Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

My Photo
Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

1969 and The Big Three

So, it was 1969 and we still hadn’t had the worst of the Oil Crisis, but you knew it was coming. Peak Oil in the U.S. had already been predicted in that we would be going from being a country that exported Oil to one that would become an importer of Oil in the early 70’s.

Now at the time my friend, and next door neighbor, was driving an old Chevy Impala and I was driving a Chevy Nova. Her car had eight cylinders and mine had six. Not to mention the fact that age also made them consume a lot of gas. Mind you, gas was, if I recall, actually around 19 cents a gallon at our local Merit Station. Now, this was when you could pull into the station and give the guy a buck for the gas and you also got full service. Ah, yes, back in the day. Anyway, we were both struggling financially especially her as her husband had been killed in Nam and she was raising their child on her own. That and we both spent a great deal of time driving back and forth to Boston in order to have some sort of social life, but of course that is a story for another day.

She, being prescient, decided she needed to get a new car as her Impala was seriously hitting the skids so she bought a Toyota Corona. It was stupendous. It had four cylinders, was efficient what with 30 mpg, very cute and exceedingly luxuriously comfortable and terrific to drive not to mention so much easier to park. So, I was also sold and likewise got a Corona which I loved (this is like mine in color except mine was a four door) and which served me for quite some time before the engine started to fall apart, mostly due to the Chrysler dealer (the only dealer of Japanese cars at the time) who was incapable of servicing the car and totally unfamiliar with Japanese sub-compacts and four cylinder engines. I next bought a Datsun 510, from a new and different dealer, which was likewise very economical and not as luxurious as the Corona but wonderful to handle and like I said cheap on gas. This economical car came in very handy when the big Oil Crunch and Recession hit in the Seventies.

Now my question is that if two under-educated girls in 1969 could see the future, how come the Executives at the Big Three couldn’t? What is with the SUV and Trucks and betting most of the trifecta on gas guzzlers? And how come GM has so many different brands, not models, but brands? Not to mention the crazy quilt structure of brands, distributors, and financiers? Too Big to Fail, indeed, except that they have. Michelle Singletary also has a few words to say about executive compensation and its connection to corporate competence and the lack thereof.

So, what model do the Big Three have to compete with Toyota’s Camry or Corolla? And why don’t they have models to compete with the most popular cars in the world?

What were they thinking back in 1969?

Update: So now we are going to bailout the Big Three (actually Big Two) and Canada is doing it also. This leads me to ask “Who killed the GM EV1 electric car and why?” Enquiring minds want to know!


Post a Comment

<< Home