Here's something about which the environmentalists and car czars planted inside the Obama administration can't be pleased: as a percentage of their U.S. sales, Multi-Government/General Motors and Chrysler are selling more "light trucks," consisting of pickups, SUVS, and "crossover" vehicles than any other major manufacturer. Further, the companies are clearly emphasizing light trucks at the expense of their car models.
I wonder how a government promise to accomplish this would have been received by the fossil-fuels-are-awful media at bankruptcy crunch time last year?
You can pretty much count on this inconvenient product mix not getting a great deal of establishment press attention while it drools over the underpowered, heavily subsidized electric lemon known as the Chevy Volt and whatever toy disguised as a useful vehicle Chrysler/Fiat plans on foisting onto the market.
The detail is at the Wall Street Journal's monthly report on vehicle sales (link will change in one month). Key items include these:
Wasn't one of the objectives of government ownership of GM and Chrysler supposed to be getting Americans to swear off those eeevil, gas-guzzling, global warming large vehicles? Why yes, according to an Economist item in April 2009:
The task-force identified six areas where it found GM to be over-optimistic or in denial ... (one of them being) a weakening product mix as consumer tastes and tighter fuel-economy rules eat into sales of high-margin trucks and sport-utility vehicles ...
... Chrysler’s only hope, Mr Obama said on March 30th, is to consummate the deal it has been discussing since January with Fiat. The Italian firm would supply it with “cutting-edge technology” in the form of fuel-efficient engines, small-car platforms and factory automation.
Roughly 20 months later, other than the overhyped Volt and the Chrysler/Fiat 500, what is there?
I guess we should be somewhat relieved that the companies have at least tried to follow drivers' wishes while one of the government's main justifications for taking ownership stakes in these companies slowly crumbles. But it would be nice if someone in the establishment media pointed to the difference between what the government promised its greenie friends vs. what it has delivered.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.