The Campaign Spot

‘[Regulations] put us in the industry in the position where we are at war with the customer.’

In discussing the terms of the additional aid to the auto industry (you know it’s coming) and Congress’s eagerness to tell automakers the kinds of cars they have to make, comments like this one ought to get a bit more attention:

“When it was $4 a gallon, we couldn’t make enough Cobalts,” Bob Lutz, General Motors’ vice chairman of global product development, said of the fuel-efficient Chevrolets that get 30 mpg on the highway. “Now we have trouble pushing the Cobalts out to the dealers.”
With fuel prices declining, government mandates that automakers build highly fuel-efficient cars will be no more effective than combating obesity by forcing clothing manufacturers to make only small sizes, Lutz said.
“It put us in the industry in the position where we are at war with the customer,” Lutz said. “Because the customer, given the gas prices, is going to want one thing. And we’re going to be forced by regulation to produce something entirely different.”

I would ask Mr. Lutz to please avoid giving the nanny state ideas like that bit about telling clothing manufacturers what sizes to make.

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