Thursday, July 08, 2004
Straight to hell. Ford and GM are both reporting huge drops in sales, no doubt helped in part by their obsession with selling trucks and SUVs. Of course Americans have an obsession with their bank books, and a brand new SUV in the middle of a fuel crisis is just not going to cut it.
Amazingly enough, more than 2/3 of the oil used by the US goes towards vehicles. What does that mean? It means that if average Americans dropped their trucks and used cars instead, the price of oil would come tumbling down, because less demand, means cheaper prices.
So if Americans are forced into cars, where will they get them? Not from Ford or GM, whose cars, even the newer ones, are bland, boring, and terrible. Amazingly enough, only Chrysler seems to know what they're doing with the new 300. The Hemi powered car also has displacement on demand, meaning it can turn off cylinders in the engine at low speeds. That means even better fuel economy in a V8.
Ford has the Escape Hybrid, and GM has nothing. Expect one or both of these companies to come hat in hand to the US government looking for a bailout in a few years if they don't get their act together. That means dumping the Hummer brand, and focusing on cars. We'll see if it happens.