The Government Wants You to Drive This Car

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
the government wants you to drive this car

Volt prototype enthusiast Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press took his stab at the old “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help” chestnut today. “Is the U.S. government’s rescue plan for General Motors a business strategy or social engineering?” he pondered, perturbed.

“The question arises daily. Seemingly knowledgeable people declare that the government will force GM out of the profitable and important business of selling trucks and family vehicles, allowing it to build only small cars, hybrids and electric vehicles.”

Profitable and important. Family. Only. Ad copy.

“The government is not going to prevent GM from making every type of vehicle it can sell profitably,” a source close to the task force whispers to Phelan. Like what? Good thing we have an automotive journalist on hand. Phelan?

“GM is developing a range of vehicles and technologies to increase fuel efficiency. Many, including cars like the Chevrolet Cruze and Spark, high-efficiency small engines and the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car, were locked into GM’s product plans years before the economic crisis that led to government involvement.”

The final turn of phrase is so monumentally euphemistic, if GM isn’t paying Phelan they should be. Seriously. Meanwhile, never mind the bollocks, here’s the 2011 Camaro Convertible! And don’t call it a comeback. According to GM spokesfolks, by way of Automotive News [sub], “The convertible was never canceled. It was retimed. It will be the first quarter of 2011 for the start of production.” Let’s just hope that this is definitive proof that the government is not embarking on “social engineering.”

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4 of 21 comments
  • WildBill WildBill on May 27, 2009

    No Gov. Motors vehicle for me, no Chrysler either. Ford truck or large SUV, OK. Maybe a 5 door hatch, if AWD, if I could get the old lady to go along with it. Have three Fords now (and a Toyota Matrix AWD XR) and would like to see them survive.

  • The Comedian The Comedian on May 27, 2009

    I blame this all on the Buffalo Subway (hereinafter BS) system. Years ago I remember reading a complaint the BS was so expensive to the federal government that it would have been cheaper to buy every rider on the BS a new car. It would seem that this mocking complaint was taken as a suggestion.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on May 27, 2009
    And Schreiber- the V-6 Camaro already gets 29mpg highway, so my estimate of its mileage would be higher than 30. That’s a good suggestion. I was being conservative. I knew that the V6 got in the high 20s on the highway so I figured with the 25% bump in fuel economy the dual mode system delivers, that would yield better than 30mpg overall, including city driving, since hybrids get most of their mpg improvement in city driving.

  • Matt51 Matt51 on May 27, 2009

    Scarey, I am old enough to remember the Olds diesel. I think this time GM has hit a home run. They clearly have a technological win here, my guess their engine is 200-300 lbs lighter than the competition (new engines from Ford and Cummins for Dodge), and more compact. Will directly replace the Chevy small block, so will eventually fit in many applications.