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

bailout watch 111 nyt hold motowns feet to the fire

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?

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  • Renewingmind The idea of a silent smell free world of vehicles sounds wonderful from a quality of life standpoint. Start with diesel trucks. Especially big ones. They are the worst offenders for fumes and noise.
  • DenverMike Pininfarina I know it's not related to this, I just like saying it.
  • Matt Posky I don't understand the appeal of fake meat and this seems to operate under a similar premise: You don't want the V8 because someone says it's bad for you. But you can have something designed to mimic the experience because that's what your body actually wants. The styling is cool I guess. But I don't understand why EVs don't just lean into what they are. Companies can make them produce any wooshing or humming noises they want. Buiding an entire system to help you pretend it still has a combustion engine seems a little lame.
  • DenverMike I'm sure it would have a volume control. It's nice to sneak into my neighborhood at 2am quietly. Or creep out, 4am. I don't get much sleep OK, but I always keep my V8 exhaust stock, as much as I love the sound of others loud. My stereo would make it pointless anyway.
  • FreedMike I’d love to see more tracks, or off-road parks if that’s your jam. But for those of us who’d love to take part in this kind of thing, practicality is the limiting factor. Racing has always been expensive, and most people don’t want to do it with their daily drivers - I’d love to see what my GLI would do on a track, but not at the cost of voiding my warranty, or potentially wrapping up the car (which I’m pretty sure would put me on State Farm’s Keith Moon-trashing-the-Holiday Inn list). As a practical matter, you have to have a vehicle that is intended to be used for racing, and the ability to fix it; most folks don’t have that kind of money or skill set.