What's Really Killing Detroit: Too Many Pom-Poms!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
whats really killing detroit too many pom poms

Peter Valdes-Dapena is not what you’d call the sharpest automotive journalist on the blog. In fact, you could say that CNNMoney’s Automotive Editor has about as much killer instinct as Codium setchelli. In case you’re not up on your algae, this is the scribe who wrote a piece entitled “ Why we need big hybrid SUVs.” So, now that Forbes Autos is out of the top ten slide show biz– in fact, out of biz entirely– Valdes-Dapena has decided to fill the gap. “ What’s really killing Detroit” You want insight? We’ll give you insight! V-D identifies six issues confronting Detroit and gives six reasons why it’s no big friggin’ deal (i.e. why we shouldn’t let Motown’s meltdown get in the way of bailout billions). You got your SUV addiction (“They remain an important market segment for domestic automakers”); lack of small cars (“GM will also begin selling the new Chevrolet Cruze here in 2010”); lousy quality (“There’s no doubt that quality will continue to improve”); lack of hybrids (“GM now offers as more [sic] hybrid models – seven in all – than Toyota, which offers six”); union workers (“Pay isn’t the problem, it’s benefits. But the UAW has made significant concessions”); and your fat executive paychecks (“If big automakers do want help from Uncle Sam, they may have to agree to cuts in compensation). So what’s really killing Detroit? Photo captions like this: “GM CEO Rick Wagoner leads a company in trouble, but could anyone else have done better?” I know Pacific sea slugs that qualify.

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4 of 9 comments
  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Nov 18, 2008

    A lot of sea slugs are also better looking than Rabid Rick. And banana slugs--much better looking. Robert, I think you're being a little bit too hard on Valdes-Dapena. He is actually pretty insightful. JUST KIDDING!!!

  • 1996MEdition 1996MEdition on Nov 18, 2008

    Michael, you have a good point about people keeping cars longer. My two cars are a 96 Miata and a 97 S-10. Just some loving care and routine maintenance for the Miata and a few home repairs (brakes, ball joints, tie rods, U-joints) for the S-10. Still way less expensive than new, especially on the insurance side. Right now, I wouldn't buy new for anything. I know the ins and outs of both cars and can easily repair anything that goes wrong, given a little time and a copy of Chilton's. Even my impending clutch replacements (both are around 100K miles) are still cheap compared the headaches and unknowns of buying new. Car companies must hate tightwad, weekend mechanics like me.

  • 1998S90 1998S90 on Nov 18, 2008

    I think it's spelled "Pom-pons". Or "Pon-poms", I can't remember which.