"Auto companies churned out oversized gas guzzling pieces of shit that no one wanted to purchase, so since those fat cats are lining up for a juicy government hand outs, I figure here was my chance to get in line behind homeowners with bad credit that never should have gotten loans in the first place..." Pauly
I realize this is the popular wisdom right now, but it's just plain wrong.
I don't know why people think that American car manufacturers suddenly stopped selling cars because all they do is "churn out oversized gas guzzling pieces of shit." But people do. Why is it that conventional wisdom is usually wrong and always overly simplistic?
In this case I guess it's because the auto slump coincided with surging gas prices. But sales were still pretty good, even when gas got up to $5 a gallon. Gas rose steadily over 5 years. But things really didn't start to get nightmarish for car makers until gas dropped down to HISTORIC lows, around $1.30 a gallon. So that can't possibly be it.
Yesterday it was announced that Nissan, who was projected to make over $1 Billion last year actually lost almost $3 Billion. Now how do GM and Ford's "gas guzzling pieces of shit" affect Nissan's performance?
People just STOPPED BUYING CARS. ANY CARS. The crashing economy scared the shit out of everyone. "Shit, my 401k just lost $300,000" isn't the kind of thing that inspires people to go out and drop $40K on a new SUV.
Every single car company is suffering. Only Subaru and Hyundai were profitable last year, and their market share is minuscule. Hell, Subaru produces ONLY all-wheel drive cars that get terrible mileage. They market solely based on safety and horsepower.
And if people stopped buying new cars, how are they surviving? They're driving their cars longer than they have. Because they are NOT "pieces of shit." They are built better and drive longer than any cars in history. It's actually the quality of the cars that's working against the automakers now. Maybe if they actually did make pieces of shit, they'd have more business.
And as far as "big gas-guzzling" vehicles, why do you think automakers produce them? Do you think automakers determine what people buy? NO! Automakers try to figure out what people will buy, then they try to make them. But it takes around 5 years for a domestic car manufacturer to get a new model on the road. Foreign auto builders can do that in 3 years, but again most of them do not produce the volume of GM and Ford. That flexibility gives the foreign makers an advantage in the short term, but too many snap decisions based on the current market can be more costly.
Decisions made in the last couple of years based on artificially high gas prices could help the industry, but since the "American Auto Buying Public" only seems to ever buy GIANT GAS GUZZLING DUELY PICKUPS AND SUVS, it could actually be a DISASTER. Drive down the street in any town and look at the ratio of giant vehicles to small fuel efficient models. It's overwhelmingly SUVs, Pickups and Mini-vans. Nearly all with one passenger in them.
Americans don't buy their cars based on what they "need." They buy based on what they "want." I want something BIG and STRONG. I want to be able to tow a boat, if I ever buy one. "What will I do with my hypothetical boat if I buy a Prius? Answer me THAT!"