Warren Brown to Detroit's Critics: It's No Biggie

warren brown to detroits critics its no biggie

The post-Black Tuesday world is an interesting place for media junkies looking to gauge the U.S. automotive press' level of sycophancy. Yesterday, we reported on Motor Trend's take on May's sales collapse: blame the victim (the American consumer). Or CAFE regs (the feds). Today, we present Warren Brown's analysis. And the first thing the Washington Post car columnist wants you to know: greens can't take credit for the death of the great American gas guzzler. "It is the world Hummer-haters said they wanted. It is the one for which legions of environmentalists and believers in the corrective powers of regulation lobbied. But here's suggesting that they had little to do with the current situation. When it comes to change in a capital-intensive industry such as the car business, money talks, and politics walks." High gas prices did the deed? OK, we'll buy that for a dollar (or four). But we're a little less convinced by Warren's corollary: chill. Brown says the domestics are switching gears to make money in the brave new world of $4+ gas. All will be well. "They [the transplants] have, therefore, a temporary advantage over GM, Ford and Chrysler in the current market shift from trucks to cars. But 'temporary' means just that. Domestic car companies are adjusting to fuel-price-induced changes much more quickly than vehicle sales numbers or media reports indicate." In fact, "The GM-Hummer relationship was never meant to be permanent."

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  • Orian Orian on Jun 08, 2008

    Aparrently he forgot how bad the domestics screwed up after the last fuel crisis.

  • Geotpf Geotpf on Jun 08, 2008

    The recent shift from large SUVs and pickups to small cars has little to do with enviromentalism and a lot to do with $5 a gallon gas. If gas goes back to 93 cents a gallon, the Detroit 3 will be saved. But it's much more likely to go to $9.30 a gallon than 93 cents, which means they are screwed.

  • John Horner John Horner on Jun 08, 2008

    "The GM-Hummer relationship was never meant to be permanent." Say what? Did GM tell the dealers who anted up millions to build fancy facilities that "fact"? What a bunch of BS. If it was supposed to be short-term, they would have sold Hummers at GMC dealers. GM tried to use the Hummer brand to out-Jeep Jeep. It wasn't a temporary arrangement at all.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jun 09, 2008

    I don't need to read his latest to wonder why the Wash Post (which has been doing buyouts of reporters lately) hasn't gotten rid of this hack. He is intellectually dishonest or in deep, deep denial. I must stop writing before I say something that will compel RF to remove this post.