Monday, January 16, 2017
Donald, stop meddling in the workings of the Global Auto Industry!
Ed Garten sent me this note on Monday morning:
Perhaps automotive historian Dr. John Heitmann should give President Donald Trump a phone call and explain the auto industry to him?
BEIJING — In his latest criticism of what he sees as unfair trade, Donald J. Trump has taken aim at German cars. Why, the president-elect asked a German newspaper, do so many well-heeled drivers in New York drive a Mercedes-Benz, while Germans buy so few Chevrolets?
The last time I was in Leipzig, Germany (summer, 2015), I passed by the Chevrolet dealer quite often as it was close to the Brat and Thuringer sausage shack where I often got my lunch. The Chevy dealer was about the loneliest place on the planet. Or at least in Eastern Germany, where there are plenty of lonely places!
The problem is that cars still have meaning for many of the people who drive them. And my sense is that many Germans want to buy German cars. Nothing wrong with that, considering that until recently GM did not stand for quality. Now GM could market their cars under the Opel brand, which would result in some German sales. Let's face it, GM is a faceless corporation that squashed SAAB, a proud European make. Why let them get away with that in Germany, anyway?
Mercedes stands for excellence and accomplishment -- that is why Americans like to drive cars with the three pointed star -- along with the idea that they are nice cars. The Bow-Tie on the grill to me stands for "average," not excellent or achieving! You want to be average -- in looks, mental capabilities, earning power or potential, or anything else?
Do hot and desirable women drive Chevys or Mercedes and BMWs? At least in your mind?
Trump, coming from a German background (not Swiss, as he would like us to think), should know that you can't tell a German anything without some push-back. So he is going to dictate the global auto industry? Maybe here and there, but he won't last for long doing that. It is like pissing in the wind, and we know want that leads to!