Watch this video, “EXACTLY WHY U.S. AUTOMAKERS DESERVE TO FAIL” then consider the following.
The whole Big 3 debate has really hit a sore spot for a lot of people. The sad thing is as always, mainstreet ends up suffering because of corporate greed. My opinion concerning the Big 3 is just that. These companies have passed up on so many opportunities to make money while building a better, smarter and cleaner product time and time again. When the news broke about their tin cup request the very first thing that came to mind for me was the documentary by Chris Paine, “Who Killed the Electric Car.”
It all started in 1996 because the state of California told car makers GM, Toyota, Ford and others via a mandate, if they wanted to sell gas driven cars they also had to offer or sell electric cars and California enforced it. General Motors began manufacturing the EV-1 and it was distributed in two states, California and Arizona. GM, Toyota, Ford, and others never realized how popular the electric car would become.
Once the EV-1’s popularity grew the Big 3 and others including the Oil lobbyist became concerned about what the success of the EV-1 meant to their bottom-line and they began to view the electric car as a liability because all of their core products were driven by the internal combustion engines, such as the larger cars, big trucks and the SUV’s. The car companies and the oil companies began to push back and finally the cars were forcibly removed from the market and their owners/drivers because they were leased not sold. The manufacturing of the electric car halted and they were destroyed.
The really insane thing for me is GM closed their EV-1 assembly lines and operations, laid-off all of the employees and replaced it with the Hummer. They bought the gas guzzling, grossly excessive Hummer in December 1999. How many miles per gallon does a Hummer get 9 or 10? The electric car would go 75 to 95 miles on a charge and according to Paine the on average costs of the EV-1 was the equivalent of 65 cents a gallon to operate .
I have mixed feelings about the bail-out, I have from day one. The whole idea has morphed into a taxpayer funded free for all and there appears to have no end in sight. Paulson clearly is not in touch with reality on this debacle. Companies should be forced to present business models detailing what, when and how they plan on using the funds, period. The Big 3 have had many government supported hand-outs over the years and nothing has changed, despite the red flags waving in their faces. Did you know the government gave the Big 3, $1.4 Billon in the 90’s to build electric and hybrid cars and you see where that ended up, now we are importing them from Japan. Make no mistake Big Oil is partly to blame here as well, and they should be the ones to bail out the Big 3 not us. They have worked in tandem with the automakers over the years and their extramarital affair exposed for what it is, has blown up in their collective faces. They have been in bed together for so long it is only fair that they do the right thing and take of their mistresses.