GM Declares War on Its Customers

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
gm declares war on its customers

The feds made us do it! I'm tempted to say that the Dow Jones' Marketwatch interview (via CNNMoney) with GM's Car Czar is Maximum Bob unplugged. But that assumes that Mr. Lutz was, at some point, connected with reality. Anyway, here we have Maxi Bob taking his "raised federal fuel economy standards are like forcing fat people to wear small clothes" argument to the next level. "With the federal mandates at 35 miles per gallon coupled with cheap fuel, it puts us at war with our customers. At $3 a gallon (for gas) many people still want full-sized pick up trucks (and) full-sized sport utilities with V8 engines… and we're not going to be able to sell it to 'em because we if we do we won't make (the federal mandates)," Lutz told the Dow folk, adding, "It's ridiculous." Strengthening his already bullet-proof rep for spouting Pollyanna prognostications based on sweet FA, Lutz also says he's spoken to bankers who think the worst is over for the "mortgage meltdown crisis and the liquidity crisis." Anyway, who cares? "If everything goes well in the rest of the world, we can take a couple hits in the U.S. and still be okay." And just in case you thought Bob's reality divorce papers weren't signed yet, how about this: "We are working on the electrification of the automobile because my personal theory is the best way to save fuel is to use none at all."

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  • Kevin Kevin on Jan 21, 2008

    What I don't get is that Rick Wagoner is always complaining at every public opportunity that the U.S. doesn't have an "energy policy", and that somehow the US automakers would be better off if we had an "energy policy". Well ... here's you energy policy. Shockingly, GM execs are still complaining.

  • Jeff Puthuff Jeff Puthuff on Jan 21, 2008

    GM can't sell relatively small cars and trucks profitably. You know this, I know this, and they know this and that's why they're sh**ting bricks over CAFE. The nonsensical, seemingly off the cuff remarks made by Lutz are indicative of a company that has no plan for the future and is in a reactive position rather than a proactive one. The Volt is a prime example. It's a vehicle that exists with lots of promises (more efficient than the Prius) but without a powertrain. Even if the batteries are developed in the next two years, you would be crazy to start using them right away in a vehicle that may be put to use in extremes of temperature, extreme vibration (America's roads are literally crumbling), and varying altitudes without years of test data and refinement. If you believe that higher gas prices are the better alternative to CAFE regs, I ask you, "To whom should the extra gas taxes go?" because a tax is what you're proposing. Shall the monies go to the Saudis, or the most-profitable-ever-in-history gas companies, or to the bureaucrats in Washington? The smart car company will be the one who sees this as an opportunity to wean America off her insatiable, empire-building, oil war mongering appetite, and to take the credit therefrom.

  • KixStart KixStart on Jan 21, 2008

    factotum: "If you believe that higher gas prices are the better alternative to CAFE regs, I ask you, “To whom should the extra gas taxes go?” " Make it revenue-neutral. Cut some other tax to match the [realistically] projected revenue from this. Or do set it up as a new tax and revenue source and fund this: A Solar Grand Plan

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jan 22, 2008

    Newsflash Bob - the Dow tanked 450 points on opening this morning.