As an engineer myself, I'm quite dubious of your claims. Working in the auto industry as an engineer doesn't necessarily qualify you as a subject matter expert on mileage or CAFE standards or future locomotive technologies or for that matter, of thermodynamics.
Hey, it's my blog, and my opinion. If you think I'm an idiot, start your own blog! Being close to the problems, I think I do have something to say about fuel economy.
Throttling the Big Three on efficiency will drive innovation. Unfortunately, likely not from the Big Three. Unfortunately, your industry is one of the most lackluster at innovation. That includes your foreign competitors. GM has spent over $100 billion in research over the last quarter decade and for that we get .... what? A Chevy Aveo with lower MPG ratings than a Chevette of 1984. Look it up on the government CAFE web site. $100 billion sent a man to the moon and created entire new industries and technologies with the Apollo program. Yes, inflation makes it apples to oranges but....
Lackluster? What? Check out all the stuff we have that we didn't in 1984. Airbags. ESC. Seatbelt pretensioners. Rollover sensors. Computer simulated crashes. Self diagnostics of all types. Much of this was not driven by regulation, but by market competition. Do you have any idea how many microprocessors are used in your average car? How many thousands of lines of software code?
As for your Chevette, that is not a valid comparison. How much did that Chevette weigh in 1984? How much horsepower did it have? What was the 0-60mph time? Did the Chevette have power steering, power brakes, side impact beams, front and side airbags, etc., all of which add weight? The lowly Aveo is much more car than a Chevette, in every way.
Innovation will happen in transportation because its now out of your hands. It's in the hands of the world's scientists and entrepreneurs. You may incorporate the technology or with new advances in manufacturing, you may actually see small volume niche players eating your lunch as the landscape of innovation could easily create.
I'm not sure what you just said. Many of the world's scientists are working for automotive OEM's and suppliers.
By the way, CAFE standards in Japan and Europe are 2x what they are in the US and China is following suit. Better quit whining and start getting ingenious. Seems like they can sell cars in all three markets for substantially less than the average selling price in the US. Your $5000 claim is meritless. He was talking about America's stringent diesel emissions. Innovation will make that a nonstarter as well just as when Honda embarrassed the Big Three in the 1970s when they said they couldn't meet the emission standards and Honda ended up doing it without a catalytic converter.
Where did you get the idea that cars are cheaper in Europe and Japan than in the U.S.? Again, compare apples to apples. The average car in Europe or Japan is a "B" class car--about the size of a Civic or Corolla. That's the family sedan. Very few people can afford a "C" or "D" size car (Accord and larger). Many people drive "A" cars, such as the Smart. Full sized pickup trucks virtually don't exist--here they are the biggest selling vehicles (Silverado, F150).
Why is my $5000 claim meritless? You didn't give any example s of what things cost.
Sorry buddy. You need to go back to engineering school. Hey, if you are going to blog, be factual, be honest and expect negative feedback when you are wrong.
Sorry buddy, you need to learn how to argue. If you are going to comment on a blog, and call the blogger out, you had better bring some facts.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
A Response To A Comment
One of my few readers left a comment in my recent post about Bob Lutz' opinion on the cost of raising CAFE standards. His comment was so whacky I thought I'd respond to it point by point. My reply in italics.