Friday, November 21, 2008

Inconsistency And Its Discontents

I keep hearing people say "Detroit should make cars people want to buy." I think I've even said it myself.

But how do we reconcile this with the fact that (as of last summer, anyway) GM has 19-20% of the US car market. Clearly that's a long way from the 50% they used to have but its still a lot of cars. And aren't people buying GM cars because they want to?

Another thing we hear is "GM put all their eggs into selling SUVs and now that gas is more expensive, they are hosed."

Sometimes you hear both of these things in the same conversation which is inconsistent and annoys me. SUVs, as any look at a parking lot can tell you, were staggeringly popular for a long time.

Maybe when people say "Detroit should make cars people want to buy," they really mean "Detroit should make cars that I want to buy," or maybe "Detroit should make cars that more people want to buy."

Or maybe "Detroit should make cars I approve of." I guess that would include those cute little European cars that, if you are lucky, you can fit a 6-pack and a ham sandwich in the trunk, and when you mash the throttle down, it makes a noise like the dog farted and then you have to swipe your credit card to buy some carbon offsets.

By the way, GM makes those in Europe, but they can't sell them here becauese they weren't built by the UAW.


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