As the second of the Big Three to come wagging their tails between their legs to the US Congress, General Motors is asking for a total of $18 billion dollars to avoid imminent bankruptcy. The only problem: nobody gave them the electric car memo.
Unlike Ford, which in their tail wagging earlier today made a huge shift to focusing on electric car development, GM chose to focus their restructuring plan on the fact that they have a large number of fuel efficient vehicles (defined as 30+ mpg on the highway) already on the road. Plus, they say that by 2012 more than half of their cars will be flex-fuel capable.
They make a passing mention of the upcoming Volt and highlight the upcoming introduction of SUV and pickup truck hybrids like the 2009 Saturn VUE, Silverado and Sierra hybrids. By 2012, GM says it will offer 15 hybrid models.
Oh man. Whoop-dee. Where’s the reinvigoration? Where’re the new strategies? WTF? We already know about flex-fuel cars and Detroit has done a piss-poor job of marketing them. We already know about your old-school hybrid technology. Nobody cares about hybrid SUVs anymore. Give me a break GM. Are you really going to hang your hat on the one piece of truly innovative technology you have — the Volt? Have you given up?
I’m sorry, but the writing’s on the wall. These are not the solutions that Americans are clamoring for or excited to support. The fact of the matter is that companies like Nissan, Mitsubishi and now Ford have seen the future of driving for most people, and that future is electric.
Look, as much as I appreciate the fact that current electric car technology won’t fit everybody’s needs — read: rural folks who drive long distances daily and haul a lot — and that clean car technology for those folks involves biofuel powered automobiles, the electric car looks like it’s the best solution for 80-90% of the US’ driving population.
Certainly flex-fuel vehicles are going to be an integral portion of our automotive future (if the manufacturers would just start tuning cars to actually run efficiently on ethanol), but it’s not the best available technology for short distance commuters or city folks.
For GM to come up with this as their best plan shows a lack of initiative and creativity. It’s like they went home and sulked and procrastinated until the night before the big project was due and then did some [email protected]#t piece of BS right before it was due.
Just ridiculous. Didn’t the Big Three talk to each other before presenting their plans? Didn’t GM realize it was going to come off looking like the schmuck? Give me a break. All their plan shows is that they’re as resistant as ever to real change.
You can read the press release here
Download the actual restructuring plan here