May 21, 2008

When Will They Ever Learn

Every time I read an article like this one, I get completely disgusted. This is the country whose plutocrats bleat about market pressure, and yet the auto industry not only is impervious to engineering and safety improvements without legislative coercion, they cannot even see fit to re-tool and downsize vehicles when that is what the market is clearly turning toward.

Honda hybrids a nightmare? No, the nightmare is Ford F350 behemoths, Chevy monsters that take 12 passengers, Suburbans -- nightmares are Hummers and Escalades. The fact that these are becoming lot decorations instead of viable merchandise is rather natural, all things considered.

This happened once before, during the end of the first incarnation of the VW Beetle. It was the time of the first wave of imported Japanese cars -- no surprise there. And as they succeeded, eventually US auto makers caught on.

Cars were suddenly getting smaller and smaller as the big muscle cars lost favor during the 1970's gas problems. It's now time for the huge beasts to get off the road, the wasteful machines that were engineered with no thought of fuel economy of any sort. Let's hope that this time single digit miles per gallon cars go away for good.

Posted by Scorpio at May 21, 2008 08:42 PM | | Technorati links |

The old VW beetle is the best car that has ever been built. And clear back in the 1940's they were getting better mileage than current NHTSA standards.

Posted by: watercat at May 22, 2008 05:15 PM

Remember that old H. L. Mencken line about nobody ever losing money underestimating the taste of the American people? I guess our car companies proved that one wrong.

Posted by: Green Eagle at May 23, 2008 03:00 PM