Some Rare, Intelligent Auto Commentary

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I really should write an auto industry piece, but instead, I will let you read this article in the New Republic. Jonathan Cohn writes one of the few pieces about the auto industry that required a significant amount of research and facts. This is unlike the rest of the anti-Detroit drivel that passes as journalism these days.

Cohn writes:

"Rescuing the auto industry is not, as so many people suppose, a question of giving Detroit one extra shot at transformation. It's a question of giving Detroit a chance to finish a transformation that was already underway."


John R.,  12:13 PM  

I don't have much to add, but thanks for posting this Bob. Someone should blastfax this to editorial boards. Or to Representatives and Senators. Or something.

Bob 12:16 PM  


John, the lurker finally commented.

Smitty 1:59 PM  

Finally, John. Welcome to the keg.

Thanks, bob. This is a big deal. The other thing that chaps my ass is that we are talking about a LOAN to the auto industry, not free money, like the financial folks got.

john r.,  2:29 PM  

Glad to be here. It's better for my blood pressure than reading anti-"Detroit" comments on Kos. Just did that for a few minutes. Now I'm sitting here in silent anger.

Smitty 2:32 PM  

Kos is a hack.

Bob 2:44 PM  

Kos IS a Hack. Dammit Smitty remove that jerk's link.

Smitty 3:19 PM  

Dammit Smitty remove that jerk's link.

I will not limit opinion on this blog. Sorry bob. If people want to read Kos, I will provide a link. He has his uses, after all...

Bob 5:40 PM  

I will not limit opinion on this blog.

I will look forward to a Michelle Malkin link.

B Mac 6:15 PM  

I will look forward to a Michelle Malkin link.

There's a difference between "opinion" and "someone shut this woman up before I hit her with a desk lamp".

Kos gives opinions; some of which I agree with, others not.

Malkin just blathers ignorant racist and otherwise incoherent shit until I feel the need to hit her with the aforementioned lamp.

B Mac 6:16 PM  

Oh, and welcome to the blog, John R. Smith...

Sopor 11:02 AM  

"giving Detroit a chance to finish a transformation that was already underway."

So true!

I think I've made it clear that I do not hold the Big 3 automakers (I will not use the term "Detroit" as a catch-all for them) in high regard on the blog before... I mean we can start by looking at my avatar.

My thought is that the Big 3 have had 30+ years to adapt to a changing auto market... and are a little behind on the game, though they definitely are starting to make the necessary changes in our market, that they have been doing in other world markets for a while already.

But you know who I really hold at fault here? The American Car-Buying public. They have continued to keep the demand high for large, inefficient... CRAPPY (IMO) automobiles to the point that it made NO SENSE for the big 3 to adapt until now!

In other markets, they've been adapting for many years! For example, Ford will be releasing in 2009 a new Fiesta that gets... 65 MPG!!! But NOT to be released in American, partially due to the costs of importing it, and mostly due to the fact that it's diesel, and Americans do NOT like diesel cars. Even though, IMO, they KICK ASS.

Article about the Fiesta, this page appears to be RIDICULOUSLY slow though... but it does detail some of the other business reasons why this car cannot be sold in the US, among others that the engine is built in the UK where labor costs are also extremely high.

This whole issue really frustrates me. Europeans have for decades embraced small, efficient automobiles. Why is it that the US public is so hostile towards these types of cars? I love my little Jetta, and would give up a LOT to have the Diesel version! 50-55MPG with very similar performance specs (lower horsepower, higher torque, different transmission made it about the same speed). I would totally love to try my hand at a VW Gol, Polo, or Fox, all of which are even smaller than my Jetta!

The Big 3 know what needs to be done, but the problem is that the American public has not caught up yet!

So I guess in the long run I am for helping them... Partially because the effect of the Big 3 filing chapter 7 would be drastic and far-reaching, partially because I think the American Public needs automobiles of the type sold in Europe forced down their throats and I want the Big 3 to have a chance to help! You don't even want to know what I feel should be required to buy a 3/4 or 1-Ton Full Size, Dually, Extended Cab pickup truck! I mean not only will smaller, more efficient cars help reduce our dependence on oil, but it will also reduce traffic congestion.

(This is probably not a very popular viewpoint, especially in this state! And I think I got to be quite rambling there...)

Bob 1:48 PM  

Sopor -

I breezed through the article and have a few points to make.

First, I agree with you – it’s the fickle consumer’s fault, but the fools in Congress don’t have the balls to say that.

Second, they are probably referring to Imperial Gallons, not our gallons, which drastically overstates the mileage.

Third, while the Fiesta will be sold here, many small, European cars cannot be sold here because the thing that makes them efficient - light weight - is due to the elimination of many pieces of safety equipment that are required here. GM would love to sell the Opel Corsa here as a Saturn, but it’s a death trap by our standards. You could improve the unibody and safety equipment, but then it won’t sell in Europe, because to them it will be a little tank. There is a reason the VW Polo isn’t sold here either.

Sopor 2:19 PM  

Ahhh, that's a good point Bob! I forget about the DRASTICALLY different safety standards!

Do you work in/with the Auto Industry Bob?

steves 2:32 PM  

Kos IS a Hack.

I agree. I suppose the lunatic fringe of the left needs a voice, but I think Kos is krap. With so many other good liberal blogs and voices, I see no reason to visit Kos.

Bob 3:29 PM  

Do you work in/with the Auto Industry Bob?

No. I am just a Government worker who follows the industry.

With so many other good liberal blogs and voices, I see no reason to visit Kos.

Agreed. Now if I could find a good source of conservative thought. I visit balloon-juice a lot, but I am not sure if Cole counts as conservative anymore. The rest are just scum bags spewing out hate and Limbaugh's talking points.

steves 8:30 PM  

Bob, check out The Volokh Conspiracy. Most of the commentators are conservative and their posts are usually intelligent and thought provoking.

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