The Big Three Dinosaurs

Please don’t bail out these companies.  That is my business view of looking at the auto industry in North America.  Why must we continue to fund three companies that are probably some of the most backwards and non-innovative automobile companies in the world.

Yes, people’s jobs are on the line.  We can’t forget that.  The numbers are staggering if General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler go under.  People’s employment is important.  We need to find some other way for them to be employed, though.  The Big Three are dinosaurs.

As a child, I grew up with General Motors cars.  There was a Buick, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile at different times over the many years.  They were good cars for the time.  They were strong, powerful cars.  We could literally squeeze a bench full of people into the front and back of those cars.  Those cars could muscle their way up a hill or onramp in no time.  However, they were gas guzzlers.  They were all 6 or 8-cylinder engines that went through gas like no tomorrow.  But that didn’t matter 20-30 years ago.  What mattered is that your car could move you from A to B in a good time and stay on the road in a harsh Canadian winter.

These days, I simply don’t value those things.  It seems the Big Three still value the traditional American power and size of those old cars, but how many truly economical cars are designed and made by the Americans.  The Pontiac Wave is a really a rebranded Asian car (dare I say Suzuki?).  The Pontiac Vibe is a lesser cousin of the Toyota Matrix with really bad interior controls.  I think the one bright spot is Ford’s Focus which I think is a true world winner in the class of economy cars.

But go to one of the Big Three’s websites and you find a slough of large, ugly, inefficient vehicles.  There are pimp-mobile Escalades, the extra long and extra square Ford Flex, the really large and square Chrysler Caravans.  I know a lot of this involves personal taste, but these cars definitely do not win in the general fuel economy category.

The Big Three have not innovated like most of the auto industry.  Smaller and more nimble cars that get you farther for less is the goal of this day and age.   Even India has come out with their tiny Tata Nano.  Not that increased automobile ownership is going to help, but at least it’s a vehicle that doesn’t treat gas like an abundant resource.

If Canada would spend more resources and legislation on allowing real domestic automobile makers do their work.  I am talking about Zenn Motors and the now-defunct Dynasty Motors of IT Electric Car infamy.  These are real innovative Canadian entrepreneurs whose products have been the victims of restrictive and bumbling legislation that does not allow their “low-speed” electric vehicles go on many roads.  If the government would help fund the innovation of these domestic companies, then we could have a real auto industry in Canada.  The Canadian government could have helped fund the expensive crash testing requirements that they put in place on these vehicles.  Instead, the bureaucracy has stifled, if not killed, the electric car industry in Canada.  It’s been very disheartening to follow these stories.

Our loss in Canada has likely become Pakistan’s gain in terms of the sale of Dynasty Electric Car Corporation’s technology.  Canada, where innovations are stifled.

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