Thursday, March 23, 2006

Shit. For. Brains.

FULFILLING DEMAND: GM to boost output of its large SUVs

With the new Chevrolet Tahoe selling briskly, General Motors Corp. told workers at three assembly plants that it will increase production of its family of new full-size SUVs by about 11,000 to 12,000 a year, a GM spokesman said Tuesday.

Despite high gas prices, GM expects strong demand for its new large SUVs coming to market, including the new Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL. They are among the company's most profitable vehicles.

GM will increase the number of large SUVs coming off the production lines at plants in Janesville, Wis., and Arlington, Texas, in June and at Silao, Mexico, in July, GM spokesman Dan Flores said.

Stories like this push me over the edge.

GM is driving, Thelma & Louise-style, toward a spectacular failure. The future belongs to the nimble, efficient manufacturers of nimble, efficient cars -- the mammals to the lumbering dinosaurs, consuming the bare minimum of increasingly dear dinosaur juice. In general I have little sympathy for GM as a company, which has been spectacularly bad at taking on the Japanese onslaught. (I do feel for the workers.)

But "strong demand for large SUVs"? It now costs nearly $100 to fill up these dreadnaughts, and with mileage in the low teens, that must be a frequent occurrence. And the next supply shock in the Middle East will send prices even higher.

As libruls go, I have a pretty strong libertarian streak. If you want to buy (or make) something this mind-bogglingly stupid, I wouldn't prevent it through legislation. But I am a big believer in using the law to internalize externalities, and I am convinced that Americans are not paying the true cost of driving these atavistic rolling fortresses.

Anyways. In the longer term, GM is playing while Rome burns, but it is hard to fault them from a shareholder standpoint for seeking profits by supplying the 4-wheeled hallucinogen Americans still insist on arming themselves with. I don't think the buying public deserves the blame for GM's impending failure. But Jeebus, what stoopidity.

2 Comments:

Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

How do you make a nine dollar salad? Drive your Tahoe to the grocery store for a 79 cent head of lettuce.

Around here, there are lots of those vehicles. Me and my 6-cylinder Isuzu Trooper are tiny by comparison. My neighbor up the street has a Hummer that is JACKED UP with like 25 inch rims or something ridiculous like that. And he tows a boat with it. Clearlake is only about 10 or 15 miles away, and fortunately for him, there are three or four gas stations on the way.

I don't get it. But I will say that most people I know that commute use smaller vehicles for that purpose. The gigantor SUVs are used for taking the kids to school, practice, etc. Oh, and for going to the grocery store, I guess.

I will add that although I am an SUV owner, I work from a home office- and that uses much less gas than somebody driving a Prius to work, no matter how close work is.

How many of those new SUVs will run on yellow fuel? Or used french fry oil?

One of the most ironic things I've ever seen is one of those giant vehicles with the yellow "Support Our Troops" magnets. How can you not make the connection and see how stupid that is?

11:54 PM  
Blogger vermontraccoon said...

It's become one of those sticking points with the red state types; a while back George Will wrote a column about how they could take away his Ford Extinction when they pry his cold, dead fingers from the wheel. The main excuse he gave was that "...they don't plow the roads in D.C." Well, duh. I don't think the world will end if Mr. Will has to stay home the one day in two thousand a few inches of snow falls in the capitol. Meanwhile he wastes gallons per day with his blinders on, a prime example of the dumbass mindset that can't even make the connection between SUVs, wars, oil company record profits and global warming.
Oh, and filling up a new black granite wall.....

10:15 AM  

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