Ever since I was a kid, American car companies in general, and GM in particular always seemed to be whining about one thing or another. To hear them tell it, it would be the end of the company if the government mandated seatbelts & safety glass (‘they’ll think our cars aren’t safe!’) or, like in the early 70s, when the first emission regs came into being (‘American’s don’t want small cars! We can’t make cars that are clean and give performance!’), and yet outfits like Toyota and Honda were able to do both. Another thing you’ll notice about GM is that at the end of the war, they were THE preeminent manufacturing concern on the planet; the #1 industrial company on the planet AND the largest automaker in the world. Yet despite having access to resources and engineering talent that were the envy of every other car manufacturer out there, GM’s market share has been in a steady decline since, and now they find themselves not only displaced by Toyota after more than 60 years at the top they’ve now slipped to the third largest car maker in the world AND are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy as they weather blow after blow from growing environmental concerns and product woes.
GM, yet again, wails that raising CAFE standards, or mandating lower carbon output or building fewer SUVs will kill the company, just kill it. GM, with all due respect and love, all I can say is BS. You need to pull your corporate heads out, deal with the change, and start cranking out cars that the American people AND the planet need.
And here’s how you do it.
GM, look at one of VW’s latest show cars, the BlueSport Roadster. That car is nearly production ready, meets all the safety and enviro regs, will probably be a blast to drive with 0 – 60 times it produces AND it gets over 50MPG. Why don’t you build a car like THAT GM?
Oh wait, you already DO! Don’t you build the Opel EcoTech Speedster? Hasn’t that diesel burning, mid-engined, two-seater been tooling around Europe for the past few years? Why yes, yes it has. GM, don’t you have other, small, fuel efficient, air-bag slathered cars running all over The Continent that already meet or exceed or come very, very close to meeting U.S. safety & enviro regs? Why yes you do.
So what’s with all the bitching and moaning like a nine-year-old girl? You whined about safety gear, and then you went and did it, and it turned out OK. You whined about emission regs, and then you went and did it, and it turned out OK. You whined about overseas competition and more regs in the early 80s, and then you went and did it, and it turned out OK.
I thought America was supposed to be the best country on the planet? I thought that American companies, outfits like GM, were the best and could do anything better than anyone else. Dammit, man up, quit your bitching and start bringing over the cars YOU ALREADY HAVE IN YOUR INVENTORY, simply as a stop gap, and then bring on line the cars that the people, the government and the environment demand. What? It’s too hard? BS! GM made the tanks and the planes and the war materiel that crushed not one but TWO aggressive and overly militarized adversaries, but you can’t do this? Sorry, but that’s just lazy and slathered in horse manure.
Volkswagen was a car company started by Hitler to bring basic transportation to the volk on a shoestring budget, and now they’re kicking your ass. And your response is to complain and whimper?
Not good enough, not NEARLY enough. C’mon GM, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get to work. We know you can do it.
Photo from Flickr user myoldpostcards