Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Muscle-Car Melt-Down

I find it totally ironic as a follower and lover of all things Pony-car that Chevy is about to ship the new Camaro right around the time that Chrysler is releasing the charger for the masses. Here we are, approaching 2010, and the big three are about to get the pony-car formula right!

Horsepower, engineering, look and feel -- it's all good. The Mustang tweaks have been kinda lame, actually, in comparison. But the irony is this -- they're all about to go belly-up. Ford stands the best chance of survival of the three, but it hardly matters -- all these cool pony cars may not survive the next round of hybrid-mania.

I'm really kind of torn about it too. Honestly the whole fossil-fuel thing is getting kind of old. Congress should be bailing out -- of the bail-out game. It's ironic, and unfortunate that the big three are here, but honestly you can't say that it hasn't been a long time coming.

Fuel prices are at an amazing low too -- but everyone pretty much knows that this isn't a long-term gambit we're testing here. We need to be looking at getting out of the combustion-engine game. The sooner the better for national security. The problem is that with low fuel prices come throngs of people that want to be driving the family (or just themselves) around in a 5000-6000lb monstrosity. The prediction that this was a short-lived game to be playing isn't exactly rocket-science. Sure, there's demand -- for the next 10 minutes to the next ten months -- heck even the next ten years. But sooner or later you'd have to be an idiot to not see the end of the cheap-gas era.

Ford has, for example, been for years dumping out lots of cool SUV-like things. Honda just started a couple of years ago shipping the Fit. Nissan has the Versa. Toyota has the Yaris. All of these vehicles appeared at roughly the same time. Why? Were the Japanese auto manufacturers some kind of sage gurus with magic Chrystal balls in the closet?


Obviously they were doing something proactive about the coming crunch. They're all playing the hybrid space. It's not like all of this is outside of the realm of Detroits' manufacturing prowess either. GM even shipped some electric vehicles a while back (leased them to buyers who loved them).

The reason Detroit is on the rocks, in other words, is related to the really cool Muscle cars they've just shipped.

Don't get me wrong -- I love em all!

(But I don't think I'm going to be alone in avoiding the purchase of them like the plague.)

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