Friday, July 10, 2009

The decline and death of Cadillac

The unparalleled The Truth About Cars has a great post about the consequences when government and industry clash. Here's "General Motors Zombie Watch – Cadillac must die."

There’s only way for Cadillac to recapture faded glory. Cut the crap and build the best. The best no-holds-barred luxury cars. Stylish, no excuses vehicles, meticulously engineered, rock solid. And then they have to create a dealer network that kisses customers’ asses like none before.

Never. Gonna. Happen.

Even if we assume Cadillac’s rebirth could happen-that GM could find the courage to cull Caddy’s cancerous cars and trucks, that it could summon the creative and financial resources needed to be the best of the best-the U.S. government can’t let it happen. It’s the wrong image.
That's correct: the feds want Government Motors to make politically-correct hybrids like the Chevy Volt but they also want the auto companies to make a profit and get out of debt. These are conflicting goals. Auto companies make almost all their money on large trucks and SUVs.

I might have told this story before but many years ago I visited a major auto company and there was a Smart Car sitting in an atrium. The engineer I was speaking with dismissed it thusly: "We don't make any money on those. The only reason we build them is to meet fleet milage standards." So there you go: those tiny cars exist only to meet government rules while the big cars generate profit.

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