Former GM Economist: Detroit Ignored Demands For Efficiency

Former GM Economist: Detroit Ignored Demands For Efficiency http://preview.tinyurl.com/yfztfwm
Former GM Economist and current head of the Automotive Analysis division
of the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan Walter McManus wants you to know that GMs SUV strategy of ignoring efficiency as a marketing input was his fault. In an interview with Energy and Environment News [via Edmunds Green Car Advisor], McManus explains how surveys in the 1990s showing consumers did care about efficiency were ignored:
The survey would estimate that people would estimate fuel economy fairly highly. Being a good economist, I said, No, they dont, and I changed the results. There was a systematic bias against such results. Our job was not to seek the truth, but to justify decisions that had already been made Its my fault they had the wrong vehicles until now
Can you say culture issues? McManuss explanation for the insular attitude is a familiar refrain, namely that decisions are being made by upper-middle-class white males, by and large. They dont understand that the customers are not the same as they are. Now that gas prices have made efficiency impossible to ignore though, McManus sees change coming.
People have a hard time thinking about their fuel savings. Its hard for people to understand the abstract, that a mile per gallon means this many dollars saved every month. But if you actually start experiencing by driving the vehicle, then you understand it.
And for the domestic automakers who buried their heads in the sand on efficiency, declining market share is having a similar effect.
Check out the comments at the end of the article
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Jim_Higgins wrote:

I considered fuel millage, that is why I bought a V8. F150 to be precise. I drive about 12 to 15,000 per year.
I considered do I need two or just one depreciating asset. I factored in can a eco car work at -35 and 6" of snow on an unplowed road, can the AC work at 90+. 4 cyl. just don't last as long as V8s. I factored in what a battery pack costs if it starts deterioring in the 3rd year as most do. Even to the cost of electricity!
The clear winner was one depreciating asset and the gas savings pailed by comparison to having one vehicle that could do it all.
I came to conclusion that being eco/gas friendly had nothing to do with costs. Even at $8/gallon I am better off with gasoline V8. One battery pack buys a lot of gasoline. A Volt for example is even worse, two drive trains to maintain!
If you are cost concious, you would consider going to one vehicle, not two or more. If you duck $4000 depreciation and maintenance a year, that is 20,000 miles of fuel for a F150. If you duck a battery replaement for a cheap $3000 swap out, that is about 15,000 miles of fuel for an F150. I don't know what you pay to recharge a hybrid or electric, but it makes it worse. Pay the utility company to burn the carbon and get a whoper electric bill with utility taxes, better factor that in. And the F150 is comfortable in the warm or cold. Can even pull a boat!
The largest part of a vehicles expense is depreciation, not gasoline. Best still to pick one that lasts a long time and can be fixed easily and inexpensively.
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There's a big red flag waving very early in this "Jimbo vs. GM" article.
"FORMER GM Economist" Jack Shittt, or whatever his name is.
Might as well have used the the phrase, "Former Disgruntled Gm Economist"
He is probably "former" for a reason.
"Former" employees have a tendancy to bad-mouth their former employer, for some strange reason.
Especially if they get a new job that can somehow be used to further bad-mouth their former employer.
Class, can we all say, slowly,
"Lack of credibility"????????
Nice.
That is exactly what this gentelman has.
Myself, as a current OWNER, and an owner of GM cars for about 33 years, my finding is that I usually get slightly BETTER gas milage than what the sticker shows.
Sometimes even quite a bit better than what is advertised.
My "98 Grand Prix Gtp exceeds the 27 mpg highway that the sticker says pretty easily.
My "06" Grand Prix exceeds the 31 mpg highway the sticker says as well. Driven right, I have no problem hitting 33 mpg highway with this car.
I recently drove my G8 to Myrle Beach on vacation. Interstate Driving, speeds averaging 75 mpg, I averaged 25 mpg, exceeding the sticker by a full mile per gallon.
I could go on and on about my experiences over the past 33 years, but I wont.
I am not a "former" owner.
No need for me to lie.
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