Planet Gore

SUVs Save Chrysler

Chrysler is making money hand over fist. No thanks to Barack Obama.

The Fiat-owned Detroit automaker saw sales balloon an industry-leading 27 percent in October. But if its bosses had followed the advice of the self-acclaimed Auto-Expert-in-Chief, they would be in the tank — dragging taxpayer loans down with them.

When Obama handed Chrysler’s keys to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne in 2009, the president proclaimed that green jobs were the future and that the Italian must bring the tiny, 40 mpg-highway, green Fiat 500 to America as part of the deal. Sergio obeyed — but he also did his market research and learned that Americans want SUVs. He began rolling out new trucks with abandon.

Who was right? In October, Obama’s Fiat 500 sold 1,965 units. Chrysler’s Dodge and Jeep truck divisions sold 75,000.

Fortunately, CEO Sergio is a quicker study than President Obama. The great irony of the Obama presidency is that his lone claim to fame — the rescue of the U.S. auto industry — is succeeding in spite of him. UAW workers are back on the line again and producing union dues for the Democratic Party because Detroit is making gas-guzzling, non-EPA-mpg-mandate-attaining, Obama-despised trucks.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

Most Popular

White House

Democrats in Peril

I will just make a prediction and try to keep out of the swamp of Trump-obsession as the weeks unfold. The anti-Trump movement is now in inexorable decline; it is a little like the Nixon defense forces after the Saturday Night drama in October 1973, with the departure of the attorney general, his deputy, and ... Read More
World

Canada Is Attacked Again

Media coverage of yesterday’s monstrous van attack in Toronto, which as of this writing is responsible for ten deaths and more than a dozen other casualties, was punctuated by political press conferences of the sort that are now an inescapable part of the dark theater of public tragedies. At his first ... Read More
World

Trump and the North Korean Tipping Point

The world has been stunned by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s announcement last week that he was suspending his country’s nuclear tests in preparation for the impending meeting with President Trump. Even critics have had to concede that Trump’s bellicose rhetoric since last summer regarding the North ... Read More
Politics & Policy

E Pluribus . . . Gridlock

A mantra we hear everywhere these days is that diversity is a good thing. And no doubt, it is. Diversity facilitates an exchange of ideas and opinions, and it promotes economic growth. Moreover, the alternative to diversity is to suppress the views and opinions of some subset of citizens, which is completely ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More