12769Re: [future-fuels-and-vehicles] Re: Bye bye GM
- Jun 2, 2009[Default] On Tue, 2 Jun 2009 16:25:14 -0600, arcologic
>We are talking about hundreds of thousands of people whose lives were tangled up with the company and that were trying to do a good, honest job. Remember that to some degree, WE (but not you) were responsible for the products GM made because we bought them.In the distant past I have been a Saab owner and a Buick owner, but
ok, I'm a Ford owner over the last decade or so, so I guess I'm not as
much in that boat. My car-buying choices generally amount to
"whatever unwanted unloved used car is in my budget and looks like it
will get me from A to B in something resembling relative safety and
economy of energy use". I have lived in places that don't require car
ownership, but haven't done that for a decade or two. I have owned
the same Ford for the last six years. I'm a poor car owner but
somehow have managed to keep it in decent shape.
>GM had a few rotten apples near the top of the organization. I am sure they will be swept away as GM is reorganized. So, how about a positive message for the good folks that remain?Offhand, I, unlike some other EV-fans, don't see anything particularly
wrong with the VOLT, other than that GM refuses to bring it for sale
to any of us in something like less than 19 months from now.
(Yeah, I know, Forbes and others have pointed out the difficulties
that a company like GM has in bringing a vehicle to market, but this
is an emergency and GM should have been in wartime mode to bring a
reliable plug-in vehicle for-sale to consumers. Anyway, if BYD is
already to market with a PHEV, then GM should be able to do it.)
So, if GM fans want an idea to hang onto, I'd say that in theory, so
far as I'm aware, they were working on a genuine globally-leading
answer to the problematic consumer fuel-pricing-volatility situation.
I don't know if the Government (now that they basically own GM) is
right-minded enough to encourage, rather than discourage, continued
development of the Volt and other high-efficiency vehicles. I heard
in discussion with one person that there was pressure from the
Government a little while ago *against* continued development of the
Volt. I don't know if this was accurate or not.
If it was, (and we need more confirmation) then it's something we
should focus constructively on, communicating to our representatives
that as taxpayer-owners of GM we want GM to be leaders in
energy-efficient vehicles of all sorts. Sure, I guess that means a
diesel vehicle if it gets the sort of mileage that you usually get. It
also definitely means the Volt and a full plug-in If BYD can do a
PHEV, then why can't GM? If Nissan or Mitsubishi can do an EV, then
why can't GM?
As to getting the company-impairing anti-innovation
anti-energy-efficient-vehicle scoundrels out of the picture, I would
estimate they have not all been ousted, but I don't know the people,
only the policy. The general policy has been: delay, as long as
humanly possible, letting consumers have access to
highway-speed-capable non-fossil-fuel-powered affordable
One higher-level GM person they should speak with if they (the new
owners... our appointed representatives) are trying to get a sense of
the company and what is necessary to get moving more quickly in the
Andrew Farah, lead engineer on the Volt.
He might be someone to promote to a higher level of company
leadership, but if that would harm the Volt program then that could be
a bad thing. Anyway, the general principle is that he might have some
constructive ideas. He is a lead engineer, not a full-time financial
detective, so he probably has not been wasting his time trying to play
corporate politics and copying down names of people standing in the
way of innovation.
Another thing for would be government takeover folks to be aware of is
that Cobasys in Ohio is basically bankrupt and so Chevron has won more
battles in their war to delay global production of NiMH traction
batteries for plug-in vehicles, and they have specifically won many
more years of delay in North America. GM had been propping up Cobasys
while they got the botched battery-recall situation worked out, but
now that GM is bankrupt, that's the end of that, and the government
should be aware that unless someone steps in to do something, what is
going to happen with NiMH batteries being produced in North America?
Some of these details (such as who was propping up Cobasys were
revealed in more detail in ECD's most recent SEC filing.
I have not heard a word from a single government official, anywhere,
indicating that any issue exists or has existed, ever, with Chevron or
Cobasys, so I hold out little hope that the Obama administration,
enlightened as they'd like to claim to be or try to be, will make any
decent policy move in the direction of salvaging that situation. They
can't fix a situation the existence of which they won't acknowledge.
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