To be CEO of a Detroit auto company, is it required that you be born without a lick of common sense?

To be CEO of a Detroit auto company, is it required that you be born without a lick of common sense?

Ford, GM, and Chrysler are losing money faster than rubes playing blackjack in Las Vegas, because the corporate honchos won’t produce vehicles that the public actually wants to buy. Consumers are clamoring for cars and trucks that are fuel efficient, but executives keep rolling out behemoths that guzzle gas while also spewing pollutants that cause health problems and global warming.

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Japanese and other automakers have gotten the message and are setting sales records in America with their energy efficient models. Yet our own companies are taking multi-billion-dollar beatings in the marketplace by demanding that customers buy what Detroit wants, rather than what the customers want. Sales of pick-up trucks, which get maybe 13 miles a gallon, continue to plummet, but the geniuses in Detroit’s executive suites are still pushing pick-ups as the core of their marketing strategy.

Meanwhile, Washington is considering an energy bill that would require cars, pick-ups, and SUVs to get 35 miles per gallon by 2020. “Oh, woe is us, “ cried the CEO’s of Ford, GM, and Chrysler. All three went scurrying to Capitol Hill, wailing that this standard is too difficult to reach and would wreck the U.S. auto industry.

Three things. One, where is the old “can-do” American spirit? Stop whining and start competing with Honda, Toyota, and others who are taking your market from you. Two, 2020 is 13 years from now – if you can’t produce an efficient engine by then, you should resign! Third, get a clue – lawmakers are doing you a favor by making you do what your customers are demanding.

Sadly, some Democratic leaders are caving in to the Detroit whiners. To support strong fuel efficiency standards, contact the Union of Concerned Scientists: www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/.

“Caution: Lower Truck Sales Ahead,” The New York Times, June 9, 2007
“Auto Chiefs Make Headway Against a Mileage Increase,” The New York Times, June 7, 2007

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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