Thursday, November 4, 2010

If You Repeat Something Enough Times…

After months of listening to Ford fanatics blabber on about how Ford didn't have to take a hand-out, while GM did, well, I've had enough.  Time to vent a little.

First off: You cannot compare GM with Ford in this context. Aside from cars, they have nothing in common. Check out the list of "products" and "services" GM provides to the US government (read: DoD) and it should spark your brain juices. One makes consumer and commercial stuff, the other supplies a good portion of our military. They can't let a vital defense supplier go under. Period. It won't happen.

Second, Ford didn't "roll up their sleeves" and put in "elbow grease" to "pull themselves up by the bootstraps". They fired shitloads of veteran workers and shut down plants, and "leveraged" their foreign supply chains (read: cheaper labor and parts). That's not "hard work". That's fucking people. That's fucking families and ENTIRE communities. Big difference.  But the Ford PR machine has done a great job of smearing icing on a cardboard cake.

Now, was Ford wrong to cut back? No. They did what they had to in order to stay in business and please their shareholders. That's what a business is supposed to do. But don't put on the costume of superhero and claim it was something else. Call it what it was: a cutback. A downsizing.

Third: For all the talk about how they’re JUST NOW focusing on “quality” and “value”, I have to ask, and YOU should be asking this also: What were you doing all this time up until now?!  Screwing us.  That’s what.  To be fair, this is not a Ford problem, it’s been an American car problem for 30 years.  Chrysler and GM were also letting us down.  But as soon as the economy ripped the rug out from under them, boom! Then they wake up and start trying to make cars people “want”.  I know I’m not alone in feeling that they waited too long and made it obvious they only woke up in order to benefit them, not us.

If you use words like “luxury”, “class” and “sophistication” don’t point to a Ford Edge or a Chevy pick-up.  Those words do not apply.  Words still matter to some of us.  Using words like “affordable”, “smart” and “practical” work better for most of their products today.

I’ve owned a lot of cars in my life.  Driving a car is not the same as owning one.  It takes time to learn how a car behaves.  I’ve owned vehicles from GM, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Subaru.  I have no favorites.  I can say though that I will never willingly buy a “new” car from GM, Ford or Chrysler.  Used cars, maybe.

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