“How to Fix a Flat”

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman feels about as sorry for American automakers as most scooterists do. If they want to blame trade unions and the recession for their situation, instead of thier stubborn refusal to innovate and plan for the future, someone else will be happy to manufacture cars for us. Throwing more money at the idiots in Detroit might save some jobs, but not for long. I’m not sure Friedman’s ideas are better (even as a closet socialist, I don’t want the government running the auto industry), but it’s better than giving them free reign with giant wads of taxpayer money.

Just for fun, here’s Bob Lutz on 60 Minutes, pretending to believe that he’s excited about the Chevy Volt.

6 thoughts on ““How to Fix a Flat””

  1. This is something that’s been coming (the GM failure). I read a story somewhere around the beginning of this past spring that detailed the shortcomings of 8 or ten top manufacturers of trucks and cars, and mentioned a number of companies, including GMC, Ford and some others I can’t recall, who were putting most of their eggs in the truck and SUV basket – now the “sub-prime mortgage” of the auto industry. Same goes for some luxury auto makers as well (ironically Tata motors, makers of the world’s cheapest car, bought the Jaguar this past spring).

    Sad state of affairs for the once-proud American automotive industry. Hopefully what gaps are created by our own failing auto industry will be bridged by foreign investors like Toyota, who is bringing a manufacturing plant (and 2,000+ jobs) to Mississippi in 2010.

  2. Right, VT, Honda just opened a huge plant in Indiana, and at Amerivespa in Chattanooga, all anyone wanted to talk about was all the jobs VW was creating there. It seems like there are actual automotive manufacturing jobs are still around, they’re just not in Michigan anymore, and they’re not building “American” cars. I’m no expert, but I suspect the real problem is that a lot of these “import” plants AND the Big Three are using more and more imported components, and the REAL job loss is in the supply industry. But I just refuse to feels sorry for GM, Chrysler, and Ford as corporations.

    Myk, you out there? You work in “the industry,” how do you see it?

  3. Beeb, he doesn’t read 2strokebuzz. To be honest, I’m not sure he can read anything not printed in the form of a ‘for sale’ ad.

  4. Apropos of nothing, every once in a while the image generator shows the photo of Colannino and Fuskas showing off the model of the new Piaggio Museum and I laugh out loud at that total crock of shit.

  5. It’s not so fun to see all this gut wrenching about a viable and affordable electric alternative when it already exists. Granted, the percentage of our population willing to hop on a two wheel commuter hovers well below 10%. As a dedicated
    traditional scooterist I was fully opposed to the notion of an electric scooter as presented by the folks at Vectrix. Unfortunately, I was given a Vectrix as a demo for two consecutive weekends. I now own one and offer them for sale at my dealership. Since the first week of July I have used the Vectrix as my nearly sole source of commuter transportation. Transport of more than one of my teenaged children (requiring a cage) and our recent spate of ice and snow (Minneapolis) has limited my riding to a bit over three thousand miles this season. I still plan to make a valid attept at the Cold Weather Challenge on battery power. Stay tuned.
    I know all the detractions. I have always distained the traditional maxi scooter platform. The Vectrix is simply the best motor vehicle I’ve ever operated.

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