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Solution to US Auto Problem: 1 2 3

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posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 12:54 PM
The enemy is this:

Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence is the process of a product becoming obsolete and/or non-functional after a certain period or amount of use in a way that is planned or designed by the manufacturer. Planned obsolescence has potential benefits for a producer because the product fails and the consumer is under pressure to purchase again, whether from the same manufacturer (a replacement part or a newer model), or from a competitor which might also rely on planned obsolescence. The purpose of planned obsolescence is to hide the real cost per use from the consumer, and charge a higher price than they would otherwise be willing to pay (or would be unwilling to spend all at once).

First we have to hang anyone who thinks this is a good policy. Once that's done, we can decide what to do with the factories and the markets. We'd need to remove anybody who wants you to be a 'consumer' in relation to your car. Yes, this means some auto white collars may have to spend a few years in the trenchs maybe even selling auto parts or something.
Just kidding. No but seriously.

Consumers are not hot rodders. 'Hot rodders' or 'car builders' are a different type of American. They are the tyope who will put big tires and big horsepower into a station wagon.

When I say "hot rod" I am speaking in the vernacular of the great American publishing company, Petersen Publications, publishers of Hot Rod magazine. I am saying this: The person who rebuilds a classic American muscle car, is NOT a consumer. They want to cling to the past. They want to fight rust. They want to preserve the machines of the past that are able to move us across this great land and see our families and just plain see America, the beautiful.

Check the mindset of a hot rodder: They want to take the old junker and bring it forward, maybe even 50 or 60 years, into the present. It's a fascinating process to behold, and I think it's typically American, and typically awesome.

Ever see that show "Overhaulin'"? Man how can you not get inspired to see American car fans come together like that to change just one person's life. A lot of people all over the world relate to life through their vehicles, and I can relate. I feel this too. When I was little, I used to imagine that cars could talk to me. I used to sit there and wonder how many actual parts are inside a car. And how many parts does a machine have to have before it acquires its own "soul", or essence? And when I got my first car it was a first-gen Chevy Nova beater with a powerglide. Oh yeah, I had other Chevys between now and then, some faster. some faster.

And what do I drive now? A Nissan Sentra.

I am writing this post here to dredge out all the car lovers at ATS. Tell me now, do you really think of yourselves as "consumers"? Think hard about the first quote and go read Wikipedia and ask yourself if that's you. Do you fit into that equasion?

Now as I consider my cool little 93 Nissan, here are the reasons it is so awesome:

1: astounding mileage
2: low cost of upkeep
3: cheap as hell
4: reliable
5: traction/front wheel drive
6: snappy-fast if needed

Well in fact, hot rodding is a global thing. The idea is: Run What Ya Brung meaning if I go to the dragstrip, I am just as excited to see somebody run a minivan against a street rod as any other race because the brackets are really interesting and also it is fun to just stomp on the accelerator of ANY vehicle. LET FACE IT: Madison Ave sell you the lust-of-speed in all their TV car commericals so don't deny you want to know if your humble little car can stir your emotions. I'm telling you: It can. And together, we can have a better reality.

I want to propose that these people, these car freaks or hot rodders or American car-fanatics given the right motivation, can solve the US auto issue, very quickly using three key compass points:

The first part of my solution called Proposition 155 which mandates a certain amount of public roadage in the dominion to be allocated for street racing and car shenanigans. Such events must be fully safty-ized so that we don't have stupid kegger-disasters like what happened to all those dear folks who were watching that one drag race. God rest their souls. But when you mix horsepower and beer, people will die, that is certain. So we need safety first my friends, but the idea I am proposing is solid: Set aside some streets for safe roadracing, kinda like they used to have the "Bike Fair" at the school, ya know? Well I am proposing the "Car Fair" where which ever counties want to participate shall set aside the traffic resources to let citizens sign a waiver and race their cars safely. This could be done, literally overnight if you get a few smart folks to figure the logiistics of disposal and cleanup, etc.

Now you're already saying to me: You are an idiot, and your solution wil not work. Well I understand you, and I ask that you hear my next solution before you judge it entirely.

So, to recap so far:

1: Let Americans RACE and enjoy their vehicles.

2: The second step is simple: If we have a V8 motor in a car, it's gonna get junked unless we can come up with a way to save that baby without a total heart-transplant i.e. removal of the motor. The days of the V8 are over not due to it's being obsolete, NO! It's amazing how engineers really don't believe in PO because you can see them sneaking quality in left and right and one is definately lifted when reading Robert Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It should be required grade school reading, imo.

Really now aren't we now much more electronically able than yesterday? So my solution is simple: ECU and distributors that fire only 2 or 3 cylinders at a time. This means that nothing has to change or be re-engineered! It's like sticing a magic wand into the engine and it runs like an efficient wundercar: all due to fuel and electricity and computer-circuit boards.

Making a big block chevy run off two cylinders is certainly possible, and immediately you have drastically reduced the emissions. What I am suggesting requires little or no retooling of existing American vehicle fleet.

So Step One: Let us race, and Step Two: Give loans to ECU makers so they can make the V8 fleet become a V4 through electronic control of spark and perhaps also fuel injection by the same ECU? Damn I aint no scientist but we did put men on the moon, is that not right? I think the tech exists to make a V8 land yacht into a lighter, better mileage car.

What's cool about cars? For me it's tires, because what you need is traction. Tires can be recycled and are cheap. It's the HEART of the GM mindset which needs a bypass, via tech applied to the existing and aging US fleet. Two tools: O2 cutting torch and better electronic ignition (sparking only two or 4 cylinders hence using way less fuel).

Now here's the third part: Once Americans are feeling more freedom in relation to their cars and their environment (getting out, driving more) and they are doing it on two or four cylinders (halving of emissions), then the third question is, "How do they generate commerce with the world?"

The answer is in the pudding itself: The whole world is going mobile. the global hot rodding scene is about to explode just like the video game scene exploded. We can surf this whole new hot rodding wave globally, if we are smart.

At this point in time, I think US auto parts stores are doing great business and I think these stores are actually the lifeblood of this country. So I am talking also to the parts-sellers and th employees. I am saying that this network of auto parts delivery and manufacture can easily go global in mindset, and America can become the absolute auto-pimp of the world. But companies need to keep bonding with the employees and employees need to stop shrinking the inventories if you know what I mean. Us versus them will not work here. There can be a union of the mind, after the people at the top get a little humility, America will remain mobile and will export that car-consciousness off our shores. We will make parts for other car makers also, for example if we can bring forward the VW car culture also, then we can make money as a nation by pimping Das Auto which it seems like the world is now buying. We can use that to our advantage.

This is the third element which we must have: A global interest in exporting our restored classic cars and our unique car-culture to the world. There will be a need for VW hot rodding and yes, people in Europe will buy our junkyard cars if we can have a process whereby Americans retools their cars and sell them internationally en masse? That trade could be established if the paper-shufflers can be locked in a room while its done. Always there will be obfuscators.

But also If we do this, then we will be exploiting our own best resource: Our love for cars. We would be doing this right at a time when a lot of other cultures are learning the freedom of having cars and maybe driving them fast. Usually they are not doing it safely so can help them with that. And yes, if we can take a value-less junker from the yard and fix it up, then we should feel that we are doing a patriotic duty, imo.

So there you go. 1, 2, 3. What do you think?

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