America has been clamoring for better choices and the Big Three have ignored us. They continue to roll out the same tired models with the same meaningless cosmetic adjustments. Blah.

One has to wonder what exactly this VP was thinking when he uttered those words. Now, you can pay a whore to say, “I love you”, but you know damned well that she doesn’t. This corporate whore just spews what he’s paid to say and hopes that enough people are stupid enough to buy it and the crappy product his job is dependant upon. Fact is that the smallest model sold by GM, the Aveo, only gets 26 miles per gallon in city driving, or at least that’s what the sticker at the dealership says. I was about to buy myself one of those until I read that. Twenty six? That’s it? And someone thinks this is good gas mileage?

It’s no wonder the Big Three will soon disappear. They think we are fucking idiots. It’s been twenty, maybe thirty years running and they still don’t want to get it. They aren’t ignorant of the facts. Everything is about profit margins, and smaller cars just don’t have the same profitability as do the big huge trucks and SUVs. Apparently, they were counting per unit rather than long-term overall sales. There is no profit if no one buys your product. That they have been losing money hand over fist is telling.


Ben Sorer Moreh said...

I'm guessing that since Toyota's announcement last week, "ha-ir Detroit nabochah". I guess that's what happens when you get too big to be creative and flexible. It's also a warning to any institution that tries to keep its customers "in the fold" by telling them that it's "not right" to look at other options. (Remember the "Traitor, buy American!" stickers from the 80s?)

I'm a bit skeptical about the mileage figures you quote. It's not like the Aveo is a Detroit car. It's Korean. The same kind of mythical car that gets great mileage "over there".

Major problem we we've created a culture where the only way to get around is by car (regardless of how good the mileage or how low the emissions). So, now we're dealing with kids who can't walk or bike anywhere and aging drivers who can't get around safely. Yet, so much of the economy is tied up with the auto industry, so to change the above means shooting ourselves in the foot.

How's your health?

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