Bailout Watch 111: NYT: Hold Motown's Feet to the Fire

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Now that the deed is done, now that your elected representatives have funded the Department of Energy’s low-interest auto industry loan program, The New York Times is closing the barn door behind $25b worth of bolted horse. “There are other, perhaps more pressing demands on the public purse than merely helping out General Motors, Ford and Chrysler: guaranteeing all Americans access to affordable health care, improving the nation’s schools, mending the country’s threadbare social safety net to help unemployed workers. The list could go on.” More relevantly, the Grey Lady views Detroit’s designs on the cash with considerable consternation. “Moreover, while the money is ostensibly meant to further the cause of fuel efficiency, we fear Detroit’s automakers will be tempted to put it to other uses. The Department of Energy, which is in charge of writing detailed criteria for car companies to get the loans, should include a provision for strict oversight of the program to ensure that the money is not diverted to other purposes.” Seconded. But the Times does itself no favors when it characterizes The Big 2.8 as “the gas-guzzling trio from Michigan.” And while their “plea” for a little transplant teat-sucking makes perfect sense (at least in their world), it’s not likely to fall on receptive ears in Dearborn (‘natch) or Main Street. To wit: “If it ever tries to expand the program — as some members of Congress have suggested — a good target would be some of those Japanese-owned automakers in the United States that actually have a record of successfully investing in fuel-efficient cars.” Again, how about we give end users a tax credit and let the free market sort this shit out?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
2 of 5 comments
  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.
  • Lou_BC "That’s expensive for a midsize pickup" All of the "offroad" midsize trucks fall in that 65k USD range. The ZR2 is probably the cheapest ( without Bison option).
  • Lou_BC There are a few in my town. They come out on sunny days. I'd rather spend $29k on a square body Chevy
  • Lou_BC I had a 2010 Ford F150 and 2010 Toyota Sienna. The F150 went through 3 sets of brakes and Sienna 2 sets. Similar mileage and 10 year span.4 sets tires on F150. Truck needed a set of rear shocks and front axle seals. The solenoid in the T-case was replaced under warranty. I replaced a "blend door motor" on heater. Sienna needed a water pump and heater blower both on warranty. One TSB then recall on spare tire cable. Has a limp mode due to an engine sensor failure. At 11 years old I had to replace clutch pack in rear diff F150. My ZR2 diesel at 55,000 km. Needs new tires. Duratrac's worn and chewed up. Needed front end alignment (1st time ever on any truck I've owned).Rear brakes worn out. Left pads were to metal. Chevy rear brakes don't like offroad. Weird "inside out" dents in a few spots rear fenders. Typically GM can't really build an offroad truck issue. They won't warranty. Has fender-well liners. Tore off one rear shock protector. Was cheaper to order from GM warehouse through parts supplier than through Chevy dealer. Lots of squeaks and rattles. Infotainment has crashed a few times. Seat heater modual was on recall. One of those post sale retrofit.Local dealer is horrific. If my son can't service or repair it, I'll drive 120 km to the next town. 1st and last Chevy. Love the drivetrain and suspension. Fit and finish mediocre. Dealer sucks.
  • MaintenanceCosts You expect everything on Amazon and eBay to be fake, but it's a shame to see fake stuff on Summit Racing. Glad they pulled it.