Some words of encouragement from the man in the big chair. The first is while he was running for president and the second was while he was uh… getting a head start on running for re-election.
Senator Obama, A Speech In Toledo Ohio (October 13, 2008):
We’ll create five million new, high-wage jobs by investing in the renewable sources of energy that will eliminate the oil we currently import from the Middle East in ten years…
…some experts say that unemployment may rise to 8% by the end of next year. We can’t wait until then to start creating new jobs.
President Obama, Another Speech In Toledo Ohio (June 3 2011):
…two great American companies, Chrysler and GM, stood on the brink of liquidation.
Now, we had a few options. We could have followed the status quo and kept the automakers on life support by just giving them tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money, but never really dealing with the structural issues at these plants. But that would have just kicked the problem down the road.
So we decided to do more than just rescue the industry from crisis. We decided to retool it for a new age.
So there you have it. The first quote is a plan in 2008 where the government would “retool” the auto industry back to health through green initiatives. The second quote is reflection on the plan’s performance following three years of on the ground application of his theories. Huzzah.
Wait? What’s this? Is reality knocking at the door?
Chevrolet’s Volt Sales Running Low, GM Idles the Line (March 2, 2012)
GM has decided to idle production of the Chevy Volt for five weeks. During that time, about 1,300 workers will temporarily be laid off.
Back when GM launched the Volt, it boldly targeted sales of 10,000 in 2011 and 60,000 in 2012. Last year, GM sold 7,671 Volts and just 1,626 this year.
Man, is reality a killjoy or what? Well maybe things can be attributed to business cycles and bad luck and whatnot. It’s not like you can make a direct comparison to some other company that makes a fuel efficient small car that competes with the Volt.
Volkswagen To Add 800 Jobs At Chattanoga Factory (March 23, 2012):
Volkswagen AG said it will hire to fill 800 new jobs at a Chattanooga, Tenn., factory it opened last year, reflecting anticipated demand for a new car built there.
VW has sold 14,507 Passats this year through February. New staffing will give VW the potential to build 170,000 cars at the plant by 2013, according to company officials.
“Quite plainly, we need more Passats to meet the market demand,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.
Well you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. At least the government (or the President) has learned from the fact that unsubsidised auto makers are eating the Volt’s lunch? Whoops, maybe not. Looks like a double down on rainbow cars and a complete inability to look at a mistake and say “lets stop doing that thing which doesn’t work so well”. Color me surprised:
President Pushes to Add More Credits for Hybrids (March 8, 2012):
The president called for increasing to $10,000 an existing $7,500 credit per vehicle for consumers and businesses that buy cars and trucks powered by electric battery, natural gas or hydrogen.
Sometimes you just have to laugh. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. Just to bring a little more humor into the day I’m posting the Trabant, or as I like to call it East German Volt Version 1.0. (Click the photo for a description of the 1975 Trabant’s coveted place on Times’ List Of The 50 Worst Cars Of All Time.):
Ironically… the Trabant probably was a more efficient use of subsidy than the expensive (estimated at $250,000 per vehicle) Volt. The thought of losing to the Trabant in comparison of cost efficiency… Is it any wonder that politics have become so silly?