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Old 10-29-2009, 09:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Shocker: GM exec admits they ignored consumers' demands for efficiency

What a head slapper:

Quote:
For years - and years, and years -automakers in the U.S. insisted that their studies showed that Americans didn't value fuel economy and preferred those fuel-swilling (and profitable) SUVs and pickups over gas-sipping compacts.

But that's not so, says former General Motors economist Walter McManus, now a professor and head of the Automotive Analysis division of the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan.

GM often received outside data in the 1990s showing that people wanted fuel economy, McManus said in an interview with subscription-only Energy & Environment News.

[GM] just as routinely dismissed them.
Sigh.

Full article: "Say it Ain't So! Detroit Ignored Fuel Efficiency Demands, Says Ex-GM Economist " Green Car Advisor

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Old 10-29-2009, 09:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd laugh, but I'm paying to keep them in business. So, I'm more upset than anything.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not suprised at all.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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GM did make some pretty decent cruisers for highway mpg. Wonder what the cars might have gotten had GM actually tried?
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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...there is always facepalm.

Expect a lot more of the same "revelations" in the near future.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't know about the states, but here GM is focusing on FE ATM. There is a TV ad where you see side by side GM products and competing products (a cobalt XFE beside a honda civic, and so on) and the GM vehicle always has the best fuel economy between the two competing products. In fact this ad is all about FE, except at the end when they conclude there is one thing GM can't compete with, and you see a Honda lawn mower.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh, look - Someone with a clue!

Quote:
...Michigan has the best Automotive Engineering Schools in the world, and almost singled handedly developed all the key technologies for hybrids in the 80's and 09's, but these same students were sidelined by the Big 3, because the economist was making the decisions.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasdrouille View Post
I don't know about the states, but here GM is focusing on FE ATM. There is a TV ad where you see side by side GM products and competing products (a cobalt XFE beside a honda civic, and so on) and the GM vehicle always has the best fuel economy between the two competing products. In fact this ad is all about FE, except at the end when they conclude there is one thing GM can't compete with, and you see a Honda lawn mower.
I hate that commercial... GM most certainly could build a lawnmower and compete. They just couldn't make it reliable, and it would be big, bulky, and more mower than anyone really needs, while maintaining a cheap plastic feel. The only people who would buy it are those who are also interested in keeping up with their neighbors, most likely on credit, later defaulting the loans and going bankrupt, at which point, some "poor" person will buy it at auction, because they saw it on TV where some wealthy fool bought it, and thus, figured it must be "cool" to own.

This, of course, will perpetuate GM's sales of said low-quality lawnmower.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasdrouille View Post
There is a TV ad where you see side by side GM products and competing products (a cobalt XFE beside a honda civic, and so on) and the GM vehicle always has the best fuel economy between the two competing products.
One of the better ways of lying is to tell the truth, just not all of it.

I saw that, or a version of it (didn't notice the lawnmower) while visiting friends the other day. (I don't own a TV myself.) This was a comparison of Chevy to Toyota, and I noticed that they were kind of selective in the Toyota models they showed. Didn't show the Prius at all. Showed Toyota's oversize Tundra pickup against the Chevy, not mentioning that the normal-sized Tacoma gets much better mpg, while Chevy doesn't AFAIK build one that size.

As for the article, that economist is still way off-base in claiming that the problems are a result of decisions being made by upper-middle class white males. Sorry, but I am one of those (as are most of the EV, efficiency, and sports car enthusiasts I've encountered in person), and I still want small cars with quick handling and good fuel economy.

Last edited by jamesqf; 10-29-2009 at 01:44 PM..
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
One of the better ways of lying is to tell the truth, just not all of it.

I saw that, or a version of it (didn't notice the lawnmower) while visiting friends the other day. (I don't own a TV myself.) This was a comparison of Chevy to Toyota, and I noticed that they were kind of selective in the Toyota models they showed. Didn't show the Prius at all. Showed Toyota's oversize Tundra pickup against the Chevy, not mentioning that the normal-sized Tacoma gets much better mpg, while Chevy doesn't AFAIK build one that size.
Colorado compares to Tacoma. It's even a little bit smaller than the Tacoma, I think. It was the replacement for the S10/S15/Sonoma set. The newest Tacoma doesn't represent a Mini-Truck, either. It hasn't for like 2 generations, now.

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