Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wow. Just... wow.


Blogger Steven said...

Do you agree with this? I understand why it's funny, but I guess I'm just not down with bashing American cars. I'm not necessarily for the bailout, but I find this kind of thing in poor taste. I drive an American vehicle and I really like it. I'll acknowledge that American cars have been pretty poor in the past, but I think there have been some considerable improvements in style, quality, and overall longevity. Little jokes like this...well, I just don't know. Call it misplaced patriotism.

1/26/2009 2:22 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I think the American can companies have marginally improved in the past few years, but it took them so much kicking in the face to get there that it's kinda too little too late. They've fought tooth and nail against environmental regulations, saying it would put them out of business, when Japanese competitors did just fine in the face of even stiffer regulations than were proposed in this country. They sued the state of California for trying to keep its own air clean. They've been against even the slightest improvements in federal fuel efficiency standards.

Is the ad too harsh? Well, maybe, but mostly in that it's getting at the wrong thing - those big companies are ossified and scared shitless of anything resembling change, and they've been calling on the wrong reasons to get bailed out - bankruptcy does *not* mean they're out of business, or even that they get sold off to foreign investors - it just means they restructure with court protection, and restructuring is just what they need. Maybe even with the bailout they'll have a good shakeup and learn some lessons, and I surely hope they will - it'll take a while for them to dig their brand out of the hole, and in that time, they need to work darn hard to redeem themselves for years of falling behind.

And besides, my attitude toward this sort of thing is that if you (abstract 2nd person, not you personally) can't take a joke, you have problems - if you weren't worried about it, the prods wouldn't hurt. American car companies need to get solid enough to take some ribbing. People can make fun of Hondas that look funny, people snicker, and nobody thinks a thing of it. People make fun of un-aesthetic American cars, and nobody laughs too much, because it's ominous - the big three have deep systemic design problems. If there's truth in this ad, let's be brutally honest about it and fix it. If not, it doesn't matter - it's a laugh and nothing more.

1/26/2009 3:56 PM  

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