Sunday, November 16, 2008

Its No Wonder Detroit Can’t Sell Anything

If anything is a sign of the alternate universe that Detroit automakers occupy it got to be the Dodge Truck Ram Challenge Ad Campaign. This reality show theme based ad campaign for the gas guzzling Ram 1500 pickup truck that pits four teams of manly men against each other to race trucks around a Hollywood style special effects laden obstacle courses in an effort to prove their manliness and the toughness of the rear axles, load capacity, and manly leather upholstery of the vehicles they're joy riding.

Faced with the reality of the day, Is this total bullshit of what?

God knows what this type of massive hyped advertising campaign costs to produce. But, instead of solving the long standing problem of a need for fuel efficient vehicles and addressing the general quality of the cars they build, the big wigs in Detroit are stuck in neutral when it comes to original thought and actual reality. Their continual attempt to sell us their shitty vehicles by offering us crap like this macho he man hype that’s tied to tough guys and their homoerotic pornographic relationships with their pickup trucks is nothing more than further proof that they're brain dead and innovationally bankrupt.

As far as I’m concerned if the taxpayers end up bailing out Detroit one of the prerequisites for the oversight committee has got to be to stop this type of banal fluff aimed at NASCAR loving nitwits.

The big question of course is should they be bailed out at all. I think they should be, mainly due to the extremely bad economic atmosphere we find ourselves in right now. If times were better I would not be inclined to reward this type of incompetence. But given the widespread effect on our economy the failure of these companies could have, with two and a half million households depending directly or indirectly on them for their paychecks, I think we have no choice but to act. The car companies and their unions must be required in return to make major concessions and relinquish power. The fear being that the economy is so fragile right now that any systemic collapse of the auto industry would only catapult the nation into a even more dire economic disaster.

One thing for sure if the taxpayers give money to Detroit it going to have to come with lots of strings attached. Given these guys track record it would be foolish to do otherwise. The last time Washington gave the car makers money they used it mainly to guarantee $2.99 per gallon for the first three years if you purchased one of their gas guzzlers. The taxpayers must be guaranteed reality based thinking and innovation in return for any bailout of Detroit this time around.

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