By on January 8, 2009

I caught a Google news alert this AM leading to the Detroit Free Press. The headline took me by surprise: “Toyota Sales in the Toilet.” That’s pretty strong language for the MSM. Was this the same paper that headlined GM’s -32.1 percent post-bailout December sales debacle with “An Improvement over November“? Did the Freep’s trash talking header indicate a new, darker chapter in the annals of Detroit cheerleading? I clicked over to a Freep page with a clear not-to-say-ginomrous anti-Toyota, pro-union slant. It’s a blog by editorial cartoonist Mike Thompson. “Japan does have its own version of the United Auto Workers, the Confederation of Japanese Automobile Workers’ Unions, so why aren’t these same columnists and bloggers blaming the Japanese auto union for Toyota’s woes? With a membership of 741,000 workers, it eclipses the 513,000 membership claimed by its American counterpart, the UAW.” It’s a good point, if entirely beside the point. But it’s easy enough to see that Motown’s hometown heroes are happy to put the hate on Toyota– the same hate for which they condemn critics outside Fortress Detroit.

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38 Comments on “Freep Dumps on Toyota...”


  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    To all did anyone see the Today Show on NBC this am? In it the Head CEO of GM and the head man of UAW where sitting beside each other, a classic pair really!
    To my mind the head man of the UAW should not be sitting beside the CEO of General Motors, its almost like they are two peas in the same “pod”.

    In the discussion to start on the 12th of January, the UAW is not planning on re opening there contract period, so why have this meeting, more smoke and mirrors I expect!

  • avatar
    dean

    Hmm. I didn’t read the blog article the same way. While it definitely approached the subject from a pro-Detroit position, it made a reasonable argument: many of the same people that blame the economy for Toyota’s cratering sales are blaming union labour costs for GM’s problems.

    In the recent term that is a valid argument. It does, of course, ignore the many years previous.

    Some of the comments below the blog are ridiculous. Calling people traitors if buying a Japanese car happens to be the best option to meet your needs.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Japanese unions are more like “company” unions, which were outlawed in the United States during the 1930s. The adversarial relationship between the union and the company that exists between the UAW and GM is not present at Toyota.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I enjoyed reading that just for the unbridled racism in the comments section.

    It’s no wonder that they’re failing. They are so filled with hatred of the Japanese and fear for their own jobs that they obviously don’t have time to worry about the needs and wants of the American consumer.

    If they want to continue where World War Two left off, then their best revenge would come from success. I guess whining must be a lot more fun, because it sure isn’t profitable.

  • avatar
    Kurt.

    Agree that is is a bit unfair to blame the Unions for the problems with the Big3. I am FAR from a union supporter however these are and have always been the costs of doing business. The Big 3 agreed to the terms so there was profit to be had. The problem as I see it is the they failed to prepare for the (grim) future. A fable about a grass hopper and a colony of ants comes to mind…

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Comments like those on FreeP are the reason why Michigan (and other parts of the Midwest) have become the armpit of not just the nation, but North America. That and some of the bloggers/magazine editors that cheerlead for the demise of others so they can say “told ya so, Detroit will always be better”.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Wow, has anyone checked out the comments in the freep about the Thompson cartoon? It seems to have brought out all of the Asian bigots. It’s so bad, Thompson had to post an entry in attempt to get them to calm down. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s common in that area and has been an issue well before the Asian manufacturers came onto the scene.

    I remember as a kid in Detroit during the late sixties encountering some of that hatred. I remember going into a bakery in lily white Dearborn and someone asking “is he a Korean Orphan?” Another time some nutcase came running out of the house screaming at me about “you people need to go back where you came from.” He also threw in the word “jap” being thrown in here and there as he warned me never to come down that street again. I even had trouble with a couple of WW2 Pacific veteran teachers in Junior High in the 70’s.

    The funny part about the whole thing is that I’m not even Asian. It was so bizarre and taught me at an early age that bigots were total morons. Geez, you’d think if they were going to be bigots they’d take the time to learn how to identify members of the group they hated.

    Sometimes I wish someone would offer a billion dollar X-Prize to the first legal scholar that can prove that Michigan actually belongs to Canada. It would solve so many problems.

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    Well speaking as a Canadian, I sure dont want Michigan given to us, we have the poor cousin in Windsor that is more or less part of Michigan anyway, having many of the same problems that Detroit has, maybe minus having to deal with Health care!
    Its really too bad that Race and being a Traitor to some North American ideals is brought into the picture, I at one time was convinced only to buy North American “stuff” untill I learned bettter the hard way after buying several Domestic Vehicles.
    Its hard for some people that maybe never had the chance to advance themselves in School or whatever to feel this way, it is really sad for all that live in this enviroment.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Our poor cousin in Windsor Geo?How about Brampton
    Oakville or Oshawa that sort’a covers the GTA eh Geo?
    Welcome to the new world Geo.The good folks in Michigan have dealt with this for a while.The collapse of the domestic auto industry would decimate Ontario.Why do suppose our right wing,free market, conservative government could not get thier checkbook out fast enough?

    I didn’t advance myself in school something I
    deeply regret.But I do understand we have to manufactor something and produce whatever.If there is nothing for blue collars, what to hell are the white collars gonn’a do.

    Hey that wonderfull healthcare system that we are so proud of who the hell is going to pay for it?Honda,VW,Suburu,Toyota their money goes back to Japan and Germany.

    I personally detest racism and racists of all kinds.Call me simple minded or uneducated if you will,but I see no down side to protectionism.

  • avatar
    Blobinski

    The blogs with all the hatred (freep) just go to show why the Big 3 and the UAW have spiraled down. This kind of darkness and cynisism are what prevents them from succeeding.

    I think we all, as American’s, truly wanted the Big 3 to succeed years ago. They were given opportunity after opportunity to do this. They didn’t and made craptastic products and chained themselves to the UAW and their drama.

    Personally seizing opportunity or struggling through adversity ourselves makes us resent others that are given the same or even easier opportunities and fail miserably again and again. Now – the government is giving them OUR money and that is very tough to swallow.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    The GM numbers for December don’t pass a sniff test either.
    Impala up 19%?
    Malibu up near 50%? It’s been doing well but I don’t buy that in this market.

    They dumped some cars big time somewhere.
    Bet the buyer got an amazing price.

    Bunter

  • avatar
    kowsnofskia

    Yeah, mikey, it’s fitting that you see no downside to protectionism given that your job apparently depends on it.

    Point is, Detroit has had decades and decades to get its act together. The fact that they’ve had ever since the mid-70s to come up with a decent small car and still haven’t managed to do so is perhaps the strongest indication of the mental disease that afflicts the Motor City.

    BTW, I’m so sick of seeing the Big Three cook up more “retrofuturistic” muscle cars and so on. I’m tired of them making every Mustang, PT Cruiser, Challenger, etc look like something that was built during the Johnson administration – it’s as though they want so bad for it to be 1965 again, when they ruled the roost and didn’t have to answer to anyone. But as anyone here can tell you, those times are long gone and they’re not coming back.

  • avatar
    ItsABrandNewCar

    kowsnofskia,

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with “retrofuturistic” designed cars. In fact, design like that is probably one of the few things the D2.8 have going for them.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    @Bunter1: per the WSJ GM sent 59% of December sales to fleets.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Actually, I think there are a lot of good dedicated people in the Dx.x and even the UAW. It’s just that they’re being held back by a lot of idiots. A cleansing through bankruptcy would be a good thing. I’d really like to see more cars on the market that I’d be interested in buying, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

  • avatar

    Comments like those on FreeP are the reason why Michigan (and other parts of the Midwest) have become the armpit of not just the nation, but North America.

    Which is why the state of Michigan has a 2.7% budget gap of $617 million, while Alabama is at 15% with a 1.2 billion dollar gap, Arizona has a 30% budget gap, New York’s gap is $15 billion and rising as layoffs on Wall Street ripple through the state’s economy, and California is $36 billion short.

    Say what you will about Michigan’s high taxes and labor friendly business environment, but the state is actually well run from a fiscal standpoint. The state constitution requires a balanced budget (hat tip to Geo. Romney) so Michigan will never be in the budget shape that California, New York or most states for the matter are. Michigan is ranked 43rd in terms of its budget gap. There have been four major recessions since the 1963 Michigan constitution was ratified, plus other economic slowdowns that affected Michigan’s major employers. In each case, spending was cut and/or taxes increased to make sure the state gov’t was solvent. California (and other states) just kept giving public employees more and more generous compensation.

    But who you gonna believe, the facts or your own desire to call Michigan names?

    California, with its 60,000 homes in foreclosure, its thousands more with upside down mortgages, and its state debt, will be bankrupt before General Motors. California has 4 times the number of homes in foreclosure than Michigan and a 30% higher foreclosure rates. Because property values in California were so out of touch with reality, the homeowners in CA are way more upside down than anything faced in Michigan. California has more debt, public and private, than Michigan does, including the automakers.

    Bitch about the UAW all you want, but they don’t get nearly the generous pensions that California state employees receive.

    I suppose that pointing the finger at Michigan, calling it an “armpit” of a state, makes it easier to avoid recognizing that your own state is fiscally irresponsible.

  • avatar
    Monty

    – “…stand on our own against the Foreign freaks. WHAT’S WRONG WITH ALL THESE PEOPLE??????”

    – “Meanwhile, Toyota/Honda/Hyundai are still flooding the US with unappealing appliances. Generally I seen them only driven by immigrants who have no allegiance to the USA”

    – “You’re a smug, silly little yuppie now aren’t ya? Go ahead and wait for your Honda. Better yet, wait for someone to pull you out of a ditch when your little rice coffin slides off the road in our all too common snowstorms. You have your head in the sand if you think foreign automobiles are any better than American”

    -“Immigrants? Maybe you should look in the mirror, you immigrant, for buying foreign products. YOu don’t have any allegiance to the USA either for buying foreign electronics, clotheing, food, etc., etc. Shame on you!!! ”

    Just a sampling from the first two pages of comments. Xenophobic vitriol; it’s not accurate nor intelligent debate, but I would wager that a lot of Americans hold the same views. Yet the “imports” still seem to aggregating more market share. Could it be that some of the “patriots” who are defending America are buying imports? Methinks so. Imbeciles, and hypocrites.

  • avatar
    chris724

    Those UAW bigots must be insane if the think they are helping their cause with this. I am generally sympathetic to US manufacturers, and support them when I can. But I would actually feel less guilty buying foreign, knowing that I am not supporting these UAW jerks.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    America came running to the side of Detroit in the 80’s and bought their cars out of patriotism…. but didn’t get what they paid for.

    Crying about the evil Japanese just isn’t going to work this time.

    When the Japanese agreed to voluntary import limits in the 80’s I thought that would be Detroit’s big opportunity. It was going to give them a price advantage over the Japanese of 10-15% percent.

    That price difference, I thought, would be plenty of incentive for Americans to choose domestic. However, Detroit’s answer was to increase their own prices too, so the relationship of quality to price remained the same.

    Yes, GM had finally started on the road to recovery 5 years ago or so, and perhaps starting with the Cadillac line to introduce quality made sense, but I don’t believe that they have the time now for their quality improvements to trickle down the line, and THEN have the 40% of the market who won’t buy domestic start to trust them again, before they collapse.

  • avatar
    MBella

    Mikey-
    “Hey that wonderfull healthcare system that we are so proud of who the hell is going to pay for it?Honda,VW,Suburu,Toyota their money goes back to Japan and Germany.”

    Yea, it’s not like the foreign companies have to pay taxes too. They are exempt.

  • avatar

    I enjoyed reading that just for the unbridled racism in the comments section.

    You enjoy reading racist comments? I’m sure that you get a sense of self-satisfaction that your stereotype of Michiganders as knuckledragging bigots appears to be validated by a few yahoos posting comments online, but how can anyone “enjoy” reading about racism?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I’m sure that you get a sense of self-satisfaction that your stereotype of Michiganders as knuckledragging bigots appears to be validated by a few yahoos posting comments online, but how can anyone “enjoy” reading about racism?

    I thought that it was obvious that I was being sarcastic.

    Still, if the shoe fits. It’s just tough to be sympathetic when the Gran Torino mentality is so entrenched. Attacking people’s patriotism and sounding like rabid headcases just aren’t good sales tactics. I doubt that even the business school at the University of Michigan is teaching anyone that.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I am never less proud of my hometown than when I read the comments on our own local paper. We should all thank RF for maintaining such a good site.
    What really aggravates me is that the local press is more than happy to quote stuff from the same idoits leaving the comments and call them a “valid source” whose side of the story should be represented and heard. Brilliant.

  • avatar

    It’s just tough to be sympathetic when the Gran Torino mentality is so entrenched.

    It’s tough to agree when someone uses a fictional movie to describe a real world mentality.

    As for B-Schools, Michigan is ranked at #12 by US News. The only public schools ranked higher than Michigan are UCLA and UCBerkley. I know that it makes you feel good to put the state of Michigan down, but I’d rather use a doctor, lawyer or even a MBA with a Michigan diploma than someone who went to the University of Southern Alabama @ Mobile. Yale, Cornell, Duke, Carnegie-Mellon, and Georgetown get lower ranking than UofMichigan’s business grad school.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I know that it makes you feel good to put the state of Michigan down…

    Whoa, there, take your finger off of the literal translation button, and start reading things in the spirit that they are intended. Sarcasm often involves saying things in an indirect fashion in order to illustrate a point.

    I take no issue with the University of Michigan or its business school. What is incomprehensible is that the sort of analysis to which you respond with such hostility is exactly the same sort of analysis that you would expect to find at a top tier business school.

    You don’t need to go to Boston or New York or Berkeley to get the data, you have the answer right in your own backyards. But even when it’s homegrown, you still don’t want to listen to it.

    You also might build your cred a bit if you vigorously protested against the racism, arguing that it is an aberration that you find abhorrent and inappropriate. But instead, you want to argue that others are racist, too. If you want to be the featured guest at the pity party, that’s not quite the way to get on the invite list.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    @Pch101 & Ronnie,

    Don’t worry. Those kind of comments are what you’ll get in any newspaper blog, when the subject is the failure of DET.

    Happens in every place where overpaid people who have no real skill-set are about to lose their gravytrain. They know they would have a hard time actually learning a job in fast food, and it ain’t paying 75K a year.

    As to why the Toyota union isn’t viewed in the same light as the UAW? Hmm, Toyota was making money every year until the downturn. GM wasn’t.

    UAW is hardly the only problem. But it’s a big one.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Richard Chen-Thanks for the link.
    Actually the WSJ article said that GM’s retail was down 41%, not 41% of the total.

    None-the-less you confirmed my estimate, GM’s “relatively good” 31% down was fleet inflated (as always seems to be the case on their “good” months).

    Mikey-You might want to re-think about the “protectionism” thing.
    What if residents of the USA take to the idea and realize that a Silverado or Impala made in Oshawa sends money to workers in a foreign country, pays taxes there, buys houses there, clothes, food etc.

    Be careful what you wish for buddy.

    More importantly, a dollar spent on a GM vehicle does NOT mean a dollar kept in the American economy. It is estimated that in the decade from 1998-2007 GM’s poorly run operations destroyed $184 billion from the US economy. $1.53B/mo. Enough to put the whole 500K UAW (not just those directly employed by the Debt 3) on welfare at $3k/mo.

    I doubt this last year was an improvement.

    Estimating on an average of 4M sales per year that would mean the USA lost nearly $4600 for every GM vehicle sold during that period.

    Frankly we would be far better off sending 1K per vehicle to Japan. Waste less on repairs also.

    Bad companies are bad for their countries and their economies.

    Mikey, you are good guy. The company you work for needs to go C11 or go away.

    Regards,

    Bunter

  • avatar

    But it’s easy enough to see that Motown’s hometown heroes are happy to put the hate on Toyota– the same hate for which they condemn critics outside Fortress Detroit.

    I actually read the Freep and DetNews, not just cherry pick for things to bash Detroit about. I have my complaints about both of them but being local boosters isn’t one of those complaints. Newspapers big and small tend to be local boosters. Considering how the NYTimes and LATimes have damaged their own brands’ credibility by cheerleading for Obama and editorializing in the news content, I’m not troubled when a hometown newspaper takes a slant that favors hometown industries. I wonder, if this site was The Truth About Movies would the staff go on and on about how the LATimes gives positive coverage to local studios? The NYTimes is hardly a muckraking whistleblower when it comes to Wall Street.

    I’ve yet to see a writer for the DetNews or Freep say something like “death to Toyota” or some of the other bon mots popular with Detroit bashers. I’ve reread the Freep article and I’m at a loss to find anything therein that constitutes “hate”. Heck, it hardly even criticizes Toyota. It does take issue with pundits for their double standards vis a vis Detroit and the Japanese automakers. Perhaps if one’s brand is “Detroit sucks” anything that differs from that will be perceived as hate.

    I understand that it’s facile to consider the source and then go on the attack. Anything associated with Detroit will be perceived as carrying water for the domestic automakers. When a staff writer for the Freep or DetNews is critical of SOP in Detroit, as Daniel Howes has been routinely, that just goes down the memory hole. Move along, nothing to see here.

    People call Detroit and Michigan, “welfare state”, “third world shithole”, the “armpit” of the nation, yet RF keeps telling me that nobody is trying to bash Detroit the city and Michigan the state. Meanwhile, a Freep reporter expresses the mildest of criticism about Toyota (if even that) and it’s an example of hate.

  • avatar

    You also might build your cred a bit if you vigorously protested against the racism, arguing that it is an aberration that you find abhorrent and inappropriate.

    I’ve protested about racism in the comments @ the Freep site. If you want, I can see if those threads are still available and point you to them. A police officer was killed in this community and racists both white and black were using it as an excuse to spout their garbage. I think the phrase I used was “you both make me want to puke”. Is that vigorous enough? I can’t say that racism is an aberration because xenophobia is pretty universal among humans. I see racism from both whites and blacks around here. I also think it’s pretty clear that most Hamas/Hezb’allah advocates are Jew haters. Is it appropriate to discuss them on a car blog?

    But instead, you want to argue that others are racist, too.

    I’m not fond of the tu quoque argument but in the context of discussing Americans’ reaction to Japan, arguably the most xenophobic culture on the planet, calling Americans bigots and xenophobes is just too rich.

    Just wondering. Why is “Jap” or “Nip” a slur, but it’s perfectly acceptable for people to say “Yanqui go home”? General Motor’s CFO is an Asian American. Are any high level executives of Toyota in Japan geijin?

  • avatar

    Happens in every place where overpaid people who have no real skill-set are about to lose their gravytrain.

    Porschespeed,

    I’m sure that an average UAW member could learn to do 90% of your job competently with a few months of training. I feel the same way about most jobs including my own. Heck, I’ve hired people and they’ve figured out better ways to do things than the way I was doing them. It doesn’t take 8 years of college plus intern/resident training to learn how to take a medical history. My friends who are doctors, lawyers and engineers for the most part aren’t any smarter than I am and if they could learn how to do something, so can I.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    A little Toyota bashing might be just what Americans need right now!
    Go for it!
    World Economy..my ass!!!

  • avatar

    Guys, if you think Michigan residents are particularly “racist”, all I can say is that you will be shocked — shocked! — by, um, pretty much every other country in the world.

    After all, Japan is the country that put a comic book called “Hating The Korean Wave” at the #1 sales spot. The book contains such fascinating phrases as “Really, Korea has no culture at all!”

    And if you think the Japanese hate Koreans… well, their attitude towards black people makes that look tame. Putting aside the rather ancient chestnut reported by John Toland that the Japanese Government told their citizens during World War II that African-Americans were actually trained gorillas, things haven’t gotten much better. A recent attitude survey of Japanese students found that a large percentage of them reacted “with disgust” to African-American images.

    I’d also suggest Googling for the phrase “gaijin perimeter”. Some Japanese people find it difficult to touch or use objects after white or black Americans touch or use those same objects.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but let’s keep things in perspective here. There’s almost no place in America where an Asian or Asian-American couldn’t knock on a door for help if he needed it. When it comes to open attitudes towards people of all races, creeds, and colors, the USA leads the world.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Ronnie Schreiber: “I’m sure that an average UAW member could learn to do 90% of your job competently with a few months of training.”

    No.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Ronnie,

    You might want to go speak with some people who attempt to retrain laid-off UAW people for new careers.

    Just a thought.

    A gent I knew years ago who worked at JPL for years always used to say, “Even rocket science ain’t rocket science.” But the caveat was that there’s only so many people who can get their head around it.

    I agree many people can learn a trade, but it’s not all that easy to get most people to change gears. Especially ones who have a sense of entitlement.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    That idea of America’s the best and we can ignore the rest of the world seems to get us into trouble time and time again. We ARE the best in a few categories and very compeitive in others and in some areas we just plain suck.

    However the idea that we are #1 in all categories is really shooting ourselves in the foot. So is this inward looking cultural self interest ignoring the rest of the world.

    Having lived overseas courtesy of the DoD and the Navy, I have to say more foreign friends (even the uneducated ones) look at the world and it’s events in a much more international way. They seem to know more (interact more with) about their international neighbors than we seem to know about Canada and Mexico.

    One thing about the import car makers that seem obvious to me is that their product line is a truly international one. They sell many products all around the world. They also build those products for adults around the world. I’m talking about compact cars here. In America our car companies seem to aim the small car at the teens and 20-somethings (while often missing the mark) when if they had a truly international lineup they would have big and small to sell around the world ready all the time.

    Instead they have a long list of America only products and then start bitching when gas prices go up and they are without a decent small car.

    What gets me is these same “American” car companies are plenty big enough and international enough that they ought to have a good understanding of what sells everywhere but it is as if the North American divisions ignore the other international divisions. As if the American divisions have some sort of nationalistic objection to the rest of the world.

    Anyone care to comment? I fear I’m painting with too broad a brush but the indicators have been there for 20 years.

    It seems America wants to be in the global market without being global. Or perhaps we want to drive or lead the global market i.e. the rest of the world should make, sell, and buy what we do instead of us accepting some of the world’s ideas to be better than ours and coying them occasionally.

    I’ve long said that Europe has its problems but that they still offer ALOT we can learn from – culturally, in manufacturing (operating with much higher energy costs and taxes for one), and from the consumer side too. Too many of us still saying – “nope, I’m an Americna and I know what’s best. Better than any other country in the world.”

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but…

    You should have stopped there and turned that comma into a period. The “but” only suggests that you didn’t really mean it.

    Last I checked, the US held itself up as a beacon to the world. That means that the US is supposed to be better than everyone else, or at least that it’s supposed to try.

    What gets me is these same “American” car companies are plenty big enough and international enough that they ought to have a good understanding of what sells everywhere but it is as if the North American divisions ignore the other international divisions. As if the American divisions have some sort of nationalistic objection to the rest of the world.

    That’s true, but the large successful automakers tailor their products to match the tastes of their different regional markets. World cars don’t work.

    The domestics blew it because the tastes of the home market changed, but they missed those changes. They continued to use strategies that had worked in previous decades long after they had stopped working.

    Their nostalgia blinded them to the need for change, while memories of past glories made them unwilling to admit that they had fallen behind. They were victims of their own pride, more than anything else.

  • avatar
    clydebaby

    Two issues regarding electric cars:

    1. When you stand hard on the accelerator and acceleragte rapidly, how much can it reduce your “range of” 40 miles?

    2. When you have to heat your car on a cold morning, how much does it reduce your range?

    In both cases, the “range” of the car can easily be reduced from 40 miles to 20 miles. Then what?

    This range estimation of 40 miles can be a very misleading and potentially dangerous representation… for any manufacturer’s electric car.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Where did the questions about electric cars come from???

    I think the key is to buy a car with more range than you’ll need. Phoenix Motor Cars says their SUTs and SUVs will have a big range. Like 150+ miles. The next generation they say will have 250+ miles. If your commute is 20 miles each way then the low temp effects on your batteries might be a non-issue.

    It’s like any other gadget – the early versions aren’t as good as version 5.0. Should we never build anything new b/c somebody might not be able to use it as they desire? No. Leave the early adopters to test, break and improve these EVs. The IMPORTANT thing is that they need to reach the market in larger quanities than we are seeing now.

    Of course the tin hat version of our current situation is that last year’s fuel prices spiked an interest in EVs, alot of investment funding went into the EV industry only to see the cost of gasoline fall to prices we last saw a decade or more ago. Will that fuel price fall be a death blow to the EV industry? Was it intentional so the oil industry monopoly on fueling the modern transportation needs can be held on to?

    Yeah, if your electric car range and your commute is about the same distance then you are setting up yourself for a disappointment.

    I think the Volt could be a disappointment b/c while stats say the average person drives less than 30 miles round trip per work day – a range of 40 miles means in certain conditions (days requiring heat or air conditioning) you’ll run out of battery. If I spend $40K on an “EV” then I want it to function as an “EV”. It’s also the reason I would not buy a Volt. I want a pure “EV” – meaning an EV with a 100+ mile range without the maintenance needs of an onboard engine. MY needs have distances that fall well within a 100 miles vehicle. YMMV.

    I don’t know why (except perhaps cost) that GM insists on such a short range but I wouldn’t be surprised if Toyota or Honda or XYZ Co. doesn’t release a car afterwards with a 100 mile range that instantly renders the GM product as substandard.

    GM and Toyota have both released vehicles with ranges over 100 miles in the past. There are still examples of the Toyota 2003 Rav4-EV that get over 100 miles per charge on NiMH batteries with over 150K miles on them.

    It’ll be interesting to see what gas prices do over the next few years. Will they spike again? I now despite the recession, most folks close to us are driving the same distances.

    Can anybody pointed to any real reduction miles driven by the world that justifies the drop in prices. Side note: gas has jumped here 30 cents over the past week.

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  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber