Great article on the Cash for Clunkers and how it won't help any of the
automakers in the long run...
This semi-regular column is written (in his own blood) by an automotive
sage and noted malcontent, known as The Mechanic. Mercilessly beaten as
a child with rolled-up back issues of old car magazines, our free-spoken
hero developed a unique "for your own good" take on cars and the auto
industry, along with an unfortunate habit of setting himself ablaze.
Later, after a distinguished career as an automotive journalist and
magazine editor, he cast off the reins of his musty oppressors, carved
out his superego with a plastic spork and became The Mechanic.
Cash for Clunkers officially ended exactly one minute ago. Sad. A real
shame. Now what is America's trailer trash going to do? Where's their
next handout going to come from? Meth isn't getting any cheaper, ya
know. Not even in this down market. Obama better get busy figuring out
another way to give away my tax dollars.
Oh wait, that's right, his health care system will supply the great
unwashed with plenty of my hard-earned money. Something to look forward to.
One good thing about Cash for Clunkers is how quickly it rid the world
of Pontiacs. The brand just had its best few months in years. It's
practically sold out of the very same crapmobiles it couldn't give away
before Obama made Bubba's rusting lawn art worth $4,500.
What's that? You need a Pontiac G5 for target practice (basically the
only thing it's good for), well you're out of luck. Some big-bellied,
chain-smoker with beer on his breath and food stamps in his pocket just
traded in his 1992 Bonneville SSEi on the last one. He's a guest on The
Jerry Springer Show tonight and wanted to arrive in style.
Fact is, Pontiac's popularity with the Cash for Clunkers crowd shouldn't
surprise. GM's excitement division had been catering to that upscale
demographic for decades, and I called them on it back in February in a
column titled "Pontiac and the Trailer Trash." Once again I am right.
I'm always right.
Whatever. The world is finally scrubbed clean of the G3, the G5 and the
G6, if not the chemical toilet crowd that they so strongly appeal to. I
think we can all agree that this is a good thing.
By the way, the same Big Mac for breakfast, lunch and dinner detail also
bought Chrysler out of Calibers. These people define stupid.
But Detroit's free all-you-can-eat buffet is now closed. And let's face
it: The sneeze guard on the sucker was never really up to code.
And now the real fight begins. The New GM, Ford, Fiat and the rest of
them are going to have to do it on their own again without the help of
Obama's ATM and the sweat off of my hairy back. They're going to need to
sell cars people want, to people who can actually afford to pay for them.
It's called the free market. Remember that? It's the same environment
that our beloved domestic automakers failed to feed into for the past 35
years. Personally, I think it's nice to have it back. Sink or swim,
people, sink or swim. It's the American way, and this is Detroit's last
chance to stay above the surface and find its stroke. Fritz, Lutz,
Sergio and Mulally better suit up 'cause they're going in the deep end.
(Hey, Sergio, this ain't the Riviera. No Speedos, please.)
Considering we'd all like (need) those billions in TARP funds repaid,
let's hope they can at least dog paddle this time.
-- The Mechanic, Contributor