From the Right



US Big Three Auto Companies Commit to Making Cars That People Don't Want!

Stephen Moore on

I grew up in a household with parents who were of the Greatest Generation. They lived and shouldered through the Great Depression, and then their lives and families were thrown into turmoil on Dec. 7, 1941. My grandfather worked for the War Department in Washington, D.C., and during World War II, my father served in the Pacific Theater.

Both my mother and father made a solemn vow that as long as they lived, they would never buy a German or a Japanese car. No matter how well they were made. They were the enemies. They were the ones who killed nearly half a million Americans. Period.

And that value system was transported to me. In honor of my parents' values, I couldn't in good conscience buy a Japanese or German car.

I've been thinking that after all these years, I may have to change my mind. The American auto companies, which are so often bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, have made a pronouncement that they intend, in the next few years, to stop making and assembling gas-engine cars. You know, the kind of cars that Henry Ford started rolling off the assembly line 100 years ago at the Ford Motor Company in Detroit.

Henceforth, virtually all American-made cars will be electric vehicles. Perhaps the corporate brass in Michigan's auto executive offices thinks this makes them good global citizens. They are all in on the fight against global warming. They may be making a political bet that the federal government and more states are going to go the way of California and eventually mandate that every car produced must be battery-operated. But there is also a good deal of virtue-signaling going on here by the folks at Ford and General Motors.

It's a free country, and if they want to start rolling millions of EVs off the assembly lines, so be it.


But it's one thing to make cars that appeal to members of the Sierra Club and quite another to produce automobiles that the typical buyer wants. And guess what? So far, most people have turned a decisive thumbs-down on EVs. (Incidentally, I'm personally agnostic on electric vehicles. I've driven Teslas, and they are wonderful smooth-driving vehicles. But they have problems, too, such as getting stranded with no juice in the middle of nowhere.)

So far, only about 6% of new cars sold are electric vehicles. And polls show that only about half of Americans prefer an EV over a traditional car. Much larger majorities oppose the government telling us what kind of car we can buy.

Incidentally, the one state that far outpaces the rest of the country in EV sales (with about 1 in 5 new car sales being battery-operated) is California. But, hey, Detroit: Sorry, California isn't the country.

All of this is to say that there's a decent chance the American auto companies' shift to all EVs is going to fail. This could even be the most epic failure for American car companies since Ford introduced the Edsel. (For youngsters, that was the 1950s ugly car that nobody wanted to buy.)


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