Archive for October 2006

FORD: Forestall On Research & Development

October 2, 2006

FORD:  Forestall On Research & Development.
In the last part of the Carter administration, President Carter warned the country that our reliance on oil from the Middle East would be detrimental to our economy and the safety of the country.  Other alternatives and reductions in the use of energy products such as oil would be necessary.  It was the gas crisis that caused the concern.  Gas prices went up dramatically, and the foreign car industry moved in with their more economic cars, and people reduced their
dependency on oil.

Twenty-five years later we find ourselves in the same situation, though the situation is even more troublesome.  Now in October Ford Motor Company hopes that 44,000 Union workers will take a buy out offer for their jobs.  We are not a society that progresses.  Sure – our toys get better, such as televisions and cell phones, but we don’t learn anything from past errors.  What is it about history that makes us so reluctant to learn from it?  We always slide back into an easier and lazier existence.   

It’s understandable why the American auto makers are in such trouble when you watch the television commercials they produce.  It’s all about bigger, faster, powerful trucks or cars.  A day after the Ford buy outs were announced, I watched a Ford commercial where they unload a car off a ship into a German port. The point being is the owner can’t drive his car fast enough in the USA, so he needs to take it out on the Autobahn.  The best commercial I ever saw was the guy backing his car out of the drive way, and then proceeds to go down the side of a cliff to hook up with the highway. 

The auto industry claims that they are only giving people what they want.  That statement is as ridiculous as their advertising.  Just like any business the auto industry uses advertising to “sell” a product to the consumer.  Advertising is meant to make the consumer desire the product.  If the auto industry is giving people what they want then that is considered a service, so advertising wouldn’t be necessary. 

Reliability, economic, and comfort in the car is all that needs or should be advertised.  This is what is found in foreign car commercials, and they tend to be profitable.  Seldom have I needed a car/truck to carry an elephant or go from zero to sixty in three seconds, but I’d love a car that burns no gas and oil.

I really don’t have any sympathy for GM, Daimler-Chrysler, or Ford.  These companies need to progress.  This is no longer a world that can support monster machines that are used mostly to get people to work and home or pick up kids or groceries.  Union workers being layed off will not save these companies.  These companies will disappear unless they start thinking about environmental and economical issues.   

The only sympathy I have is for the worker.  If these companies do make a come back, they will hire non-union employees at lower wages, and use the excuse that wages and benefits are what hurt the profit margins.  Government bail outs for these companies would be a bad investment in the long run.     

Write your congress people. 

Jake Drew