Talk About a Surge

This is a milestone. It took longer than I expected it ever would, but it has finally happened: GM has been surpassed in manufacturing numbers (let’s not talk profit- that happened a long long time ago) for the first time, by Toyota.

Since 1931.

G.M. swept past Ford in 1931 in the enormous American car market and in worldwide sales, and barely looked back for seven decades. But a combination of inattention to quality, strained labor relations, adverse regulatory decisions and a slowness to recognize the potential for small cars eroded G.M.’s seemingly insurmountable lead starting in the mid-1960s.

America seems to be in decline in everything except debt and income (excepting hedge fund managers and CEO’s).

UPDATE I own a GM car, and it’s been okay. Just okay. Drivetrain has been the best thing about it, but even that hasn’t been trouble free – throwout bearing failed. But to their credit, GM ponied up 2/3 the cost- and it was just out of warranty.

The quality of the materials is suspect- too much plastic, and probably not well engineered for each application. For example: both sun visors (necessary as I live in sunny California) have fallen away, and replacements (are you sitting down) are $200.

That aside, I continue to see 28-30 mpg on my commute (a somewhat trafficky 15 miles). Lst week I tried an experiment: keep my right foot out of it. I ran the car at or below 60 on the freeway, which surely pissed off more than a few SUVer’s (pussies) who insist on using as much fuel as they possibly can. Because they can. Rational, I know.

The payoff? When I filled up, I needed almost a gallon less than usual. Approximately a 4-5 mpg saving, which over a year in this Exxon world of hurt, will certainly add up.

Still, it’s shameful act that I forcibly restrain myself from the party and drive a Hummer or a Suburban and use up as much fuel as the vehicle is capable of at 80+ mph.

I’m such a party pooper.

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