The Cuban Syndrome

How do you celebrate Detroit’s automotive recovery? By strangling it with new mpg regulations that will price new cars out of reach of many customers.

“We call it ‘The Cuban Syndrome,’” says Center for Automotive Research (CAR) economist Sean McAlinden this morning at CAR’s annual conference in Traverse City, Michigan. “When you have extremists involved, they set goals that are out there too far and older cars begin to appear in greater numbers” as customers are priced out of the market.

“Our studies say (the regulation) will cost at best $6,000 per vehicle,” he says, far outstripping any gas savings from exotic new hybrid technologies required to meet Obama’s utopian 54.5 mpg goal. One of the industry’s leading economists, McAlinden dismissed low-ball government estimates that the regs would cost “only” $2,000 per vehicle.

“Fifty-five miles-to-the-gallon doesn’t pay. So people will stop buying. We have a sophisticated after-market,” he concluded.

McAlinden’s sobering words threw a wet blanket on last week’s forced-sunshine photo-op in Washington where Big Three CEOs stood with the president as he announced his latest edict. Washington-dependent GM and Chrysler had no choice to but to smile through clenched teeth.

“Detroit is still owned by the government,” responded McAlinden when pressed by WJR radio host Frank Beckmann as to why the automakers would agree to such a display of political theater. “The new 54.5 mpg mandate sets an impossible goal by 2025.”

The conference coincided with the good news that the Detroit Two continue to rebound from bankruptcy. But as the CAR economist’s comments make clear, automakers are wary of new Obamaregs that are also dimming the future of the energy and health sectors.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More