American Auto Industry and Imagination
Just to show how imaginative the marketing and business geniuses are in the US Auto Industry, here is an article from 03-04. And here is one from '08. Yes, Ford pinned all its profit hopes on BIG TRUCKS! The same business plan for 5 years. Has anything changed in 5 years? Maybe gas prices?
and in today's paper the US Auto Industry is pissing and moaning because the new mileage standards can't be met. Maybe if executives salaries were cut and the money placed into R&D, there would be grander products. Or maybe they need a fifty-line strategy, where they go after every market, including understanding how to make money on well-manufactured small fuel-efficient cars. Just imagine if European GM cars made it here. The Opel and the Vaxhaul are nice variations. Or if Ford brought over the European Focus.
If we can make hot rods and soup up cars, we can make wonderful environmental machines. The margins may be a little lower, but you could sell them. How many people buy Hummers nowadays? GM could bring them out, but their hybrid Malibu gets 32 mpg. I looked at one. I get GM discount from my Dad. 32 mpg? and it rattled compared to the Honda Civic Hybrid. I did not let the door hit me on the ass on the way out. It did not help that the GM sales force, instead of internet sales and preapprovals, made me go through teh manager talking to the sales manager talking to the finance manager and here is the best we can do. Meridy and I left immediately. They called later and said, what's wrong? I told them mileage and dinosaur approach.
I will say GM, if their style changes may be in good position for American car manufacturers. They have product that will sell. and has plenty of room for improvement. They have more hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles than anyone else. I am betting they are kicking themselves for not following up on the electric car.
Speaking of which, Honda and VW are the only major firms to have sales rise so far this year. Honda, because it sells many fuel efficient cars (and the Fit is a hoot to drive!!!!--If I had the money, I would buy and trick it out, ne says as he knows his wife is glaring at him). Toyota sales dropped!!!! They guessed the market wrong and have too many big cars and trucks and not enough batteries for the Prius.