...most of their vehicles are plain-jane and suck.
GM's first hybrid, the Sivlerado, got the same MPG as the regular gas-engine model, but cost $2K more.
NOBODY has hybridized a minivan yet, which is the FIRST place it should have been done--a soccer mom hauling everybody and everything getting 50MPG in town is a big break for a family. (Honda claims next year, but I'm not holding my breath. Chrysler has unveiled a prototype Town and Country electric MV, but that won't work well either because the C/O ratio, like all pure electric vehicles, is terrible!)
Flex-fuel conversions cost $100 per car and allow operation on ethanol and methanol mixed with gas to vastly improve mileage and operating costs, and they do this for Brazil, but not here?
Ford got their hybrid technology from Toyota, and all they're done is stick it on the too-small Escape SUV, instead of on the Taurus X, which can actually haul things and people.
GM hybridized the Yukon SUV, but the mileage is no better than a regular Ford Expedition. They pioneered cylinder-reduction technology back in the 80s but abandoned it because they tried to take a V8 to a V6 and to a 4-cylinder and it didn't work, instead of dropping the V6 middle and having it work, which Toyota and Ford do now. And, of course, there's the EV-1, and the Volt is junk. Meanwhile Toyota is putting solar cells on the Pruis roof to recharge the batteries and power the electrical system...
The Big 3 turned down requests for chassis for Tesla Motors, so they went with Lotus for their Roadster. Tesla may still get the electric sedan out in 2009.
I could go on, but you get the point: they continually shoot themselves in the technological foot.
A car is a mircocosm example of energy problems. Far too many are stuck on one and only one source of energy, petro, and that's the issue, and the automakers, all of them save Toyota, seem to be stuck in Park on improving fuel versatility.
The first manufacturer that makes a hybrid, flex-fuel wagon that seats seven and gets at least 40MPG will take over the automotive world.
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