Money is slipping like Saudi sand through the greedy fingers of automakers. It’s safe to say their heyday is over, with gas prices weaning the drivers off of fat-tire guzzlers and turning them on to more efficient modes of transport.
General Motors, maker of many a bone-crushing S.U.V., is in bad shape after losing $15.5 Billion in one quarter. The company reported the loss last week, noting
The company has plans to scale back production, especially on its worst offenders. Here’s the word from the NYT:
In June, G.M.’s chairman, Rick Wagoner, said the company would close four assembly plants making pickups and S.U.V.’s by 2010 and slash 500,000 units of vehicle production. And in a move that symbolized the end of the S.U.V. era, Mr. Wagoner said that G.M. had begun a “strategic review” toward a likely sale of its Hummer brand. Besides cutting truck and S.U.V. production, G.M. also announced plans to add third shifts at two plants to increase the output of smaller cars.
G.M. isn’t alone in its demise. Other producers are hard-up, too. It’s not merely a spiraling economy or a temporary rough patch that’s sent automakers to the poorhouse, but (we hope), a seismic shift in consumer choices. The price of gas isn’t a singular issue; it’s spurred a revolution.
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