Yes…I get the part about promoting the auto industry and supporting all of those who rely on the auto industry for their livelihood. But aren’t we thinking very small here, people? And does anyone else smell a little green washing with the lower millage business? Really? Producing thousands of new cars, using all those resources and chemicals, shipping the damn things to dealers, and then junking the old cars has less of a carbon footprint then having the old cars with slightly higher millage still on the road? (Now if anyone out there has found some actual data as to the carbon footprint of all these new cars verses the carbon footprint due to millage increases please send me a link. I have yet to find any concrete numbers.)
Is the only way for the auto industry to make money is to produce more new stuff and waste already existing stuff? Can they only survive by causing people to spend MORE money then they have? Or..perhaps…just maybe….with a little thought by people much smarter than myself…there are a whole host of things that could be going on that would be better for the environment, better for the auto industry and all those who rely on it for the long term, better for tax payers, and better for people’s personal finances. The complete lack of innovation with this plan and our approach to converting industrial America is shocking and disappointing.
Here are just a few thoughts that come to my completely *non-technical mind*.
What about the auto industry building more stations to support electric & solar cars? These cars are perfect for urban areas and train commuters because we don’t need to drive them very far and in the case of a power failure we are never far from civilization. But…there are very few places to have these cars serviced. And those of us in apartments can’t do electric because we don’t have a place to plug in. Couldn’t the auto industry be working on that solution? Making money and jobs by creating service stations and garages & charging a plug in/spot fee?
What about the auto industry running their own version of the Zipcar? (The Zipcar service is a smart little program that allows you to pay a monthly fee to use a car as you need…perfect for people who do a weekly shopping trip, etc.)They would make more money off of each individual car because many people pay for the right to use them…therefore they would need to use less resources making more cars and still make money. People who don’t need a daily car would spend less money than buying a personal car, and fewer cars would be clogging up the streets needlessly. Win. Win. Win.
Couldn’t they be working on finding an affordable way to convert an already existing used car with less then desirable millage to one with very desirable millage? Many people would pay to have their current car upgraded if it would pay off in 5-10 years in gas savings. Again…the auto industry could be making that money, employing people to do the upgrades, while saving resources and carbon emissions, and saving consumers from the big expense of a whole new car.
I feel like there is a lack of effort on the part of these auto companies receiving our big bailouts to really reexamine where they went wrong and begin to create a NEW plan…not just get funding for their old plan that didn’t work. And we’re letting it happen all for the promise of a few thousand dollars if we are willing to put ourselves further into debt. There must be more the auto industry could do to remain viable without putting consumers and the environment deeper into dept? Is a perfectly usable car in a dumpster the image we want of American economic innovation?
*(I fully disclose that I have no idea about the technical parts of any of my ideas. Not a clue…but I am assuming there are plenty of people out there who can make it happen. Now if you need a snazzy set of organic cotton fuzzy dice…I’m your gal. )*