Car Stuff Again?

We know, hatin’ gets old, but the point needs to be hammered: resisting better mileage and trying to live in the past go hand in hand with tanking sales. GM’s down twenty percent! And that’s below last year’s “GM is way down!” numbers. Those numbers are diggin’ through to China — more on what they’ll find down there below.

Meanwhile (same article), Toyota sales went up 9%. Based on what? Wait for it, wait for it…. Strong Hybrid Sales.

And it doesn’t look promising for a turnaround by the General, or his buddies in North Windsor….

  • GM is banking on the Chevy Silverado full-size pickup, a gas-thirsty hauler, at a time when a) it takes $80-100 to fill it up, b) housing market is weak, c) Toyota, Honda and Nissan are all fine-tuning their entries into a now-congested full-size market, and d) everyone’s giving $3500+ in rebates just to get people to buy trucks these days.
  • Ford is even scaling back the iconic F-150, which is like Nike dropping out of basketball shoes — an admission of defeat.
  • The (PR-project-only) electric car, the Chevy Volt, won’t hit showrooms until at least 5 years from now, IF they stay committed to investing in the R&D for better batteries. GM and 5-year commitment aren’t phrases we’d put together often. Jalopnik called it vaporware.
  • What we like about the Volt is how every time someone writes about it, all the comments a) immediately dismiss the Volt as never-gonna-happen, and b) go on to slam GM’s management. Not one person ever says “wow, looking forward to it!” Gotta love the way GM has zeroed out its credibility, not just on green issues, but on innovation in general.
  • A CNN gallery of the “cars they’re pinning hopes on” lists says the Big 3 are looking to the Silverado, the Saturn Aura (eh), and the Chrysler Sebring (yawn, Grampa car) to compete in the already-crowded pickup and sedan markets. Oh, right, and SUV’s are also a pillar of the future, they say.
  • Chrysler is planning on outsourcing its small-car production to Chery, the chinese company, at the same time that Chuck Krauthammer tries to scare everyone away from environmentalism with a Manchurian variation of an old scare tactic: the tin-can-car bogeyman is now brought to you by the Godless Chinese. He’s worried about crash-worthiness; we’re more worried about labor standards, disappearing American jobs, the pollution from a Chinese manufacturing plant, and the CO2 from shipping those cars across the Pacific.

Folks, bite the bullet and pay the broker. That auto stock needs to go.

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