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12769Re: [future-fuels-and-vehicles] Re: Bye bye GM

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  • murdoch
    Jun 2, 2009
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      [Default] On Tue, 2 Jun 2009 16:25:14 -0600, arcologic
      <Arcologic@...> wrote:


      >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
      transportation.

      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
      right direction:

      Andrew Farah, lead engineer on the Volt.

      http://www.askmen.com/celebs/men/business_politics/andrew-farah/index.html
      http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/general-motors?ca=Q7kAEWmG8t96ocxKs%2FjTJjkto098KqFEslGIsIV20Lo%3D
      http://www.manufacturing.net/News-GM-Rechargeable-Car-On-Track-For-2010.aspx

      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.

      http://investor.shareholder.com/ovonics/secfiling.cfm?filingID=32878-09-27

      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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