Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2 Cents plus $17.4 Billion Dollars

For whatever it’s worth, well actually for the $17.4 billion tax dollars that it’s going to take to save the 3 big auto companies, I’d like to add an additional 2 cents. Not because I’m feeling particularly generous, and not because I have money to spend, but because I’d like to think that as an American tax payer, my voice should be heard. So, here's my 2 cents worth....
The United States should pass legislation to prevent foreign auto makers from importing any new electric hybrid, or new innovated vehicle into the U.S. auto market, until the above mentioned loan by tax payers has been paid in full AND the American auto industry can once again sustain itself and be made viable.

It seems like a “No Brainer”, but just in case… NO imported innovated automobiles can come into the U.S., until the American tax payer has been paid back the $17.4 Billion dollars that it took to bail out the Big 3!

I’m only writing this, because outsourcing and deregulation have proven to be so detrimental to the American economy, that it seems very necessary to say it out loud. So, please follow the bouncing ball and read along with me… NO imported innovated automobiles that would present an unfair competition to the Big 3 Auto makers in America.
Let's face reality, whether we like unions or not, they have had an adverse effect on the bottom line. And they've had a negative impact on the way U.S. auto companies compete with foreign imports. So, it is imperative that congress take steps to even the playing field. That is, provisions need to be put into place that will ensure success for the Big 3. Because, believe it or not, American auto makers can be quite brilliant when they want to be, they just need a little legislative push.

In 1976, Congress passed legislature for the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act. It was meant to encourage development of new technology in the car industry; which included improved batteries, motors, and other hybrid-electric components. And guess what? It worked.

General Motors funded research in 1988 and by 1996, the EV-1 was introduced into California and Arizona. Ironically, GM never offered the EV1 for public sale. It was only available to consumers under a 3 year/30,000 mile lease program that had a "no purchase" clause. And then, in 2003, quite inexplicitly, the EV-1 program was cancelled. It was declared as not being profitable. And now we’re discovering that since that time, nothing that the Big 3 have done has been very profitable!

There’s a documentary entitled Who Killed the Electric Car?, written & directed by Chris Paine that shows how the Big 3 Auto companies cut their noses off to spite their faces, when they ended the EV-1 program. It’s no surprise that they’re hurting, after all it’s been the “Same old, Same old” for so long, that they became stagnant. And now, they’ve had to admit that they’re hurting.

But maybe now that they don’t have the big oil companies in their pocket, they’ll get back to being a leader in the auto industry. Now’s a good a time as any to go forward with another EV-1 program, call it a sequel.

So, that’s my two cents… the American auto industry needs to produce an electric car, just as they did in the 80’s, except this time, it shouldn’t be leased, and it shouldn’t be sold at profit. It should be sold at $1 above manufacturing cost. Oh, and let them keep the two cents.