Please do not fall into the class envy trap of blaming the rich CEO…GM, Ford etc was providing the trucks and suvs we wanted…They got hit by a do nothing congress that actively blocked oil drilling here and building of refineries. Gas goes up, GM goes down due to buyers panic…THEN congress says we will raise CAFÉ requirements with in 3-4 years…not enough time for GM, Ford etc… as models already set that far out…..so more $$ cost to the auto makers due to an autocratic, dumb anything thing for a vote congress from the equally dumb….
So between the no drill here and no refineries here congress and the snap of the fingers CAFÉ requirements…the auto makers are in a bind…keep gas down and move the CAFÉ requirements out further will help more than loans with GO Green congress fingers attached…
Yes they were building what we wanted. We have a history of buying cars (more to the point trucks) that are unnecessary for our lifestyle. A few years ago, GM put off certain cars so they could hurry to market the GMT900 (I think that's the name) line of SUVs and pickups (just in time for gas prices to skyrocket). Does a single person with no kids, no need for towing, or job that does not requires a large SUV or truck really need a Chevy Tahoe, Silverado or Cadillac Escalade? No. Can a smaller more fuel efficient vehicle fill that "bling bling look at me" market? Yes, if done right. Does a soccer mom really need an Escalade when a nice CTS sportwagon could serve the same purpose? In hindsight, the money spent on the GMT900s prob would have been better spent developing and marketing smaller, more fuel efficient cars.
The big three have put all their eggs in the SUV/truck basket for so long (because that is what we wanted) now it is coming back to bite us. Does Chrysler even have a sedan hybrid that is remotely close to production? No, They release the Durango and Aspen hybrids because that is where their head still is.
Our culture, along with the car industry, needs to change. The US car makers should take control of the market and culture and say these are the cars we are going to build, make them "cool" and then the public will adapt. Give some cars to Hollywood types, put them in movies and on TV. Isn't that how the Escalade succeeded?
Am I saying cars like the Tahoe or escalade should no longer exist? No. But the idea of them being "what to be seen in" needs to change and the concept of "cool" needs to shift.
If I were the government and the big three came to me saying "we don't have a plan but give us the money anyway", I'd be hesitant too