GM has been plastering your TV with a new commercial claiming to have repaid back it’s loan from the government and you the tax payers. However, that’s not entirely accurate, and there are those in Washington and in the industry that are now calling for blood.
The simplified version is that GM did pay back the original loan to the government for bailing them out, however they used tax payer money to do so with TARP funds. Furthermore the ‘repaid government loan’ commercial is misleading because the Federal Reserve still owns 61% of General Motors, perhaps that’s what he meant by ‘new’ GM.
The government repay commercial by GM is glossy and attempts to show off how responsible GM has become. It’d kind of true and it’s kind of a lie, border line committing fraud with tax payer money. View the GM TV ad below and you be the judge.
For more information on how the GM repayment of the government loan commercial is misleading, read this article by detnews.com.
The Heads Up Display (HUD) has been almost as popular as the flying car, in future depictions in popular media. We’ve seen some positive advancements in military applications and some low level tech involving displaying basic information like speed on a Nissan window. But now GM is hoping to make the giant leap to display technology that allows the driver to view pertinent information, without having to take their eyes off the windshield.
What makes GM’s special is that the display technology will display whats going on ahead of the driver, not necessarily just information directly related to the car itself. Instead of seeing RPMs jumping across the windshield, think driving in foggy conditions where the edges of roads are etched with light across the windshield. It sounds to me to be the closest thing to assisted night vision as possible. A possible life saver when road conditions get bad quickly and you can’t see 5 ft in front of you.
The lead for GM’s research and development team points out that the technology will also be able to identify animals or items in the road. It would be capable of giving advance warning, displayed directly onto the windshield, so distractions coming from the console or sound alarms won’t be necessary.
Unfortunately this brave new technology is not even completed enough to be tested on an actual vehicle. Right now it only exists in the GM laboratory and will likely remain there for quite some time. However, to me, it looks like it might be the next GPS system and popular enough that everyone will want it on their car.
I’m scratching my head trying to find out the specific details around the GM Hummer that is reportedly getting 100 mpg. An article on ConsumerEnergyReport.com indicates that this new hybrid Hummer is the brain child of Raser technologies. The Hummer is reportedly a plug-in type hybrid designed for daily local travel. Basically that last part means that the numbers are slightly scued, to the tune of about 70 miles per gallon over statement.
According to information direct from Raser the Hummer is only capable of up to 33 mpg on the high way. Now, I’m not saying that 100 mpg in the city isn’t great, but obviously to arrive at these figures there are limits that must be set and gray areas to interpret. Does that mean that the Hummer will get infinite miles per gallon if it stays under 30mpg? I mean, I’m not sure of any city where 30+ is the norm, but they could just as easily be talking about an island city with 15 mph speed zones.
Also reported by Raser is that the engine found in the H3 Hybrid is the strongest electric engine available in a passenger vehicle. Raser claims teh engine found in the H3 Plug-In is 4 times more powerful than the hybrid engine found in the Toyota Prius. According to reports it can be recharged at home, obviously from the plug-in name plate, but the cost is $.60 per equivalent gallon of gas. Again, this information is much better than paying an alternative now $2.50 per gallon of gas, but there is still a cost to driving such a hybrid. Where do you think most of our electricity at home comes from? I’m willing to bet it’s not wind turbines yet, most likely coal, so saving fossil fuels has still yet to be accomplished.
Pictures of the Raser H3 Plug In Hybrid 100mpg
It becomes pretty obvious that perhaps a vehicle the size of the Hummer is required to fit all the drive train components into the package. There is some serious weight, size, and limitations of fitting this much technology in any lesser vehicle. No doubt, nows the time to start buying some Raser stock though. 😉
World markets are a tricky thing and staying in the customers good graces can be a balancing act. That’s why, at least vocally, Toyota hopes that GM will succeed and are constantly sending good wishes their way. But why would a competitor, in a ever growing cut-throat market, want it’s biggest competitor to succeed?
Let’s look at history, even a few short decades ago. In the 80’s and before there was huge hatred toward the foreign market. The perceived quality of foreign vehicles had not yet been established, so Toyota like other brands were just trying to prove themselves. Another challenge they were trying to overcome was the general publics patriotism, the hope, and want for an American company to dominate the industry.
How far have we come? Obviously Toyota took over GM as the largest car manufacturer in the world, owed largely to it’s ever increasing US market share. So what does Toyota risk, if they don’t actively support it’s domestic competitors? In a sensitive market, walking on egg shells may be the only thing that keeps Toyota from slipping back into the early 80’s in the eyes of American car buyers.
Consider the devastation to Toyota domestically if the American people decide to rally against foreign competitors and strongly support their domestic car manufacturers again. Potentially, all the work Toyota had done to generate brand quality would be destroyed. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but there is a reason the owl wants the rabbits to mate.
The automobile industry is quickly becoming a wild west again, where nobody knows what the next big thing will be. Sure, you could hedge your bets on a hybrid, but unfortunately those are too expensive for a bad economy. Better yet, you could bet against fuel hogs, but then again thats a tired bandwagon that may be ending with the killing off of Hummer.
The New York Times has a devastating article today about a Hummer dealership in St. Louis, MO that is struggling to stay afloat. According to statistics, the Hummer was at the peak of it’s sales in 2006, but has since plumetted to an 1/8 of what it was in 2006. This will effect more than GM, this will effect dealerships, and people’s livelihoods.
With news of Barack Obama taking over GM, it’s unlikely that the Hummer will saved. The Volt and other hybrid type vehicles will most likely be given head way and ‘bail out’ money before making the Hummer more efficient will even be considered. The Hummer has a bad rap, one that cuts deep, and may indicate the changing of the guard at GM when the Hummer dies an untimely death.
I can’t help but notice the influx of large SUV’s and big trucks in used car lots and peoples front yards. I mean, gas is bad yeah, but there always be a need to pull something or haul a ton of dirt, so now is the time to buy. GM and Chevrolet feels the same way and are showing it by offering some bigger incentives to match the girth of the vehicle.
Previously GM was offering up to $4,000 in cash incentives to new SUV and big truck buyers, but sales just keep falling. Now GM has announced up to $6,000 in incentives for vehicles like the Chevrolet Silverado. Seems like a good deal to me, but I already have a 9 mpg SUV with a 5.9l V8…taking up residence in my front yard.
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